Bookshot #149: The Well of Ascension

The second book of the Mistborn trilogy opens with a Final Empire in chaos. Anarchy reigns across the

regions as the Lord Ruler's Steel Ministry has vanished with his death. Elend and company have control of Luthadel and are attempting to restore order, but are confronted by three armies that come to lay siege to the capital after it's alleged hidden stash of atium and the political influence that comes with controlling the Lord Ruler's former seat of power. The first army belongs to Elend's father, Straff. The second belongs to Ashweather Cett, the self-declared king of the Western Dominance. The third- and perhaps the most dangerous army consists of Koloss- massive, blue brutish creatures once controlled by the Lord Ruler, but now under the very tenuous control of Elend's former friend Jastes who is buying their obedience with fake coins.

With the storm clouds gathering, Vin and Elend discover a set of bones in their keep and realize with the help of the Kondra, OreSeur that there's a second Kondra who has taken the form of somehow. Vin starts to become increasingly suspicious of everyone around her. She starts sparring with Straff's Mistborn, Zane- not realizing that he's Elend's half-brother. Sazed meanwhile is in the south increasingly worried about the number of suspicious deaths that he's finding- and wondering if perhaps, the mists have turned deadly and are starting to kill people. Marsh shows up and leads him to a former Ministry Stronghold called the Conventicle of Seran- the former base of the Lord Ruler's Inquisitors-- there, he finds an engraving that once claimed to have found the Hero of Ages.

Back in Luthadel, the Terris keeper Tindwyl arrives and attempts to make Elend into a better king. He makes some improvements, but despite that, the Assembly votes to depose him, using the very laws written by him and elect Lord Penrod as the new king. Zane is pressuring Vin to kill all her enemies and when Misting Assassins attack Elend at the Assembly meeting, she kills them in front of him in a fairly brutal way and their relationship becomes strained. Zane then induces Vin to attack Cett's forces and she kills hundreds before becoming disturbed by her actions fleeing before killing Cett. She then makes her choice: Elend instead of Zane and Zane, trying to kill her, reveals that her Kondra is dead, replaced by his own, TenSoon. TenSoon, for his part, has grown to like Vin and helps her kill Zane before leaving to return to his homeland.

Elend and Vin reconcile and she agrees to marry him. Sazed and the rest of the crew, realizing that the Army of Koloss is probably their doom, scheme to get the two out of the city- creating a fake map to the Well of Ascension. Eventually, Elend and Vin realize the deception and Vin comes back to save many, but not Dockson, Tindwyl and clubs. She figures out how to control the Kolos and then realizes that the Well of Ascension is in Luthadell itself. In the final confrontation, a man made of mist stabs Elend and although tempted, Vin opens the well and... something is released. The mist man then urges Vin to feed Elend a metal bead which makes him a Mistborn and an allomancer. Sazed goes back to the Conventical of Saren- but finds that the words of his original engraving have been changed- by whom, Sazed isn't sure, but he has a feeling it's the work of the mysterious entity that Vin released.

Mistborn isn't quite as frustrating as The Stormlight Archive has been so far- but it is long and can get a bit arduous in parts- and still, I think I might prefer The Stormlight Archive over Mistborn- but I have also heard the 2nd Era of Mistborn gets a lot better than the first. I do love these characters- they don't have a lot of the irritating features that a lot of the more complex ones of The Stormlight Archive do. I think this is a worthy sequel to The Hero of Ages and was very enjoyable to pick my way through in Audiobook form. That said: I'm still taking an extended hiatus from Sanderson to let my brain reset a bit. But, all in all, My Grade: *** out of ****


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