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Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell

(The Cosmere)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  14,322 ratings  ·  938 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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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  14,322 ratings  ·  938 reviews

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Lady Luna. ✨

"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
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
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.

Valliya Rennell
2.75 stars

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell is a short story about a woman called Silence, living on a continent, colloquially called Hell, where if you spill blood, light a fire, or run at night, mysterious creatures known as Shades will tear you to shreds. Silence's inn, a safehouse from the Shades, is in danger of being taken away from her, and seeing as she is a middle aged woman trying to sustain herself and her kid, she decides to go collect a bounty... after all Silence is also t
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 .
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
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.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Can this please be a full length novel!!
I want more! I NEED more!
It's not fair to end this quickly, it just isn't! I LOVE these characters 😭😭😭
Jonathan O'Neill
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a story about Silence Montane. A mother, an innkeeper... And a b.b.b.bad mothertrucker!

Set on the dark, sinister planet of Threnody within the Threnodite System of the Cosmere. There are a set of simple rules that the inhabitants of these lands know to follow in order to avoid the unwanted, violent attention of the 'Shades', a translucent wraith-like entity that are particularly active at night:

"Don't kindle flame, don't shed the blood of another, don't run at night."

This aspect is
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:)
David S Meanderings)
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really, really enjoyed this novella. The "Simple Rules" and the ways to fight were so creative and made the story feel fraught with danger. Silence was a compelling protagonist even in the few pages we get in this novella. I would love to see more of this world in a full length Cosmere novel! ...more
ana ⚔
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
This was so interesting!! The plot was really engaging even though this was short and kept me at the edge of my seat. I was so immersed in it. The characters were also great, captivating and perfect for this story, but what I loved the most about this is the world building and the atmosphere. It was so cool and fun to read about and also felt mysterious and I really enjoyed being in this world and learning about it. I wish this was longer, I really, really want to know more about this world.
Holden Johnson
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-fiction
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: fantasy, great
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
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
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!)
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.
Karima chermiti

The only way to learn is to do, Silence. And you’ll learn, one way or another!

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell takes place in Threnody, a cosmere world that we didn’t see a lot of until no with this short story. And let’s just say that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of it considering how much I loved this story and how different and unique it felt to me.

The story focus on silence is a bounty hunter who’s just trying to protect her family from the danger of a world that seems o
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
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
Anna *Bran. San. Stan*
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Only Sanderson has so much imagination that he can use up a whole magic system and a new setting (the planet Threnody, in the Cosmere universe) in what is essentially a “short” story. And it was brilliant! In fewer than 50 pages he manages to come up with characters we care about (Silence and her daughter William Ann), characters we loathe (Chesterton and Theopolis) and an intriguing plot. So Sanderson is absolutely capable of writing short fiction as well! I do hope we get to see more of this w ...more
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.
Michelle Sedai of the Brown Ajah
I'd love a full-length novel in this setting. Still a great read as-is. ...more
Udy Kumra
May 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-fiction
Edit: 3 stars. Didn't like this nearly as much as I thought I did when I finished. It's left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth lol

4 stars. I struggled quite a bit with the beginning of this story, but I was won over by the end. I found it difficult to connect with Threnody or Silence and so it took me 3 days to read something that should have taken me 2 hours, but I read the last third in about twenty minutes. The ending was quite good.
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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)
  • Mistborn: 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)

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