With Mistborn: The Final Empire, Brandon Sanderson took on the question "what if the Dark Lord won?" With The Well of Ascension, he addresses the question "what happens after you kill the bad guy?" I found this second book in the series almost as enjoyable as the first, with a few caveats. Sanderson created a huge and brilliant cast of characters in The Final Empire, and when the focus narrows for the sequel, some (like Marsh) are unfortunately left in the dust. We can only hope that we'll catch up with them in the conclusion of the trilogy. On the bright side, we do get a few fun, lighthearted moments with some of the original gang, before everything gets grim. The entire book is based on the problem of the city being besieged by multiple armies, which means that the action can be brutally slow at times; readers who are not interested in tales of political maneuvering and the starring couple's soul-searching relationship troubles need not apply. Once again, the author makes his chapter-by-chapter commentary available for the reader on his personal website, although at last check, he wasn't quite done with book 2. After finishing book two, I'm looking for the Hero of Ages to pick up the pace and bring us some of the swashbuckling, allomantic-duelling, intrigue-laden action that was somewhat missing from this book.