7 Rated Books 8 Rated Books Book Reviews

Joint Review & Giveaway: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Title:The Well of Ascension

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Tor (US) / Gollancz (UK)
Publishing Date: June 2008 / December 2009
Mass Market Paperback: 816 pages / 800 pages

Stand alone or series: Second book in the Mistborn trilogy

Why did we read the book: Because we loved Mistborn.

How did we get the book: We both bought our copies.

Summary: The impossible has happened. The Lord Ruler has been vanquished. But so too is Kelsier the man who masterminded the triumph. The awesome task of rebuilding the world has been left to his protege Vin; a one-time street urchin, now the most powerful Mistborn in the land. Worryingly for her Vin has become the focus of a new religion, a development that leaves her intensely uneasy. More worryingly still the mists have become unpredictable since the Lord Ruler died and a strage vaprous entity is stalking Vin. As the siege of Luthadel intensifies the ancient legend of the Well of Ascension offers the only glimmer of hope. But no-one knows where it is or what it can do .


First Impressions:

Ana: Having loved the first book in the series as much as I did, it was no-brainer that I would be reading the entire trilogy and I started The Well of Ascension with a great amount of excitment. And I was not disappointed. Although not as awesome as the first in the series, this book was still gripping, interesting and with quite a few plot twists that made me all giddy inside. This series is GOOD.

Thea: I too loved The Final Empire, and had high hopes for this second book. But I gotta level with you here, dear readers – I frankly was disappointed with The Well of Ascension. It’s still a very good book, and I am as impressed as ever with Mr. Sanderson’s worldbuilding skillz as well as his eye for drama and action…but this book felt like a let-down on many levels. The constant repetition and caricaturish characters in particular were constant annoyances. That said, the scale of action in this book and the war/politicking storylines were fantastic, and though I did guess a few of the plot twists, there was more than enough mystery to keep me entertained with this novel. Certainly enough to warrant continued reading of the series!

On the plot:

It’s been one year since Vin and her friends killed the supposedly immortal tyrant, the Lord Ruler, and freed Luthadel. But freedom doesn’t come without consequences. The city is surrounded by two invading armies who think Elend should not be King. Inside the citadel, political intrigue blooms and both Elend and Vin struggle to accept their place in the new world order. Meanwhile, the mists are coming now during daytime and Vin starts to realise that maybe the Lord Ruler was more than a tyrant : what if he was keeping the Deepness at bay? Then another manuscript is found that may shed light in the Prophecy about the Hero of Ages and his (or her) role in saving the world from something worse than they ever thought.

Ana: I have to admit I did not expect that one year would have passed since the end of the first book but that certainly allows for the interesting place where the characters find themselves: being under siege by two distinct forces, trying to find a new balance between lords and Skaa, trying above all to find their voice after the loss of their leader Kelsier, the man who planned everything they accomplished. Elend, the new king, finds himself in a complicated position trying to hear all the different sides and to remain a good person. Vin, who is now his bodyguard is becoming a stronger Mistborn by the minute and the more power she has, the more the Kingdom and the King have to rely on her for protection and survival (how refreshing to see the female character in such a powerful position). Just then she starts to see things in the Mist and to hear a thudding sound in the background which might point that she is in fact the prophesised Hero of Ages who will save them all. A LOT happens in this book and the scope that the story has, is simply amazing but that doesn’t come without its share of problems.

Starting with pacing: the story kept shifting from the overall story arc (The Deepness and the siege of Luthadel) to focus on the characters. I never thought I would ever say this in my reading life, but I wished that the author had progressed with the plot instead of focusing so much on character development.

Thea. Hold me, I think I will be sick.

This instalment reads a lot like a coming of age story for both Vin and Elend in which both go through a series of hard-learnt lessons about sacrifice and the greater good and both emerge stronger in the end. To be fair, this was absolutely necessary and I wouldn’t change it for the world but I am sure their arcs could have been shortened without detriment to the development of their characters. Most of their inner monologue and identity issues was repeated ad nauseam. Vin would go on and on about trust issues, about who she is – is she a lady? Is she a killer? Similarly with Elend who suffered of lack of self-confidence: is he a good king, is he a scholar? Lather, repeat, rinse. It got boring and tiresome pretty soon.

