The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson blogtour part V

So today we finish the final chapters in Book Two of Sanderson’s Mistborn series.  The previous week’s discussions have been hosted by Carl, Grace, Sue and Adam and their posts can be read as follows:

  1. Carl – part one
  2. Grace – part two
  3. Sue – part three
  4. Adam – part four

If you haven’t read the Well of Ascension the above discussions and next few chapters will contain spoilers so be aware!

I find it amazing how Sanderson seems to have managed to pack so much into these final few chapters.  Sometimes I feel like the end of a book can have a rushed feel as though the author was in a hurry to finish.  Not so here.  We started the final chapters with Vin and Elend newly married and leaving the City under the premise of searching for the Well of Ascension.  The remainder of the crew were left behind at Luthadel to figure out how to hold the City against what seemed like an impossible threat from the Koloss and Straff’s armies.  There were a few surprises here – firstly that Tindwyl refused to go along with the party leaving and secondly Allrianne who seemed to be using this as a way of returning to her father to try and persuade him to help Luthadel (or to help Breezy!)  I can’t help feeling now, given the eventual outcome that Sazed’s idea to send Vin and Elend away, whilst made with the best intentions, was a poor decision.  The eventual war that the Koloss raged on the City was horrible and it was pretty grim reading about all the casualties not to mention it all seemed so overwhelming and helpless.  I suppose a part of me can’t help wondering if Sazed made this decision also as a way of trying to save Tindwyl and yet in the end it seems like if Vin had been in the City from the beginning the deaths of so many may have been avoided.  Hindsight hey!   How did you feel about Sazed and the rest of the Crew planning to remove Vin and Elend from the City?  Also, what did you make of Sazed actually getting involved in the fighting and no longer just standing back and witnessing events?  It seems to me he did a remarkable job with very little resources.

Then we had Vin’s return and her discovery about the Koloss – I did think it was a pretty cool moment when Sazed, who finally thought his end had arrived, watched as the Koloss who approached went quiet and parted and Vin stepped out from amongst them!  This tiny young girl stepping out of the middle of this group of huge monsters.  On reflection I wonder why The Lord Ruler created the Koloss and the Kandra.  He built in his little failsafes to keep them under control but given how he controlled the Skaa anyway he didn’t seem to need either as an army?  In fact he didn’t seem to use them at all.  Perhaps he created them by accident or just as experimentation that went wrong.

The final chapters seemed to reveal quite a bit and yet still leave so many unanswered questions.  What was going on with Marsh – was he hearing the same voices that Zane had heard, or more to the point has he now been taken over by something – and is that something the same thing that has now been released from the Well?

What is this entity that has been released and why was it trapped there in the first place, and by who?

What was this mist creature – I can understand the reason why it attacked Elend at the end but who or what is it?

What was this piece of metal that Elend swallowed at the end that seemed to turn him into a mistborn – is that where the whole allomancy ‘thing’ began.  Would this metal work on everyone?

And, why are the Steel Inquisitors now attacking the Terris people?

Oh dear, so many questions!  I think I’ve finished the book with more queries than I started!!

Finally, how much did you enjoy this book and how does it compare to book number one?



22 Responses to “The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson blogtour part V”

  1. Adam

    When I reread the series I gave all three books a 10/10 rating. On it’s own, this book isn’t quite as good as either the first or the third book, but my thoughts of the series as a whole are heavily influenced by the ending of the series, which I still consider to be one of the best I’ve ever read.

    Can I say that pretty much all of your questions are answered in the third book?

    I think that the idea of sending Vin away was a bit misguided, she definitely could have helped everyone during the fighting, and quite possibly could have saved Tindwyl, but I also understand their reasoning that one person isn’t going to be able to do a whole lot. Vin also kind of accidentally discovered how to control the Koloss, if I remember correctly she was running out of her other metals and simply tried the emotional metals out of desperation.

    I loved all of the imagery involving the final fight scene with Vin. Stepping out from the Koloss is fun, but I like the idea of the duralumin jump with a sword bigger than her when she finally kills Straff, that’s the scene I’d want to see from a movie.

    Sazed really is very resourceful, and he wasn’t a trained fighter, nor did he have a huge stockpile of Feruchemical power. I think it would be very interesting to see a fight between a well trained Allomancer and a well trained Ferchemist. Kelsier talks briefly about atium making the Mistborn superior to anything, but without atium it would definitely be an interesting fight.

