Saturday, January 16, 2016

Review of Bands of Mourning

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.

My Spoiler Free Review:

I might have hugged this book and did a happy dance around the kitchen when this came in the mail. If it came down to books or chocolate, books would win.

It was wonderful being with these characters again. I was able to lose myself and get into the world completely with this book. (I'm afraid for the first couple of books I was missing the original characters from the first Mistborn books.) But now I absolutely love Wayne and have strong affection for the rest. I especially enjoyed learning more of Steris and getting to know her. You've got to root for the girl who doesn't have any powers!

I want to be very careful to avoid spoilers, so I'll be very vague. I felt like the setup/foreshadowing of the big twist was handled a little clumsily here. The little clues were inserted sort of jarringly, enough so that I picked them out and wondered why that statement was needed. Which of course proved to be the twist near the end.

Sanderson handles action/fight scenes so well. The last third of the book shot along at a sprint pace. The parts leading up the finale could be a little slow, but never boring. Not with these characters. There are so many good parts about Sanderson books--the involved magic systems and their rules, the intense action, the sense of actual danger and peril--but the best is his characters and how real they feel.

As always it left me dying to read the next! Five stars!

I got an advanced copy from the publisher.

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