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  • The Well of Ascension

  • Mistborn, Book 2
  • Written by: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 28 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,691 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From number one New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson, the Mistborn series is a heist story of political intrigue and magical martial-arts action. 

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. 

Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson:

  • The Cosmere
  • The Stormlight Archive
  • The Way of Kings
  • Words of Radiance
  • Edgedancer (Novella)
  • Oathbringer 

The Mistborn trilogy

  • Mistborn: The Final Empire
  • The Well of Ascension
  • The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series:

  • Alloy of Law
  • Shadows of Self
  • Bands of Mourning
  • Collection
  • Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere novels:

  • Elantris
  • Warbreaker

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series:

  • Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
  • The Scrivener's Bones
  • The Knights of Crystallia
  • The Shattered Lens
  • The Dark Talent

The Rithmatist series:

  • The Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson:

  • The Reckoners
  • Steelheart
  • Firefight
  • Calamity
©2007 Brandon Sanderson (P)2009 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

"All the explosive action any adventure fan could want." ( Locus)
"A great epic fantasy.... Fans of Terry Goodkind and Terry Brooks will find The Well of Ascension fulfilling, satisfying, and incredibly exciting." ( SFRevu.com)
"Vin's struggles with love and power inject the human element into Sanderson's engaging epic." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about The Well of Ascension

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Solid beginning and end

The Well Of Ascension has moments of wonderful entertainment. These moments are unfortunately placed at the beginning and end of the book. The middle was a slog to get through. The main characters inability to make a relationship choice was utterly painful and reminded me of a twelve year olds emotional turmoil. Sadly my first thought at the books conclusion was, “Finally, it’s over!” Bad news indeed. The narration however was flawless.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing story, and incredible read! I want more!!

Amazing story, and incredible read! I want more!! I was hooked by the narrator, and his ability to provide a voice different for every character. Hope I can make book 3 last longer than a week!

1 person found this helpful

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Oh yeahhhh

This series does not disappoint whatsoever. What a great second book. Cannot wait to get to the next one. Brandon Sanderson is beautiful brutal, and Michael Kramer delivers as if ash is falling in his living room

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not a fan of the narrator.

The book itself is fairly interesting but I found the narrators voice and tone much too dull or flat. I may be more accustomed to other narrators but this is the first audiobook that has disappointed me.

1 person found this helpful

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Really good

Although I personally preferred the first one, it actually makes me excited to start the third book. It had good pacing although I felt it picking up a bit too much speed towards the end, like everything was happening all at once. If you liked the first one, you’ll like this one too!

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even better than book 1

Impressive work, Mister Sanderson. I look forward to consuming your omnibus one slice at a time

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It Keeps Getting Better

I had significant doubts when I started this series because honestly, how can you top or even try to match the Stormlight Archives?? In the first book of the Mistborn trilogy, I grew to love Vin’s story and her character development. The allomancy was mind bending and difficult when I first started. But, now I can’t imagine this series without it. A major character death threw me, I didn’t know how Brandy could pull me back in after killing someone significant off in the first book. I absolutely fell in love with this trilogy because of this follow up. I didn’t want it to end! After finishing Oathbreaker a few weeks ago, this was just to tide me over and get my Brandy Sandy fix. Now, having only one book left in this series, it’s also made me purchase Elantris. And as always, Michael’s narration of these novels means the absolute most to me. Never stop writing or Lord Ruler help us all, Brandon!

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Totally worth the read

personally I found it a little slow to start with some interesting plot in the middle and then slow again later on, but the ending is all worth it! Some of my favourite scenes in this book.

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Wow

did not want to stop listening! worth every bit, I believe it's a must listen

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A great intense follow-up

A great follow up with lots of intrigue and characters.
Personally I think it's a bit all over the place but it does answer a lot of questions and pushes everyone to the next level of stakes. I can't wait to hear the next one!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • 2010-01-28

Slower but worthwhile

I just finished the third book. The second is the slowest and least rewarding of the three, but the plot it provides makes the third book pretty incredible. I would suggest that before purchasing this book that you commit to also listening to the third book. If you liked the first book as much as I did, this would be a no-brainer. If you didn't like the first book, I would certainly not recommend the Well of Ascension.

63 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 2011-07-21

It keeps getting even better

I am writing this after having finished the entire trilogy. While this was an incredible book and stands alone just fine on its own, I wanted to reserve judgement on each book till I finished the trilogy in order to put each one into perspective. This was my first Bandon Sanderson book and I loved it. At first, it was challenging to get into the whole concept of Allomancy but I eventually did and appreciated every aspect of this masterpiece. The books moved quickly, the story is rich in its treatments of many aspects personal character, politics, government, philosophy and religion. And each character is fully developed to the point where we probably care about all of them including some of the bad ones. The world created by Brandon Sanderson and stunningly narrated by Michael Kramer is not like any one I or probably any of us could have possibly imagined. As long as this trilogy was, I am so sorry to have it finally end.

61 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Wesley
  • 2014-11-16

OMG Save me from teenage romantic melodrama

Any additional comments?

