The Bands of Mourning
|<The Bands of Mourning>|
by Chris McGrath
|Released||January 26, 2016|
With The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.
Now, with The Bands of Mourning, Sanderson continues the story. The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. But now a kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate, and along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.”—
Wax is a teenager living in the Village, sneaking out into the city with his sister and her friends. He learns that a constable is visiting the Village about a recent arson, so he bugs out and eavesdrops on his grandmother. Later in his room, he spies one of the friends, Forch, outside in the rain. He goes to investigate and finds him torturing a young boy. Forch attacks, and Wax manages to kill him with a bullet he stole from his grandmother (left by the constable as a warning). He realizes that his destiny is fighting crime, away from the Village.
- Part 1
Six months after the death of Paalm, Wax and Steris go to their wedding. It is interrupted by a nearby water tower falling on the church, allowing Wax to put off the marriage. He is still struggling with killing Lessie.
When Wax goes home, he finds MeLaan and another kandra, VenDell, asking Marasi for help. Another kandra named ReLuur was seeking the Bands of Mourning and came back wounded and missing a spike. They discuss various possibilities with combining Feruchemy and Hemalurgy. Wax agrees to help recover the spike because his sister has been kidnapped.
- Part 2
Wax, Marasi, MeLaan, and Wayne head to New Seran, the last place ReLuur was seen. Steris comes along as is proper for a fiancée. Their train is attacked by the Nightstreet Gang, but Wax believes it is only a diversion from his uncle. He presses on with his original objective rather than chase the remnants of the gang.
Wax, Steris, and MeLaan go to a party held by Kelesina Shores, where Wax receives a strange coin from a beggar on the way in. When he bluntly asks her about the coin, she makes an excuse and leaves the party. Steris creates a diversion by suddenly vomiting, allowing Wax to try to find her. He finds her in a room talking to Mr. Suit via radio. A female steward shows up, killing Kelesina. Wax and MeLaan manage to kill her and confiscate a gold bracelet filled with health.
Meanwhile, Wayne and Marasi go to a graveyard to try to find the missing spike. They are attacked by members of the Set, but Wayne uses his healing and slider abilities to take them all down. They search the corrupt gravekeeper's ledger book and pay a visit to Templeton Fig, the man who sent the assassins. They bluff him into revealing that the spike was sent to Dulsing.
Meeting in the hotel room, Wax decides to press on to Dulsing even though he has been framed for Kelesina's murder and is probably needed back in Elendel to sort things out.
- Part 3
They head to Dulsing via horse and carriage. Before they get there, they discover a large, unfinished building near a village. Wayne manages to penetrate the defenses using another disguise, and the others join him. Inside they find some rooms and a large ship that has been slightly damaged. Wax and Wayne split off to find Telsin; Marasi and MeLaan try to find the spike.
Wax and Wayne climb up to the rafters, and Wax spots his sister in one of the rooms. Wayne bluffs his way in, and Wax reunites with his sister. The door of the room opens and Telsin shoots the guy without hesitation.
Meanwhile, Marasi and MeLaan have found the potential resting place of the spike, and they sneak into the room. While MeLaan picks the lock on a safe, Marasi discovers a man with a mask on locked up in a cage. She insists that he come with them. They retrieve the spike from the safe and hear gunshots.
After a long, hopeless gunfight, the two parties eventually meet up inside the ship. The masked man (Allik) leads them up through a door to a smaller boat. Wax Pushes the boat into the air, and Allik steers them away. They fly towards the "Sovereign's temple" to get there before Suit does.
Arriving at the temple, they know from ReLuur's drawings that this was where he was seeking the Bands of Mourning. They travel down a hallway riddled with lethal traps, which MeLaan triggers and survives. They arrive at a door that they can't open and go back to the entrance where Edwarn is waiting. They strike a deal, and they make it into a room with a dais and broken glass -- but no bands.
Thinking that it's over, Telsin reveals herself as a mole and shoots Wax. The Set takes everyone prisoner while Wax and Wayne desperately escape. Wax is grievously injured but finds a room with another set of bands. Edwarn follows him and takes the bands, but these are dummies too. Wax dies as Wayne looks on, weeping. Wax talks with Harmony, and he offers him a way back.
Meanwhile, Marasi has figured out that the spearhead from the statue is the actual Bands of Mourning. Everything else was a decoy to keep people away. She manages to grab it while under guard and starts rampaging with power. She goes to Wax, who has returned to life, and gives him the Bands.
Wayne hunts down Telsin and shoots her multiple times to avenge his friend's death, retrieving both MeLaan's and ReLuur's spikes. He restores MeLaan and lets Telsin escape.
Suit tries to escape in a ship nearby, but Wax stops him and apprehends him. Steris helps Allik rally his prisoner shipmates and fight the Set minions. After the battle is over, Wax and the captain argue over possession of the ship and the Bands. Steris steps in and they find a resolution: she can have her ship back, the kandra will take the Bands, and trade will open up between them.
They fly back to Elendel and Wax marries Steris, this time for love and companionship.
Some sort of being with red eyes visits Suit in his jail cell. He ominously announces that they are going to end all life on this sphere. Then he detonates a bomb.
Wax hears the bomb in his honeymoon suite and wakes up. He examines the strange coin and realizes it is a coppermind. Wax taps the memory and looks through the eyes of the Sovereign.
Following completion of The Alloy of Law Brandon plotted out three more books, following the same characters, to finish the story. The second of these is The Bands of Mourning. During the later half of 2014 Brandon was having difficulty getting back into the story for Shadows of Self, he had previously written a third or so of it in 2012 between drafts of A Memory of Light. Therefore he jumped ahead to write The Bands of Mourning, before going back and finishing Shadows of Self.
According to the cover blurb the title refers to the Lord Ruler's bracers, which hold mythological significance in the post-Final Ascension world.
Cover Art Gallery
|Era 1 books||Mistborn: The Final Empire · The Well of Ascension · The Hero of Ages · (Mistborn: Secret History · The Eleventh Metal)|
|Era 2 books||The Alloy of Law · Shadows of Self · The Bands of Mourning · The Lost Metal · (Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania)|
|Shards||Preservation · Ruin · Harmony|
|History||Classical Scadrial · Final Empire · Catacendre · Elendel · Southern Scadrian|
|Magic||Metallic Arts (Allomancy, Feruchemy, Hemalurgy) · Metalborn · Mistborn · Misting · Savant · Ferring · Twinborn · Compounding · Atium · Lerasium · Ettmetal|
|Other Media||Mistborn Adventure Game · Mistborn: Birthright · Mistborn film · Mistborn: House War|