Goodreads: Secret History
Series: Mistborn #3.5
Published: January 26, 2016
Mistborn: Secret History is a companion story to the original Mistborn trilogy.
As such, it contains HUGE SPOILERS for the books Mistborn (The Final Empire), The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages. It also contains very minor spoilers for the book The Bands of Mourning.
Mistborn: Secret History builds upon the characterization, events, and worldbuilding of the original trilogy. Reading it without that background will be a confusing process at best.
In short, this isn’t the place to start your journey into Mistborn. (Though if you have read the trilogy—but it has been a while—you should be just fine, so long as you remember the characters and the general plot of the books.)
Saying anything more here risks revealing too much. Even knowledge of this story’s existence is, in a way, a spoiler.
There’s always another secret.
As you can see from the official summary, saying basically anything specific about this book is considered a spoiler (I’ve seen bloggers agree), which makes it really hard to write a review. However, I’ll try to be as vague as possible while still being helpful.
I’m torn on this book because on one hand I thought it was fascinating to read–not necessarily because of the secrets revealed but just because it has a really great plot. Sanderson knows how to write excitement, and he doesn’t fall short in this novella. It’s just a really good read.
On the other hand, I’m a little sad I read this because it really exemplifies Sanderson’s need to try to explain everything about his fantasy worlds. I follow the school of Tolkien in thinking it adds something to a fantasy to have some things left unexplained, to believe there’s also something more, wonderful and mysterious, just back another layer. Sanderson is all about stripping away mystique to prove to readers he has an explanation for everything, and I don’t always want one. However, I’m a sucker for anything he writes, so he could publish something titled “How Exactly My Entire Cosmere Functions” and I would buy it.
I’ve seen other readers suggest reading this only about Mistborn #6, which is what I did. However, I think I personally would have been fine reading it after Mistborn #3 and perhaps would have preferred that. It’s been a while since I read the original Mistborn trilogy, and I would have liked to remember more of the details from that in order to read this novella. That said, a general knowledge was sufficient, if not ideal.