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The Well of Ascension

(The Mistborn Saga #2)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  317,960 ratings  ·  17,196 reviews
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 si
Mass Market Paperback, 796 pages
Published June 3rd 2008 by Tor Fantasy (first published August 21st 2007)
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Jack I can actually help for once! Since I just read it, there is no explicit sexual acts (especially between Vin and Elend) but there is more implied with…moreI can actually help for once! Since I just read it, there is no explicit sexual acts (especially between Vin and Elend) but there is more implied with Straff and his mistresses. Straff is often framed by the author in the scene with some sort of 'mistress' content to show his sexual appetite and reasons for it. There is also mention of breeding by a certain group of people that shows the Lord Ruler's brutal rule.

Definitely nothing more saucy than like a Friends episode.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Trong Tran I would hope you would continue reading, there may be a chance something happens later. Or, a character similar to Kel appears. Or even better yet, yo…moreI would hope you would continue reading, there may be a chance something happens later. Or, a character similar to Kel appears. Or even better yet, you come to like or love someone even more :)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  317,960 ratings  ·  17,196 reviews

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Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sorry in advance about the bad language but....


Okay, everyone just read this series, okay? okay.
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The overall book is a solid 4 stars bUT THE LAST 100 PAGES IS 5 STARS NO QUESTION OMG
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A relatively slow-paced book containing an utterly powerful climax sequence; a spectacular middle book for the Mistborn trilogy.

When I first read The Well of Ascension, my experience dictated that I thoroughly loved it. It’s not until later I discovered that apparently, a lot of people found this book disappointing. Because of this, I was a bit scared that my reread experience would be ruined. Apparently, there’s nothing to worry about. Yes, it’s a different kind of book in comparison to The Fin
C.G. Drews
Jan 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have only one word for this and it is: no. This was the most insufferably tedious book of my life. And I loved The Final was exciting and had a con artist thing going on and magical wizard people with an epic magic system. But now I've gone from liking Sanderson to probably never trying a book by him again.

EDIT 3/19: I've had so much hate for this lmao. write your own review instead of attacking me ok. i also have heard sanderson has very homophobic beliefs and so i //don't// suppo
Christine Riccio
I FINISHED THIS AGES AGO AND IT WAS AWESOME : here's my booktalk! ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Re-read on audio and just as awesome the second time! Vin is still my hero! ❤️

Holy son of a biscuit eater!!! THIS BOOK! I loved it, loved it, loved it! Sanderson tackled most of my feels in this book and YES I cried here and there but most of it was happy crying. My dog even looked at me like I was crazy when I was laughing and crying and yelling YES at certain parts.

Vin landed softly on the damp cobblestones, watching as the mists began to form around her. They puffed into existence as darknes
Chelsea Humphrey
Please don’t hate me, but I just didn’t love this one as much as the first. As someone else described, I think it suffered from “Middle Book syndrome”, and really that’s on me. I almost always struggle with the middle installment of a trilogy, even if I 5 STAR Books 1 and 3. There were things I loved, but it felt like the flow didn’t build as well in this one as before. I will say that Sazed’s plot line was the crown jewel of this book! I adore that man and I love his development throughout as w ...more
Muhtasin Oyshik
The Well of Ascension (Mistborn,#2) by Brandon Sanderson

They achieved the impossible by defeating the evil, whose cruel rule lasted for a thousand years. Now a street child who has grown into the most powerful the world, and an idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a new, healthy society. However, they hardly started with that when rebellions attacked them. It's an exciting sequel. Sanderson weaves a complex world with an innovative magic system. And realistic characters as a reade
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

3.5 stars

Anytime I'm reading fantasy for review, I take copious notes. In fact, most of the time, my review is pretty much written by the time I finish the book, I just need to make slight alterations to account for any last minute goings on.

And I like that, b/c your average fantasy is 2 - 3x longer than any other book. Trying to go back after the fact and recall all the key details would be a nightmare.


Brandon Sanderson has consistently thwarted me in this area. And
Vibur (semi-hiatus)
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
dead from sanderson ending syndrome
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This nearly destroyed me and I absolutely loved it.
5th reread and this will probably be the best, my top fantasy story I will have ever read.

1st read: Nov 2014
2nd read: March 2015
3rd read: April 2016

This trilogy is becoming as loved and cherished as Harry Potter.

First off, if you haven't read this trilogy, get it together, read it. And you're welcome, in advance. :D

Secondly, as I'm reading this book again for the third time round, I keep thinking how incredible it is that it still has the capability to blow my m
This book was...not very good. I absolutely loved the first book, it was sooo good! I still love the magical device he uses, but honestly this book did not live up to the first. The main character becomes pretty stupid, and the love interest was never that interesting. I will read the third book, but my hopes are not high.
Sean Barrs
I like a story that surprises me, and this series keeps doing it. The ending of the last book was undoubtedly epic. I don’t know how Brandon Sanderson does it. It felt like the closing chapter for these characters, but, in reality, it was only the beginning of the series. The Lord Ruler’s death could have been the ending, but he was only the surface issue. Indeed, with his death a whole host of problems arose, and none of them are as simple as they appear. This proved that the generic plot of th ...more
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a thrilling sequel.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“It's easy to believe in something when you win all the time. The losses are what define a man's faith.”


My soul was slain upon finishing this book, and I'm now writing this review from beyond the grave.