It might sound as though I didn’t like the book which is not the case, at all. I absolutely loved it and couldn’t read fast enough. All of the above are me being completely objective but the truth is this: even though the book is far from being perfect, even though there were pacing issues and I had problems with the repetitions, these were only minor quibbles because the overall plot is fantastic. It is clear that the author knows what he is doing and where his story is going. From political intrigue between the several lords with interest in the citadel and its hidden Atium, to the mythology surrounding the Kandra for example noting seems to be random and eventually it all falls into place during the climax. The amazing, mind-blowing climax who had everything I love about Fantasy: great fighting sequences, lose threads that become part of the whole, and a twist, OMG the twist. I finished the book with my jaw dropping to the floor.

It is also worth to mention that this is a second book in the trilogy, and as with all amazing middle books, this one ends with a sad note of loss and despair. The stakes are higher from now on and it should not be different. I really want to see what the frak happens next.

Thea: I have to echo Ana’s thoughts – while The Well of Ascension has a truly wonderful, multilayered plot, there were some serious pacing issues. First, the good: this book covers an impressive amount of detail and is awe-inspiring in its scope. In particular, the political aspect of the novel, with the marching armies besieging Luthadel and the actions of the Assembly in their votes against Elend’s rule as King are fabulously imagined and feel very real. There’s also the problem of the ominous mists choking the land, appearing across the Empire earlier in the afternoon and staying past dawn – to the point where people are mysteriously being killed in the mists themselves. The overarching mystery of what the Lord Ruler’s last words truly meant, about the nature of “the Deepness” reverberate ominously throughout this book and come to a somewhat shocking conclusion. Well, sort of.

The biggest problem with The Well of Ascension is how repetitive it is. I have to agree whole-heartedly with Ana – there was SO MUCH time devoted to characters and their insecurities, I found myself impatient to get back to the action and plot. When the plot moved forward, it was phenomenal – but the great plotting was unfortunately dwarfed by the character repetition, and this really hampered my reading experience. In contrast to Ana, by the time the twists came along and the dramatic conclusion, I was more than a little weary of the whole book. As for the twists themselves, they are so obviously alluded to throughout the story with heavy-handed foreshadowing (seriously, the little excerpts at the beginning of each chapter from the same. damn. document over and over again get very tiresome) that by the time all the cards are on the table at the conclusion of the novel, it was a bit ruined for me.

That’s not to say that The Well of Ascension is a bad book – rather, it’s testament to Mr. Sanderson’s writing that in spite of these qualms I still found myself engrossed in the story and finished it all in a few scant days. But there was no need for this book to be so long as it was. Two hundred or so pages could easily have been trimmed from the novel, making it more suspenseful and efficient. But that’s just my opinion.

On the characters:

Ana: Thea will probably tell you that the characters are too good. I agree but I have actually am not really bothered by that. I usually am all for shades of gray but I think in this instance it not only worked (why not? Why can’t people be genuinely good?) but it actually added extra angst because good does not always triumph in the end. It was a great exercise to see a group of good, honourable men taking charge of a city after the fall of the tyrant and realising little by little that sometimes being good and honourable is not enough. It is HORRIBLE to realise as you go along, that if you were a bit more flexible in your beliefs you could be a better leader but also a sell-out. I liked reading this and the repercussions of their actions.

I did resent though, being told over and over again that they were good. It was completely unnecessary because I could see that – I was shown that they were good. And this is one of the crazy things about Brandon Sanderson’s writing of his characters: it is bipolar, shifting between telling and showing. For example, a character would do something cool, like say Breeze, would soothe people’s emotions. Then there would be paragraph after paragraph examining the action and telling me that it was because he was a good person. But I already know that – I can see for myself. It is as though the author doesn’t trust the reader to understand what he is doing.

That doesn’t mean that he can’t write these characters: he can. And I love every single one of them. All the members of their motley crew of thieves turned citizens who belong and who have a role to play in the decision-making process. Sazed is another one whom I adored since the first book and this time we are granted his PoV as well. His arc is another one that is gripping especially when he comes to realise how his position of Keeper is one that prevents him for taking a side. I even like the villains and I was MOST intrigued with Zane, the Mistborn who fell for Vin. Finally, of course there is Vin, my favourite character and she totally kick-ass in this book. Boy, can the woman fight.

