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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as the first, 9 Mar 2011
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This review is from: The Well of Ascension: Mistborn Book Two: 2 (Paperback)
I'm going to preface this by saying that, despite the rating, I did enjoy this book. BUT it had several flaws that steadily knocked points off, preventing it from getting a higher rating.

Often when you get to book two of a fantasy trilogy, there is a huge info-dump of what happened in the last book. This annoys me greatly even though I know that not everybody can hold plots in their head like I do. Sanderson avoids this but still manages to recap the plot of The Final Empire by adding only the pertinent information. So kudos to him for that. The book picks up a few months after the end of The Final Empire, with The Lord Ruler dead and Elend king. Rather swiftly, Luthadel is under siege by three opposing armies. So begins the politics and plotting. Sanderson is a good writer when it comes to politics, plotting and subterfuge. Not the best but still decent enough. The problem is that there is just too much of it. It slows the plot down to a snail's pace and it becomes monotonous and, dare I say it, boring. And this is coming from someone who loves that sort of thing, so if it's not your cup of tea, you're doomed.

The magic systems of Allomancy and Feruchemy are marvellously original and inventive, similar to each other but different enough so that both are fascinating. The only thing is, they are not used often enough. It's the magic systems that inject something different to the action sequences and the action sequences are sorely lacking in this novel. And when they do crop up, they feel unnecessarily tacked on and don't always move the plot forward any. Although, the final action sequence is great if blood and gore is your thing!

I found the characterisation to be, for most of the characters, very poor. Exceptions were Elend and Sazed. Throughout the novel, Elend transformed from bookish and a poor leader into a self-assured king. We learned more about Sazed in this part of the trilogy, about his Feruchemy and his inner thoughts and feelings. Vin suffered badly in the book, coming across as whiney and insecure. I love that she isn't the perfect Mary Sue character but she needed a bit of self-belief injected into her far earlier in the story.

The book did finish off very strongly, which helped a lot, but I just felt it was too long and too repetitive otherwise. However, part of me feels that The Final Empire should have been a stand alone, self-contained story. Whether that opinion changes depends really on the final instalment, The Hero of Ages.
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