Monday, August 13, 2018

Review: The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

Book: Bands of Mourning
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: Mistborn #6
Publisher: Tor Fantasty
Pages: 536
Release: January 26, 2016

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, the Mistborn series is a heist story of political intrigue and magical, martial-arts action. 

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

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.

True to Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series, yet another secret has been revealed: the Bands of Mourning! Very real, very powerful bands, that are said to have been worn by the Lord Ruler himself. Before Vin killed him, of course, because Vin is awesome, but that's besides the point.

What I found particularly interesting about this book was the swift transition from politics to action back to politics in the first half, along with the underlying currents of public unrest throughout the book. It was extremely clear that revolution is coming, so long as you're looking for it. Which Wax most certainly isn't, and will surely bite him in the back by being the social setting of final book. I kind of feel like it's a hat-tip to the readers from the author, because Wax, though doing the right thing, is also missing another very vital issue that's brewing!

Though Wax's motives weren't exactly all too clear throughout the book (was he going after his uncle, his sister, the Bands, justice, revenge, or all the above?), he still plowed ahead with the same determination from the last books. I will say that his determination was a bit more refined, which was nice to see.

I had really been hoping to see more development of Wayne. I know he's a foil character, but Sanderson gave him quite an interesting backstory that can have very real, very present consequences. I was hoping Wayne would have to go through a bit more growth and internal turmoil, but I guess I can only hope for it to happen in the next book...

Another part of the world that has been revealed: the Southern residents. In the first book, no one really thought much about whether the world was bigger, and if there was others occupying it. Turns out there is (!!!), which makes sense since Elendel is kind of a growing world hub very similar to our world, which means international marketing and trade agreements would have to eventually fit in. But we only get a bit of knowledge about these folks, along with their different experiences and uses of Allomancy and Feruchemy. Meaning...either we're going to learn a heck of a lot more in the next book, or it's going to be explored in the next series!

Also, the Set...still, their motives are unknown. Sanderson dropped tidbits of information regarding what they might be after, or who they truly serve, but it only leads to more questions. Who, or what, is Trell? What's the deal with Telsin? Just what did the Lord Ruler do in the past??? Argh! So many more questions than answers! 

Also, I just found out that the final book isn't supposed come out until 2020. What!? It's been two years! Meaning the next book is supposed to come out this year! Whyyyyyyy. Bah. I guess that gives me plenty of time to re-read this series and try to fit together as many pieces and clues as possible, but that's easier said than done...

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