Book 1 was Better… [A Review]

The Well of Ascension, Mistborn Book Two by Brandon Sanderson

brandon sanderson - mistborn the well of ascension

   [Image courtesy of amazon.com]

 

I had enjoyed Book 1 so  much that I was looking forward to the second book in the series. In fact, I started the second book in the same night that I finished the first one.

Book 2 goes deeper into the inner thoughts and emotions of Vin, the protagonist, and while I think it’s a necessary part of the plot (because Vin’s state of mind eventually determines her choice of actions and the outcome of events), there are some parts that I wish were less dark and whiny.

But I’m glad Sanderson has not failed in terms of the amount of suspense, action and intrigue in the book, and I really enjoyed the last 100 pages of the book. I was quite surprised by the death in Book 1, but while I’m less so by those in Book 2, I still find them too sad and too many.

And of course, all that action described in the book reminds me of those Chinese kungfu novels that I still enjoy reading.

VERDICT: Book 1 was definitely better, perhaps because the plot was simpler, the heroes were more identifiable and there was more wit and humour in the portrayal of the characters in the “main crew”. But Book 2 will appeal to you if you’re looking for a deeper dive into the development of the characters. Even if you’re not, all that action and intrigue will still keep you well entertained. This book also provides answers to some of the questions that were raised in the first book and I think I’ll need to read the next and last book to find the remaining answers, hopefully.

For those who want to know a little about the story line, here’s an overview from bookdepository.com:

The impossible has happened. The Lord Ruler is dead has been vanquished. But so too is Kelsier the man who masterminded the triumph. The awesome task of rebuilding the world has been left to his protege Vin; a one-time street urchin, now the most powerful Mistborn in the land. Worryingly for her Vin has become the focus of a new religion, a development that leaves her intensely uneasy. More worryingly still the mists have become unpredictable since the Lord Ruler died and a strage vaprous entity is stalking Vin. As the siege of Luthadel intensifies the ancient legend of the Well of Ascension offers the only glimmer of hope. But no-one knows where it is or what it can do…

Being Late is Better than Never! [A Review]

The Final Empire, Mistborn Book One by Brandon Sanderson

brandon sanderson - mistborn the final empire

   [Image courtesy of bookdepository.com]

 

 

I know – I’m ten years late in discovering this brilliant fantasy writer. But I guess it’s better late than never!

I actually came across this series by chance, because I had just run out of really good books to read, and was searching the web for inspiration. Plus, I had just finished the Terry Goodkind series, and was looking for another good fantasy read. Sanderson’s name came up in all the top lists I googled, so I decided to give it a try by ordering the Mistborn trilogy set online. I’m so glad, because the story is so good that I couldn’t put down the book in more than one occasion, and I don’t think I can wait too long to read the second book (in fact, I’ve already started reading it).

I think Sanderson’s success lies in his ability to create a refreshing new world around allomancy – a magic system revolving around the use and “burning” of metals, his masterful mix of intrigue and suspense in the story line, and a skillful pacing of the narration. He managed to develop the characters sufficiently without going into long descriptions of their thoughts and feelings like some authors do. The logic of the magical systems he created is not too complex to understand, and yet also not so simple that one loses interest midway. In fact, you might be able to pick up some simple chemistry and physics theories along the way!

VERDICT: This Mistborn book is a must-read for all fantasy book lovers, and I hope the other two books in the trilogy live up to the expectations the first book has given rise to.

For those who want to know a little about the story line, here’s an overview from bookdepository.com:

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear while the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, a divinely invincible leader. Hope is long lost, until a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa in the depths of the most hellish prison and discovered he has the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, Kelsier will turn his talents to the ultimate caper: one with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark. Only he’s not just planning the greatest heist in history, he’s plotting the overthrow of a divine despot. Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks like a long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.