Shadows of Self is the first in a trilogy following the acclaimed Mistborn series. As said above, it goes back to the world of the original Mistborn, simply three centuries older and wiser. When I saw Sanderson had written this, I didn’t read it for the longest time because I was so afraid of what it could be. This book had so much potential, but so many ways it could fail.
It didn’t touch Mistborn. Not even close. But it was good. I didn’t love it. But I liked it. That’s not half bad for a book trying to follow up a series as brilliant as Mistborn.
Wax makes a good main character, and I really like him. It’s so nice to have a man in his forties as the main character instead of the quickly-becoming-cliche teenage girl heroine of the latest sci-fi novels. Wayne can be funny, but he gets on my nerves after a while. And his language can be a little crude, which was probably my least favorite thing about the book.
As to the actual story…It wasn’t my favorite of Sanderson’s. Shadows of Self began slow and slightly boring, but the end came together very well, and surprised me as the end of his books always do. Despite the fact that the overall book was good, I feel like Sanderson tried too hard on the one-liners and dialog. The parts that were supposed to be funny I thought were for the most part slightly juvenile. In my opinion, plots are Sanderson’s strong suit, not his dialog.
All in all though, it was a good book. To write a sequel to such an exceptional series must be so difficult. And to that challenge, I thought Sanderson stood up very well. I’m excited for the next one which I should be reading sometime soon.
The original Mistborn 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.
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 language, with many mild obscenities, a few anatomical terms, and several scatological terms, can be crude. And although there are no actual sex scenes, there are some sexual references, some references to lust, and many drinking scenes.