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The Well of Ascension (Mistborn Series #2)

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn Series #2)

4.5 582
by Brandon Sanderson

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson's epic Mistborn Trilogy continues with The Well of Ascension.

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


#1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson's epic Mistborn Trilogy continues with The Well of Ascension.

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Intrigue, politics, and conspiracies mesh complexly in a world Sanderson realizes in satisfying depth and peoples with impressive characters.” —Booklist on Mistborn

“This entertaining read will especially please those who always wanted to know what happened after the good guys won.” —Publishers Weekly on The Well of Ascension

“Sanderson is an evil genius. There is simply no other way to describe what he's managed to pull off in this transcendent final volume of his Mistborn trilogy.” —RT Book Reviews, Gold Medal, Top Pick, on The Hero of Ages

RT Book Reviews

Sanderson is an evil genius. There is simply no other way to describe what he's managed to pull off in this transcendent final volume of his Mistborn trilogy.
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
Orson Scott Card

Elantris is the finest novel of fantasy to be written in many years. Brandon Sanderson has created a truly original world of magic and intrigue, and with the rigor of the best science fiction writers he has made it real at every level.
New York Times-bestselling author of the Deryni se Katherine Kurtz

Elantris . . . is marked by vivid and strongly drawn characters (including a memorable female character) and ingenious plot twists that will keep the reader turning pages. Don't miss it!

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Mistborn Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)
HL690L (what's this?)

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Read an Excerpt

The Well of Ascension Book Two of Mistborn
By Sanderson, Brandon
Tor Fantasy Copyright © 2008 Sanderson, Brandon
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780765356130

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.
“Idon’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.


Excerpted from The Well of Ascension by Sanderson, Brandon Copyright © 2008 by Sanderson, Brandon. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

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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Well of Ascension (Mistborn Series #2) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 582 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
GarryT More than 1 year ago
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 :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This whole series is very good, continuing the interesting premise/background of the first book. Love 'em all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
emmanuel_ali More than 1 year ago
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
BluHawk More than 1 year ago
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!).
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 10 months ago
I love the thrill and excitement
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
I honestly have NO idea why I waited so long after finishing The Final Empire (Book One) in this beautiful trilogy before starting this one, but it has been over a month. I just guess that these books are long, and with the stress of college submissions, I just didn’t find the time to pick it up. Which is to say that well, despite the wait, I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK I CANNOT FUNCTION PROPERLY. What’s this about, you ask? You know how most trilogies start with a tyrannical ruler to overthrow, a rebellion to win and a certain Prince and an unwitting princess to fall in forbidden love and they usually end with everyone being happy? Well, The Wells of Ascension is what comes AFTER that happen ending… After a thousand years of oppression under a ruler who is now gone, The Final Empire is in chaos. Warlords have over taken the various dominances, declaring themselves Kings and are now on their way to the centre of it all – the capital – Elend Venture’s new kingdom. Inside Luthandel, the people that now run the city were once criminals, trying to learn the ropes of running a kingdom headed by an idealistic nobleman. Vin and Elend themselves struggle to figure out what it means to be a Mistborn Weapon to a young king and their changing roles while trying to understand what their people need. TRUTH BE TOLD, this book, is EVERYTHING THE FANTASY WORLD NEEDS. I adore the sheer precision and details that go into every novel Brandon Sanderson writes. There is this passive, slow paced writing that if you give it the chance, will leave you hooked, unable to function without the characters or the world. I ADORE the characters. Every single person that had a viewpoint or even talked about someone else was SO WELL ROUNDED – their flaws, their personalities, their loves and dislikes were so well done and well, I feel like I know them like I know my own family. Elend and Vin, together, had the ability to make me feel all the feels and also break my heart because they were just SO DARN CUTE TOGETHER. I loved reading about (and feeling) all the ups and downs of their relationship as they tried to work on being with each other and also being powerful Mistborn and King. I ADORE THEM. More than anything else, I feel like this world is BEAUTIFUL. The power, the politics, the ideals and the people will leave you desperate for more. A brilliantly executed, perfect fantasy that realistically portrays what happens after the fabled happy ever after. You will fall in love with everything about this series – the people, the power, the games and the story and I could not recommend it more. 5 Stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent sequel, I can't wait to read the final book in this incredibly well-written trilogy.
Adam_Gentry More than 1 year ago
They toppled an empire, now they must build a new one. Well of Ascension asks “what happens after the heroes defeat the villain and topple the evil empire?” Now Vin and the others work to build a new empire, learning from the mistakes of the old one, and survive the ambitions of various opportunists. This time the heroes are on the defensive, responding to threats from besieging armies, surprise assassins, and political factions. Their victory over the Lord Ruler earned them a fearsome reputation, and now Vin struggles to live up to that reputation. As observers other characters stand in awe of Vin’s abilities, but her own perspective reveals the enormous strain that she imposes on herself, as well as the isolating effect of her power. The story makes strong use of 6 distinct perspectives to reveal a rich character based story. Where the first novel laid out a clear moral alignment, this story explores the relativity of right and wrong. The absence of a central villain leaves the plot more fragmented, driven by personal relationships instead of a larger conflict. Each scene advances one plot a small portion, before switching to a different one. The results can feel a little slow, but artfully so. +Relationship driven subplots +Strong ideas *Fragmented storylines *Political intrigue -Slow at times 4/5
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enjoyed this second book in the series. will be reading the third book.
UR12 More than 1 year ago
Book #1 of the Mistborn Series was an excellent read and it was fun to be introduced to the development of characters like Vin who became the ultimate warrior and hero. Like all series it left you wanting to know the ultimate outcome. I think the author did a good job of creating a landscape and different idea other than the old tried and true magic such as wizards, trolls,dragons etc. I am into the final book of the series and hoping to see it all come together (I like happy endings).
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Love Sanderson
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The mistborn trilogy is very good