Bands of Mourning is the third book in the post-magic series written by Brandon Sanderson in his Mistborn world. I say post-magic, because although it crosses into an industrial-style world, there are still heavy elements of magic; mixed with some seriously modern technology, which makes it a difficult book to pigeonhole easily.
Sanderson brings his usual bang for buck as always, with interesting and creative world-building, and rich, well-developed characters. The relationship between the main band of merry men and women is immediately apparent, and everyone gets their moments to shine, and perhaps more importantly their moments to be vulnerable.
Bands of Mourning is kind of like the gift that keeps on giving – just when you think you have reached the end, there is another twist in the tale, another character demanding some attention. The addition of the ‘alien’ – in the general sense – to the world of Mistborn certainly posed some philosophical questions for the characters about how they perceive their place and importance in the world, only to discover perhaps that they are just a small fish in a much bigger pond.
I have been intrigued to see the evolution of this series, and perhaps I was a little surprised to hear that he is writing another book. The end of this book leads to a convenient ending point, both plot-wise and emotionally for the characters. In saying that though, one of my criticisms of the Mistborn trilogy was that everything was wrapped up a little too neatly in the end.
Don’t get me wrong, this is an excellent read – even after a break from the previous book, I was quickly sucked back into the world of Wax, Wayne and the others. That said, I felt Sanderson’s need to bring allusions to modern real-world politics into the story were somewhat unnecessary and felt rather tacked on for the sake of sounding relevant.
All in all, fans of the series will find more of the same Waxy goodness here.