Ascend the Empire

The Final EmpireBrandon Sanderson 4/5

The Well of AscensionBrandon Sanderson 4/5

My experience with Mistborn (Era One) books started in 2012 when by buddy reader suggested to read The Final Empire as our MiniBookClub book. I tried, I honestly did, but I just could not get into it. I put the book on hiatus on page 186. I knew the main points of the action, and even some of the characters stuck with me, as did the jumping around, but all in all my brain just said: “meh.”

Fast forward to 2020 (the year of constant isolation and overall gloom, it felt like the right time to revisit Cosmere and take another walk down the streets of Luthadel.

I liked Kelsier and his gang. Vin was ok, but her “romance” with Elend was just bleh. But I really liked Sazed. He is honestly the shining beacon in the midst of the ashen gloom that is the rest of the characters. Spoiler: I have the same opinion for book two, if not stronger.

Overall, I like the main premise of the story – the fact that the “chosen one lost” and now the world needs to learn how to live with that or fight against that. I also like the different roles each member of Kel’s team plays in the heist. Sort of like Ocean’s 11 type of thing. A positive one.

I also liked the two branches of magic. I love how it doesn’t create all-powerful beings, even with Vin. It just feels possible, I hope you understand what I mean by that. If you don’t, go read the book, you’ll get ti.

The one thing that I really didn’t appreciate was all the “subtle hints.” The foreshadowing is strong with this one. I really didn’t like how Sanderson kept pushing the damn earring down our throats. Even the most scatter-brained reader would have known that the earring is somehow important and that it would play a more important role. It would have been better in my mind if he’d just mentioned it once or twice, and not kept on going about it, especially in the final chapters of the book. It wasn’t so much foreshadowing as it was a steam train rushing through the tunnel towards us.

My buddy of course finished the first book, and the next three, before me, so she prepared me for what’s to come. But more on that once I’m done with book three.

Now onto book 2 The Mistier Mistborn aka The Well of Ascension.

This book did the same thing to me as the first one. I started reading it as soon as I finished the Final Empire and it just didn’t work for me. I hiatused it, but this time I returned to it the following month, not 8 years later. It again just failed to grab my interest. Mainly because the start is Vin and Elend and I just don’t buy them. (please don’t yell at me)

Then, when I returned to the book stuff started happening because SAZED! He discovers something and the little cogs in his brain start working and ta-da! We have an interesting book.

At the same time we get the political intrigue going on with Elend and Vin, and I am a happy camper.

What I ended up loving in the end was the political scheming and manoeuvring and the digging through history, more than Vin’s story development. I loved the Koloss! The idea behind them is very cool. Good job there, Sanderson.

And the thing that broke my heat was what happened to Sazed! Why Brandon? Why? Why you make him hurt? Why you make me cry? Bad Brandon!

And again, there are issues: repetitiveness of info Splats (not a true dump because it’s a sentence or two). He explains the same thing in consecutive chapters for no reason at all.

So, to summarise – Sanderson didn’t write a very engaging start as far as I’m concerned, but by The Lord Ruler, he knows how to write an ending. I know that in Stormlight archive he fixes this – I read the first 25% and it was amazing!

The overall story of the series is also very well distributed. You can easily read the first book and just stop there, but if you continue you get a proper chunk of the story in the second book that makes you want to jump into the final book of the trilogy immediately.

I, however, will not be continuing the series just yet, because I have a plan for January that doesn’t really allow for a massive book like the Hero of Ages, but as soon as possible! Until then, just listen to Tom Hiddleston

Finally Quotes:

The Final Empire

“You should try not to talk so much, friend. You’ll sound far less stupid that way.

***

“Our belief is often strongest when it should be weakest. That is the nature of hope.”

The Well of Ascension

“He found insanity no excuse, however, for irrational behaviour.

***

“Honesty doesn’t make a man less of a tyrant.”

*
Featured image by Steve Argyle

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