The Well of Ascension

Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension Cover

The Well of Ascension


I put off reading this book for about 18 months, after reading the first in the series. I enjoyed the first one a lot, but I was happy enough with the story as it stood. The first book ended with its premise completely resolved, and just a small dangling thread to support the rest of the trilogy. I do appreciate that the books can more-or-less stand alone as complete narratives, but in this case it didn't give me much impetus to carry on. Even now, the main reason I picked this book was to do with which of me e-readers had some charge in its battery. But I'm glad I went for this one. I enjoyed it a great deal.

This second book leaves a bit more to be resolved in part three, but it still tells a whole tale with a reasonably satisfying ending. I'm certainly not intending to leave it so long before reading the third volume. The problem is more with me forgetting who people are than with the structure of the books themselves.

At the end of book one, our heroes had defeated the immortal emperor and taken over the capital city. Book two is about whether they can keep it, now the empire has fallen apart and the dukes are fighting over the scraps.

For the second time in two books the heroine Vin manages to win a key magical battle using her own skill and intelligence, without breaking any of the rules that have been established. I liked this aspect a lot.

Other things are less successful, I think. The relationship between the two leads was a bit soap-opera at times, but overall I really enjoyed it. This is the series that really made Sanderson's reputation, and it's easy to see why. 4/5