The Well of Ascension (Mistborn Series #2)

( 566 )

Overview

Evil has been defeated. The war has just begun.

They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire.

They have barely begun when three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient...

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Overview

Evil has been defeated. The war has just begun.

They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire.

They have barely begun when three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

It may just be that killing the Lord Ruler was the easy part. Surviving the aftermath of his fall is going to be the real challenge.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for The Well of Ascension:

“All the explosive action any adventure fan could want.”
--Locus

"Sanderson's entertaining second Mistborn novel begins after most fantasy series end, when the team of brave and cunning heroes find that holding on to power is even harder than overthrowing the previous tyrant. . . . This entertaining read will especially please those who always wanted to know what happened after the good guys won."
--Publishers Weekly

“A great epic fantasy . . . Fans of Terry Goodkind and Terry Brooks will find The Well of Ascension fulfilling, satisfying, and incredibly exciting.”
--SFRevu.com

Publishers Weekly

Sanderson's entertaining second Mistborn novel begins after most fantasy series end, when the team of brave and cunning heroes find that holding on to power is even harder than overthrowing the previous tyrant. Elend Venture, the scholarly new Lord Ruler of Luthadel, clings to power while Luthadel's aristocrats and merchants grumble and two enemy armies-one led by Elend's father, Lord Straff-camp outside the city gates. Fortunately, Elend can rely on help from his lover and unofficial court assassin, the young allomancer Vin, but her magical metal-using ability makes her a target. An orphan of decidedly low origins, Vin is also having trouble adapting to her position as royal consort, especially since the underclass skaa, newly freed by Elend, look to her as their protector. Meanwhile, the ancient evil known as the Deepness is rising once again. This entertaining read will especially please those who always wanted to know what happened after the good guys won. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765356130
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 6/3/2008
  • Series: Mistborn Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 816
  • Sales rank: 135,035
  • Product dimensions: 6.76 (w) x 7.16 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Brandon Sanderson

BRANDON SANDERSON grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He lives in Utah with his wife and children and teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University. In addition to completing Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time®, he is the author of such bestsellers as the Mistborn trilogy, Warbreaker, The Alloy of Law, The Way of Kings, Rithmatist, and Steelheart. He won the 2013 Hugo Award for “The Emperor’s Soul,” a novella set in the world of his acclaimed first novel, Elantris.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The army crept like a dark stain across the horizon.

King Elend Venture stood motionless upon the Luthadel city wall, looking out at the enemy troops. Around him, ash fell from the sky in fat, lazy flakes. It wasn’t the burnt white ash that one saw in dead coals; this was a deeper, harsher black ash. The Ashmounts had been particularly active lately.

Elend felt the ash dust his face and clothing, but he ignored it. In the distance, the bloody red sun was close to setting. It backlit the army that had come to take Elend’s kingdom from him.

“How many?” Elend asked quietly.

“Fifty thousand, we think,” Ham said, leaning against the parapet, beefy arms folded on the stone. Like everything in the city, the wall had been stained black by countless years of ashfalls.

“Fifty thousand soldiers . . .” Elend said, trailing off. Despite heavy recruitment, Elend barely had twenty thousand men under his command—and they were peasants with less than a year of training. Maintaining even that small number was straining his resources. If they’d been able to find the Lord Ruler’s atium, perhaps things would be different. As it was, Elend’s rule was in serious danger of economic disaster.

“What do you think?” Elend asked.

“I don’t know, El,” Ham said quietly. “Kelsier was always the one with the vision.”

“But you helped him plan,” Elend said. “You and the others, you were his crew. You were the ones who came up with a strategy for overthrowing the empire, then made it happen.”

Ham fell silent, and Elend felt as if he knew what the man was thinking. Kelsier was central to it all. He was the one who organized, the one who took all of the wild brainstorming and turned it into a viable operation. He was the leader. The genius.

And he’d died a year before, on the very same day that the people—as part of his secret plan—had risen up in fury to overthrow their god emperor. Elend had taken the throne in the ensuing chaos. Now it was looking more and more like he would lose everything that Kelsier and his crew had worked so hard to accomplish. Lose it to a tyrant who might be even worse than the Lord Ruler. A petty, devious bully in “noble” form. The man who had marched his army on Luthadel.

Elend’s own father, Straff Venture.

“Any chance you can . . . talk him out of attacking?” Ham asked.

“Maybe,” Elend said hesitantly. “Assuming the Assembly doesn’t just surrender the city.”

“They close?”

“I don’t know, honestly. I worry that they are. That army has frightened them, Ham.” And with good reason, he thought. “Anyway, I have a proposal for the meeting in two days. I’ll try to talk them out of doing anything rash. Dockson got back today, right?”

Ham nodded. “Just before the army’s advance.”

“I think we should call a meeting of the crew,” Elend said. “See if we can come up with a way out of this.”

