Allomancers Wax and Wayne are at it again in Brandon Sanderson’s newest novel Shadows of Self, arriving today.
For those unfamiliar, this trilogy is set in the world of Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy, but 300 years after the end of The Hero of Ages. At a time when the motor car is replacing the horse drawn carriage, and justice is meted out with six guns and dueling canes, Shadows of Self details political unrest and acts of terrorism which threaten the adolescent society. Four years ago, The Alloy of Law, the first novel of the new trilogy, introduced the cast of characters: the enigmatic but Lawful Good Waxillium Ladrian, his kleptomaniac, hoplophobic partner Wayne, and the brilliant but socially awkward constable Marasi. This latest installment drops all three characters into the middle of a plot to destabilize the potentially corrupt ruling governor, create strife among the common laborers, and stir up religious conflict.
Sanderson’s world building shines through, both with his expansion of the metal-based magic system created for the original trilogy and the ongoing development of the culture and people across 300 years of economic and technological growth. Much like the first Star Wars film, the world of Shadows of Self feels gritty and lived-in. The characters face actual stakes and gain a new degree of depth, while still maintaining the core traits established in The Alloy of Law. Overall, the book succeeds as a standalone adventure with plot twists and schemes within schemes that culminate with a solid and satisfying end. More importantly it sets up several plot points that will hopefully pay off in book three, The Bands of Mourning.
Whether you’re a fan of the original Mistborn trilogy or simply Sanderson’s world-building and writing style, this book is definitely worth your time. Shadows of Self is available today in print and e-book from Tor/Forge publishing.