Shadows Of Self by Brandon Sanderson

This guy. Seriously, Brandon Sanderson is the kind of author all professional writers should aspire to be. You’d think that the quality of his output would suffer given the discipline he adheres to in producing it, but no: all his books are intelligent, creative, wildly entertaining and filled with his distinctive sense of humanity and kindness, in addition to mind-blowing world creation.

Anyway, this book in particular, the 5th in the Mistborn series, is difficult for me to review without getting heavily into spoilers, because the revelations of the identity of the villain and the motivation behind the A plot brought up some fascinating issues regarding… jeez, I can’t even venture close to it because I really want you guys to discover it for yourself (and I really, really hate when book critics think they’re being opaque re: spoilers but are really broadcasting them for anyone sensitive to nuance, as I am.) Let’s just say that the title of this book is exceptionally relevant (and now I’m worried that that was too much of a spoiler in itself.)

On safer topics, I did enjoy the continuing evolution of the relationships between the characters (I really love Steris,) even as I’m mortified by the fact that it took me till this book to realize that the two main guy characters are named Wax and Wayne. The callbacks to the first trilogy of the series were also exceptional, calling into question our own assumptions about historical righteousness. Marasi’s exploration of her Allomancy was also a lot of fun to follow, as well as her personal growth: it’s a relief to not see her moon over a crush, as she might have in the hands of a lesser writer. God, Brandon Sanderson, I want to be you when I grow up! I cannot wait for Bands Of Mourning to come out later this month!

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