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The Well of Ascension

(Mistborn #2)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  256,486 ratings  ·  13,273 reviews
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. 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 ...more
Paperback, 781 pages
Published December 10th 2009 by Gollancz (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,…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 4.37  · 
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 ·  256,486 ratings  ·  13,273 reviews

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Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sorry in advance about the bad language but....


Okay, everyone just read this series, okay? okay.
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
The overall book is a solid 4 stars bUT THE LAST 100 PAGES IS 5 STARS NO QUESTION OMG
C.G. Drews
Jan 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
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//
Christine Riccio
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 darkness
A 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 was that I thoroughly loved it. Its not until later that I discovered that apparently, a lot of people found the book disappointing. Because of this, I was scared that my reread experience would be ruined. Apparently, theres nothing to worry about. Yes, its slightly an inferior book in comparison to The Final Empire but my
Chelsea Humphrey
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Please dont hate me, but I just didnt love this one as much as the first. As someone else described, I think it suffered from Middle Book syndrome, and really thats 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 didnt build as well in this one as before. I will say that Sazeds plot line was the crown jewel of this book! I adore that man and I love his development throughout as well as ...more
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
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
Sean Barrs The Ultra Vegan
I like a story that surprises me, and this series keeps doing it. The ending of the last book was undoubtedly epic. I dont 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 Rulers 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 the ...more
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a thrilling sequel.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 incoherent
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.
✨ 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 wasnt 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
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
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, buddy-read
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 Ive enjoyed that so much. Usually the 2nd book in a series is not as strong but thats not the case in The Well of Ascension.
Im 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
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This nearly destroyed me and I absolutely loved it.
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.


This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
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, "The
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
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
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites, 2019
1.) The Final Empire ★★★★★
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 other about how they feel. BUT HOOOOO BOY I cannot wait to read The Hero of Ages!!
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha i'm dead

fucking dead




cry at my funeral

Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its like this:

Youre 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, youre 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 this
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 Vins teenage angst and doubts about herself and her ...more
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
See my full discussion (with GIFs :P) at
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
This book goes something likes this:

Elend and the group: Hey, we need to find a way to defeat these two armies, led by tyrants, who've come to conquer the city.

Elend and the group:Yes, we should! But first, let us talk about it for 500 pages.

Anyway, I've read many reviews that mention this book is slow paced, but to even describe this book merely 'slow-paced' is a big understatement. I think glacial pace describes it much better. You keep thinking it's going to pick up, after all, it's 700
This is That Book.

You know the one.

The one you've daydreamed about.

The one you hope, deep in your little reader heart, you'll finally find.

The one with the plot that is both wide-ranging and intensely personal; with the characters who are all nuanced and flawed; with the complicated political intrigues to keep you guessing; with the shocking twists that are, true to form, both surprising and inevitable.

You've slogged through the morass of uninspiring Twilight clones. You've suffered through
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!
sofia (sam willows)
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Brandons major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedrys 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 Emperors Soul

Other books in the series

Mistborn (7 books)
  • 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)

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