The Lord Ruler is dead. But the Survivor of Hathsin, leader of the crew that masterminded the revolution, and mentor to Vin, Kelsier, is also dead, leaving behind a world in chaos. Vin has graduated from a street urchin to the most powerful Mistborn in the land, in addition to being a central figure of a new religion known as the Church of the Survivor. By day, Vin protects the man she loves from assassins as Elend attempts to create a new, more democratic government. By night, she’s haunted by a strange shadow that appears from the evening Mists, and even they have begun to behave strangely. As three separate armies converge to take over Luthadel, Vin learns of an ancient legend that may be their final hope.

Although the above synopsis is lengthier than usual, there’s a lot more going in this book. It’s a real tribute to Sanderson’s work that none of the story is confusing or inaccessible—in fact, the narrative is expertly crafted. Compared to other fantasy series, here I appreciate the exploration of what happens after the evil lord is defeated. I also love getting to know a kandra personally, a species which can ingest a dead body and make a near perfect copy of them, as well as a handful of other interesting creatures and magics. In addition to the complex plot, the action scenes are mesmerizing, and the unexpected revelations and betrayals are shocking!

My primary issue with The Well of Ascension is its slowness, which I will attribute to 1) more than enough summarizing events from the previous book, 2) inner emotional turmoil that hasn’t changed from the previous book, and 3) the rebuilding of a government is obviously less action packed than the revolution that brought the previous one down. I find myself completely engaged in some parts of the book, and tempted to rush through others.

Recommended for fans of fantasy who love to fully engage in a new world, and as a necessary stepping stone to the conclusion, The Hero of Ages!

“Good men don’t become legends,” he said quietly.
“Good men don’t need to become legends.” She opened her eyes, looking up at him. “They just do what’s right anyway.”