There is one character though that I do not like as much as the others and that would be Elend Venture. Elend is uptight, self-sacrificing and self-righteous and he can go round and round immersed in his ideology and insecurities instead of DOING something. Elend is in other words, a douchebag. But he is not a complete douchebag. Every time I was about to quit on him and wish for his demise, he would do something cool that would make me appreciate him and to be completely forthright, I sort of like his romantic relationship with Vin even though at the times I wished that she would have been paired off with someone stronger.

You know what? I spent most of the book thinking that what he really needed was to have a good night of sex. You know, to let the tension out? But also because it is hard for me to believe in a love story between Elend and Vin, which is central to this trilogy, when something as essential as PASSION was missing. They would snuggle and kiss but nothing else and they have known each other for two years and have been together as a couple for one. Elend kept BLUSHING every time Vin would show him some skin for Christ’s sake. It is hard for me to believe in a couple when passion and sex is missing . Note, I am not asking for sex SCENES, I can have them or leave them. What I am trying to say is that sex is important for a relationship to work and it was unrealistic that they didn’t even think about it.

Despite Elend douchebaginess, the main group of character are strong and sympathetic. Kudos to Brandon Sanderson for making me care so much to what happens to them.

Thea: Ok, Ana guessed it – I have a small problem with all the main characters in Mistborn. They are all so, damned GOOD. They are all honorable thieves with hearts of gold, who would NEVER turn their backs on Kelsier’s liberated empire even when it means their deaths. Blah, blah, blah, kumbaya. In of itself, this isn’t a huge deal – but there’s this overarching obsession with “good men” that it made me want to tear out my hair, or at least drive one or two of those Inquisitor spikes into my own eyes. Again, this goes back to the repetition thing. Over and over again we hear about how Vin fears Elend won’t love her because she cannot be a lady and Mistborn at the same time. Again and again we hear about how Elend isn’t Kelsier and how inadequate he feels about being a leader. Every other page, we hear that “Elend is a good man!” “But good men cannot be kings!” “Yes they can!” “No they can’t!”

I feel like a huge grouch, but this bothered me immensely whilst reading. Besides the repetition, the other annoying thing with the characters was how caricaturish they all seemed. In fact, I can sum them all up in a few sentences:

Breeze: I’m so silly and no one can take me seriously, but I soothe emotions unconsciously! No one can love me because I’m a soother! *fights with Ham*

Ham: What is God? What is life? I ask supposedly deep questions, but never answer them! *fights with Breeze*

Zane: I’m CRAZY! Kill them! No don’t kill them! Vin, we can leave together! MIST!

Elend: Wah, wah, wah, does Vin love me? I’m not as cool as Kelsier! But I do dress in nice uniforms and stand up straight. PHILOSOPHY! BOOKS!

Vin: Elend can never love me anymore, I am not a lady, I am an outsider. MIST! Pewter, copper cloud pierce! Pewter! DURALUMIN-PEWTER!!!!! *ninja vanish*

That probably doesn’t make sense if you haven’t read the book. But if you have, you know exactly what I mean.

That all said, when Vin isn’t drowning in a weird sea of insecurity, she’s a badass heroine, and her action scenes are ridiculously good fun. Elend is a complete wanker, and I’m super annoyed with the ending of this book in particular as it pertains to him. I completely agree with Ana with her dissatisfaction with the character. And yet, despite my annoyance with the insecurities and repetition in the novel and especially so far as Vin and Elend are concerned, their dysfunctional personalities work together, somehow. Though I will also agree that there’s something weirdly PG about the whole relationship. They’ve been together for over a year now, and sleep in separate rooms, and their relationship consists mostly of “cuddling” and chaste kisses. It’s weird. And a little creepy.

While the supposed “hero” characters were grating, there were some standout others that more than compensated for the deficit. In particular, the character of Zane was a favorite of mine. Heck, even the villainous Lord Straff Venture, Elend’s father, was a welcome breath of fresh air in a sea of one-note characters. Also, OreSeur, the Kandra bound to Vin from Kelsier’s contract, was probably my favorite character in the entire novel. We learn a lot more about the Deepness, about the mist and the Kandra in this novel, and it’s all wonderful good fun. I only wish this was more of a focus in the novel.

