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.
Breeze Goes to Sazed’s Clandestine Meeting
Whew! Lot to talk about here. This chapter got not one, but two large additions over the editing process.
First, the Breeze viewpoint. This isn’t new, but it’s one of my favorites in the book. Here, we finally get a little more on the fact that he’s a really nobleman. His family had some hard times when he was younger, and one of his brothers turned on the rest of his family, betraying them to a rival house. Breeze got out, went into hiding, and eventually passed himself off as a half-skaa with a thieving crew. They were very impressed by his ability to imitate noblemen, and his new career was begun. He was surprised at how much he liked the skaa thieves; he found them refreshingly straightforward after dealing with noblemen. So he just decided to keep at it, and he eventually landed in Kelsier’s crew.
Yes, he did just sleep with Allrianne. No, it’s not the first time.
The Crew Discusses, sometimes angrily, what to do
This scene with the crew arguing is one of the most honest scenes we get in any of the books. Finally, they let their real emotions out. They’re not always happy, and they don’t always get along. Dox and Ham particularly tend to get on each other’s nerves. They don’t talk about it often, but the two of them have never gotten along. Which is why we don’t often see them interacting together.
However, they’re working together again by the end. What these men needed is a plan. If they don’t have one, they fall into squabbling. If there’s something they can focus on and work toward, they can keep going.
Sending Vin and Elend away is pretty daring of them. I think it makes sense, though. How much good can one person, even a Mistborn, do against an army?
Vin Investigates the Lord Ruler’s Palace
Yes, the mist spirit and the Well are related. They feel the same to Vin. There’s something going on there. Also, the footprints in the dust are from someone you know. More on this later.
If you can’t tell from those two cryptic comments, this scene with Vin sneaking around Kredik Shaw is one of the new scenes that I added late in the process. I felt that I needed to do some more foreshadowing for things yet to come; the original draft left the surprises at the end just a little TOO surprising. We will be back in Kredik Shaw before the book concludes, and I wanted to visit the place at least once before then to remind you of its existence, and to make a few narrative connections.
Zane Awakes When Assassins Try to Kill him, then he Bids his father Farewell
The Zane scene is half old, half new. I love that his first reaction to nearly being killed by Straff’s soldiers is to think that his father trusts Zane more than he expected. Who else but Zane would see getting attacked as a sign of trust?
Leaving Straff alive was a controversial move for Zane in many readers’ minds. Not in mine. He never wanted to kill Straff, even though God tells him to. He really does love his father. If you couldn’t sense that in the undercurrent of the story, I’m sorry–but it’s the actual truth. Zane loves Straff just like Vin loved Reen, even though Reen beat her.
The scene with the spike in Zane’s chest is new. I decided I needed to show this in the book, rather than talk about it in book three. The implications of it will take me another five hundred pages of text to explain. So just remember that you saw it.