“We’ll still be pretty shorthanded,” Ham said, rubbing his chin. “Spook isn’t supposed to be back for another week, and the Lord Ruler only knows where Breeze went. We haven’t had a message from him in months.”

Elend sighed, shaking his head. “I can’t think of anything else, Ham.” He turned, staring out over the ashen landscape again. The army was lighting campfires as the sun set. Soon, the mists would appear.

I need to get back to the palace and work on that proposal, Elend thought.

“Where’d Vin run off to?” Ham asked, turning back to Elend.

Elend paused. “You know,” he said, “I’m not sure.”

Vin landed softly on the damp cobblestones, watching as the mists began to form around her. They puffed into existence as darkness fell, growing like tangles of translucent vines, twisting and wrapping around one another.

The great city of Luthadel was still. Even now, a year after the Lord Ruler’s death and the rise of Elend’s new free government, the common people stayed in their homes at night. They feared the mists, a tradition that went far deeper than the Lord Ruler’s laws.

Vin slipped forward quietly, senses alert. Inside herself, as always, she burned tin and pewter. Tin enhanced her senses, making it easier for her to see in the night. Pewter made her body stronger, made her lighter on her feet. These, along with copper—which had the power to hide her use of Allomancy from others who were burning bronze—were metals that she left on almost all the time.

Some called her paranoid. She thought herself prepared. Either way, the habit had saved her life on numerous occasions.

She approached a quiet street corner and paused, peeking out. She’d never really understood how she burned metals; she could remember doing it for as long as she’d been alive, using Allomancy instinctively even before she was formally trained by Kelsier. It didn’t really matter to her. She wasn’t like Elend; she didn’t need a logical explanation for everything. For Vin, it was enough that when she swallowed bits of metal, she was able to draw upon their power.

Power she appreciated, for she well knew what it was like to lack it. Even now, she was not what one would likely envision as a warrior. Slight of frame and barely five feet tall, with dark hair and pale skin, she knew she had an almost frail look about her. She no longer displayed the underfed look she had during her childhood on the streets, but she certainly wasn’t someone any man would find intimidating.

She liked that. It gave her an edge—and she needed every edge she could get.

She also liked the night. During the day, Luthadel was cramped and confining despite its size. But at night the mists fell like a deep cloud. They dampened, softened, shaded. Massive keeps became shadowed mountains, and crowded tenements melted together like a chandler’s rejected wares.

Vin crouched beside her building, still watching the intersection. Carefully, she reached within herself and burned steel—one of the other metals she’d swallowed earlier. Immediately, a group of translucent blue lines sprang up around her. Visible only to her eyes, the lines pointed from her chest to nearby sources of metal—all metals, no matter what type. The thickness of the lines was proportionate to the size of the metal pieces they met. Some pointed to bronze door latches, others to crude iron nails holding boards together.

She waited silently. None of the lines moved. Burning steel was an easy way to tell if someone was moving nearby. If they were wearing bits of metal, they would trail telltale moving lines of blue. Of course, that wasn’t the main purpose of steel. Vin reached her hand carefully into her belt pouch and pulled out one of the many coins that sat within, muffled by cloth batting. Like all other bits of metal, this coin had a blue line extending from its center to Vin’s chest.

She flipped the coin into the air, then mentally grabbed its line and—burning steel—Pushed on the coin. The bit of metal shot into the air, arcing through the mists, forced away by the Push. It plinked to the ground in the middle of the street.

The mists continued to spin. They were thick and mysterious, even to Vin. More dense than a simple fog and more constant than any normal weather pattern, they churned and flowed, making rivulets around her. Her eyes could pierce them; tin made her sight more keen. The night seemed lighter to her, the mists less thick. Yet, they were still there.

A shadow moved in the city square, responding to her coin—which she had Pushed out into the square as a signal. Vin crept forward, and recognized OreSeur the kandra. He wore a different body than he had a year ago, during the days when he had acted the part of Lord Renoux. Yet, this balding, nondescript body had now become just as familiar to Vin.

OreSeur met up with her. “Did you find what you were looking for, Mistress?” he asked, tone respectful—yet somehow still a little hostile. As always.

Vin shook her head, glancing around in the darkness. “Maybe I was wrong,” she said. “Maybe I wasn’t being followed.” The acknowledgment made her a bit sad. She’d been looking forward to sparring with the Watcher again tonight. She still didn’t even know who he was; the first night, she’d mistaken him for an assassin. And maybe he was. Yet, he seemed to display very little interest in Elend—and a whole lot of interest in Vin.

“We should go back to the wall,” Vin decided, standing up. “Elend will be wondering where I went.”

OreSeur nodded. At that moment, a burst of coins shot through the mists, spraying toward Vin.