Final Thoughts, Observations and Rating

Ana: Overall, The Well of Ascension is not as good as Mistborn, but parts of it are. The fighting sequences, the political intrigue, the mythology surrounding all the different races, Vin and the last bombastic 100 pages were completely awesome. When Brandon Sanderson shines, he shines with a force of a supernova. Here is wishing that the last instalment will be made entirely of good parts.

Thea: While I’m not as convinced as Ana, I did enjoy The Well of Ascension, despite its sizable, glaring missteps. Mr. Sanderson has a knack for writing action, so when it does (finally) come around, it’s enough to keep even the most reluctant readers engaged. And, to be fair, the high points of the book were ridiculously good. I’m just hoping that Hero of Ages has more of the high points, and less mind-numbing repetition.

Notable Quotes/ Parts: From Chapter 1:

The army crept like a dark stain across the horizon.

King Elend Venture stood motionless upon the Luthadel city wall, looking out at the enemy troops. Around him, ash fell from the sky in fat, lazy flakes. It wasn’t the burnt white ash that one saw in dead coals; this was a deeper, harsher black ash. The Ashmounts had been particularly active lately.

Elend felt the ash dust his face and clothing, but he ignored it. In the distance, the bloody red sun was close to setting. It backlit the army that had come to take Elend’s kingdom from him.

“How many?” Elend asked quietly.

“Fifty thousand, we think,” Ham said, leaning against the parapet, beefy arms folded on the stone. Like everything in the city, the wall had been stained black by countless years of ashfalls.

“Fifty thousand soldiers . . .” Elend said, trailing off. Despite heavy recruitment, Elend barely had twenty thousand men under his command—and they were peasants with less than a year of training. Maintaining even that small number was straining his resources. If they’d been able to find the Lord Ruler’s atium, perhaps things would be different. As it was, Elend’s rule was in serious danger of economic disaster.

“What do you think?” Elend asked.

“I don’t know, El,” Ham said quietly. “Kelsier was always the one with the vision.”

“But you helped him plan,” Elend said. “You and the others, you were his crew. You were the ones who came up with a strategy for overthrowing the empire, then made it happen.”

Ham fell silent, and Elend felt as if he knew what the man was thinking. Kelsier was central to it all. He was the one who organized, the one who took all of the wild brainstorming and turned it into a viable operation. He was the leader. The genius.

And he’d died a year before, on the very same day that the people—as part of his secret plan—had risen up in fury to overthrow their god emperor. Elend had taken the throne in the ensuing chaos. Now it was looking more and more like he would lose everything that Kelsier and his crew had worked so hard to accomplish.

Lose it to a tyrant who might be even worse than the Lord Ruler. A petty, devious bully in “noble” form. The man who had marched his army on Luthadel.

Elend’s own father, Straff Venture.

You can read the full chapter, as well as chapters 2 and 3 online HERE.

Additional Thoughts:

Brandon Sanderson, as you may have heard, has also written the completion of Robert Jordan’s beloved Wheel of Time series – with the long awaited twelfth novel, The Gathering Storm out in stores on October 25th. You can find out more about Brandon Sanderson and The Gathering Storm online in an interview with editor Harriet McDougal and the author HERE.

What’s even cooler is, Tor is providing us with a sweet “Fantasy Firsts” giveaway of both The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time book 1) and Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn book 1)!

We are giving away THREE prize packs for three lucky readers, each containing a copy of The Eye of the World and Mistborn: The Final Empire. The contest is open to residents of the US, Canada, and UK, and will run until October 24th at 11:59 PM (PST). In order to enter, simply leave a comment here, letting us know what your favorite first book in a fantasy series is! Good luck!


Ana: 8 – Excellent

Thea: 7 – Very Good

Reading Next: Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter

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  • Karen Mahoney
    October 9, 2009 at 1:27 am

    I am entering! Pick me! Pick me!! 🙂

    Um… I am going to answer with my favourite first book of a fantasy TRILOGY. Why? Because I can. Heh.

    THE SUMMER TREE (Book One of The Fionavar Tapestry) by Guy Gavriel Kay.


