Mistborn 2 Review

Still playing catch-up on some great books.

Book 2 of the Mistborn Trilogy, the Well of Ascension is a tough review for me, because I loved the first book so much that I took my time picking up the sequel. It is still a fairly solid book, and I liked the new perspectives quite a bit.  

I will say that your mileage may vary on the violent content of this book. If possible it is even nastier than that of the first, which had some nasty moments.  I for one sort of like the unflinching view of horrors, but I am and have been wargamer.  I will also say that at no time does the gore or violence seem excessive or exploitative throughout. In fact, by showing some of the consequences of these and other extreme actions the book gets a bit deeper thematically. The whole book is dealing with the consequences of the first, so that is very appropriate.

This book has some fine characterization, but it’s story feels a lot slower than the first book’s rapid-fire pace. That isn’t all bad, but it is worth remembering. Events occasionally feel a bit slow, but the book still has some excellent moments I think of as iconic to the series.

It also has monsters.  While I recommend this series based on Sanderson’s writing chops I must also say that he does a decent job with the monsters too. Where Robert Jordan’s trollocs quickly became nothing more than mooks and so many orc knock-offs are never scary at all, the koloss introduced in Mistborn are depicted in a way that makes me genuinely wonder if our heroes have a chance against them. Bravo, for the nasty monster race is usually so much window dressing.

Finally, I’ll add the caveat that this book ends on a cliffhanger. Be prepared to read the next book soon if that bothers you. 

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