Posts in category 'books'

  • Review: The Well of Ascension

    Review of The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2.0) by Brandon Sanderson (9780765316882)★★★★

    The middle volume of the first Mistborn trilogy brings more twists and inversions of classic fantasy tropes that offset a somewhat slow middle to bring a satisfying end to this second book.

    Cover for The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    I’ve fallen woefully behind in writing reviews of books as I’ve been reading them but I’m going to try to catch up based on contemporaneous notes I took shortly after finishing each book. That does mean this’ll probably feel a bit disconnected. You have been warned! And by you, I mean myself some time from now, given I’m likely to be the only person reading this…

    This second novel of the first Mistborn trilogy was not without its flaws. While I absolutely loved the evolution of many of our characters, not to mention the world itself, and the trope inversions toward the end were fantastic, the book definitely felt a bit slow through the middle bit (a trait further exacerbated later in The Hero of Ages). That being said, I had little trouble powering through this volume. It’s still a Sanderson book, and as always, the avalanche at the end was breathtaking!

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  • Review: Warbreaker

    Review of Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (9780765320308)★★★★

    A standalone novel by Brandon Sanderson, Warbreaker is fascinating for it’s reversal of many tropes, but really shines due to the commentary provided along the way.

    Cover for Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

    Warbreaker is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn't like his job, and the immortal who's still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago. Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren's capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.

    By using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery, and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker.

    So the entire month of September was a bit of a weird one for me, and so I completely forgot that I hadn’t posted a review for Warbreaker. As a result, this post is both going to be a) a bit of a retrospective after the memories of the book have faded a bit, and b) probably a bit short. But since no one is reading any of this, anyway, well, what do you care??

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