Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reflections: The Well of Ascension

Adam C. Zern shares his thoughts on Brandon Sanderson's second book in his Mistbon trilogy-The Well of Ascension:

"I read the first book in Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy several months ago.  I enjoyed it quite a bit and was pleased to have found a new series to read.  I was a little surprised by how excited I was when I opened The Well of Ascension.  I remembered how much I enjoyed Sanderson's magic system, which is the most unique I've come across, the political backdrop of the story, the overall setting and universe, and the characters that act and react within it.

The Well of Ascension definitely feels like the second book in a trilogy.  It continues to explore and adds additional layers to mysteries established in the first book while also creating some new conflicts and mysteries to be resolved by the characters in the final book-The Hero of Ages.  Sanderson uses the same narrator technique he did in the first book-Mistborn-and adds a very unexpected and entertaining twist at the end.  The last one-hundred pages of the book are very exciting and I was genuinely anxious to see how this part of Sanderson's story was resolved.

The problems I thought existed in the first book show up again this time around.  The character dialogue is adequate but not terribly effective in getting across certain elements like humor and sarcasm.  I still think Sanderson spends too much time having his characters talk about doing things instead of having them do those things.  In fact, I thought the book could have been significantly shorter and still have gotten the same important points across if Sanderson did some tuning. 

Sanderson has raised the stakes appropriately high for the last book in his series, and I'm excited to read it.  If you've read the first book and enjoyed it then there really shouldn't be any reason not to read The Well of Ascension."

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