The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn)
by Brandon Sanderson
Edited by Moshe Feder
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765378576
Date: 26 January 2016 List Price $27.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Having saved the city of Elendel from plots, Wax now can face his greatest challenge, marriage. Or at least that is the plan. A deluge and a new mystery set Wax and his friends on a path towards the Southern Roughs and a showdown with Wax's uncle and his organization.
The Bands of Mourning are legendary metal minds which are said to contain the powers of the Lord Ruler. A kandra returns without memories and speaking nonsense. A missing spike could spell the permanent end of sanity for the kandra. Since Wax refuses the assignment, Marasi is dispatched to find the missing spike and to see if there are truths to the rumors. Wax gets the hint that his sister is held captive in the same area and travels with Marasai bringing his fiancÚ Steris and the troublesome Wayne. Also traveling with them is MeLaan another old and powerful kandra.
As is typical, even a simple journey is filled with problems. Wax's actions could set off a civil war in a region already close to boiling over. Each step brings the group closer to finding the truth. There is an opportunity to open up a whole new realm of possibilities.
This is the third novel following the adventures of Waxillium Ladrian set in the world of the Mistborn. As the third in a larger series it is not the best starting point for new readers. There is a lot of background information from the prior novels that would be missed and is pivotal to the action. There is a nice reference section at the end of the novel that details the basics of allomancy, feruchemy, and hemalurgy. Understanding the basics of how this magic works is important.
Sanderson does a nice job of developing Steris in this novel as well as many other characters. More of Wax's history is explained. He also does a nice job setting up for a new series in a new location. The only question is which period will he focus on in the next series. There are multiple possibilities including another Wax novel, but the focus could change completely and that would be okay.
I see a potential historical setting which falls between the two series. One which runs concurrently or just after the current set. There is also the chance that there will be another big jump. The jump in technology from the original Mistborn series to the Wax cycle was big. Sanderson does a nice job developing the impacts of how technology changes the role of individuals and those gifted with magic.
If you enjoy atypical heroes who are't perfect, Waxillium Ladrian is the hero for you.