Shadows of Self is the second book in Sanderson’s Mistborn Series Two, which picks up several hundred years after the original Mistborn trilogy. The characters from that original trilogy have become mythical figures, incorporated into the world’s historical, social, and spiritual beliefs. Book One in this second series (The Alloy of Law) was essentially ‘magic meets cowboys in a fantasy wild west.’ I loved this premise. It was especially cool to take Sanderson’s innovative allomancy magic system – where people gain different powers from burning metals within them – and then transpose this into a kind of 1850s American Wild West aesthetic, where you had these magicians, doing train robberies and flying around proto-skyscrapers in the city. And with Shadows of Self – a detective thriller about magicians racing to stop a shape-shifting assassin – he improved on The Alloy of Law in every way.
The Well of Ascension is Brandon Sanderson’s second Mistborn novel and a genuinely awesome read. Following the staggering conclusion to The Final Empire, Well of Ascension picks up some time later with the city in a state of unrest. The Lord Ruler – the man believed to be god incarnate – is dead. Unfortunately, the man who masterminded the whole affair, Mistborn Murder Jesus…errr…Kelsier, is also dead. The rebuilding effort therefore has fallen into the laps of Kelsier’s protégé Vin, King Elend Venture, and the rest of Kelsier’s crew.
I began my Brandon Sanderson journey with the Way of Kings, and I haven’t had any regrets so far. Still it was a little strange moving backwards in time to the final three Wheel of Time books and now onto The Final Empire. Much like the Realm of the Elderlings books, I am playing catch up with my wife who finished the first Mistborn trilogy earlier this year. I put off reading this book for years despite having heard so many people sing it’s praises (I mean, it has 4.5 stars out of nearly 320,000 ratings on Goodreads). It’s fair to say there was a considerable amount of hype leading up to it.
It lived up to it.