Here’s the next installment in my, “Books Off the Shelf” series. As ever, So Many Books, So Little Time! I will attempt to give you an idea on some books you might enjoy or not enjoy quite as much without ruining it with too many spoilers.
The Bands of Mourning: A Mistborn Novel By Brandon Sanderson
Rating 9 out of 10
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.
I’ve been over some of this before, but though The Bands of Mourning is being labeled as book 6 of Mistborn, as I mentioned in my reviews of The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self, this is much more like the third book of a new series placed in the same world as the Mistborn trilogy. The rules are different, the scene is different, the world is different.
Reading the Mistborn books will certainly be helpful to fully realizing the story since there are some definite tie-ins and overlapping pieces that will deepen the story for the reader. Moreover, I’m a big proponent of starting at the beginning and working my way forward. Plus, the original Mistborn trilogy is well worth reading on its own.
Back to the point at hand. With Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self, the first parts of this new Mistborn series, Sanderson offers a fun new twist on the foundational magic system set in place for the original fantasy trilogy. He ramps things up further as new realizations come to light in The Bands of Mourning.
We get to continue down the path with Wax and Wayne in this book, but Marasi and especially Waxillium’s fiancé, Steris come to the lime light in Bands of Mourning. It is a fun journey to witness how Steris put her particular oddity to beneficial use.
Yet again, Sanderson widens the entire breadth of this fantasy world. I particularly liked the viewing of the God, Harmony, and the perhaps less than omniscient/omnipotent situation he faces. The dire nature of the next book are hinted at offering a delightful tingle. As I said with the last book, the stakes are raised, the consequences dire. Frankly, I can’t wait for the next book.
All of this said, I did feel like the book was a little rushed in spots. I was able to spot and call the “big twist” from the word go. Perhaps a bit more fleshing out of the outer cities and the war brewing there would have been enough to distract and deepen the story far enough that I wouldn’t have seen it.
Regardless, I enjoyed every minute of this fast paced ride. You need to get this series. Sanderson won’t disappoint.
If you’ve read The Bands of Mourning or any of Sanderson’s other work, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a message below. And if you have suggestions of books to review, please let me know. If it is Science Fiction or Fantasy, there is a good chance it is on my shelf or should be.
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Read with joy.
Ryan J. Doughan