At last! I have finished the final library book I have checked out!
This means I can let myself go back to putting books on reserve. Also, I can read the e-books I have on my phone and the dozen+ graphic novels I've purchased at the last couple of cons. (I met Jennie Breeden at Contraception and Aaron Williamson at KC Game Fair and sort of binged). I am in no danger of running short of reading material.
The Well of Ascension is the second book of the Mistborn series; like all the Sanderson books I've read, it is in the Big Fat Fantasy genre. There's a lot of politics and aftermath-of-the-revolution stuff in it: as with revolutions in our own world, this one is messy. In addition, there's a large element of mystery, as the protagonists try to unravel the riddles of the past and figure out how it will affect their future. And a chunk of superpowered action, against a backdrop of imminent war and potential doom. As is not uncommon with trilogies, the second book has a strong sense of impending tragedy: the reader is pretty sure this isn't going to go well: otherwise, why would there need to be a third? The conclusion nonetheless has a sense of completion to it. Yes, the ending is something of a cliffhanger, but there's still the sense of this being a book in its own right, and resolves several important problems. One way or another. It's a good solid story.
The worldbuilding is also well-done, with Sanderson's characteristically consistent, flexible, and interesting magic systems. The protagonists make effective and at times surprising use of magic, though always in ways that make sense.
The characters are somewhat less compelling than in some of Sanderson's other books, although it's a relief to see them escape from some of the more obvious traps laid by their personalities. This is about the book's only weakness, and even so I did like the protagonists. I'll give it an 8.