    Concerning the making of the koloss. Remember that in the first two books we’ve only been involved in events around Luthadel. The kingdom that the Lord Ruler oversaw was much larger than just that city, and many of the outlying regions were not as well under his control. He occasionally had smaller rebellions to deal with, and for these he used the Koloss. I don’t recall if that’s mentioned in the books or if it’s from the Annotations on his website or some interview of his I read somewhere, but that was largely their purpose.

    • lynnsbooks

      Hello Adam
      It is nice to have an expert on this series on the readalong and I admit I’m looking forward to no.3 and having my questions answered. I forgot as well, as I had so many other questions, where has all the atrium gone and what on earth is the ash all about. I know, I’m going to have to be patient!
      I’m really impressed with Sanderson, this is my first reading of anything by him and I think he’s got a fantastic imagination. It definitely makes me want to read Way of Kings.
      I felt so sorry for Sazed at the end – he was sort of in shock over Tindwyl wasn’t he? It was such a shame and also that, yet again, his people seem to be being singled out for destruction.
      Lynn 😀

    • Amanda

      That scene where Vin kills Straff is one of my favorites of the whole book too!

      • lynnsbooks

        I love the way she flies up into the sky and looks, from afar, like a bird because of her cloak.
        I also loved when she walked out from amongst the Koloss.
        Lynn 😀

  2. Kristen M.

    I was definitely impressed with this book as a second in a trilogy — it’s a hard type of book to write where most of the introductions were already made and you can’t end the story. It was strong and definitely emotional in parts.

    I really liked Sazed’s transformation from the point where he said “a new leader needs to be sent here” to him shouting and leading the charge against the koloss. He’s finally embraced that he’s not just an observer even though he hasn’t been just that for a long time. I’m sad that he had to lose the love he finally found but I think that he’s going to have a big role in the third book.

    So is the escaped evil what has been controlling the Inquisitors and Zane all along — the voice of God? Some of the stuff Marsh was saying to Sazed (“I don’t know why but you have to die”) sounded like it was in response to the same things Zane was hearing about killing random people. And was the Lord Ruler being controlled in this way too? He also was determined to wipe out the Keepers — though the Inquisitors seemed more successful at that. That part makes me really sad but, again, it gives Sazed an even larger importance in the world.

    Book three is going to be really interesting now that Elend is a Mistborn as well. That part was CRAZY. I guess that there is more than one way to become a Mistborn — ingesting the mystery metal and snapping. They’re going to have to find out what that metal is and make sure there’s not tons of it around or everyone is going to want to change. And is Breeze going to recover? He seemed pretty wrecked mentally. I’m guessing Allrianne will have a hand in that (though I still don’t really like her). And can Marsh be redeemed now at all?

    Okay, I’ll stop there because I really could keep going forever about this one. I’m hoping some of you bring up the other things I was thinking about. 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I was also impressed with this book.
      Like you said it will be interesting to see what will happen with Elend now and how he will handle becoming a mistborn. It’s really intersting for me that throughout we’ve speculated about how Vina and Elend could get along given the differences and yet they did manage to. In fact they got married! It will now be intersting to see how they get on, or whether they can get on, particuarly at first, given they now have a more level playing field. At least he will have a good teacher with Vin. I can’t help wondering if what we are about to face in the third book is going to be REALLY bad, simply because we’ve now had Elend turned mistborn. Almost as though Vin wouldn’t be able to cope??
      I also am not enamoured with Allrianne. I don’t know why really other than she seemed to be the spy in the camp, a tad bit fickle and also totally calculating. Part of me wanted to like her because she wanted to go back and help but I always thought she was playing ‘breezy’ so we’ll see.
      I wait to see what Sazed will do next!
      Lynn 😀

  3. The Well of Ascension Blog Tour, The Conclusion « Books Without Any Pictures

    […] be discussing the ending of Brandon Sanderson’s “The Well of Ascension” over at Lynn’s Book Blog.  For anyone who missed the earlier discussions, they can be found […]

  4. Grace

    This definitely didn’t suffer from middle book syndrome. In fact, I lost my resolve and finished it a couple weeks ago; I had a hard time stopping when one of the sections ended with Elend being deposed, and when two sections ended like that, I just couldn’t help myself.

    Sazed is badass. I loved seeing him fight the Kolosses (Kolossi?).

    I think there’s definitely a relation between the Steel Inquisitors’ spikes and the ones that Zane had. Maybe the Steel Inquisitors were formed to protect the secret of the Well of Ascension and the fact that releasing the power within would unleash something very very bad. I’m looking forward to seeing what it is.

