Book three of four planned entries in the Wax and Wayne arc of the Mistborn series, "The Bands of Mourning" provides a story that's much lighter — but still thought-provoking — than its predecessor, "Shadows of Self."
After a disaster derails Lord Waxillium Ladrian's wedding, he and his band of misfits are recruited on an archaeology expedition the likes of which Indiana Jones would approve.
A kandra researcher has returned with pictures of the Bands of Mourning, the Lord Ruler's mythical metalminds that grant the wearer untold powers. Unfortunately, the kandra is also missing a hemalurgic spike — rendering him insane and his account garbled.
After much convincing and evidence that his sister, Telsin, is being held hostage by their Uncle Edwarn, Wax and company set off to look for the metalminds.
The novel is more evenly paced then the last installment and retains the cheeky exchanges between characters with Wayne providing his trademark comic relief.
Additionally, the characters show real development by coming to terms with loss, love and duty, especially after some of the angst in "Shadows of Self."
New characters add some interesting elements in addition to fleshing out the world. In particular, MeLaan, a kandra who has been in the previous books but has a much larger part in "The Bands of Mourning," provides spice and refreshing confidence among the female characters, and Allik, a mask-wearing man whom the team rescues, has some valid ruminations on civility and barbarianism.
Utah author Brandon Sanderson originally planned for there to be three Mistborn arcs or eras, but the Wax and Wayne books expanded that number to four. Sanderson has explained the Wax and Wayne series, which is set after the original Mistborn trilogy, as Mistborn series 1.5.
“This means there will still be a contemporary trilogy and a science fiction trilogy in the future,” he said on his blog.
The final Wax and Wayne novel is tentatively planned to be released in fall 2018, according to Sanderson's blog.
"The Bands of Mourning" contains violent scenes as well as some suggestive comments and brief nudity.