The Well of Ascension (#2)

Previous: Mistborn (#1) | Next: The Hero of Ages (#3)

The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler — the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years — has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves. 

As Kelsier’s protégé and slayer of the Lord Ruler she is now venerated by a budding new religion, a distinction that makes her intensely uncomfortable. Even more worrying, the mists have begun behaving strangely since the Lord Ruler died, and seem to harbor a strange vaporous entity that haunts her.

Stopping assassins may keep Vin’s Mistborn skills sharp, but it’s the least of her problems. Luthadel, the largest city of the former empire, doesn’t run itself, and Vin and the other members of Kelsier’s crew, who lead the revolution, must learn a whole new set of practical and political skills to help. It certainly won’t get easier with three armies – one of them composed of ferocious giants – now vying to conquer the city, and no sign of the Lord Ruler’s hidden cache of atium, the rarest and most powerful allomantic metal. 

As the siege of Luthadel tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.


“This entertaining read will especially please those who always wanted to know what happened after the good guys won.”

Publishers Weekly

“THE WELL OF ACENSION is full of plot twists and surprises, leading to a cliffhanger ending.”


"The Mistborn trilogy is thinking-fans' escapism. The Well of Ascension plays around with formula, gives us a strong cast to whom we develop a real emotional connection, allows for plenty of cud-chewing on the subject of political conflict in times of crisis, and climaxes in some stupendous action spectacle and a lead-in to the final volume that manages to raise the stakes even higher. It delivers everything epic fantasy should."

SF Reviews

“Vin’s struggles with love and power inject the human element into Sanderson’s engaging epic.”


"If you want a good series to read, then Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy definitely seems like a good bet. Two out of three books are spectacular, mixing the metaphysical with political, gripping action with heart wrenching characters, brilliant storytelling with smooth prose."

Fantasy Book Review

"Where Mistborn told a tale of political intrigue, revolution and overthrowing a dictator, the second novel in the Mistborn series, The Well of Ascension, builds upon an already enthralling first book. This novel supplies the reader with a bigger, more intriguing, more grandiose story, more suspense, and more action than before."

Pikes Peak Library District

“Vin’s a beautifully realized protagonist whose struggles are wonderfully written and, as always, the worldbuilding is unusual and compelling.”

RT Book Reviews

“Throughout the novel Sanderson does a good job of incorporating interesting aspects of the mist-magic into the otherwise realistic scenario, and of juggling the small-scale and large-scale scenes that must comprise an undertaking of this scope and magnitude […] Most [readers] will be mesmerized by Sanderson’s balancing act.”

Realms of Fantasy

"Sanderson has set the stage for the transcending conclusion in The Hero of Ages magnificently with this installment and once again, even upon reread, I’m still amazed by how much this book holds up for me."

Novel Notions

“Fans of Terry Goodkind and Terry Brooks will find THE WELL OF ACENSION fulfilling, satisfying and incredibly exciting.”


"I continue to be blown away by Sanderson’s creativity with these magic systems and I hope we learn even more in book three. The Well of Ascension is a great second book in the series. If you haven’t started Mistborn, I highly recommend that you do."


“Sanderson is crafting an extremely well-thought out saga with Mistborn, one that looks to stand above the pack of his literary peers. The magic system is perfectly detailed, the world, though not completely revealed, has a great sense of natural logic to it, and the characters are a reflection of both. Reading both books so far has helped to remind me why I enjoy Fantasy, especially those stories told in a secondary world, so much.”


"At the heart of every Sanderson novel I read, it is in his ability to create heartfelt or absolutely villainous characters which always draws me in.”

Fantasy Hive (UK)

“For readers who always wanted to know what happened after the hero killed off the evil bad guys, this is an intricate story fill of tangles and twists, and plenty of intriguing characters.”

Black Gate

“[Sanderson’s] books are a lot different than I’ve come to expect from fantasy. What I like about Sanderson is that he can write novels where the plot just hums along, and still have some profound character development going on at the same time.”

Textual Frigate

“Builds to a heartstopping crescendo of a conclusion, setting the stage nicely for book three.”


“A brilliant sequel to a brilliant narrative.”