Book Review: Mistborn: The Well of Ascension

Mistborn: The Well of Ascension” is book II in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. I was first exposed to Brandon Sanderson via Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series. He’s been doing such a good job with that, I figured I’d check out his other work. So far, I’ve been impressed.


“Mistborn: The Well of Ascension” continues the story of Vin, the hapless street rat, turned deadly Mistborn, turned consort to the King. The King, Elend Venture, is trying to set up a system of government that grants freedom to the skaa after a thousand years of oppression under the Lord Ruler. Unfortunately, a number of nobles don’t want any such thing and are laying siege to Luthadel, the capital of his fledgling kingdom. Vin is dedicated to seeing Elend’s efforts come to fruition, protecting him and spying for him.


Overall, the plot was intriguing; it pulled me in in a way rare for most modern fantasy novels. Again, the magic system is so different I hesitate to call it magic. If there is a flaw in the book, I think it is that it ends with too much of a twist. There are hints of what is going to happen in the end, but they are virtually impossible to figure out beforehand. As a matter of fact, a couple of them I “noticed,” but I just thought Brandon Sanderson messed up, so I ignored them. But he didn’t mess up. What I thought were mistakes, were eventually explained in a cohesive way. The main characters I liked, but again, some of the minor characters did not really distinguish themselves: I still can’t keep straight Dockson and Ham. But they are minor characters, so that is a minor flaw.


Ultimately, it was well worth the read. I’ll give Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn: The Well of Ascension” four and a half out of five stars. Not quite five, but close enough.


This review was originally posted on on 3-15-12.

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About atoasttodragons

The author, Matthew D. Ryan, lives in northern New York on the shores of Lake Champlain, one of the largest lakes in the continental United States, famous for the Battle of Plattsburgh and the ever-elusive Lake Champlain Monster, a beastie more commonly referred to as Champy. Matthew has studied philosophy, mathematics, and computer science in the academic world. He has earned a black belt in martial arts.

2 responses to “Book Review: Mistborn: The Well of Ascension”

  1. KB says :

    I read Mistborn but couldn’t finished Well. It was just so slow for me, and I couldn’t get into the characters. Vin is the most complex female character he has ever written as should be since she’s the main character. I really wanted to like this and continue the series but I felt their story could have ended at Mistborn. Mistborn felt complete to me.

    • atoasttodragons says :

      I think “Final Empire” could have stood alone fairly well. But I enjoyed the world and the characters enough that I thought the remaining two books in the series worth the effort. My biggest issue–as I said above–was that book two ended with almost too big of a twist.

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