Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn, Book 5

Synopsis: With The Alloy of Law, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.

The trilogy’s heroes are now figures of myth and legend, even objects of religious veneration. They are succeeded by wonderful new characters, chief among them Waxillium Ladrian, known as Wax, hereditary Lord of House Ladrian but also, until recently, a lawman in the ungoverned frontier region known as the Roughs. There he worked with his eccentric but effective buddy, Wayne. They are “twinborn,” meaning they are able to use both Allomantic and Feruchemical magic.

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.

Review: I have not read many novels by Brandon Sanderson, but I had the chance to read “Words of Radiance” which was quite amazing. I’m pretty picky with fantasy so when I discover an author I enjoy, I admit that I’m quickly intrigued. And once again, I was carried away by the story that Sanderson presents here. I have not necessarily started with the first volumes here but I did not feel any problems with respect to this, apart from the fact that I am now impatient to discover what has been happening before.

We follow different characters here, but the story focuses on three main ones Marasi, Wax and Wayne. They will have to team up together to face the new looming threat. Indeed, it would seem that an entity became rogue, murdering people in town without anyone understanding the initial reasons. This hunt is however much more complicated than what our heroes have investigated so far, especially when we know that the killer is an immortal and a former Kandra, helping the god Harmony in his work. The special feature of these creatures is to change their appearance by becoming the persons they steal the skeletons from.

Knowing the next target, our three friends will try to save the life of the governor although he is recalcitrant enough to all proposals. Thus by separate ways, the three will investigate in the slums of the city, trying to understand what is going on. Helped by another Kandra, they will also be able to understand the hidden secrets of these entities and to discover that there are a lot more than they thought at first.

I liked to follow these three characters, they are each fascinating in their own way. Wax is a man who has been disillusioned by life, a killer who tries to convert into something else even if it is not so simple. Wayne is a shared man, he manages to see his friend as who he really is and often tries to make him understand that he can not change. And then we have the young officer Marasi… a woman very talented who does not hesitate to face the danger and to act as best as she can. But this is not an easy world for a woman and she must also face her colleagues and her association with Wax which earned her many consequences.

Once again Brandon Sanderson was able to take me in his world, his characters and his amazing writing. The set is really fascinating to discover and I suggest to try the author if you have not yet.




33 thoughts on “Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

  1. Glad this one worked out for you! It looked interesting when I saw it a week or two back. Did the author distinguish between the different POV’s well? Did he label when it changed? I have issues with that sometimes.

  2. I think it was pretty awesome that you could jump into this and still enjoy. I really like this sequel series from his original Mistborn, though you are right, Words of Radiance and its predecessor The Way of Kings is AMAZING too! Glad you had fun!

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