Mistborn: Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

Week six of Mistborn Monday already!  Time flies when you’re having bloggish fun.  The sweet introduction to Mistborn Monday was so long ago, followed by the reviews of the firstsecond, and third books of the original trilogy.  Today we look at Shadows of Self, which is technically the follow up to Alloy of Law, but is the first book of the next trilogy.  The characters of Alloy of Law were just that good, it forced Mr. Sandersons hand to revisit them.  Breaking it down; Shadows of Self is the fifth Mistborn book; the second of the Wax and Wayne timeline; the first of the Wax and Wayne trilogy.  Stick with the confusion, when there are thirteen+ Mistborn books it will all be worth it.  Further to the confusion, reaching difficulties with writing Shadows of Self, Mr. Sanderson jumped ahead and wrote book six, The Bands of Mourning, before finishing the fifth book.  A surprise that was welcome from publishers and audience alike, both books were released back to back within months, and we love Brandon Sanderson because of his fast, consistent work.

Continuing on a year after the events of Alloy of Law, Lord Waxillium is still taking it upon himself to bring his lawman attitude to the big city of Elendel.  The world continues to evolve, and the politics and religions are adapting with it.  Starting the book is the assassination of multiple corrupt city leaders.  Hunting for the murderer, Wax discovers again this is connected to his past and family, in the end discovering that the powerful villain may be more close to home than he would like.

The characters of this novel stole the show again.  Wax became a deeper intriguing character as he deals with his past catching up with him and fights with his new life as noble in a powerful house.  Wayne was given room in this installment to show off more of his unconventional quirks, and is again a highlight of the book.  When the two old friends get into a verbal bout, the reader is rewarded with humour and entertainment.  Marasi came into herself, no longer following the famous duo around she now struggles with being lost in their shadows.  Her uptight sister, Steris is not so easily unlikable as we start to see into her motives.  The party as a whole begins to blend together and the introduction of a new Kandra ally, fits in nicely, and brings more life to the side characters.

Shadows of Self reads like a middle stone between books 4 and 6 and I felt like plot lacked because of it.  The best part is the growth of the characters and it does a great job of setting the stage for its follow up books.  Not being my favorite Mistborn book I give Shadows a 4/5, which says a lot about this series.  And if it wasn’t for this story the next installment would not be as awesome as it is.

Thanks booknerds, see you next Monday for the series altering novel, Bands of Mourning.


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