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Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell

(The Cosmere)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  10,217 ratings  ·  675 reviews
Originally appearing in the Dangerous Women anthology and now available as a solo ebook, Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell is a chilling novella of the Cosmere, the universe shared by Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series and the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive.

When the familiar and seemingly safe turns lethal, therein danger lies. Amid a forest whe
50 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Tor Books
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Brandon Sanderson hit a home run with this one! Madam Silence is the widowed owner of a waystop, on the edge of the vast Forests where shades, destructive ghosts of those who have died, lie in wait for the unwary. Silence runs the inn and tavern with the help of her fourteen year old daughter, William Ann. Silence is also secretly a bounty hunter who hunts down criminals who visit her waystop, for the bounties on their heads, needing the money to keep her inn and her independence.

One day Silenc

"They say he shook hands with the Evil itself, that he visited the Fallen World and came back with strange powers. He can kindle fire on even the deepest of nights, and no shade will dare come for his soul. Yes, the white fox. Meanest bastard in these parts for sure. Pray he doesn't set eyes on you, friend. If he does, you're dead"

I really feel this book doesn't get enough love. This is definitely one of my favourite Sanderson Novellas, I honestly loved everything about it, the plot was ver
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5/5 Stars

Mini Review
(I read this in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection)

That was unexpectedly creepy… This novella follows Silence Montane, a greatly written middle-aged mother who tries her best as a bounty hunter to protect her family. It’s really different from Sanderson’s usual stories where this time, taking place in the world of Threnody, the undertone of the novella is darker and similar to a horror movie.

Khriss’s diary in the beginning tells us more of the world and the scary c
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Below average

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat: Sanderson’s weakest attribute is his inability to write robust and authentic female characters and when he, in the foreword, mentioned that this story was part of an anthology about strong women, I was both eager and apprehensive.

And wouldn’t you know it, our heroine, Silence, a bounty hunter, seemed like a variant of most of the female characters in his other books. That is, a facsimile. The premise itself was interesting; a small town located
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*** 4.75 ***

Wow! This was very unexpected!!! This story is “Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” and it takes place on the shard world of Threnody, where vast Forests contain shades and monsters, inciting the natives of the world to liken them to Hell... In this place you have to be tough, and if you chose to live close to the Forests you had to be even tougher. Madam Silence is one of the toughest, being a proprietress of an Inn on the border with the land of the Shades. She is a widow
TS Chan
Update: Dec 2016

After reading Khriss' essay on The Threnodite System in the amazing Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, I finally know what the shades are and I'm mind-blown by this concept.

This is what I call genius at work. .

Mar 2015: Sanderson's claim that his weakness lies in short stories is surely debunked by now. In just 89 pages, he managed to build good characters, another intriguing (Cosmere) world and an engaging and satisfying plot.

While th
Robin (Bridge Four)
As Novella’s go this is not one of my favorites from the Brandon Sanderson universe. It is a really short time to build a story and sometimes it just isn’t enough. I can tell that there is a much bigger world going on and I want to know more about it…but in less than 90 pages it is almost impossible.

What he was able to do is tell the story of Silence. I woman raised to be hard and an assassin but who has decided that she will not raise her own children in that way. However when you are an assass
In the novella "Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell" Brandon Sanderson gives us an inventive fantasy adventure featuring an older woman as the point of view character. The pace of the story fluctuates between historical reminiscences and outright action.

Within the boundaries of the "Forests of Hell" we have the spirits of the dead (here called shades) floating aimlessly, nightly, in order to kill the living invaders of their realm. All it takes to arouse the dead's savagery is a drop of b
Aug 16, 2015 rated it liked it


Read this as part of the Dangerous Women anthology. My review for it and another novella here .
Kells Next Read
Always love reading about strong female leads. Silence was that in every sense of the word. My only regret as with all these novellas is that I wish it was longer.
Eric Allen
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another great read by Brandon Sanderson.

I tried reading the "Dangerous Women" anthology that this novella first appeared in. I got to the Snodgrass story and just couldn't get past it. I mean, I enjoy sex as much as the next man, but holy shit lady, you made it WEIRD. If I wanted stories about a dude fucking a catgirl, I'd go watch some Japanese porn, thank you very much. Way too much weird sex, not enough anything else in that one IMO. Anyway, I returned the book in disgust without ever gettin
Scott  Hitchcock
Read as part of Arcanum Unbounded.

My least favorite work of Sanderson to date. I liked that he tried to go for a frontier setting on the book which also felt like a tale such as Sleepy Hollow but the characters and story were flat for me.
Jarek "the Mistborn" Dąbrowski
As with most of the short stories in The Arcanum Unbound collection I wish there was more. Sanderson has such an imagination for creating entire worlds,its rules,inhabitants religions etc its amazing. I really hope that someday he will decide to at least make a full lenght stand alone in this world. Awesome stuff:)
Holden Johnson
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a unique and awesome story! I'm very glad I read this one, as I was skeptical if I was going to enjoy it or not. It's very different from Brandon's usually colorful worlds, as it's more dark and "Evil".

