The Well of Ascension
I just finished The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson, the second book in the Mistborn series.I enjoyed it quite a bit. I feel the writing was a bit smoother than the first one — I didn’t have any POV issues like I did with Mistborn, for example — which makes sense as a later book in Sanderson’s writing career. I did think that some of the obstacles in the plot felt contrived and lacked weight. For example, the book opens with Elend agonizing over getting the Assembly to vote his way on some procedural issue, but there is no genuine opposition to what he’s trying to achieve so I didn’t feel any tension, and what he’s trying to achieve essentially amounts to a delaying tactic, so it doesn’t deliver action either. The main character conflict had elements of the romantic “if only they would talk to each other about how they really feel!” formula. On the one hand, I really hate that formula, but on the other can you really criticize an author for used a tried and tested technique? Overall it was pretty good. I enjoyed the development of the “magic system” and think Sanderson is doing a good job of balancing the explanations and the mystery, which is important for the kind of story I think he’s trying to tell. I’ve already started on the third book in the series, and have (dangerously?) high hopes that it will be even better.