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.
Sazed and Tindwyl Really Get Into Their Studies
I like that the rubbing turned out to be a kind of Rosetta stone for synonyms. It’s the kind of tiny connection you make as a writer that makes so much sense and just fits perfectly into the story. It’s small enough that I doubt anyone will notice it—but it’s meaningful to me.
They Discuss Religion
In my books, one of the things I prefer to do is have characters who voice opinions opposite to my own. I figure that my own feelings and beliefs will work themselves naturally into the text, and so there are probably a disproportionate number of characters in my books who see the world as I do. So, any time that I can add a strong character with beliefs that oppose mine, I feel that it gives the novel more credibility.
In this case, I think Tindwyl has a very strong argument against religion, particularly considering the world in which she lives. Prophecies—the staple of fantasy literature—are silly, if you really look at them. What’s the point? I like that she offers some strong arguments against religion in this section because it not only fits her character, but gives context to what she and Sazed are doing.
Both Tindwyl and Sazed, by the way, use the same speech patterns. Kwaan does too, as did the Lord Ruler and Alendi. It’s very subtle, but it’s there—in my mind, at least. In this series, you can tell who is Terris by looking at the way they construct their sentences.
They Discover That the Rubbing Has Been Ripped
The missing piece of the rubbing is supposed to seem very random, and very strange, to readers. Sazed, unfortunately, gets distracted from it here very quickly. This will return later. You should be asking yourself about that missing line and thinking of earlier in the book, where Tindwyl has some problems with that very same line. Something is wrong with it.
Elend and Vin Visit Sazed in Turn to Ask about Relationships
I didn’t want this scene to feel too much like a sitcom, and I tried hard to make it realistic. But having both Vin, then Elend come to Sazed with their problems has some inherent issues. It feels a little comedic, and perhaps too coincidental.
However, despite those problems, I really like the scenes. They show off the difference in the two characters, and particularly show how Elend has changed over the course of the book. He comes in, confident, ordering people about even as he asks for advice. Vin is more hesitant. Her confidence is in other matters, and here she has trouble expressing herself. It’s a nice reversal.
However, the fact that both of them think first of Sazed, and that both of them just really need to speak their minds—without him doing much more than confirm things they already felt—shows again how similar they are.
And I really do think the key and lock speech is one of the most wise things Sazed has ever said.