Review: Shadows of Self
This is a review for something that is sort of part 5 of a series and is also sort of part 2 of a series inside that series. So I feel like the first relevant issue we should talk about is when you should read this book. So you could go all the way back to the beginning of the series, but this takes place thousands(?) of years before the events of this story. I think I would say that it's not necessary. You can pick this up at the start of this second layer of the Mistborn series which starts with the Alloy of Law.
And I wholeheartedly encourage you to pick up this series. The world of Mistborn is full of wonder and action and the expansion that starts in the Alloy of Law grows out of the more well known fantasy genre and into the age of guns and some blending of Victorian and Wild West. There's lot to add to the story if you know about the Mistborn books that came before, but the well thought and presented world of the Alloy of Law will grab you and make for good reading.
In the Shadows of Self, that continues and the world of Mistborn expands. In true Sanderson style the world is always building in the background while the primary story is there to keep you turning pages with lots of action and thoughtful examinations of a world that's still struggling from the last time it ended. By giving us the world and letting us watch it grow from three books back and thousands of years he's able to play with things like history and religion and traditions in a way that give us a nice layer for discussion about justice and society.
I admit that this is a tough review to write because I'm coming to this with so much of my own love over the full course of the series. I do think that this is going to be a series that lives on past our generation when we reach the conclusion of not just this but what comes after in the world of Mistborn. I encourage you to get on board now before these reviews get any tougher.
Shadows of Self gets three stars out of five.