I need to read series like this more often. I read The Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self, and now The Bands of Mourning within about a 2 week period. In a time where I jump all over the place with my reading in order to not make my reviewing stale, it is nice to come back to a system of finishing up available books. I definitely liked The Bands of Mourning but I think that Shadows of Self’s mystery story worked better for me than this narrative.
First off, The Bands of Mourning really pushes the Mistborn mythos into a new direction. I’m not entirely convinced it is the most interesting direction but Sanderson is known to close out a series strong, so I’m hoping the 4th Wax and Wayne book really deliverers. I felt there were a lot of parallels between the Mormon religion story and what Sanderson revealed in the later parts of this book. That threw me off a bit and was always in the back of my mind. I wish I never made that connection but it might just be me.
Anyway, this installment of Mistborn has our heroes visiting a city south of Elendal called New Seran. Wax is looking for his Uncle and Sister while Marsai is looking for a spike to return to a kandra in order for the kandra to survive. There is a lot of information about the kandra in this book that is fantastic. Steris and Wax had to put their marriage on hold for the time being but Steris decides to go to New Seran with Wax to assist. Wayne and Melaan are helping as usual and our adventurers find themselves in a predicament that will impact all of Scandrial.
The strength of this book was definitely the further character development of our adventurers. Three books in this series and the characters are starting to be my friends. Wayne is progressively becoming the most complex character while Wax holds his own as the main protagonist. The breakout character in this book was Steris. She became my favorite character in the series after this book. Steris is one of the best-written characters that Sanderson has written so far in Mistborn. The reason I feel this way is because she has no magical power, but makes herself useful, a unique female character that has some neurotic tendencies, and she basically does all the real work while Wax flies around. Steris is not a cookie-cutter female character that Sanderson usually writes and I found that refreshing.
This was a good book but it didn’t make an impression on me like Shadows of Self or The Hero of Ages made. Sure, there were some interesting reveals about the world in The Bands of Mourning but there was also some reveals that felt “after the fact,” and not in Sanderson’s overall scheme. Usually, I never get that tacked on feeling with Sanderson, but with some spots of the world-building, I felt that. I think the next book will be a huge decider if this series morphs into something fantastic or kind of falls flat.
I’m excited to read Mistborn: Secret History now and see if any of the possible issues I had with The Bands of Mourning gets cleared up. It is also nice to see Sanderson implementing some more “progressive” ideas into his books too.
15/25 Possible Score
Plot – 3(Good)
Characters – 4(Strong)
World Building – 3(Good)
Writing – 3(Good)
Head & Mind Aspect – 2(OK)