The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson continues to follow the adventures of Wax and Wayne.  As a sequel to Shadows of Self, this book proceeds with a storyline involving the conspiracies of a shadow organization that have been hinted at since the beginning of the series.  I can’t reveal too much of what the book is about since it would be far to spoilery, but I will say that part of the central focus is on finding an ancient relic, called Bands of Mourning, which can grant anyone all the mystical abilities possible in this world.

This book was fantastic.  It was funny, action-packed, not to mention extremely surprising.  There were quite a few big reveals and strong hints of future cross-overs with his other worlds – none of which I can talk about here since this is a spoiler-free review.  In a nutshell, I was blown away by all of it.

My favorite part, though, was the increased involvement of a character named Steris, who is the fiancee of Waxillium.  Originally it was an arrangement for the benefit of two noble houses, but the subplot of them actually falling in love with each other was really beautifully, and hilariously, written.  As a character, Steris started out rather dull (which Sanderson did on purpose) and she was the type of person who planned and prepared for every possible eventuality that she could predict.  Interestingly enough, her little obsession actually proves to be useful in the book since she provides a Mary Poppins level of supplies that aid in the other characters’ exploits.  Steris has quickly become my second favorite character in this series.

Sanderson’s writing continues to be phenomenal, artfully showing different character perspectives in order to convey what is important for the reader to know.  Once again he wraps up the story in such a way that leaves me excited for the release of the final installment.  Although there was one thing that quite nearly ruined the book for me (can’t say it here, because it’s a massive spoiler), I look forward to uncovering the secrets Sanderson has been hinting at in the fourth book.

For a more elaborate review, check out my YouTube video here!  Warning: video contains spoilers.

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