  • RKCharron
    October 9, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Hi 🙂
    Favorite first book in a Fantasy series?
    Like Karen, THE SUMMER TREE by Guy Gavriel Kay

    EYE OF THE WORLD by Robert Jordan

    PAWN OF PROPHECY by David Eddings

    THE BOOK OF THREE by Lloyd Alexander

    A SPELL FOR CHAMELEON by Piers Anthony

    THE TURNING by Jennifer Armintrout

    BITTEN by Kelley Armstrong

    ANOTHER FINE MYTH by Robert Asprin

    MINION by L.A. Banks

    THE BINDING by Michele Bardsley

    BLOOD OF THE ROSE by Anya Bast

    DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD by Anne Bishop

    TITHE by Holly Black

    MOON CALLED by Patricia Briggs

    GREEN RIDER by Kristen Britain

    THE SWORD OF SHANNARA by Terry Brooks

    JHEREG by Steven Brust

    STORM FRONT by Jim Butcher

    GLASS HOUSES by Rachel Caine

    ILL WIND by Rachel Caine

    KUSHIEL’S DART by Jacqueline Carey

    ALICE IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll

    TOUCH THE DARK by Karen Chance


    ARTEMIS FOWL by Eoin Colfer


    OVER SEA, UNDER STONE by Susan Cooper

    UNDEAD AND UNWED by MaryJanice Davidson

    CASTLE PERILOUS by John DeChancie

    LORD FOUL’S BANE by Stephen R. Donaldson

    SO YOU WANT TO BE A WIZARD by Diane Duane

    BENEATH A BLOOD RED MOON by Shannon Drake

    KING’S DRAGON by Kate Elliott

    BLOODLIST by P.N. Elrod

    GARDENS OF THE MOON by Steven Erikson

    THE RUNELORDS by David Farland

    DARK PRINCE by Christine Feehan

    LUCK IN THE SHADOWS by Lynn Flewelling

    CHICKS IN CHAINMAIL by Esther M. Friesner


    WITCHLING by Yasmine Galenorn

    STAYING DEAD by Laura Anne Gilman

    THE REST FALLS AWAY by Colleen Gleason

    WIZARD’S FIRST RULE by Terry Goodkind

    THE DARK MOON by Julia Gray

    TALL, DARK & DEAD by Tate Hallaway

    THE SILENT TOWER by Barbara Hambly

    GUILTY PLEASURES by L.K. Hamilton

    A KISS OF SHADOWS by L.K. Hamilton

    WOLFWALKER by Tara K. Harper

    DEAD UNTIL DARK by Charlaine Harris

    GRAVE SIGHT by Charlaine Harris

    DEAD WITCH WALKING by Kim Harrison

    RHAPSODY, CHILD OF BLOOD by Elizabeth Hayden

    DHAMPIR by Barb & J.C. Hendee


    FOOL’S ERRAND by Robin Hobb

    SHIP OF MAGIC by Robin Hobb

    BLOOD PRICE by Tanya Huff


    SUMMON THE KEEPER by Tanya Huff

    SMOKE AND SHADOWS by Tanya Huff

    CHARMED LIFE by Diana Wynn Jones

    VAMPIRE JUSTICE by Ann Jacobs

    REDWALL by Brian Jacques

    FANTASY LOVER by Sherilyn Kenyon

    APHRODITE’S KISS by Julie Kenner

    DAGGERSPELL by Katherine Kerr

    HELL’S BELLES by Jackie Kessler

    THE GUNSLINGER by Stephen King

    NIGHT LIFE by Caitlin Kittredge

    MASTER OF THE NIGHT by Angela Knight

    DEATH BECOMES HER by Karen Koehler

    DERYNI RISING by Katherine Kurtz

    ARROWS OF THE QUEEN by Mercedes Lackey

    DESPERATE AND DATELESS by Elizabeth Lapthorne

    SCENT OF PASSION by Elizabeth Lapthorne

    TALIESIN by Stephen Lawhead

    THE BIRTHGRAVE by Tanith Lee

    A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA by Ursula K. LeGuin

    SWORDS AND DEVILTRY by Fritz Leiber

    MENAGE A MAGICK by Lora Leigh


    TIGER EYE by Marjorie M. Liu


    NECROSCOPE by Brian Lumley

    WATCHTOWER by Elizabeth Lynn

    MIDNIGHT SUN by Rene Lyons

    THE SOPRANO SORCERESS by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

    THE MAGIC OF RECLUSE by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

    YOU SLAY ME by Katie MacAlister

    A GIRL’S GUIDE TO VAMPIRES by Katie MacAlister

    PLAYING WITH FIRE by Katie MacAlister

    GAME OF THRONES by George R.R. Martin

