The following is commentary, written by Brandon, about one of the chapters of MISTBORN: THE WELL OF ASCENSION. If you haven’t read this book, know that the following will contain major spoilers. We suggest reading the sample chapters from book one instead. You can also go to this book’s introduction or go to the main annotations page to access all annotations for all books. For those who have read some of MISTBORN 2, any spoilers for the ending of this book will be hidden, so as long as you’ve read up to this chapter, you should be all right.
Allrianne Finds the Bandits
This is a ‘Little bits of everything’ chapter. There’s a lot I needed to tie up–or at least touch on–before I got to the battle. You may have noticed (or read in these Annotations) that I tend to start jumping viewpoints a lot more quickly once the end of a given book approaches. By then the characters are established, and it’s time to start giving the reader a stronger feeling of motion and action. I think the scene breaks help do this, though I’m not that cognizant of it when I write. I just tell the story, jumping scenes as I find I need to show more and more perspectives.
The first in our list of scene jumps is an Allrianne viewpoint. I think she may have one other in the book later, I can’t remember, but this is the one that really stands out to me. I wanted to make sure to have a little bit of lightness in the story before everything goes south, so you get to enjoy this scene and the next one.
Allrianne totally cracks me up. This scene makes me smile every time I read it. I’m not sure what it is about her that works so well for me. I tend to like characters who are quick-tongued, and who act far more foolish than they are. Allrianne, then, is a classic Brandon character. It was very nice to be able to dip into a viewpoint like that for a short time.
Vin and Elend Traveling North
Next, we have the happy couple scene. I figured that after all of the problems, confusion, indecision, and the like, these two deserved a couple of days to relax. This is, then, their version of a honeymoon. Not much to say, other than to note that Spook is going to start coming a little more to the forefront in the next few chapters. I want to introduce some of his conflicts and character issues to provide a lead-in to the next book, where he’s one of the major viewpoint characters.
Straff is, indeed, alive. A lot of alpha readers were surprised to read this scene because they figured he was dead after the last one. I, however, have a few more things for him to do–plus, you can’t kill a villain in a fade out like that without some good confirmation. It’s just not dignified.
Oh, and of course, he needs to be alive so that he can pull his armies back and let the koloss attack.
Sazed and Clubs, then Tindwyl in the Keep
Finally we get the Sazed scene. This is my favorite in the chapter, and it’s a chapter filled with a lot of scenes I really like. Allrianne may make me chuckle, but Sazed MEANS something. Showing off the cost of Feruchemy like this made for some interesting worldbuilding, and having Sazed interact with Tindwyl and Clubs gave us some character.
Sazed is beginning to feel troubled by what he’s done and what is happening around him, but he’s not the type to show it yet–even in his thoughts. However, the fact that he preaches a religion to Clubs (the first time he’s done that to anyone in a while) shows that he’s stretching, trying to figure out who he is and find his place in this mess. He figures that with the fall of Luthadel, he’ll probably end up dead–and so he wants to know who he is before that happens.
Which is also why he finally seeks out Tindwyl to confront her. The scene where he brings back his senses while holding her is one of the great moments that you can have as a fantasy novelists that those realistic writers just can’t have.
Two little behind the scenes thoughts on this section. First, Clubs mentions that the latest messenger to visit Straff was executed. If you guessed that this was because Straff himself is now awake, you guessed right!
Also, the religion Sazed preaches here is one I decided to spin off into its own book, focusing Warbreaker around it. They aren’t the same planet, but I wanted to do more about a religion that worships art, and that was one of the initial motivations for Warbreaker’s setting.