A few months ago I reviewed the first book in the Mistborn trilogy. I mentioned in that review how good the fights were, and how much I enjoyed Sanderson’s world building. He sketches out a complex continent full of history, classes, and intrigue and puts his RPG party of thieves, smooth talkers, and warriors to work. It’s fun!
In The Well of Ascension, Sanderson benefits from all of that book one groundwork while also enriching the world’s lore and political machinations. As a political scientist, I enjoyed the author’s exploration of what leadership is and what it costs, the problem of “dirty hands”, and the social meaning of history and religion. Lots of interesting stuff.
Just as in the first book, the fights in this book are amazing. The best word I can find to describe them is “cinematic”. While my wife and I sat on the couch reading, I kept interrupting her book to try and explain to her the awesome scenes and saying how good a movie trilogy or Amazon series could be.
My only real complaint to this book is at times there is a romantic arc that is sort of cheesy. At some points, I was wondering whether the title of my review would be “A Worse Love Story Than Twilight“. Thankfully, that’s arc relatively small portion of the giant book, page-wise. There’s still plenty of time for other things that Sanderson excels at writing.
Just like the last time I got one of these books at the library, the high page count bumped me up close against my due date. I think I’d recommend buying them if you want to read at a leisurely pace. The hardcovers have great fantasy art.