You know, pointing out that the main character is an emotionally unstable teenage girl, and thus prone to making really stupid decisions, doesn't prevent it from being really damn annoying when she does make them. Seriously, did we have to go with the cliche love triangle here? And did we have to use the cliche trope of having each person having one particular bit of information that would solve their relationship issue, but by CRAZY COINCIDENCE, neither of them ever has the moment to tell the other about it? So they both come away feeling rejected by the other, all over a bit of miscommunication and incredibly forced circumstances by the writer? I really enjoy Brandon's work, and I've really enjoyed the series as a whole, but my god he hammers home this annoying, tired, played to death story device of pushing the characters into the 3rd act turmoil through relationship crap. It's really annoying, and has directly caused me to give this story a rating of 3.

And Vinn's suffocating self-loathing is beyond tolerable, especially since it ends up driving the plot down some very stupid routes. Seriously girl, go buy a Stabbing Westward cd and get over yourself.

The audio work by Michael Kramer is excellent as always, 5 stars there, but man, the crap with Vinn and Ellend is so....soap opera that I keep predicting where it's going next, because it's so transparent. Ugh.

58 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 2012-02-08

Too long - bogs down

Not exactly sure why this book was titled Well of Ascension as only the last hour or so really pushes that plot point. Most (98%) of the plot deals with somewhat repetitive politics and activities in Luthadell. Most of the minimal lightness/funny moments from the first book are gone as the plot trudges through the normal middle book main character mental tortures so many trilogies follow these days. Could have cut at least 8 hours in the plot and you'd never have noticed.

54 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2016-01-24

I DON'T REALLY HAVE TIME FOR PHILSOPHY RIGHT NOW

IF EVERYONE IS A NOBLEMAN, THAN THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A NOBLEMAN

This is not book one. This meanders and is about 20 hours too long. If your short on cash and you want to listen to politics for hours, than this is the book for you. Me, I love Sanderson, but I am having lots of problems with his sequels.

Kramer, is great as usual

52 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2015-12-18

Misleading title...

Loved the fantasy and action! Hated nearly everything else. Was expecting a book about adventure, fantasy, and heroics - like in the first book. Unfortunately got a book about politics, hapless romantics, and people who can't make up their minds. The story was also mostly predictable and hardly about the Well of Ascension... For the great narration and the bits of fantasy/action, I give this book three stars.

30 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Pie
  • 2009-12-22

ehh. Too much for so little story movement...

7-8 hours into this one... I realized that the story (so fascinatingly hinted at)... was moving at a snails pace. Why? Because we are learning SO MUCH about EVERY single character remaining from the Mistborn book....and we are spending SO MUCH time... reiterating what has passed. People. Not interested in the soap opera angle. And...maybe a short chapter at the start synopsizing everything would have been kinder. Ugh. Had to loose the book after 8 hours. That sucks. I REALLY ENJOYED the first book. Bigtime. Anyway. Form your own opinion. This is just mine.

27 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 2011-05-02

Too slow and bored

Although the first book of the series moved slowly and contained too much detail to the point of confusion, it was a new story to me so I found the concepts interesting and even innovative enough to keep my attention. Unfortunately, there seemed to be the same amount or more of the repetitive details in this second volume about metals and long drawn out self reflective monologues that either made the character too dense or tedious. The basic plot and supernatural concepts were novel, but again they lost my interest while having to plod through all the extraneous details.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark Flavin
  • 2009-03-23

Great Story Excellent Narrative

I enjoyed the first book in the series and was annoyed that I had to wait several months for the second one. Well the wait was worth it!

The story begins with a year having passed since end of the last book. Sanderson deftly picks up where he left off, tying up loose ends and creating new twists.

Michael Kramer does an excellent job of giving voice to the characters and creating a tapestry of the final empire from the books pages in the listener's mind. Switching between voices and emotions while keeping a netural narrative tone where appropriate makes the second book as much a pleasure as the first to listen to.

23 people found this helpful

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  • DixiePixels
  • 2012-06-30

Nothing like the first book.

I was expecting the Well of Ascension to be more like more like the first book. It was very disappointing. The trouble is, I can't tell you why if you haven't read the first in the series. Its a big spoiler, but just imagine for a moment if you have finished book one, what would be missing. Yes, what every your thinking, yes.
Also, you have to work through about 3 quarters of the book before you get to something that doesn't remind you of a bad tweenager throwing a pity tantrum. Long sections of the story are just about characters who need to "find them selves" then "decide if I'm good enough" and "look for a reason to go on". By the end you just want to shake every last character and tell them to stop moping and grow a pair.
The last 6 hours start to feel more like book one, things finally start moving. Does move the narrative to and through interesting places, but the characters complain every step of the way. The new insights into the world is very intriguing, and some of the scenes are very intense. I just couldn't get over the annoying, annoying characters.

18 people found this helpful

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  • harraudeau nicolas
  • 2018-12-08

good story but recording badly assembled

The story is good. However the volume is often changing between sentences, making it obvious that it was recorded in multiple iterations and then assembled. I don't have this problem with other books, only the first volume and this one. It makes it more difficult to listen to.