Review of Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell by Brandon Sanderson

21411388Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell by Brandon Sanderson. ★★★★

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell is a fifty page novella that originally appeared as part of the Dangerous Women anthology but has now been released separately.

To most travelers, Silence Montane appears nothing more than a simple innkeeper, but she keeps ownership of her inn and maintains her family’s independence by doing bounty hunting on the side. When debts come calling, Silence must go after a notorious killer and his gang to keep everything she holds dear.

As always, Brandon Sanderson has intriguing world building. Silence and the others live in the forests of the dead. They must follow simple rules to avoid rousing the spirits’ wrath: don’t run after nightfall, don’t kindle a flame, and most importantly, don’t shed another’s blood. We see only a glimpse of the world in Shadows for Silence, but I would be happy to return to it.

I think the best thing about this short is the protagonist. Silence was very much drawn from the mold of the independent, frontier woman. She’s single mother focused on building a life for herself and her daughter. She’s trying to give her daughter the childhood that she didn’t have, but she worries that as a result her daughter won’t have the survival skills she needs.

While Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell isn’t my favorite Brandon Sanderson novella (try The Emperor’s Soul), it is a solid story with a well drawn female protagonist.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Panda says:

    This sounds really interesting! I’ve never read any of Sanderson’s books (I know, I’m sorry!) but I’d like to start. Is there one you’d recommend?
    Really nice review too! 🙂

    1. If you want to try something shorter, I’d suggest the novella The Emperor’s Soul. If you want a longer novel, the one I started with was Mistborn, which is story about a group of thieves trying to overthrow the immortal emperor of a dark world choked by clouds of ash. Or if you’d like something YA, there’s his Reckoners series that starts with Steelheart. The premise there is that people unexpectedly got superpowers, but all those with powers turned out to be villains. A small group of normal humans is trying to keep hope alive.

      The good thing about Brandon Sanderson is that he writes a lot, and I’ve found pretty much everything he’s written to be of good quality.

      1. Panda says:

        Oh thank you! I’ll get on them as soon as I can! 🙂

      2. Glad I can help! 🙂

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