    DRAGONRIDER by Anne McCaffrey

    RIDDLEMASTER OF HED by Patricia A. McKillip

    THE BLUE SWORD by Robin McKinley

    SUCCUBUS BLUES by Richelle Mead

    VAMPIRE ACADEMY by Richelle Mead

    TWILIGHT by Stephanie Meyer

    ELRIC OF MELNIBONE by Michael Moorcock

    CONAN by Robert E. Howard

    URBAN SHAMAN by C.E. Murphy

    ROSEMARY & RUE by Seanan McGuire

    ERAGON by Christopher Paolini

    WILD MAGIC by Tamora Pierce

    COLOUR OF MAGIC by Terry Pratchett

    THE GOLDEN COMPASS by Philip Pullman

    SHAPE-CHANGERS by Jennifer Roberson

    BITTEN & SMITTEN by Michelle Rowen

    THE LAST OF THE RENSHAI by Mickey Zucker Reichert

    DRAGON PRINCE by Melanie Rawn

    THE RUINS OF AMBRAI by Melanie Rawn


    THE SLEEPING DRAGON by Joel Rosenberg

    BAZIL BROKETAIL by Christopher Rowley


    THE CRYSTAL CAVE by Mary Stewart

    THE DRACULA TAPE by Fred Saberhagen

    MAGYK by Angie Sage

    WORKING FOR THE DEVIL by Lilith Saintcrow

    NIGHT SHIFT by Lilith Saintcrow

    QUICK BITE by Lynsay Sands

    HARM NONE by M.R. Sellars

    A LIVING NIGHTMARE by Darren Shan

    TWILIGHT PHANTASIES by Maggie Shayne

    THE HUNT by Susan Sizemore

    THE AWAKENING by L.J. Smith



    STRAY by Rachel Vincent

    DARKNESS WEAVES by Karl Edward Wagner

    THE ELEMENT OF FIRE by Martha Wells

    DECLAN AND TORI by Shiloh Walker

    FANTASY FIX by Christine Warren

    THE MISENCHANTED SWORD by Lawrence Watt-Evans

    THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR by Tad Williams

    DEALING WITH DRAGONS by Patricia C. Wrede


    NINE PRINCES IN AMBER by Roger Zelazny

    DEATH UNWEPT by Michelle Bardsley

    That’s all I can think of right now.
    Thanks for the opportunity to share.
    All the best,

  • Andrea C.
    October 9, 2009 at 5:08 am

    Please please please enter me into your lovely competition Thank you 😀

    My favourite first book of a fantasy series? Hmm either The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman or more recently The Demons Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

  • Valerie
    October 9, 2009 at 6:01 am

    I haven’t read much fantasy but did just finish “Wizard’s First Rule” from the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind and really enjoyed it.

  • renee
    October 9, 2009 at 6:54 am

    I fav book would be Bitten. Please enter me.

  • Jen D.
    October 9, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Great review. Count me in!

    Jen :mrgreen:

  • Jen D.
    October 9, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Damn it…I didn’t read all the instructions. I don’t read a lot of fantasy but, I do read a lot of urban fantasy. My favorite first book in a series is Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison.

  • Jaime Huff
    October 9, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Favorite First book of a fantasy series, I really enjoyed The Magic of Recluse by L.E. Modessitt JR. However, I really LOVE Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (UF, I know, I know). I liked Grimspace by Ann Aguirre.

    Fantastic review, by the way!

  • Nicole Downing
    October 9, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Rhapsody by Elizabeth Hayden

    Hope I win a prize pack 🙂

  • Elise
    October 9, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. The 12-year-old in me still insists on using it as the standard to which all other books are judged.

  • Rose
    October 9, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Wow, there are almost too many to name. Um, I loved the following books, and more….please enter me in the contest. Great review!!

