Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson is the third of the Wax and Wayne Mistborn novels and follows closely on the heels of Shadows of Self, my personal favorite of these books. It was really no surprise that Bands of Mourning didn’t quite live up to my absolute love of Shadows of Self, but after a slow start, the last third is epic. It is clear something major is brewing and I can’t wait to find out more!
Note: I received an advanced copy of Bands of Mourning from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #6)
Published by Tor Books on Jan. 26th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Western Fantasy
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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.
- So far in this series, we haven’t seen much of the world outside of Elendel, so I was delighted that Wax and Wayne were forced to leave the city and go explore a bit ;-). It was fascinating to see how the outer towns have changed since the events of the first Mistborn trilogy and to hear the perspective of characters outside of the city.
- Speaking of that perspective, there is some major trouble brewing in the smaller cities outside of Elendel! It is so interesting to me to see how much I was caught up with the beauty and perfection of Elendel and didn’t even think about the rest of the country, just like the people of Elendel ;-).
- Steris has honestly been secretly my favorite character all along. Wayne is hilarious, Wax is our hero, but Steris is a woman I really feel for and the type of heroine we don’t often see. I was really happy to see her develop substantially in this story as she figures out how to deal with Wax’s rather chaotic life.
- Wayne continues to be absolutely hilarious. I love that we get sections from his perspective since I think we can all agree that the way he sees the world is rather… unique? Unconventional? Awesome?
- The last third of Bands of Mourning really saved the story for me. At about 60% things that have been building for a while finally happen and a whole lot of interesting possible directions are revealed. Stick with it!
- This is such a weird feeling for me: I saw a number of the main plot twists coming. I am usually always surprised by Sanderson, but maybe I’ve finally figured out how his brain works? So weird….
- The start of Bands of Mourning seemed really slow to me. Things happen, but they are back to the typical western action scenes that made me not love Alloy of Law. It takes a while to get back to the interesting world-development that we got in Shadows of Self.
- Strangely there was a lot of info dumping in the beginning. The kandra just sort of give a presentation about the main plot of the story and tell Wax that he must do it. I don’t like this feeling….
- While Wayne is generally very funny, there were several times where he came off as too crass even for Wayne. Like when your funny uncle says an off color joke or swears too much in front grandma you know? It made me like him less :(.
Bands of Mourning isn’t a perfect book and doesn’t quite live up to Shadows of Self, but it is an enjoyable edition to the Mistborn series and sets things up for something really epic in the next book. Once you get back a bumpy start, the second half really takes off, so stick with it.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
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