Published: January 26, 2016
Pages: 447 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.5/5.0
With The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.
Now, with The Bands of Mourning, Sanderson continues the story. The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.
This was some excellent stuff! Sanderson has delivered another excellent Mistborn novel to his readers, and only 3 months after the release of Shadows of Self. I’m glad I have another novel to look forward to in this particular era because there were some really great new revelations that I think will have significant impact on the direction of the next novel as well as the planned third era of the novels. Sanderson really knows how to craft intricate stories- I mean seriously, the Cosmere is a huge multi-series idea that’s becoming more detailed with each novel Brandon releases. It’s fantastic and ambitious. I’m excited to see how it all wraps up in the end.
Tangent aside, The Bands of Mourning is a book worthy of praise. The world view expands pretty significantly, beyond even what was described in the original trilogy. Telling would be spoiling, so you’ll just have to read it!! We can see society changing at an exceedingly rapid pace that is probably foreshadowing what we’ll see in coming books, but it just seems like such an exciting and vibrant time. So much change which leads to political upheaval, talk of rebellion etc.
The characters have continued on a logarithmic ascent to ever higher awesomeness. Steris especially has come a long way in my opinion. I used to not care for her, but she’s slowly growing on me and in this latest book she’s really becoming a great partner for Wax. Marasi is also becoming stronger as an individual and MeLaan is pretty cool as well, especially when she pulls weaponry out of her body. Wax and Wayne of course continue to shine in their own special ways. Wax the gun slinging nobleman and Wayne, who is like a human conundrum. The whole cast of characters is a continual delight to read about.
I highly recommend the entire Mistborn series and what’s great is that the original trilogy and the Wax and Wayne series can be read independently from one another. You can start on either one and enjoy, though of course reading them in order is the prime way to go! My previous reviews of The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self are up, so you can see my thoughts on those as well. Anything by Brandon Sanderson is a must-read in my opinion- he’s contributed quite a lot to the fantasy genre.