Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mistborn: The Well of Ascension (published in 2007) - A fantasy novel by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is a an American Fantasy writer currently based in Utah. He has a degree in creative writing from Brigham Young University and is currently one of the most exciting science fiction writers around. Nominated for the prestigious John. W. Campbell Award for science fiction twice, he also served on the staff of Leading Edge, a semi-professional speculative fiction magazine. His first novel was Elantris, well received, followed by the “Mistborn” series which propelled him to great heights. He has since then established himself with the Alcatraz series and many short stories. Harriet McDougall, the widow of Robert Jordan commissioned Brandon to complete his famed “Wheel of Time” series. At present Sanderson lives in Provo, Utah and is an instructor at the Brigham Young University.
Well of Ascension is the second book among the Mistborn trilogy. The world has changed with the death and defeat of Lord Ruler and his evil empire and after the exhilaration of triumph, the realization of a rudderless entity is causing chaos. This confusion has many claimants for the spoils of the earlier ruler. The pure anarchy has even people cherish the earlier rule.
Vin, the protagonist and the pivotal spear against the Lord is now the girl friend of Elend the dreamy noble man. Elend is idealistic and plans to rule in a text book fashion, where constitutional rights govern all. He does not have real experience in realpolitik and is considered weak. He forms an assembly to govern the erstwhile capital of Luthadel, but these men who have no experience brings his ideals down. There are other set of Nobles, like his father Straff Venture who wants to keep their share of spoils. He amasses a large army to besiege Luthadel.

Vin on the other hand returns as the most powerful Mistborn of the region. With Keisher dead, she is emotionally very vulnerable and her only source of companionship is Keisher's Kandra, OreSeur. Kandras are magical companion's or servants whose contracts pass through inheritance. Vin also is very insecure with her relationship with the scholarly and blue blood Noble man, Elend who does not have any Allomancy powers. Will this unequal relationship survive?
Sazed pursues scholarly pursuits and stumbles upon the journal of the Lord Ruler whose ascension was the part of prophesies of Alendi. As he rushes to inform Vin he stumbles upon the most deadliest armies of all ready to savage Luthadel, the Koloss. Another noble man Lord Ashweather Cett also plans to invade Luthadel. As the petty squabbles reach the boiling point it is upon Elend's and Vin's courage to defeat the villains. Straff tries to depose Elend by manipulating the same laws that he wrote. Elend's half brother, a Mistborn himself seeks out to Vin, convinced that he can escape serving Straff if he could elope with her. The mutual fear of Elend and Vin threatens their relationship further. As the novel hurls in to one disaster after another the reader feels the pure chaos feeding Luthadel. How do people go on without a purpose? What happens after a revolution succeeds? These are the questions answered through this novel. Lofty ideals and good intentions are never enough to run a nation and satisfy the good and the bad alike.
Elend and Vin discover this bitter truth and the mist which swirls turns up another surprise for Elend. This helps Vin to reaffirm her relationship and see through the machinations of Zane. This second book takes from the real world where revolutions are planned and executed with no vision for the future. It exemplifies the great plans gone awry when greedy gather together for the spoils. This book as any middle book does hangs up over the ultimate fate and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one.

Mistborn The Well of Ascension (published in 2007) - A fantasy novel by Brandon Sanderson

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