I'm super glad that we are expected to see more from Threnody!
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: great, fantasy
4.5 stars. Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell is a piece of brilliantly written short story by Brandon Sanderson, we follow Silence, an innkeeper who runs her inn at the edge of the dangerous Forests of Hell, to undergo a serial of tricky, risky businesses in order to keep her inn and keep her 14 years old daughter and 8 years old foster child to stay out of slavery.

I can't reveal more plot because I may spoil the plot twists. But this short story is imaginative with a gloomy setting of
Mark Medina
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Very good short story. Creepy shades hunting people in the forest. As usual well written and engaging. Well worth reading.
Absolutely gorgeous! Dark, inventive, incredibly immersive and all in 50 pages or so. Sanderson is a real master of the short form...
(and this is in addition to all addictive door-stoppers he is producing at an incredible rate! - fascinating!)
Caleb M.
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read this in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection.

Dang! This was an intense short story! I was on the edge of my seat most of the way through this bad boy! What a good short story. A little...darker? than I'm used to with Sanderson, but not so dark you want to send people away. The shades are creepy. Just downright spooky, something you would see from Stephen King and not B. Sanderson. And Silence Montane? Flipping awesome! I think that Sanderson just knows how to create very cool women cha
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
If you only read one novella from Brandon Sanderson, Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell would be my top pick (by a smidgen – they’re all awesome. And really, why would you limit yourself to just one?). It’s just one more example why Sanderson is one of my favorite authors – his novellas are every bit as good as his full-length novels. I loved this one because it had the perfect mix of characterization, setting, story, pacing, action, and resolution. It felt like a snippet out of a fully ...more
Vagner Stefanello
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Excellent read if you're a Cosmere fan.

Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell é uma novella escrita pelo autor Brandon Sanderson e que foi anteriormente publicada na antologia Dangerous Women, organizada pelos autores George R.R. Martin e Gardner Dozois. Em 2015, a novella começou a ser vendida separadamente, imagino eu que pelo seu grande potencial e por se passar na Cosmere (!), universo que foi criado pelo autor.

Acompanhamos a narrativa pelo po
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story was originally part of a larger anthology but is also available as a stand alone story which is how I read it. Most of Brandon Sanderson's stories take place in the 'cosmere' which is a kind of a galaxy with different stories taking place on different planets.

This one short story takes place on a planet that Sanderson hasn't visited before. It's called Threnody and is inhabited by Shades, shadow like creatures which come out at night when you isolate specific rules.

This was a really f
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite of his stories, but interesting. Particularly that ending. I do love a good ending.
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
This was really good!! I immediately was interested in the book, setting, and characters. It actually reminded me of The Name of the Wind in feel! As always, I wish there was more!

Mini-review as originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 3/23/16: I think this is one of my favorite Brandon Sanderson novellas to date. (Though I think LEGION is right up there but in a totally different way.) SHADOWS FOR SILENCE IN THE FORESTS OF HELL (whew, that’s a long title for a short book) was instantly
André Pereira
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
E o Brandon fez de novo. Quando é que esse cara vai escrever alguma coisa ruim?
Avanti Mukhopadhaya
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-epic
3.5 stars

This was unexpectedly eerie if not outright dark.
If you're reading it in Arcanum Unbounded, you will get a setup of this world just before this novella and that only somewhat prepares you.

What I appreciate in this novella, is the focus on a strong female lead who isn't so because of her brute strength( unlike the many feeble attempts to assign a female character attributes that are traditionally associated with a male protagonist).

A middle aged mother fiercely protective of her childre
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
A tense, creative, and exciting little short. Really well done - a good length, not quite as long as some of his shorts. Enjoyed.
Katarine Gontijo
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-challenge, 2017
Since I discovered the existence of Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere, I'm kinda crazy trying to read about it. And shadows, this book is amazing!
It was originally published in the fantastic anthology Dangerous Woman, by Gardern Dozois and G.R.R. Martin (need to buy this one). I really wish a novel from this novella, the world is fucking incredible and well written, with the right doses of creep, terrifying and mystical. And Silence Montane? She's definitely a dangerous woman. I liked what Brandon sa
Quintin Zimmermann
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Another solid novella with an interesting setting in the cosmere - the life threatening dangers of the supernatural which manifest after dark.

I found this rather similar to Peter V.  Brett's Demon Cycle series, but instead of demons and wards, we have shades and silver.

Brandon Sanderson has assured that we will see more of this world in the future. I certainly hope so.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017, fantasy
Sanderson is a master of worlds and magic systems and awesomeness.
Danielle N
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This short yet captivating story introduces us to Silence Montane who runs an Inn that has become a safe haven for travelers and locals within the Forests of Hell. The forest is surrounded by shades, there are rules that must be followed in order to survive.

Read my review here.
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Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s S

Other books in the series

The Cosmere (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Elantris (Elantris, #1)
  • The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)
  • The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)
  • The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)
  • Warbreaker (Warbreaker, #1)
  • The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)
  • The Alloy of Law (Mistborn, #4)
  • Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)
  • Shadows of Self (Mistborn, #5)
  • The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6)
“Hush now, my dear one . . . be not afraid. Night comes upon us, but sunlight will break. Sleep now, my dear one . . . let your tears fade. Darkness surrounds us, but someday we’ll wake. . . .” 5 likes
Never call this land hell, he had said. Respect the land as you would a dangerous beast, but do not hate it. 3 likes
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