As with the first book, I have to say that the cover has nothing to do with the novel. It clearly shows an inquisitor villain and there is no scene close to what is happening on the cover that happens in the book. Do not judge by the cover.
Vin killed the Lord Ruler. But that has just lead to a whole host of new problems. Her boyfriend, Elend Venture, has been declared king of Luthadel. And his first task is to figure out how to fend of the three armies camped on his doorstep, waiting to insert themselves into the power vacuum.
Oh, and one of the armies is a marauding race of blue-skinned giants called the Koloss. They love killing.
But something else murmurs and thumps in the background. Vin can feel it in her bones. Maybe killing the Lord Ruler wasn’t the best idea.
As in the first novel, The Well of Ascension does a great job of world building. I love the explained science and magic behind the weird phenomenons in this strange land. Sanderson’s ability to create also extends to his ability to destroy. His action sequences are grand, fun, and easy to follow. And there are quite a few of them.
There are some slow parts. It takes forever for anything huge to happen, just little skirmishes and betrayals that up the tension but feel a little rote near the end. Zane is a decent character, but I really hate love triangles. Thankfully, it’s pared down to the bare minimum for Vin’s character development.
What elevates this book back into the levels of the first novel is it’s awesome chair-pulling twist at the end. It really throws the fantasy novel on it’s head. Because everything you think is going to happen, doesn’t. And I was thrilled that I was so easily manipulated.
3 out of 4 stars.