Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson is a fantastic sequel that brings back what we loved about Mistborn while adding a distinct western flavor to keep things interesting. If you haven’t read The Alloy of Law yet, check out my review of that instead and jump in to this great series! What I most want to emphasize though is that while I enjoyed The Alloy of Law, I loved Shadows of Self and am delighted to see Sanderson continuing to build this series into a truly unique fantasy experience. Just be sure to brush up on the events of the Mistborn trilogy and Alloy of Law first!
Note: I received an advanced copy of Shadows of Self from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #5)
Published by Tor Books on Oct. 6th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Western Fantasy
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.
This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.
Shadows of Self will give fans of The Alloy of Law everything they’ve been hoping for and, this being a Brandon Sanderson book, more, much more.
- If memory serves, The Alloy of Law very much felt like an adventure IN the world of Mistborn but not as interested in building the world OF Mistborn. Shadows of Self, however, tells another fun mystery story while bringing in some really excellent world building. One of my personal favorite touches: we get to see what the kandra have been up to!
- I don’t think I gave Wayne enough credit in The Alloy of Law but he is definitely my favorite character now (sorry Wax!). He is hilarious with his tendency to “trade” items without their owners agreeing to the rather questionable deals, but he also just sees the world in such an interesting way. I adore how he isn’t just the goofy sidekick, but has a brilliance when it comes to accents and disguise that even impresses the kandra.
- Wax does get a mention though because his relationship with Steris continues to highly entertain me. I’m glad that Sanderson is doing something original with this engaged couple and staying true to Steris’ aloof and calculating nature and Wax’s continuing heartbreak. They are learning how each other work though, and I think they are going to make a great platonic team!
- Shadows of Self really shines in the witty banter department. I’ve never really thought of Sanderson’s books as ones to turn to for witty banter, but either he’s stepped up his game or I’m finally paying better attention ;-). There were a lot of moments where I debated flouting the “no quoting ARCs” rule and sharing something with you all, but I resisted! Which is probably a good thing given how much it would have slowed down my inhalation of this book, ha.
- Another reason I was tempted to shares quotes was that Shadows of Self has some great discussions on religion and morality. We have a funny perspective since we as readers knew Harmony personally before he was God, but even looking past that, the characters have some really interesting thoughts on the nature of God and morality that I honestly wasn’t expecting to find.
- Beyond everything else though, Shadows of Self is true to the goal of this trilogy in that is has a fun western mystery at the heart of its plot and the constables have to sort out what the rusts is going on!
- It is no secret that I have a horrible memory (how I wish for a coppermind!) and I’m not a fan of rereading books. Therefore, I rely heavily on authors leaving the right amount of reminders in a sequel for me to get back up to speed. Shadows of Self is severely lacking in helpful reminders, so I very much recommend rereading Alloy of Law and/or going to the Cosmere wiki Coppermind and reading the plot summaries to get familiar with the finer details of what happened previously.
Shadows of Self is the best kind of sequel because it not only lives up to its predecessor but surpasses it. You’ll go on another fun adventure, but you’ll also get to find out more about the world we all love so much and get to know a few of the characters a whole lot better. I’m so glad that third book is already being prepped because I can’t wait!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
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