The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I began the first trilogy knowing nothing and then being blown away. I started the second trilogy going, "Huh?", but eventually warming to the interesting characters and setting. After all, the magic system still rocked and turning the series into a western wasn't *that* far out of the realms of possibility.
I wasn't blown away by book 4. I thought book 5 was a good deal better, enjoying the dialog between Wax and Wayne more and more and thoroughly enjoying the thread of lost love and evil gods (and ineffectual good ones, too. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Harmony.) The new world was one I could respect and like, but I never got to the point where I really loved it.
And then this book came around, and after what I thought was a tiny rough beginning, I was delighted to see just how much I loved Wayne's sequence. There was a lot of real beauty in the writing, like a dance of pure chicanery, and I delighted in it. And then, of course, we got Wax's marriage to the wonderful Steris, who is every bit of a match for him, smart and oh-so-damn-prepared. Can I tell you how endearing this woman is with her damn lists? Well, yeah, I guess I can. :)
What really makes this novel stands out, though, is not the adventure into steampunkland or the straight adventure into finding the Lord Ruler's own metalmind that allows the wearer full access to all 16 metals and ferrochemical attributes, but the fact that it was done well. We got the huge magical sequence that is reminiscent more of the first trilogy than the more modest (and down-to-earth) effects of books 4 and 5. We've got some big things coming, and I that leads me to make one last comment.
I've officially moved from a respect and liking for the second series to a deep and profound love. I've finally warmed to it. The characters really stand out in my mind and they're still talking and quipping, and I'm getting a whole bunch of warm and fuzzies. :)
I can honestly say it's only getting better, and all my so-so feelings about the last two have evaporated like mist. :)
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