reviewed The Well of Ascension (Mistborn Era One, #2)

The Well of Ascension (2008, Tor Fantasy) 4 stars

The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler -- the man who claimed to be …

Review of 'The Well of Ascension' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This is very much a bridging book. The true meat of the story in this trilogy is clearly the first book, with the struggles against the Lord Ruler, and what I can only assume is a bigger baddie in the third book. So, why have a trilogy? Why not a duology? Is this essentially a throwaway? The fact of the matter is that, even if it is not the most intriguing part of the trilogy, The Well of Ascension is an essential part.

This book, unlike its predecessor, is mostly about politics and intrigue. It's central story is the attempt to establish a just governing system in the wake of the fall of the Final Empire. We run across Vin and get half the book from the viewpoint of Elend... yeah, THAT Elend. The politics are decent enough, but it seems like Elend's idealism is the ultimate antagonist to the establishment of a government for the people and by the people, and sometimes it seems like it may just be a means for Sanderson to drag out the plot a little.

Overall, it still works. The theme of 'survivor psychology' continues in this book, and will no doubt continue in the next one. Certain revelations change the view of previous happenings, but sometimes in a way that is very similar to a retcon. Very... similar. I like to think that it was always all just part of Sanderson's plan and that it only appears like a retcon... but, clues to this interpretation are few... I can only think of a couple from the first book such as where Kelsier found out about the Eleventh Metal.

But, a full appreciation of the story would be pointless without reading the third and final book in this trilogy, since The Well of Ascension ends on a 'cliffhanger'.