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Shadows of Self: Mistborn    by Brandon Sanderson order for
Shadows of Self
by Brandon Sanderson
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Brandon Sanderson not only completed Robert Jordan's long-running and wildly popular Wheel of Time epic, but has taken on his mantle as the best of the best of modern fantasy authors. Now here's a new entry in his brilliant Mistborn series to delight fans - Shadows of Self.

It continues about a year after The Alloy of Law (three centuries after the events of the initial Mistborn trilogy) to follow the fast-paced exploits of twinborn Waxillium Ladrian (a Feruchemist and Allomancer), his younger rogue sidekick Wayne (a Slider who can enclose himself in a bubble of compressed time), and lovely, smart Constable Marasi (previously a law student) in the metropolis of Elendel. Wax is now the Sixteenth High Lord of House Ladrian, affianced to the rather cold-blooded, but surprisingly appealing - and super organized - Steris.

And the villain they're up against this time is one that only Sanderson would invent - a kandra that can mimic any other creature whose remains it ingests, though fortunately it sometimes misses some of the subtleties of behavior. Many kandra work for the god Harmony but one (calling itself Bleeder) has gone mad and is trying to topple Elendel society, all in the name of freedom. Bleeder is also using Hemalurgy to steal powerful Talents like Feruchemical abilities, making it even harder to destroy.

It all begins with the mass murder of corrupt nobles, 'half of the city's criminal elite', one of whom is the governor's brother - that sets tongues wagging. There are more killings; prices rise; clerics are attacked; and soon city folk are 'on the brink of insurrection.' Wax and associates - with help from loyal kandra MeLaan, sent by the god Harmony - try to track down and eliminate Bleeder, while protecting the governor, whom it has targeted.

It's another fantastic romp of a read from Brandon Sanderson, filled with Allomancy in action, puzzles to solve, amusing banter, relationship questions - and big shockers at the end that leave readers eagerly anticipating what might come next. Can't wait!

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