Spoiler Free Review of Shadows of Self
Disclaimer: This review of Shadows of Self spoils the Mistborn books up to The Alloy of Law. This is a spoiler-free review of Mistborn book #5 (or #2 in Era 2) Shadows of Self (well, maybe minor spoilers).
WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT?
This story takes place a year after the events of The Alloy of Law. Waxillium is working as a special constable, while his soon to be wife, Steris is planning for their wedding. Marasi Colms (Steris’s half-sister) is also working in the constabulary but as an assistant to the constable general.
Like the previous book, Wayne shows up and brings bad news to Wax. Wayne informs Wax that an infamous criminal known as “the Marksman” has been spotted. They succeed in capturing him, but he is soon killed by an assassin.
Another incident happens, and this time it is the murder of the governor’s brother. Wax is called to investigate and concludes that this was a Feruchemist’s work.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
In Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson, the stakes are higher than the previous book, but it still maintains the overall enjoyable atmosphere.
We learn a little bit more about Scadrial after the Ascendancy, and what happened to some of the characters that survived in the first era. Also, Sazed interacts with a character a couple of times in this book!
The opening chapters were not gripping, in my estimation. However, as soon as part two begins, the story starts flowing better and the plot becomes much more interesting from there. There are a couple of flashback scenes involving Wax that tie-in directly to the main plot.
I noticed that from the first couple of chapters that we jump from one POV to another in the same chapter. Which is unusual for a Sanderson book, when he usually dedicates an entire chapter to a single POV character mostly. I think that this structure has benefited the pacing of the story.
Wax continues to be a badass, though his character was not as fun as it was in the last book. This is the result of not having Wax & Wayne share as many scenes as I had hoped.
I loved that the “sidekicks” (Wayne & Marasi) were not there just to be a supporting cast or for Wax to interact with, but instead they were doing their own thing and moving the plot forward even when they were away from the main character, Wax.
A more serious side of Wayne is shown, and we see him trying to correct his past mistakes, this was the highlight of Wayne’s character for me.
Marasi’s character is fleshed out and given another dimension to. If she continues to develop more in the next two books, I can see her breaking in my top 10 Cosmere characters for sure! I see immense potential in her and hope that Sanderson gives her a fair share of heroics.
The main villain (Bleeder) in this entry in my opinion was miles ahead of Miles Hundredlives (yes pun intended). It was about time that we saw a Kandra in era 2. The big reveal about this character made my jaw drop, even though I saw it coming. I think that Sanderson intended for this to happen just so that you feel as if you have been punched by a Kangaroo.
Even though this book was not as funny as I initially thought it would be, I think that the plot was engaging and gripping. The reveals were well done, and the climax stirred my emotions. The ending teased for things to come that made me excited to read the next book as soon as possible.
Book two succeeded where book one failed and vice versa. However, I believe that this book is slightly better than its predecessor, which is apparently an unpopular opinion!
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Pure Preservation! Read this book.
More Mistborn Era 2 Book Reviews
The Alloy of Law (The Alloy Era #1 – Mistborn #4)
(Alternate Review) – Mistborn: The Alloy of Law Review
Shadows of Self (The Alloy Era #2 – Mistborn #5)
Bands of Mourning (The Alloy Era #3 – Mistborn #6)