    I had kind of hoped that Elend would snap and become a Mistborn. I think it’ll be neat to see Vin introducing him to her world in the Mists.

    • lynnsbooks

      I can’t wait to see what Vin and Elend will be like together. I think it’s really interesting that we all wondered how they could get on given the differences previously and now they’re on a more even par. It will be good to see how this affects their relationship particularly now they’d finally gotten over themselves and got married. I mean, will it affect how Vin feels if she doesn’t have to protect Elend?
      Sazed was very impressive – he really stepped up and I felt so sorry for him with what happened to Tindwyl, particuarly about his doubt about whether he should have been there to protect her – although he did try to send her away, so… and, also, will he eventually start to feel guilty about sending Vin away???
      Definitely no middle book syndrome!
      Great so far and I can’t wait for No.3. I can’t blame you for reading on. I wanted to but my I just know I would slip in answering the questions. Not deliberately, but the time lines would slip and I wouldn’t be able to remember when certain ‘things’ took place.
      Lynn 😀

  5. suecccp

    This was a very good read, but I am awfully glad that the third book is sitting on my coffee table and I don’t have to wait for it to be published! 🙂

    I thought the decision to send Vin and Elend out of the city was very moving: somewhat like Sam’s acceptance that he and Frodo only have to make it TO Mount Doom, but that their chance of survival beyond that is negligible. Watching each of the characters come to terms with certain death but being determined to face it was so sad but very noble of them. It reminded me also of this quote from A Game of Thrones:
    “Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?”
    “That is the only time a man can be brave.”

    Sazed has been my favorite character ever since we first met him and to see him forced to fight was amazing. I loved how he managed to rally the troops and even close the gate at one point. But then, of course, my heart broke for him whilst he was searching for Tindwyl. His deep grief and despair at her death was beautifully done and I am tearing up just thinking about how desolate he is now without her.

    I loved how we got to the last moment before Vin discovered the secret to controlling the Kolossi: the image of her walking out from between their ranks is one I want to see on the big screen. Also, I think I might be a bad person, because I actually laughed and cheered when she sliced Straff in half . . . though I did feel sorry for his horse. I agree with Adam that the Kolossi were probably used to conquer and suppress the areas away from the Lord Rulers direct control.

    As for the spikes and ‘God’: I bet that they are related to the evil entity that Vin released. It used Zane to try to draw her to the ‘dark side’ so to speak, and needed to stop Sazed from persuading her to keep it trapped. This suggests that the mist creature is ‘good’ in someway, or at least opposed to the thing released. I assume that the ‘God’ is also behind the extermination of the Terrismen: I assume that they are still important for the Prophecy about the Hero of Ages, and so it is trying to destroy them all. Just like with Marsh, it must be controlling the Inquisitors via their spikes. I also assume that it began to draw Vin to it, with the drum beat, when it felt that she was ready to uncover the Well.

    I am not sure if the metal would trigger everyone to become a Mistborn: let’s hope that it is very rare if it is capable of doing that.

    It seems like the Lord Ruler was not as evil as we had imagined. It seems like he made huge efforts to protect the people from this entity: re-shaping the world and burying the Well to keep the entity inside it and stop it from gaining its freedom. I wouldn’t say that I now see him as a good man, but I like that we are coming to understand some of the things he did and see that he had good intentions, even if his methods were a bit harsh.

    • lynnsbooks

      Well, I will join you in being a ‘bad character’ because I was pleased that Straff met his end (althouth I did feel sorry for the horse as well – after all it was innocent!)
      I too like Sazed, he’s a very calm and collected character. He seems like the sort of person that everyone would turn to for advice or a shoulder to cry on, or simply for some sort of support. I feel very sad for him that he finally found love but lost it so quickly (well, I don’t feel sorry that he found love – just that it was so brief, better to have lost and loved, etc).
      I hope that it isn’t so easy to become a mistborn! Otherwise that metal is going to suddenly become very popular. After all, if everyone was a mistborn there would be no point.
      I know what you mean about the Lord Ruler, clearly he was holding back a lot of ‘bad things’. I know he was immune to other people’s feelings but I guess after 1000 years he became indifferent! I’m not saying I want to become best friends here but there is a definite feeling of ‘mmm, maybe he was doing more than we ever thought’.
      Lynn 😀

      • suecccp

        I think it makes it so much more interesting that the Lord Ruler wasn’t just EVIL, but had good reasons to do what he did in the beginning. It makes me even more impressed with Mr Sanderson and his writing.