You know what I did when I turned the last page of The Well of Ascension? Well, I shrieked like a banshee into my pillow first (because I'm a considerate roommate, thank you very much). I cried. A LOT. And then, I curled up into a ball on my bed and stared at the wall in silence.

I'm an incohere
Mike (the Paladin)
I feel here as if I ought to apologize to my friends who love these books. The first was okay but I found the pacing a bit slow and had a "my interest comes and goes" experience. Sadly if I compare the pacing of the first volume of the series to the pacing in this one (the second volume) the story in volume 1 moved like the wind.

I know that some are very involved here and love these, and I can see why. The characters have depth and you get an "in depth" view of their lives. Not only their lives
Merphy Napier
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, five-stars
Upon Reread: I freaking love this book. Video review


Brandon Sanderson is a jerk. Why would you rip me apart like that and then just... leave me there?????

This book was amazing and had me guessing who the traitor was (I was wrong and like, what the heck?!?!?!) on every page. He confused me, shook me, broke my heart, and now I'm terrified for all my wonderful characters. Because Brandon S will go there - he'll just destroy them all
✨ A ✨
It was because she understood her purpose. And she agreed with it. She could fight, could kill, if it meant defending those who could not defend themselves. Kelsier might have been able to kill for shock or retribution, but that wasn’t good enough for Vin.
And she would never let it be again.



A year has passed since the Lord Ruler was killed and the Skaa liberated. Things should be getting better right? Except they aren't. The city of Luthedel is in constant danger of i
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddy-read, 2017
This series has been AMAZING. Just brilliant!
I did a BR with my pal ChopinFC. Aaaand, I turned into Usain Bolt while reading this book. Sorry Rod! 😬

Both books have gone in completely different directions and I’ve enjoyed that so much. Usually the 2nd book in a series is not as strong but that’s not the case in The Well of Ascension.
I’m so impressed with Brandon Sanderson on this series. He has written a world that is detailed and complicated. It's always on the edge of war, starvation or total c
Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
Whew. That was long.

There was quite a time lapse between my reading of this one and the first one, which can be attributed solely to the length of these books.

750+ fucking pages, people. Don't get me wrong, I've read some long books in my decades of dedicated reading, but still...quite the commitment, no?

But enough about the completely self-evident length of this book, which - being that this is a Brandon Sanderson book - is a surprise to no one.

I adored book one in this series.


Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Loved it even more than the first one... just read it!! NOW!

PS. Can we all agree that Straff is a POS? Ok? Good!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
“It's easy to believe in something when you win all the time...The losses are what define a man's faith.”
― Brandon Sanderson, The Well of Ascension


Sanderson does it again. This book is absolutely amazing !!
All in all, "The Well of Ascension" is an exciting sequel to "The Final Empire", full of what made the first book so compelling: a great cast of characters, amazing development, an eerily magical world and a thrilling storyline. I will definitely be reading the final book of the trilogy, "Th
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you’re talking Brandon Sanderson, you must be talking perfection. What can I even say that hasn’t been said already? So I’m not gonna say too much except that this felt like nothing short of a piece of art. Just flawless. 💕
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
The Well of Ascension was a beautiful follow-up to The Final Empire. There's so much going on now that it's difficult to speak on a lot of the specifics, so my review will focus on more general overview of what I enjoyed and what I didn't.


The plot was by far the strongest point of the novel. I was just so engrossed in all of the political conversations happening here. I like my high fantasy heavy on the political intrigue with dashes of cunning & betrayal.

Plus the last little bit of thi
April (Aprilius Maximus)

1.) Elantris ★★★
*.) The Hope of Elantris ★★★★
*.) The Emperor's Soul [ON TBR]

1.) The Final Empire ★★★★★
*.) The Eleventh Metal [ON TBR]
2.) The Well of Ascension ★★★★
3.) The Hero of Ages ★★★★.5


"I'm not a good person or a bad person. I'm just here to kill things."

Definitely slower and more political than the first book and I got so frustrated with the main characters not feeling good enough for each other but never TALKING to each ot
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha i'm dead

fucking dead




cry at my funeral

Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s like this:

You’re excited about the date, it is the second after all. The first date had been fun, lots of good conversation, some intriguing flirtation that might lead to something, but not yet, you’re both getting to know each other. But there were some odd moments too, some talk that led nowhere, some awkward silences, maybe a joke that withered on the vine. The first date had ended well though, with a kiss, not quite chaste but just shy of romantic. So there was some anticipation for thi
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sf
The Well of Ascension is the 2nd installment of the famous Mistborn series and, as expected, it suffers from the middle book syndrome. I enjoyed reading the new adventures of Vin and the crew but not as much as in The Final Empire. The majority of the plot revolves around the siege of Luthadel by enemies and the planning to protect the city. While some aspects were interesting I believe the talking went on and on for too long. Secondly, the Vin’s teenage angst and doubts about herself and her re ...more
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Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s S

Other books in the series

The Mistborn Saga (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)
  • The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)
  • The Alloy of Law (Mistborn, #4)
  • Shadows of Self (Mistborn, #5)
  • The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6)
  • The Lost Metal (Mistborn, #7)
  • Untitled (Mistborn, #8)
  • Untitled (Mistborn, #9)
  • Untitled (Mistborn, #10)
  • Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection

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