Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson (Mini Review)

Shadows of Self

Shadows of Self coverInformation

GoodreadsShadows of Self
Series: Mistborn #5
Source: Purchased
Published: October 6, 2015

Official Summary

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.


I love everything I’ve read by Brandon Sanderson, but in some ways that makes reviewing his books boring.  Each time I have the urge to say, “It’s good. Very good. They’re all good in the same ways all of his books are good. Let’s move on.”  I mean, if you want a unique premise, a complex magic system, detailed world building, dynamic characters, and crazy plot twists, you should check out Brandon Sanderson.  Any of his books, because that could describe each one of them.  Just close your eyes and pick one at random off the shelf.

So what do I have to say that’s new about Shadows of Self?  Frankly, not much.  The Wax and Wanye series isn’t my favorite of Sanderson’s work, but only because pseudo-medieval worlds are more of my thing than Industrial Revolution-type worlds.  However, I completely respect Sanderson’s attempt to imagine what his Mistborn world would look hundreds of years in the future and how the magic would develop, and the books are really skillfully written, regardless of my personal preferences for setting.

My one gripe is that Wayne is sometimes overdone.  He provides much of the comic relief in the series, and generally I like him.  He might be annoying to know in real life, despite his marvelous intentions, but he’s perfect for a book character–except when Sanderson just keeps pushing him.  Readers see a little more of Wayne’s serious side here, and I’d like to see more balance in that respect.  We can’t forget that Wayne isn’t all bad jokes; he’s human and also a hero in his own right, even though he sometimes gets stuck in Wax’s shadow.

I also wish the book would give a little more situating details for readers who hadn’t read the original Mistborn trilogy in a while. Sanderson tries, but I was still confused sometimes and felt I need to look up details online. However, this is a small thing since, if I were reading the series straight through, I’d probably complain if I though there were too many reminders of past events.

Otherwise, this book is about as fantastic as I’ve come to expect Sanderson’s books to be.  Sanderson also, once again, caught me off guard with the ending, even though I thought there was no way he could surprise me with Shadows of Self.  I’m looking forward to the next book.

4 stars Briana


6 thoughts on “Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson (Mini Review)

  1. Darcy @ Days & Mays says:

    Woah, I had no idea there were so many Mistborn books! I’ve had the original trilogy on my e-book reader for months now, and I have Way of Kings on my shelf, but for some reason I keep putting off reading them haha.

    This book sounds very interesting with the magic+technology+terrorism so maybe I’ll finally start reading some Brandon Sanderson! 😊


    • Briana says:

      I thought there was just going to be a follow-up trilogy, but then it turned out there are going to be four books in this part…and then there’s the e-book only novella, so I was surprised, too! At least all but the last book are out, unlike the Way of Kings series, which will probably take Sanderson another decade to finish!


  2. Jamie Wu says:

    I really love the ending to this book. I kept hoping it won’t happen, but it did. It was heartbreaking and it really put Harmony into question. And then there’s the whole Trell thing. Looking forward to hear your thoughts on Bands of Mourning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana says:

      Sanderson always manages to surprise me with his series. I think some of his standalones are a little more predictable because he has a thing with writing particularly tight stories, but I didn’t see have the stuff in the Mistborn books coming.

      Liked by 1 person

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