    • lynnsbooks

      By the way, I love the reference to LoTR and also, I’m SO glad I don’t have to wait for No.3 – patience is not one of my finer points.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Amanda

    Like Adam said, all your questions will be answered in the third book! There are so many hints about the third book in this one that I didn’t catch my first time through, and now I see them so much more clearly. I can’t wait to reread the third book!! I adore this series.

    Clubs said that he used to fight for the Lord Ruler’s armies out in the areas further away from the Central Dominance, and said that’s where the koloss were used. So they stayed away from the central area, but definitely were being used all around this world.

    My first time through this book, I was so upset about Marsh. It feels like he can’t help what he’s doing, and I feel so sorry for him!! I definitely thought that Marsh, Zane, those spikes, “God’s” voice, and that thing that was trapped in the well were all related. (I won’t say whether or not that ended up being true, haha!). I finished this book when I was on vacation and had no access to the third book, and I was so mad that I had to wait!!!!!

    • lynnsbooks

      Well, I can’t wait for all my questions to be answered and I’m really looking forward to the next book.
      I was really sad about Clubs 😦 and Marsh! I know what you mean about him not being able to control himself – and that’s what makes it even worse somehow! He was such a stand up character and now he’s behaving in a way that he doesnt like himself.

  7. nrlymrtl

    This section contained so much good stuff: Allrianne’s true colors show through; Vin juggling metal horse shoes to get back to Luthadel; the mist creature stalking Elend; the death of Straff. So many images stand out from this book.

    I have to wonder if the Steel Inquisitors have/had access to more info – the original metal engraving by Kwaan that Sazed and Tindwyl were studying was in the basement of the Inquisitor tower. So perhaps Marsh knew there was a great potential for Vin to inadvertently release some great evil upon the world. I am definitely looking forward to the book and hoping we will learn more about the Inquisitors.

    I wonder if Breeze and Allrianne will continue their relationship? So much of the crew died in the final battle that I have to wonder if it will take the heart out of Breeze.

    Sazed. He’s got a tough road ahead – without his love and without his belief in the lost religions of the world, I wonder what he will turn his mind to.

    • suecccp

      I’d forgotten about Allrianne in all the excitement. but I was very pleased that she actually had feelings for her Breezy! 😀

      • lynnsbooks

        I’ve never been very fond of her as a character, I admit, but I thought she redeemed herself slightly towards the. end when she was trying to convince Cett to help Luthadel. It will be interesting to see if that develops further. Or for that matter if Breezy recovers himself – he was in a bad way after the battle.
        Lynn 😀

    • lynnsbooks

      That whole battle scene was so sad with so many people lost, I began to wonder if anyone would be left at the end! What is it with fantasy writers wanting to kill all the characters that you’ve become attached to?
      I’d actually forgotten about the metal engraving and the fact that the Inquisitors had access to that and, like you said, undoubtedly other information. It’s going to be very interesting to get to the bottom of all this in No.3.
      I feel sorry for Sazed. It seemed so unlikely that he would discover love and now he’s lost not only but his reason for studying.
      Lynn 😀

  8. TBM

    I’ve been bad. Since returning to my trip I was worried about being behind in my reading. So I stayed up late for two nights and finished the second book. But I couldn’t stop myself and started the third. Now I’m not sure if I should answer any of the questions since I can’t remember how much was revealed in the 2nd or 3rd book. Let’s just say that I’m enjoying the series and can’t wait to read the discussions on the 3rd. I have zero willpower…none…zippo!

    • lynnsbooks

      I like a bit of self control gone hysterical! I must confess that I’m totally amazed that I’ve stuck to the schedule with this. The first couple of group reads I took part in I did the same thing but I’m so bad about then giving away spoilers – and I did give away a proper spoiler in the Scott Lynch readalong and then felt SO guilty. So, this time round I’ve read up to a point and then promptly put it down.
      I am really enjoying this series though. More so than I thought. I don’t know why but for some reason I’ve sort of resisted reading Sanderson so it’s great that now I’ve started to read it’s better than my expectations. I love it when that happens 😀

  9. The Well of Ascension Blog Tour, The Conclusion Books Without Any Pictures

    […] be discussing the ending of Brandon Sanderson’s “The Well of Ascension” over at Lynn’s Book Blog.  For anyone who missed the earlier discussions, they can be found […]

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