I’m going to Kill a Fictional Character! Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson Review

Bands of Mourning

The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metal minds 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.

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I feel like I’ve come to an end of an era and have come to realise how terribly anti-climactic it was. An awful sentence to start a review for a book I know I’m going to give 4 stars but finishing this and knowing I have to wait for the next one just feels exasperating. How dare Sanderson not have everything written up already!?

‘“Go,” Marasi said. “Do what you do best, Waxillium Ladrian.”

“Which is what? Break things?”

“Break things,” Marasi said, “with style.”’

 

Let’s talk about Wayne

I will be blunt, I did not like the beginning (I swear I do overall like this book). To talk about the beginning, we need to talk about Wayne. Wayne is Wax’s sidekick…comic sidekick. He has been weirdly harmless for the last two books if slightly on the annoying side. But in Bands of Mourning he actually tries to derail the story. I nearly stopped reading three chapters in because of him!

He’s mad but mad characters require some understandability. You need to empathise with them on some level and I just can’t with Wayne. You have no idea how many times I kept screaming at the book: STOP STEALING THINGS! He’s just mad, MAD! And I’ve had enough of him and just wanted to shake his shoulders for ruining the book.

 

And all the rest of it!

However as the book continued I definitely started to like it more. In this book, unlike the previous, things move forward, rather than backwards. Steris joins our merry band, which I love given she is absolutely my favourite character and I’m glad for all the time we get to spend with her.

‘“What the hell is in this?”

“Other than steel?” Steris asked. “Cod-liver oil.”

He looked at her, gaping.

“Whiskey is bad for you, Lord Waxillium. A wife must look out for her husband’s health.”’

I did, towards the end, genuinely worry it was going to just be a repeat of Hero of Ages and I was ready for a screaming, ranting review but in the end, Sanderson can still surprise me. The last book, Shadow of Self and for good chunk of this book I felt angry and disappointed because I felt like it was just repeating what had come before it. However the ending was smackgobbingly good. I still believe there are too many twists, now more than ever because we’re in a more down-to-earth world, but the ending had me hooked. I’m so irritated I now have to wait like a peasant for the final book: The Lost Metal.

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Trundle, Trundle: Shadow of Self by Brandon Sanderson Review

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.

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Shadow of Self

I must start by saying this review will be quite short. Is it because I’m lazy?…Probably, it’s been a busy week! But I also don’t feel like much can be said about Shadow of Self. I do believe that Law of Alloy, the previous book in the series, is one of my favourite books and definitely the best of the Mistborn series. So this book did have a lot to live up to.

‘“You need to stay where I know you’re safe. No arguments. I’m sorry.”

“Wayne,” Wax said, walking past. “Stop talking to your hat and get over here.”

But instead it appears Brandon Sanderson has also realised what works and has stuck with it. This will be short because there’s nothing new to say here. This book is a lot slower than the ones previously. Not that I don’t mind, this world is a comfortable one to settle into for me and just enjoy the view trundle by. But that is only because of the goodwill I feel to the four books prior, this wouldn’t be a good book to dive into as a new reader.

Also we are once again returning to the world of fantasy and moving away from the western crime world of Law of Alloy. I did enjoy the first three Mistborn books and their grand fantasy epic, but I just loved what Law of Alloy did with the world. There are A LOT of call backs to the first three books. Characters come back into the picture and events look very similar to those set 300 years ago. It feels like a repeat of things that I like but a repeat none the less.

Wax felt a sweeping wave of relief. He hadn’t lost his quarry – he’d simply been led into a trap!

Wait.

Of course there are other things to talk about, the ending made my heart break and the characters are loveable (Steris is now my baby and NO ONE CAN HURT HER). But without anything new in terms of plot, I feel no drive to talk about such things because I say it with every review. Sanderson is good at what he does and I may have already read his best.

We’ll have to see.

 

Everything is DIFFERENT Now! Law of Alloy by Brandon Sanderson Review

Law of Alloy

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

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Introduction

I was vaguely aware when starting this series that at some point it would skip ahead 300 years. Still it’s hard to start a book without Vin. In fact it’s hard to start it at all knowing everyone I’ve grown horribly attached to is dead. It feels dodgy that this is considered a sequel at all to Hero of Ages, it is set within the same universe, but is in no way the same story. But it is the same writing, with the same down to earth, very dry humour and it definitely shows more in this book given the world isn’t ending anymore.

 

‘She sniffed. “I had some modest help from you.”

“It might be said that I had modest help from myself, technically.”

“The voices whispering to you as result of sleep deprivation do not count, my lord.”’

 

The Setting Changes

I’ve never read a Western but as a film genre it’s one I like. There’s something comforting about following a man on a horse who drinks whiskey like water and will eventually ride off into the sunset…BOY was I wrong. More on the western front than the sunset one. It reals back the pain factor that I’ve enjoyed in the other books but given how God damn funny this book was, I’ll let it pass.  And although it does start out as a western, this is more a steam punk mystery than a fantasy epic or western. I think Brandon Sanderson writes a lot better in a more realistic genre. I certainly understand what’s going on a lot more in his action scenes.

 

‘Wax cocked his gun softly, then drew a little vial out of his mist-coat and pulled the cork with his teeth. He downed the whiskey and steel in one shot restoring his reserves.’

 

The Character Changes

Wax is funny but also really traumatised, (my favourite kind of main character). I like him because I understand his dilemma, he wants to be one man but knows he must be another. He’s also in essence lost his ability to fight as he can’t face another battle, it’s something he really struggles with and you can sense that conflict all throughout the book.

Marasi also isn’t Vin. They couldn’t be further apart: Marasi is a timid uni student and Vin is a decomposing body right now. There is an easy path to find what works and just keep hammering at that. It would have been easy for this book to be just Final Empire but set in the future. Instead it’s a completely different story. Marking them against one another would be cheating given how different they are but Alloy of Law is a great book on its own merit.

 

‘“Why do they call it research if I’ve only done it this one time?”

“Because I’ll bet you had to look things up twice.”’

 

The Medium Changes

I want to talk about something not story related but book related. This is the first physical book I’ve read in a long time. If you follow me on Instagram (follow me on Instagram) you’ll know I mostly read on a Kindle. But it’s an absolute joy to hold a book in my hands and I stormed through this as it’s a joy to turn and fold real pages. Now I’m stuck between reading as I wish and pleasing my in-laws by using the kindle they bought me.