Review

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson - Spoiler Review | I sit there wondering how this level of epicness can exist

May 20, 2016

Title: The Well of Ascension
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: Mistborn #2
Genre: High Fantasy
Publication Date: June 21st 2007
Format Read: Paperback
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★....
Synopsis of Book 1:
A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash fields.
But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is rumour of revolt. A revolt that depends on criminal that no-one can trust and a young girl who must master Allomancy - the magic that lies in all metals.

So this book starts off with "King Elend" and immediately, I feel like murdering someone. If you read my review of book 1 you know how much I dislike Elend Venture, and now he is KING? WHAT! He didn't do ANY-THING. He didn't sacrifice everything, risk his life, train hard for ages or work on overthrowing the final empire for years so why the hell should he be king? HE. SHOULD. NOT. Elend qualifies for being a scholar, I admit that. He might have some of the brains required to rule a country. However, he doesn't know anything about how bad the lives of the people who wanted the Final Empire abolished were! He was born to a noble family, not his fault, but that's the way it is! He never went through the hard-ships of being skaa or living in the streets. He might have experienced hardships, but nowhere near what the crew had. He doesn't have the experience or passion needed to do the job. WHY. IS. HE. KING?
"He was Elend—the friendly, comfortable man with the funny ideas. Easy to dismiss, perhaps, but difficult to hate."
Um.... I beg to differ... 

Although it may not look like it so far, I started to not dislike Elend as much as I did before,  but I'm definitely not anywhere close to liking him. I respect how he actually made an effort to try and be a good king. I like how he didn't just dismiss Tindwyl's harsh lessons. However, I think he got a bit cocky with the whole "call me your majesty" thing. I mean, really? I get that you're more confident now but no. Just no. 

Vin was badass, as always. She was a bit frustrating at times, like the times she almost listened to Zane and started to think of abandoning the crew. However, I loved her sparring scenes with Zane. It was so interesting to see two Misborn sparring, since that void was never filled after Kelsier's death. It just brought back the thrill of Allomancy, especially when I was feeling depressed at the beginning since everything was so somber without Kelsier.  I also loved the scene in the beginning where Vin took on those mistings and kicked-ass, as always. *sigh* will there ever be a better character?

I really liked Tindwyl as a character. I admit, at first it was only because she was constantly chastising Elend which was extremely enjoyable. But she was just such a funny character. I loved her sassy attitude towards everyone, except for the scenes where she was guilting Sazed for not obeying the rules.

Speaking of Sazed, I really wanted Twazed to be a thing, but then Tindwyl had to go and die and leave that ship wrecked. I was heartbroken for Sazed. I loved those scenes before the huge war when Tindwyl and Sazed spend ages researching and studying and then they both fell asleep on the stacks of books. That was just... relationship goals! It was so sad to see Tindwyl ripped away from Sazed just after they'd both started accepting their feelings for each other. Much sadness, much crying.

Sazed was, however, my favourite character in this book and possibly my favourite in the series. I loved how he kept preaching religions, especially to Clubs and I loved his little scholarly arguments about faith and religion with... well... everyone. I also enjoyed that scene where Vin came in for relationship advise and right after she left, Elend came in for advise and Sazed was just sitting there like "Lol you two idiots are perfect for each other." Although I don't fully support the relationship, loved that scene.

Let's move on to the Kandra. OreSeur. Honestly, I hated OreSeur at first because.. well he DIGESTED KELSIER! Excuse me, but you can go to hell for that. I'm not sure if I started liking the Kandra before or after TenSoon took over but when Vin and the Kandra (TenSoon, Oreseur, whatever) started bonding, and he started to see that not all humans were vicious and cruel, I loved the little thing. I loved the scene were Vin was sitting on the floor writing and OreSeur said "You know there's a writing desk right there? Some might use it for writing?" and Vin's excuse was "The papers are on the floor" and then OreSeur, like a sassy puppy, said "Papers can be moved. Maybe you should use pewter to help carry them over to the desk." I laughed so hard.

I thought the Vin-Kandra relationship was ruined when she used too much soothing as an experiment and OreSeur was all "I said too much. The mistake was mine." I almost cried!
"“Said too much . . .” he muttered, still shaking. “I knew I’d said too much.” “I didn’t mean to hurt you,” Vin said. The shaking subsided, and OreSeur fell still for a moment, breathing quietly. Finally, he pulled his head out of her arms. “What you meant is immaterial, Mistress,” he said flatly. “The mistake was mine. Please, never do that again.” “I promise,” she said. “I’m sorry.” He shook his head, crawling off the bed. “You shouldn’t even have been able to do it. There are strange things about you, Mistress—you are like the Allomancers of old, before the passage of generations dulled their powers.”"
 Zane.... I didn't like him. I liked him for a second because he shared my feelings for Elend but that doesn't excuse his actions. I liked "The Watcher," before we knew he was Straff's "messenger" and before we knew he was Elend's Mistborn brother. As soon as the Straff thing was revealed I knew I couldn't trust him. My instincts were further justified when he influenced Vin to randomly go kill people. And, of course, my instinct was confirmed at the fight scene.

