Spolier Free Summary: The Bands of Mourning is the third of four planned novels in the second era of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. Wax is still dealing with a loss when he’s sent on a new mission to discover if the legendary Bands of Mourning are real. The Bands of Mourning are rumored to be the Lord Ruler’s bracers. Wax and his crew take off to find the Feruchemical artifacts that would possibly allow the wearer to hold all of the Lord Ruler’s power.
Character: Say what you want about the series as a whole, I’d argue those who don’t speak highly of it are mostly those who don’t want to let the characters from the first era go. Wax and Wayne are more than enough for this book, and they’re only the main characters. Sanderson’s always done a fantastic job of making every character feel well placed in fiction. They all have roles and identities. These characters are reminiscent of Holmes and Watson. In this case, Wax is so compelling, he truly develops into one of the better characters of the entire series. For those of you who just want to see some members of the old cast, fear not, there are cameos.
Exposition: Sanderson does a lot well, which obviously helps him be as successful as he is. In a world as deep and rich as Scadrial, it’s hard to imagine how Sanderson gave us all the information we needed without page-long paragraphs of data dumping. He still manages though.
Worldbuilding: This is without a doubt Sanderson’s sharpest tool. I’m a bigger fan of Scadrial than I am any other Cosmere planets. There so much going on, and every turn is equal parts suspenseful and fantastic. The magic system is wonderfully intricate without chunks of text thrown in the reader’s face. Readers should pick up this series (let alone this book) just to see how someone can keep three magic systems, more than a century of history, and two mysteries together. Add to that how he’s expanding the world with short stories and inserted newspapers. Everything builds to the scope of this planet.
Dialogue: Every time Wax and Wayne get to talking, they steal the show. They’re just so charming. For my money though, the best dialogue is at the end of the book. There are two separate conversations at the end that are so powerful because of their content and pacing.
Description: I’ve always felt that Sanderson was the perfect compromise between no description and over description. He does a fantastic job of letting us see what we see in a way that’s natural. It’s honestly been a while since I’ve finished the book, but I can still see every character with relative ease.
Overall: Mistborn fascinates me because it continues to evolve, but with Shadows and Bands, these characters have come into their own. It’s the best book of the second era so far. It has the right blend of mystery, action, and drama.
Thanks for reading,