The Well of Ascension - Brandon Sanderson When I joined Goodreads a couple years ago, any book that had been more than a few years since I'd read it, I hesitated to rate. I find it hard to judge a book fairly in such cases, as unless it was either really amazing or really awful, unfortunately my memory gets fuzzy after a while.

Anyway, I began reading the Mistborn series back when they were just published. Since then I've only re-read and rated The Final Empire, which is alraedy rare for me as I don't often go back to books I've finished. Still, I planned to do it with the rest of the trilogy, so when I found the audiobooks at my county's digital library, I jumped at the opportunity to borrow the second book as I was also curious what I would think of the audio version.

After completing The Well of Ascension again, I realized I have indeed forgotten a lot of this series, so much so that it was like reading the book for the first time, with just a few inklings of familiarity with the events. It's not that I disliked the book when I first read it back in 2007; in fact, I remember only positive feelings associated with the experience.

Still, having read a lot more Sanderson since then, I definitely sense a vast difference between his new stuff compared to his older stuff. I don't think he has ever written anything I truly disliked, but besides his wonderful magic systems, I find that the stories and the characters from some of his early works are pretty forgettable.

Indeed, what I remembered the most about the Mistborn series was the allomancy, while the details of everything else had escaped my mind. For example, I remembered Vin was a Mistborn, an allomancer capable of burning all metals and using their associated abilities...and yet, I had forgotten her name! While I loved the unique magic system in these books, it became the most memorable factor for me while relegating characters and stories to the backseat.

I suppose it also didn't help that this second book seemed to merely act as a link between the first and third books. Even though its events lent itself to a clear sequel, the first book was almost in a way a self-contained story, with a structured beginning, middle and end.

In contrast, the second book, while featuring many story elements like multiple plot arcs and unexpected twists, seemed to lack a focus. There were several threads happening all at once, such as Elend's struggle to keep the throne while dealing with his morals being at odds with what it means to be a "good" king. There was Vin's uncertain feelings about her relationship with him and her flirting with danger with another Mistborn, and her task of flushing out a secret imposter. Then of course there was the war with the two armies outside their gates, as well as the political machinations in the palace. Not to mention the ongoing search for the Well of Ascension and uncovering the mystery of the mists and the Deepness. It's all setting up for one hell of a finale, but it's no wonder I only remembered bits and pieces of this book.