Brandon Sanderson’s Shadows of Self is a fun but heart-wrenching return to the world of Mistborn

shadows of selfShadows of Self
Brandon Sanderson
★★★★
Tor, Oct. 6, 2015.

Damn you Sanderson! Well, not really, because then I wouldn’t be able to see how this ends. But damn, what a gut punch at the end of Shadows of Self.

alloy

Sanderson introduced Wax and Wayne in 2012’s Alloy of Law

The latest “Mistborn” novel kicks off a new trilogy featuring Waxillium Ladrian and his sidekick Wayne, wild-west lawmen in the big city of Elendel, originally introduced in 2012’s The Alloy of Law. Sort of a late-19th century, magical McCloud. The pair are investigating a serial killer who can change her appearance, and is cutting a swath through the corrupt nobility in an attempt to foment civil unrest.

The Mistborn Trilogy introduced Sanderson's inventive magic system, "Allomancy", based on the manipulation of metals.

The Mistborn Trilogy introduced Sanderson’s inventive magic system, “Allomancy”, based on the manipulation of metals.

The series follows Sanderson’s typical slow-build to a crashing finale, although the mood in Shadows of Self is decidedly less bleak than the original Mistborn Trilogy. Indeed Wax and Wayne’s banter is downright funny throughout.

But I most appreciate the scope of Sanderson’s “Mistborn” world. After he finishes with Wax and Wayne in 2017, (Bands of Mourning, the second in this trilogy, is out in January), he has planned a cyberpunk trilogy and a space opera trilogy, tracing the evolution of the planet and its allomantic magic from medieval times through the future. It is fascinating to see how the heroes of the previous trilogy are the legends of the present, which makes the reappearance of one character even more fun.

For more thoughts on this book, check out my full review at “The Nameless Zine.”

—Michael Senft

Buy Shadows of Self

About Michael Senft

I am a freelance writer and critic from Phoenix Arizona. I spent 10 years covering music, the arts and pop culture for the “Arizona Republic” before life circumstances took me away from newspaper. But I never lost my joy at writing. Or reading.
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One Response to Brandon Sanderson’s Shadows of Self is a fun but heart-wrenching return to the world of Mistborn

  1. @lynnsbooks says:

    I actually want to start this series. I have a real thing for wild west type stories at the moment so I think this would fit the bill. I went to see Sanderson and he read a snippet from the book you’ve just reviewed which made me want to go and check out the first. Okay, I forgot!! But, I’m going to go and look at Alloy of Law right now.
    Lynn 😀

    Like

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