    PAWN OF PROPHECY by David Eddings

    BITTEN by Kelley Armstrong

    DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD by Anne Bishop

    MOON CALLED by Patricia Briggs

    STORM FRONT by Jim Butcher

    ILL WIND by Rachel Caine

    OVER SEA, UNDER STONE by Susan Cooper

    UNDEAD AND UNWED by MaryJanice Davidson

    SO YOU WANT TO BE A WIZARD by Diane Duane

    DEAD UNTIL DARK by Charlaine Harris

    GRAVE SIGHT by Charlaine Harris


    SUMMON THE KEEPER by Tanya Huff

    SMOKE AND SHADOWS by Tanya Huff

    CHARMED LIFE by Diana Wynn Jones

    ARROWS OF THE QUEEN by Mercedes Lackey

    WILD MAGIC by Tamora Pierce

  • Ashley
    October 9, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Count me in, looking forward to reading the Mistborn series whether I win or not! 🙂 LOTR Fellowship of the Ring will always be a fave!

  • Robyn B
    October 9, 2009 at 10:45 am

    These are my favorite two:
    Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson
    His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

    Great review!!


  • Kate A
    October 9, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Great giveaway and review! I love Brandon Sanderson’s work and I can’t wait to see how he does with Robert Jordan’s series. The Wheel of Time was actually one of my first adult fantasy series I ever read so I guess Eye of the World is one of my favourite first books. Other favourites are:
    Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
    Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
    Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliasotti
    Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
    Eragon by Christopher Paolini

  • Samantha R.
    October 9, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Probably Archangel from Sharon Shinn’s Samaria series.
    Thanks for the contest! 😀

  • Kearsten
    October 9, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Oh, man – I’m hyperventilating over here! Been reading and rereading the Wheel of Time series since my sophomore year of high school (roughly 15 years ago – I’ve been rereading the series every time a new one comes out. It’s quite the commitment…). I’m actually listening to the series for the first time, and am halfway thru the Eye of the World. Oh, how I love this series and CANNOT wait for October 25th!!!

    As far as favorite first books…
    EYE OF THE WORLD (of course) and HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins. I know there’s more but I’m kinda distracted at the moment! 😀

  • Vik Fox
    October 9, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    My favourite first book in a series is The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Coincidentally, one of the giveaways. Though, I have to say Mistborn was indeed one of my favourites as well.

    Awesome review, ladies! Thanks.

  • Emily
    October 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    While I enjoyed the review and agreed with many of the points you both made, I was surprised at your reactions to the lack of sex in the book, particularly Ana’s explanation.
    I think it makes sense that amidst a war situation where Elend and Vin’s primary concerns are to keep the empire from falling to pieces, sex takes somewhat of a backseat. A writer can make a relationship work and not necessarily provide sex.
    In addition, I will admit I was minorly offended by the statement that sex is important for a relationship to work. I know people who are asexual, some of whom are in relationships currently. Sex does not play a role in their relationships, yet they are happy with each other regardless.
    Just some food for thought…

  • Niveau
    October 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I… I… but how do I choose? There are so many good ones!! I guess I’d go with Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten.

  • sherry nickerson
    October 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    please count me in mine would have to be Daughter of the Blood


    wadesherry@hotmail dot com

  • Carolyn H
    October 9, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    First book in series Ilona Andrews – Magic Bites. Kate Daniels is cool 8) Great chapter by the way.

  • Lindsay Tallman
    October 9, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    there are just so many but…
    I love interview with a vampire
    outlander by diana gabaldon
    breathe my name


  • melissa @ 1lbr
    October 9, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    My fave first, I’m going with the classic The Fellowship of the Ring. Still one of my favorites.

  • Raelena
    October 9, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  • TJ Mathews
    October 9, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Seventh Son, by Orson Scot Card, hands down.

  • Katee R.
    October 9, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    The Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglass. I haven’t read the book in years but I remember staying up until 3am finishing it and being in awe of her. The rest of the series is amazing as well.

  • Veronica F.
    October 9, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    I’m not completely sure if they’re officially considered fantasy but to me they are.
    My favorite 1st books in a fantasy series are:
    1- Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead
    2- Uglies by Scott Westerfeld


  • Jenni @ Falling Off The Shelf
    October 10, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Oh this is an easy question!!!

    Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
    Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

    These were series that I actually found myself reading the books BACK TO BACK. I never do that with a series..NEVER, lol.

  • bridget3420
    October 10, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Harry Potter!!

  • Marie
    October 10, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Great giveaway!

