The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson. ★★★★1/2
The Bands of Mourning is the third book in Sanderson’s newer Mistborn series. You don’t have to have read the original Mistborn trilogy, but you should read The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self before picking up The Bands of Mourning. My review will be spoiler free for The Bands of Mourning.
A kandra researcher has discovered the possible location of the Bands of Mourning, the legendary metalminds worn by the Lord Ruler himself, reputed to grant the wearer his powers. Unfortunately, along the way back to Elendel, the kandra was attacked and one of his spikes stolen. His mind is fragmentary, and he can recall little of what he found. When Wax uncovers evidence that his uncle might somehow be involved with the mystery, he agrees to go looking for the bands, along with Wayne, Marasi, Steris, and MeLaan.
The Bands of Mourning was as awesome as I expected it to be. The dialog is snappy, there’s plenty of humorous moments, I love the character interactions, and there’s plenty of plot twists and reveals about the greater world. Hoid, a character who appears in all of Sanderson’s cosmere novels, was tangentially plot relevant in this one, and it’s exciting to think about how all the different novels might tie together.
Sanderson continues to use the magic system he set up in the original Mistborn books in new and inventive ways. I’ll admit that my eyes kind of glazed over at the particulars of how everything worked. I’m willing enough to accept that it does work and go from there.
I loved the return of MeLann and Steris’s continued character growth. When I read Alloy of Law, I sort of assumed that Steris would end up being pushed aside by the narrative. I’m so glad that didn’t happen as she’s becoming one of my favorite characters of the series.
The Bands of Mourning is fun, fast paced, and full of adventure. This series has generally felt lighter than the original trilogy, and I’m really hoping that translates into fewer deaths in the final book! If you were a fan of the past two Wax and Wayne books, you should enjoy this one too.