Copyright © 2007 by Brandon Sanderson. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 566 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(370)

4 Star

(143)

3 Star

(41)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 570 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    The battle to take the Lord Ruler down is over and the rebels won although it was Vin who struck the decisive lethal blow. Now that the empire is destroyed kingdoms with petty rulers as their monarchs want to take his place. Two such rulers are besieging the Central Dominance¿s largest city Luthadel, where Vin¿s lover Elend rules as a benevolent king who insisted on having a council with real powers help make the laws. --- Vin is one of the most powerful Mistborns in the former empire who burns all the metals in her body, each giving her an incredible power. She is her lover¿s bodyguard because she knows his enemies from within the city and without will try to kill him. She loves him dearly but isn¿t sure she is good enough for him because he was raised as a noble and she was once a homeless street urchin who went from one gang to another for protection. One of the kings taking part in the siege is Elend¿s father who has a Mistborn ally Zane who is enchanted by Vin and makes her question her role in Elend¿s life. --- Readers will be fascinated by what takes place in a city under siege and root for Vin and Elend to live through this dangerous time. Although there is as much introspection as there is action in THE WELL OF ASCENSION readers will become so absorbed in the plot that they will be unable to put the book down because the characters fascinate them. Told in the third person viewpoint by many characters, this epic fantasy is a stand alone book although a clear successor to Book One MISTBORN --- Harriet Klausner

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent for the Genre!

    Thus far, Sanderson is delivering everything you would expect from a good fantasy novel: he's got excellent well-developed characters, an evolving and intricate plot, and a unique concept to differentiate his novels. I have been very impressed by these books, and look forward to continuing the series. If you liked this series, you might also like "Magician: Apprentice" by Raymond E. Feist (especially from "Silverthorn" on...), "Assassin's Apprentice" by Robin Hobb, "Way of Shadows" by Brent Weeks, "Kushiel's Dart" by Jacqueline Carey, and "Magician's Guild" by Trudi Canavan, and "Thief's Gamble" by Juliet E. Mckenna, and "A Shadow in Summer" by Daniel Abraham (Phew!).

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 15, 2011

    Don't start reading this in the evening -- you will not go to sleep until you finish it !

    When I picked up the 1st book, I was skeptical. After reading a few pages, I was hooked. As soon as I finished, I was looking for the second book. I was not disappointed. The only down side is everyone was telling me I looked tired today :-)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    You'll Like It.

    This whole series is very good, continuing the interesting premise/background of the first book. Love 'em all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I thought the first book in this series was good, but this one was even better! I couldn't hardly put it down and I'm looking forward to the third book. It's definitely a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2012

    loved the first and the second is better

    the war against the lord ruler is over and now vin is trying to protect her new bf while he is now the ruler of luthadel.Vin is one of the most powerful Mistborns in the world but vin's only weakness would be that she thinks she would never be good enough for elend. for me this book was amazing once i picked it up i could not put it down, in my opinion it is better than the first. i think people would love the little romance between vin and elend, but would really love the action that goes on through out the book. i think who ever reads this would be into it as much as i was to the point where they could never put the book down

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2014

    Enjoyed.

    The mistborn trilogy is very good

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  • Posted August 15, 2014

    Great series!

    Loved it...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Oh so good!

    I love love LOVE The Mistborn Trilogy!!! Great characters, original fantasy, magic, romance, danger, all the good stuff! I am so glad a friend of mine reccomended this series to me! 5 Stars!!! Warning to all: the awesomeness of this book might explode your brain. Just so's you know.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 24, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Another hit!

    Brandon Sanderson's writing is amazingly descriptive, and involving. I have other books I have to read, but when I get tired of them, I come to one of his books. I won't get tired of reading his books. I highly recommend this series to practically everybody.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I'm in love. Did I enjoy this book: I¿m in love.  Sanderson twi

    I'm in love.

    Did I enjoy this book: I’m in love.  Sanderson twisted the best bits of Middle Earth and The Land together, added a generous dose of his own brilliance, and created The Final Empire in all its post-evil ruler glory.  Where Tolkein or Donaldson might add a new enemy or a healthy dose of self-loathing, Sanderson opts to tell the story of what happens after the good guys win, and he does it brilliantly.  There’s plenty of coin-tossing action, loads of character development, and some new faces (and new metals) to shake things up.  Oh, and don’t forget that tiny issue of the impending collapse of not only Luthadel but the whole of the Final Empire. 




    Would I recommend it: Absolutely.




    Will I read it again: It’s a great second installment, and I’m mere moments away from cracking book 3 (The Hero of Ages).
     
    As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Book Reviews.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Great

    Loved it!

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  • Posted May 27, 2013

    Recommend

    Interesting series

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2013

    Great

    Really good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 7, 2012

    So good! How does Brandon do it?

    So good! How does Brandon do it?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Better than the first

    Was not a big fan of the first book but this one was much better! Finished in less than a week cant wait to read the third book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Great Book!

    Another great book in this series! I can't wait to read the next one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Awesome

    Great book i thoroughly loved it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    Great series

    Interesting characters, suspenseful plot, good writing - what more could you ask for?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 5, 2012

    Excellent

    Top notch read....excellent series...I highly recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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