Part 2 in the second trilogy of the Mistborn trilogy-of-trilogies (ha!), this follows The Alloy of Law and continues the adventures of Wax and Wayne. The city of Elendel is burbling with unrest, and after some peculiar murders catch the attention of the constables, Wax, Wayne, and Marasi are drawn into a case involving mythology, creatures long believed gone, and perhaps God himself.
Let me be blunt. I didn’t much like Alloy of Law. I adored the Mistborn trilogy, and perhaps I expected something more like those books when I opened Alloy of Law. I wasn’t expecting a western set hundreds of years later, with gun-slinging and cowboys and rogues. I didn’t like the characters, except Marasi, and didn’t find any of them memorable. Three years later, I barely remember Wax (the main character), didn’t remember anyone else (including the one character I liked – I only know I liked her because of my review), and didn’t remember the plot. The most memorable part, honestly, was the end, with the appearance of a character from the original trilogy.
That appearance is what got me to read this second book, when I was unsure that I would. I’m very glad that I did, however, because it was much, much better than I was expecting. Again, maybe it had to do with expectations. I don’t think it was all that, however. This book felt a lot more like the original series. Sure, there were still gun-slingers and cowboys, but there was also political intrigue, religious undertones, and (best of all) the appearance of many older-series characters. There was a lot more world-building to link up the two time periods, and the evolution of old species from then to now.
By the end, I actually felt invested in the characters and story. The finale broke me into little pieces. Shadows of Self made me want to go back and give Alloy of Law a second chance, not to mention go back and reread (again) the Mistborn trilogy. And it definitely made me excited to read Part 3 (Bands of Mourning) when it releases next year.
PS – I need to get my hands on a British version of this. I adore the British cover art of these.