    Great first stories? to name a few….

    Moon Called – Patrica Briggs
    Storm Front – Jim Butcher
    Dead until Dark – Charlaine Harris
    Warlord – Elizabeth Vaughn
    Slave to Sensation – Nalini Singh
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling


  • Jacqueline L.
    October 10, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Hmmm, possibly Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon.

  • danielle
    October 10, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Um…I’m gonna be a dork and say…Eragon by Christopher Paoloni!

  • Miss Marjie
    October 11, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

  • Todd
    October 11, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    I’d have to say that THE EYE OF THE WORLD is probably my favorite start of a series. I’ve read a lot of fantasy, but I still remember how much I enjoyed TEOTW when I first read it. And since I really like the rest of the series and am anxiously awaiting Oct. 28th, it just feels like the right choice.

  • Todd
    October 11, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Ha, I meant Oct. 27th. Hit the wrong number. 😕

  • Raina
    October 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Right now, Kushiel’s Dart still stands as a favorite. I’ve heard a lot a good things about both series; it would be nice to win.

  • Shawna L
    October 11, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Shawna L

    Yep will have to be … Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
    I just Loved these books and the 1st one had me right from the beginning!!!
    Thanks for this neat chance to win!!!

  • Amanda
    October 11, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    I have so many favorites!!
    I’ll list Vampire Academy by Richell Mead or Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

  • Stephanie
    October 12, 2009 at 2:01 am

    My favorite would be either Poison Study by Maria V Snyder or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I love the worlds created by each of them and I eagerly devoured the rest of the books in the series. Thanks for the contest!

    stephaniefleischer889 [at] gmail [dot] com

  • Tammy
    October 12, 2009 at 11:52 am

    One of my favorites is The Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik

  • Stacy
    October 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I would like to enter, too!
    My favorite firsts… umm… hard one…
    Eye of the World by Robert Jordon
    Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
    Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
    Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

    I haven’t read any of Sanderson yet, but I want to and it’s quickly climbing to the top of my TBR list!


  • Katie Green
    October 14, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I must say in terms of adult fantasy, George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones is a favorite for me. Best in the genre. But to be honest, I can’t say I love Tamora Pierce’s Alanna or Wild Magic any less. I definitely agree that these two are standards, particularly for young adults. Oh, but the list could go on…

  • AndreaS
    October 14, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    My favorite first book in a fantasy series?
    First Test by Tamora Pierce or
    Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

  • Emma
    October 15, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Oh pick me!

  • JL
    October 16, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind is my favorite first book in a fantasy series.

  • Maya M.
    October 16, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I was a latecomer to Wheel of Time but then sucked in all the installments in about a year. And then – Robert Jordan passed away. It was so sad, for his family, admirers, and readers. What an inexpressible relief that this remarkable series will find its conclusion – can’t wait, and reading the very first story again seems like a great way to anticipate!

    First book? I’ll say the first story in Anne McGaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, and also in BLATANT SMUGGLER DEFIANCE, ‘Darkborn’ by Alison Sinclair *g*

  • SMD
    October 17, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Well, I absolutely loved The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller and the recent Kell’s Legend by Andy Remic was good, though not for everyone.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Belinda m
    October 17, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    It would have to be the Inkheart series. Loved the movie too!! Hope that they make the rest of the books into movies as well

    Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat – join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


  • Shawna Lewis
    October 19, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    My Fav is Harry Potter all the way!!!

    Thanks for this chance to win!!!
    Shawna L

  • Lorraine
    October 20, 2009 at 10:59 am

    HMMM…hard to choose:
    Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
    Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
    Wizards First Rule by Terry Goodkind ➡

  • Angel
    October 21, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I would love to have copies of the Mistborn series!

    As for my favourite first book, I recently started reading the Marla Mason urban fantasy series, first book being Blood Engines.

  • alana
    October 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    This is hard, but I’m gonna go with A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

    Even though I’m super irritated Martin won’t just finish the dang series, the first few books were like nothing I’ve ever read. I haven’t experienced a book since where no character is safe and you find yourself even caring for the bad guys.

  • CherylS22
    October 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    My favorite first book in a fantasy series is “Hades’ Daughter” – Book 1 Troy Games by Sara Douglass. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • Madie Rehfeldt
    June 20, 2011 at 1:32 am

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