Thursday, December 3, 2015

Shadows of Self: By Brandon Sanderson



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.


The first thing I have to say is that Shadows of Self is a fantastic book that appears to turn much of what readers believed they knew about the world after The Hero of Ages on its head.

If that sentence meant nothing to you then please go back and read Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series (Mistborn, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages), which is a superb series that while it does not HAVE to be read before reading Shadows of Self, if readers did read it before Shadows of Self they would have a much greater appreciation of this continuation of the Mistborn world.

Of course if you don’t want to read Sanderson’s Mistborn series Shadows of Self is still a great book to pick up and read for a number of reasons.

The first reason Shadows of Self is fantastic even on its own, is the many adrenaline riddled action scenes that any reader will easily find themselves engrossed in. These scenes include but are not limited to magical gunfights, assassination attempts and battles between shape shifters. If those alone don’t grab a readers attention then I don’t know what will.

That said, Shadows of Self is more than just action filled fluff. Sanderson has created a likable and surprisingly deep cast of characters for readers to engage with. This is actually my favorite aspect of Shadows of Self, Sanderson’s characters, whether it be Wayne and his brilliant yet odd way of looking at the world, Marasi and her brilliant and strong willed attempt to challenge the world to be better, and especially the charismatic hero Wax.

Of course the only bad part of this book is that Sanderson has crafted a superbly shocking (and possibly even game changing) cliffhanger that will leave readers crying out in frustration that they have to wait until the next book in the series, The Bands of Mourning, comes out to find out what happens next. That said, Sanderson has even taken care of that by arranging for the release of the Bands of Mourning only 3 months after the initial release of Shadows of Self.

Between amazing characters, fantastic action scenes, and shocking conclusions that will surprise even jaded readers Shadows of Self is a fantastic book that I have no problem recommending to anyone looking for a good quick read.


Publisher: Tor Books

Published: October 6, 2015

Price: $27.99

Link to Buy:

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