I was not surprised when Zane tried to murder Vin for not running away with him and "saving him." You were in too deep, Zane. That fight scene was great, and  honestly, wasn't sure who was going to win. I suspected the kandra as the impostor but still, WHY PUPPY WHY? I didn't hate the kandra though, because it had bonded with Vin and it did help Vin win against Zane at the end. YAY TenSoon. I loved how Vin used Zane's Atium prediction of her to overthrow him. So clever. Of course, Zane did stab her before she died.

And right after that, Vin stumbles over to Sazed and Elend and she gets married. "Oh, I'm fine. I mean, I'm bleeding uncontrollably and I might die in a minute or two, but I'm just going to get married first. Just to be sure Elend knows I love him. It's not like I might die or anything, right?" STUPID, STUPID VIN! What the hell are you doing? And Elend and Sazed just magically agree to this? That was the worst scene in the book. I understand this is a very unpopular opinion. I'm glad you're married and happy and all that but really? Really Vin?
“All right,” a new voice said. “What was that pink thing I just passed in the hallway?”“That wasn’t pink, my dear,” Breeze said. “That was red.”
I don't like or trust Allriane. She was just really annoying. Maybe she was quite a powerful rioter but I still did not like her. She was so frustrating with her stupid fluffiness and her whining and moaning and need for pampering. She used allomancy for really stupid, bratty reasons. Every time she said "Breezy" I wanted to strangle her. I could imagine a spoilt girl pouting, and whining in a really annoying, high pitched voice saying "Breezy" and I just... *sigh* I literally wrote down "I don't like or trust her" when she was introduced and when they were horse-riding, Vin said:
"We don't want you along," Vin said. "We don't trust you - and we don't like you.”"
You and me both, Vin.

The huge war scene was epic. Sad, but epic. It felt so realistic, like what would've actually happened if it was real life. It wasn't just "We're the good side so we win immediately." We actually got to experience immense loss, anticipation, fear, dread, despair and a bunch of other indescribable emotions. We got to see war for what it actually is: a bloody, inglorious, unnatural feat. We lost Clubs and Dockson, which was heartbreaking. I felt close to all the crew members and it was sad to see them go. We lost Tindwyl, which didn't hit me quite as hard but was painful nonetheless. We lost so much before Vin got there.

Once she did, everything was still chaotic. She was fighting and trying not to die, trying to figure out the secret to controlling Koloss. When she put together what TenSoon said about the Koloss and Kandra being "cousins" and how she controlled TenSoon for a moment with Allomancy, he understood and knew what to do. She controlled that Koloss and got the upper-hand. Great job Vin.
"“You know, Ham,” Breeze noted. “The only funny thing about your jokes is how often they lack any humor whatsoever.” “You’re only saying that because they usually involve you in the punch line.” Breeze rolled his eyes. “You know,” OreSeur muttered quietly, obviously counting on her tin to let Vin hear him, “it seems that these meetings would be more productive if someone forgot to invite those two.” Vin smiled. “They’re not that bad,” she whispered. OreSeur raised an eyebrow. “Okay,” Vin said. “They do distract us a little bit.” “I could always eat one of them, if you wish,” OreSeur said. “That might speed things up.” Vin paused. OreSeur, however, had a strange little smile on his lips. “Kandra humor, Mistress. I apologize. We can be a bit grim.” Vin smiled. “They probably wouldn’t taste very good anyway. Ham’s far too stringy, and you don’t want to know the kinds of things that Breeze spends his time eating. . . .” “I’m not sure,” OreSeur said. “One is, after all, named ‘Ham.’ As for the other . . .” He nodded to the cup of wine in Breeze’s hand. “He does seem quite fond of marinating himself.”"
I was so afraid that we would loose Breeze as well. He was trying to make sure everyone else was feeling good enough to fight, but he just lost it. He completely broke down. He had seen too much blood, loss and pain for him to make it through, so he his. I sympathised with him so much during that scene. It was an extreme case of PTSD.

The whole Well of Ascension, Hero of Ages thing was so confusing. I suspected Vin couldn't be the actual hero because Brandon Sanderson isn't one to just hand it to us on a silver platter. It was too predictable and obvious to be true. I knew something bad was going to happen at the well of ascension, I just didn't know that she was going to unleash Ruin onto the world. Ruin is obviously the deepness.

So the mist spirit almost killed Elend. Bummer. Bummer because ALMOST! Why couldn't he have just died? I was so disappointed when he took that nugget of metal and became mistborn. I was not for that. I do not support Elend becoming a mistborn. He is not good enough to be Mistborn. I wish he was dead. WHY IS ELEND A MISTBORN? NOOOOOOOOO

Lastly, what is up with Marsh? Is he being controlled by Deepness/Ruin? The Marsh we know would not try to kill Sazed. He said "I wish I knew why I have to kill you" which means he is under the influence of something. I bet it's the deepness. I'm so glad he failed though. If Sazed died, I would have lost it.

Well, that was a long review. It was a great book. What are your thoughts?
-Rekha

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