Eric Mesa's Reviews > The Bands of Mourning

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2018-sword-challenge

We are clearly in the second book in a trilogy (which makes sense, because I was informed that Shadows of Self and this one were created as books 1 and 2 in a trilogy that follows after the events of the Alloy of Law). This book teaches us A LOT we didn't know about, but possibly could have guessed from clues dropped in both eras of Mistborn novels; the Wax/Wayne books, particularly have primed us for the big reveal via the newspaper stories.

Narratively, this book was a bit weaker than Shadows of Self. Our protagonists start off on one mission and are continually distracted from each subsequent distraction. It mostly works, but as the second book in a trilogy we're left with way more questions than answers at the end. I also saw the twist coming a mile away.

However, this book contains some of the best comedy in the Cosmere. There are numerous examples, but it truly peaks when our group arrives at the hotel in New Seran and proceed to pelt poor Aunt Gin with their madness from Steris' list of possible tragedies to befall the hotel, to Wayne's attempts at trading, to MeLaan's lack of modesty, and Wax destroying the windows to facilitate escape. I could just imagine what a great scene it would be... now I want someone to have created an animated scene of everyone walking in and out of the room while an increasingly befuddled Aunt Gin has to deal with it all.

The characters continued to have good growth. At the end of Shadows I actually enjoyed Steris, her list-making in this book not only makes for great comic relief, but it also makes her a valuable member of the team. I also think that it appears a mind for stats is an inherited trait from their father's side since both she and Marasi seem to share it. Wayne continued to show growth while still being funny as heck. Also, I loved his rationale at why his relationship with MeLaan was not problematic. MeLaan had the least character growth, but she's nearly 1000 years old. Marasi continued to move out of Wax's shadow and be her own person. Wax came to terms with his feelings towards Steris and God. He also continued to mature in his war of pragmatism vs idealism as a law man.

Scadrial-wise we learned so much that I was sad we learned it so late in the story. I think Sanderson has done a very neat thing in having what appears to be a special kind of feruchemy in the south so that it's not just another Mistborn society. Additionally, there's an interesting tech mismatch that I think keeps things from being too one-sided in any confrontation. (Bomb, notwithstanding) Additionally, the epilogue throws some of the story we're told into question. I think a lot of those questions will be resolved in Secret History. We'll see. I'm excited to almost be caught up with the Cosmere.

Late 2019/early 2020 can't get here quickly enough with the Wax/Wayne conclusion.

Cosmere tropes:
Long mustaches on Lord Harms and Thaylens in Roshar (actually from Shadows of Self, but forgot to include it in there)
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Reading Progress

December 20, 2018 – Started Reading
December 20, 2018 – Shelved
December 20, 2018 –
14.0% "Crazy prologue. Also, getting really deep into cosmere with the setup"
December 22, 2018 –
26.0% "Crazy train robbery"
December 26, 2018 –
54.0% "OMG, Sanderson is great at writing comedy! The scene at the hotel where everyone is talking to Aunt Gin is SO GREAT.

(at part 3 now)"
December 27, 2018 –
59.0% "Allomancy grenade!"
December 28, 2018 –
65.0% "Oh man, so much learned about Scadrial at the Site!"
December 28, 2018 –
69.0% "If Elendel is "french" is the "savage" "german"? He says "yah" a lot. Man, I really don't want to stop reading."
December 30, 2018 –
89.0% "Steris watched her sister fly away.
“Unexpected,” she said. And here she assumed she’d been prepared for anything. Marasi starting to glow, throwing people around with Allomancy as if they were dolls, then streaking away and leaving a trail of mist … well, that hadn’t been on the list. It hadn’t even made the appendix.

(next ch 29)"
December 31, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-sword-challenge
December 31, 2018 – Finished Reading

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