As I mentioned in my review of Calamity, I’ve been doing rereads of the whole Mistborn series.
The biggest reason for this is that the new Mistborn books. Alloy Of Law came out shortly after I finished the original trilogy, but now it’s been a couple of years since I’d read any of the books, and I didn’t want to start Shadows Of Self or Bands Of Mourning before getting myself thoroughly entrenched back in the world.
And it’s been wondrous.
I don’t know if this will (or perhaps already has) come to fruition, but one thing I learned that I believe could be pertinent in The Final Empire was that the atium mine was destroyed to the point where none was expected to re-emerge for at least 300 years.
A suspiciously coincidental time-frame, given that the Wax and Wayne subseries occurs approximately 300 years later, wouldn’t you agree?
Of course, as far as I know, there would be no feasible need or use for it, as there are no more fully-fledged mistborn anymore, but, in my opinion at least, it’s high time one reappeared. Why else continue to call them all part of the Mistborn series if not to bring them back in cool and iconic ways.
Anyway, this is all really preamble to my review of The Well Of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson.
I’m going to be really vague, but if you don’t like knowing where to expect plot twists before you read this, well, maybe don’t read ahead, just trust me that the series is awesome and builds to bigger and better things each time. *SPOILERS BELOW*
Rereading this series has been a remarkably different experience now that I’m something of a student of Brandon’s (through every resource the internet has to offer). I now analyse plot, character, worldbuilding, narrative development, foreshadowing, the unfolding of information, plot-twists, etc. as I read.
Luckily for me, there’s so much in the books themselves, that I’d completely forgotten most of the finer details, (only remembering the most general details and ending) making so much of the story new again as I go along.
This book (the second in the series) takes place a year after the first. It begins rather slowly, playing more on the what would happen next curiosity of the readership than anything else, and introduces a few new problems for the characters, some of whom are now new POV characters too.
The plot continues to build and unfold, the main characters make headway and then things get worse for them. This continues to happen throughout the story. A plan is devised to save the day, the characters build towards this plan, and then, it fails. There’s some fighting and struggling, people die, but the good guys eventually find a way to save what’s left of the day.
Then, a bigger deal, that the whole novel had spent building towards, came to fruition. And everything was executed just as it needed to be. Then something went wrong. It didn’t work how it was supposed to. Everything that they’d thought they’d known was a lie and a trick and even though there is a new glimmer of hope, the whole world is pretty much going to end.
If you’ve read my blog on sequels, you’d know I referenced Firefight as an example of doing things right in terms of setting the tone for series. Actually, I’m not even sure Calamity lived up to the amount of hope I felt at the end of Firefight (thought it was still awesomfe and you should read the series).
But what Brandon did at the end of The Well Of Ascension was a little different. It was slightly more akin to Robin Hobb did at the end Royal Assassin, which may have been because this was a series for adults, instead of teenagers, but still, it did the job better than Hobb.
While Firefight gave us a surprising terrible twist, in terms of Oh no, everything has gone to the dogs and is terrible, it also, like I just said, gave us awesome and awe-inspiring hope for kicking that terror in the face.
The Mistborn series on the other hand, gives us good and terrible twists, in a foreshadowed you have no idea what to expect from this series, and while the hope it gives us is hopeful, but comparatively, much less exciting. Which then lets the third book continue to build on it’s shoulders instead of having to backtrack to create more problems like other series seem to.
The point of all this, is that the original Mistborn trilogy is brilliant in terms of its consistent build towards overarching climax. Among giants in the genre, it is a towering colossus (pun intended).
While the general plot of this book is much more political than the awesome let’s learn a cool new magic system of the first, it is not a disappointment for those who are willing to give it a go.
I give it four-and-a-half Koloss out of five. It’s definitely worth your time.
QOTB: What’s your favourite sequel in any series, book or film?