Tag Archives: fantasy

Mistborn: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #2)

3 Stars

“A man can only stumble for so long before he either falls or stands up straight.”

Reviewing this book was a struggle. I loved Mistborn—so much so that it was almost impossible for me to read Well of Ascension without any expectations. The truth is, I felt like a girl whose boyfriend has disappointed her, but does she still love him? Of course she does. That’s exactly how it was for me with this book. Let me tell you why.

“A man can only lead when others accept him as their leader, and he has only as much authority as his subjects give him. All of the brilliant ideas in the world cannot save your kingdom if no one will listen to them.”

Majority of Well of Ascension’s plot revolved around the siege of Luthadel and all the politicking that involved. In Mistborn, I was hooked in the political dance among the nobility, but for this book it kind of bored me. I felt like so much of it was stretched too thin that it almost felt repetitive. Another big problem for me was the redundant inner struggles of character, especially with Elend. So much was spent on his inner musings, on whether or not he was good enough. He questions himself, gets resolve—only to question himself again for the very same reasons several chapters later. This went on like a cycle throughout the entire book.

The conflict regarding the Kingship was interesting but it was played out too long that it became a bit boring as it went on, and to think that most of the story concerned warfare—I felt like it lacked the action that made Final Empires so enthralling. However, I must say that when the actual fight finally did happen, I couldn’t put the book down. The koloss army and Vin’s scenes were absolutely brilliant. Another nice aspect of the book was the new characters, Tyndwil and Zane. They were very intriguing, especially the latter one. I understood where Zane was coming from. In fact there were several times wherein I kind of agreed with him regarding how the others treated Mistborns, especially during Elend and Straff’s encounter.

The funny thing about this book is that the title, The Well of Ascension, actually didn’t play a huge a part in the story—not until the end at least. My favourite part of the book, aside from Vin’s battle scene at the end, was the “spy”. It was a twist that I absolutely did not expect and I totally loved it! I also liked how the author killed off some important characters during the war climax—in truth, I was saddened by those deaths (sadder than how I felt when Lupin and Tonks died in HP7). Maybe because I saw them as more human and more fragile—they grew on me since I first met them in the first book. The truth regarding the prophecies was also excellent. It was obvious that Brandon Sanderson plotted the big picture before he even began writing Final Empire. It made so much sense. Although this book didn’t please me as much as the first book did, I am still very much looking forward to Hero of Ages. Judging by the way things ended here, I’m expecting a lot more action in the next book. Crossing my fingers it won’t disappoint!

“At first glance, the key and the lock it fits may seem different. Different in shape different in function, different in design. The man who looks at them without knowledge of their true nature might think them opposites, for one is meant to open, and the other to keep closed. Yet, upon closer examination, he might see that without one, the other becomes useless. The wise man sees that both lock and key were created for the same purpose.”

Read my reviews for other books by Brandon Sanderson:
Mistborn: The Final Empire

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Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #1)

5 Stars

“Belief isn’t simply a thing for fair times and bright days, I think. What is belief—what is faith—if you don’t continue in it after failure?”

It’s been a while since I read a good fantasy book, a long while. I’ll be honest, I only first heard of Brandon Sanderson because he was chosen to continue The Wheel of Time, and it wasn’t until a couple of friends suggested Mistborn before I finally read a book of his, but I’m glad I did. Mistborn is a gem. I’ve read and finished several fantasy series but it’s been quite some time since any managed to hit my core, the last one was probably Bartimaeus (yes, it’s been that long).

Mistborn started off slow, in fact it took me a while to get past the first few chapters. However, once the story picked up, I couldn’t put it down. Brandon Sanderson is a master storyteller and a great world-builder. There’s something about his subtle storytelling that made it so easy for me to visualize and put myself in Vin’s world. His magic system was so intricate and so well thought-out it nearly put Rothfuss’s Name of the Wind structure to shame.

Continue reading Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #1)

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

5 Stars

When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?

Graceling was a wonderful book. It’s the first part of a trilogy but it can perfectly stand alone. Kristin Cashore wrote a colorful story filled with beautifully-written characters. The tone of the narration was neither too fast nor too slow. The pace was both slow and action-packed at the same time.

Katsa, the main protagonist, was a flawed yet incredibly strong character. You’ll be able to empathize with her easily despite her attitude problems. Her strength of character and willpower was so admirable that it was almost impossible not to like her. She was a girl who was aware of her imperfections and learned to embrace them. Po, the main male protagonist, was also a great character on his own. He was the voice of both reason and passion.

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His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

4 Stars

I think it’s perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don’t know everything, and there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away. Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it’s because he’s ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they’re responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I’d want nothing to do with them.

His Dark Materials is a trilogy that tackles the theory of parallel worlds, and more importantly, it parallels the present Church and Religion. The movie adaptation was an extremely watered down version of the real Golden Compass, and did not give it justice at all, so I hope potential readers won’t base the quality of the books on the horrible film.

Continue reading His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman