Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson Blog Tour: Week 3

Welcome to the discussion of Part 3 of The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

If you want to catch up on the previous discussion, you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

The piece of artwork is a suitably colorful Sazed by Firnheledien

Obviously, there is a lot to discuss, so I will pick out a few of the points that struck me as most important.

At the end of Part 2, Elend had been voted down as King and I think most of us were disappointed with the Assembly, but not overly surprised because the members had no experience of living in a democracy. As we have seen in Part 3, the three factions are working for either themselves or their own people, and they see their defeat as inevitable. Although I can understand their desperation, I was very unimpressed by the treachery that brought Lord Cett into the city because it was mostly driven by personal greed.

Were you surprised by the merchants’ plan to elect Cett? How do you feel about the Nobles’ and merchants’ willingness to make the Skaa slaves again?

We have had more information about the Hero of Ages and the signs of the Anticipation, although the hints about the Deepness have been very vague. It does seem that Vin is able to detect the Deepness in a similar way to Alendi, but Kwaan’s writings show that he became increasingly convinced that Alendi was not the Hero of Ages. Vin can ‘hear’ the drumming in the distance and see the mist creature, just like Alendi, but if he was not the Hero perhaps she is not either. I do like the way Vin has started to do research: shock, horror! I also liked the stunned reaction that her writing elicited from Elend and Sazed: they seemed so surprised that she could actually write legibly!

Do you think that Vin is the Hero of Ages? Do you think that she is right about the Deepness / mist causing death more by starvation than by actually killing people?

We have all been very intrigued by the growing friendship between Vin and Oreseur. We are slowly getting more information about kandra culture, and now learn that they have a religion and prophecies of the end of the human race. It seems like Vin is starting to trust OreSeur because he is sharing personal details with her. However, we still do not know who the kandra spy is: Vin has now ruled out Dockson, Clubs and Captain Demoux. This seems to leave nobody in the immediate circle to be the spy, and yet we know that there is one. This suggests that OreSeur’s information about the kandra being unable to use alomancy might be a lie, but none of the gang’s allomancers are behaving differently, so I trust Vin’s judgement that none of them are the kandra. This means that the only person that could be the spy is OreSeur, unless it is a member of staff that we have not met yet, which would seem like an overly painless plot device. I have no idea how OreSeur could be the spy, but as Sherlock Holmes said:
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Do you think OreSeur could be the spy or am I just delusional?

I was so surprised by that beautiful little scene with Sazed and Tindwyl. It seems like we have a sweet, and very realistic, love story unfolding. This left me grinning like a lunatic, because it was so unexpected but so touching. He is worried that she will not want a eunuch, even though she has spent her life being forced to breed with a succession of different men. It is always nice to see a learned man show that he is actually an idiot about some things!

Did you like this scene? Do you see their relationship deepening, even though he is not ‘fully equipped’?

At the end of this Part we have come full circle, and Elend is officially removed from office by the Assembly even though I had hoped that he would persuade them to keep him as king. I was surprised that Cett was roundly defeated, although I am not sure that he will abide by the Assembly’s decision. I was somewhat confused by the attack in the Assembly room, especially as Zane did not take part as far as I could tell.

How do you think Lord Penrod will manage as king? Will Cett simply kill him and seize the throne?

Further Questions (I always have so many!):
  • OreSeur says that the kandra and koloss have a link: are they both creations of the Lord Ruler, just like the Inquisitors?
  • Why did Vin recognize one of the assassins in the Assembly room: was it another one of Elend’s half-brothers?
  • How many of you want to see film of Vin being all badass in a fancy white gown?
  • Will Elend still be able to love Vin now that he has seen her in action? 

Ok, I think I need to stop with the questions now: let the discussions begin!


  1. I was a wee bit naughty and finished the book (well, I have about 30 pages left, but close enough).  I couldn't force myself to stop after seeing Elend get deposed.

    I think that Elend and Vin both need to work on communication in their relationship.  I don't think the horror on Elend's face was because of what Vin herself could do, but rather because he's never really seen battle or people losing their heads outside of the Lord Ruler's executions.  In that moment it probably hit him that he's in way over his head and that ruling the kingdom isn't just a game or an academic exercise.  Vin and Elend are both very similar, and their doubts seem to play into each other.  Vin's afraid Elend won't like her because she's a Mistborn and can kill people, and Elend's afraid that Vin won't like her because he's not a Mistborn and doesn't understand the Mists.  If either of them could just say that to each other, I think that their relationship would progress far more smoothly.

    I don't like Cett, Penrod, or Straff.  They're all concerned with their own self-interest and are willing to backstab and oppress anyone that's a threat to their power/wealth/etc.  Choosing any of them would create a brief monarchy that would eventually fall apart.  I don't think that any of them has the capacity to build a kingdom that's lasting.

    I do think that Vin is the Hero, but there's an off-chance to me that it might be Sazed.  It would be somewhat ironic if it was and if he was studying the prophecies and applying the descriptions to someone else without realizing it.


  2. Any time you go through a period of unrest, a large part of the population would want to go back to what is comfortable and what they know.  Well, what everyone has known throughout their entire life was the way that the Lord Ruler ran things.  I can understand why a lot of people would want to return to that, especially the nobility and the merchants.

    In a lot of wars, the underlying cause for one side winning has nothing to do with who wins the battles, it has more to do with things that are harder to control, such as food supply lines and disease.  So I can easily believe that the deepness would cause more death due to starvation than by actually killing people.

    I really enjoyed the scenes with Sazed and Tindwyl.  I think you outlined it very well when you said they're a perfect match for each other.

    Hmm, you asked a bunch of questions about things that are going to be answered later in the book, not fair.  So the last question I'll talk about is the movie one.  I would love to see these books made into movies, as long as they're done well.  Allomancy is a great magic system and I would love to see a lot of these fights that way.  There are a couple of cooler fight scenes later in this book that would also be wonderful to see in a movie.  I know that the books have been optioned by someone to be made into a movie, but I have no idea how it's progressing.  I do know that there's a Mistborn video game in the process of being made, and that Sanderson is writing the script for it.  I can't wait for that to come out.

  3. I think Elend was somewhat shocked by the sight of Vin actually killing even though intellectually he knew that she could. It seemed like the final head-butt death was a little too real for him! :D  

    I like your idea about Sazed being the Hero: he would seem to be the most unlikely candidate, but we don't know what the prophecies say, so it is difficult to judge.

  4. I can only hope that someone really good at directing action does the film: during that battle in the Assembly hall I kept seeing the Bride in Kill Bill! :)

  5. Well, I know the answer to a lot of these questions so I can't really answer them, haha! I am impressed by the questions, however.  :)

  6. OreSeur is not the only one left who could be a kandra -- there's still Elend. Because he doesn't use allomancy, there hasn't been a way for Vin to check on him yet. Wouldn't that just be the worst twist though?
    Anyway, I think the first book was setting Vin up as the Hero. At one point I even thought that maybe it was her journal from the future that we were reading at the beginning of each chapter. So, I feel that we're still heading in that direction though I don't put it past Sanderson to totally trick us!
    I don't think the Lord Ruler created the koloss or the kandra because it sounds like, from the kandra religion and history that they have been around longer than people and certainly longer than the LR. I do wonder how he kept the koloss under control though and if it's the method that Jastes is using.
    You have lots of great questions about this section! I can't wait to read forward and see how it all unfolds.

  7. I was so disappointed with the way the Assembly voted - I know it's stupid but I couldn't help but be disappointed.  I also agree with Grace about Vin and Elend - they definitely need to start talking to each other.  I felt so sorry for Vin at the end of this section when the last thing she saw was Elend's look of horror after witnessing her single handedly killing the assassins.  I can't help thinking that she's going to think differently about Elend after that, perhaps they're both going to feel differently - it certainly has highlighted the differences between the two. 

    I really hope that the spy isn't OreSeur.  I've been trying to figure out if that could be possible or not but basically have just been going round in circles with no overall conclusion.  I just can't think who it could be and it's going to be horrible no matter what.

    Yes, I think this would make a great film and I'd definitely go to see it. 

    Sazed and Tindwyl seem almost made for each other - it's perfect really.I hope that one of them isn't the spy!

    Lynn :D

  8. I was working on the principle that Vin would notice a difference in Elend if he were the kandra, plus we have sections from his POV, so I had discounted him . . . if he IS the spy I will want to slap Mr Sanderson! :D

  9. Grace is right : Vin and Elend could do with a good marriage counsellor to get them talking to each other. 

    Sazed can't be the spy, because he was away when the spying started, I think, and I really hope that it isn't Tindwyl as it will break his heart! :(

  10. The kandra supposedly can't use Allomancy but OreSeur didn't say they couldn't use Feruchemy, right? So it could be one of the Terrismen as far as we know right now.

  11. It could, but I really, really hope it isn't. :(

  12. I do have a very strong feeling that OreSeur might the spy; the way he has gained Vin's trust and understanding would place him in a perfect position. This would break my heart a little, because I have slowly grown to like wolfhound OreSeur; but, isn't that exactly what the author would do? Have both his characters and his readers trusting the real spy? This would also mean that anything OreSeur has said about the kandra might be a lie, as you pointed out. Unless he is too taken by his role and really starts trusting and respecting Vin to some degree, too... hmmm....
    And Vin and Elend definitely need some communication lessons! I do hope they can understand each other in a better manner soon. I do believe Elend will still love Vin after seeing her in action, but they need to start talking about the "real stuff", and quick!

  13. I don't want OreSeur to be the spy either, I just don't see who else it could be. :(

    I really want Vin and Elend to sort themselves out: they are being all emo and angst for no good reason at the moment! :D

  14. I also assumed that the spy couldn't be a PoV character.  Sanderson's narrators tend to be relatively straightforward.

  15. It would really mess us up if it could be a POV character, so I have my fingers crossed! :D

  16. Perhaps it's Tindwyl?  Actually I don't really have a clue and I'm being lead by the nose by Mr Sanderson as he jumps from one character to the next!  Which is pretty standard for me I suppose.  Lol.
    Lynn :D

  17. I agree - we've already read Elend's internal thoughts so I can't see how it would be him.  After all - if you were the murderer in a group of people you wouldn't be wondering who the real murderer was would you?
    I'm going to be a bit dischuffed if it's OreSeur - it would just be so typical for me to start liking a character and it turn out he's the spy!  I can't figure out how it could be OreSeur - can one Kandra eat another Kandra or am I (yet again) missing something rather fundamental here?  Puzzled :/
    Lynn :D

  18. I have little hope for Elend and Vin to work out unless they start doing some fast and serious communicating. Vin is far to unsure of herself with her relationship with Elend. And Elend is naive as far as what Vin needs. I think Zane is really playing Vin. I Hooe she does not get burned.

    As far as who the spy is...I have no clue. Not one, Sanderson is certainly keeping me in the dark. I do Hooe it is not OreSeur. I am liking him and it would be such a betrayal to Vin. Have doubts she could recover from that.

    I don't think Sazed is the hero, but I am also not convinced that Vin is but she seems to be the most likely one.

    I have to say, I am greatly impressed with Elend at this point. I am liking his change. I think Vin is not liking it so much...she needs to get some self-esteem help, I do think. With that said, she is becoming more likable for me. The beginning of the book was a bit slow regarding Vin, and I was starting to find her dull. She is giving off some spark now.

    I am greatly impressed with Sazed,as usual, and with Tindwyl. I Hooe she is not playing him or us. Look...I am becoming paranoid now. :) I just really like every scene those characters are in, they add a great deal of intelligence to the story,

  19. He is very good at leading us around and distracting us with red herrings! Grrr!!! :D

  20. I'm not sure if he would need to eat him, perhaps they dissolve into a pile of goo when they die? I really don't want it to be OreSeur, but I will be unhappy if it is some random kitchen wench that we've not met before.

  21. I am now reading Part 4 and I really want to get Vin and Elend and give them a piece of my mind: they are both so full of self-doubt that they will kill their relationship by not talking to one another. Arrrggghhh!!!!!!

    Vin would certainly take it very hard if OreSeur IS the spy because she has really started to trust him. Plus he seems to be trusting her with stuff that he isn't supposed to reveal, so I am totally confused. Although, as a kandra, I guess he could be the spy and still want to protect and help Vin: fulfilling two contracts at once could allow him to do that, perhaps?

    I think Sazed is still my favourite character, but I am a sucker for an intellectual man who values knowledge so highly (I'm married to a Professor!). I do hope that he and Tindwyl get to ride off into the sunset for their happily ever after . . .

  22.  I too was disappointed with the Assembly. Elend was the driving force for not only creating the Assembly but for not massacring the Nobles during the rebellion in Book 1. So, while I saw it coming, I was still saddened that there wasn't stronger support for Elend.


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