The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn Series #6)

The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn Series #6)

3.9 17
by Brandon Sanderson

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The #1 New York Times bestselling author returns to the world of Mistborn with the follow-up to Shadows of Self

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


The #1 New York Times bestselling author returns to the world of Mistborn with the follow-up to Shadows of Self

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. 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. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The sixth Mistborn industrial revolution fantasy (after Shadows of Self)—and the second featuring crime-fighter Waxillium Ladrian and his sidekick, Wayne—is more steampunk than dystopian. The novel kicks off with Wax’s wedding to Lady Steris, but the festivities are put on hold after an inconvenient flood, and then Wax learns that Harmony, one of the Faceless Immortals, is incommunicado. Soon Wax and Wayne head off to hunt for the Bands of Mourning, a mythical artifact associated with long-defeated Lord Ruler. This quest is classic Sanderson, with magic, intrigue, and witty repartee. All the familiar elements from the earlier Mistborn novels are here, including the metal-based magics of allomancy, feruchemy, and the forbidden art of hemalurgy (about which more is revealed over the course of this story). Open questions from earlier adventures are finally addressed, and Sanderson skillfully weaves in new opportunities for the dynamic duo’s next adventure. Die-hard fans will be delighted to finally learn more about the mysterious southern lands they’ve previously heard about in passing. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Orson Scott Card

It's rare for a fiction writer to have much understanding of how leadership works and how love really takes root in the human heart. Sanderson is astonishingly wise.
From the Publisher

“Sanderson is an evil genius. There is simply no other way to describe what he's managed to pull off in this transcendent final volume of his Mistborn trilogy.” —RT Book Reviews (Gold Medal, Top Pick!) on The Hero of Ages

“It's rare for a fiction writer to have much understanding of how leadership works and how love really takes root in the human heart. Sanderson is astonishingly wise.” —Orson Scott Card

“Sanderson is crafting an extremely well-thought out saga with Mistborn, one that looks to stand above the pack of his literary peers. The magic system is perfectly detailed, the world, though not completely revealed, has a great sense of natural logic to it, and the characters are a reflection of both.” —SFFWorld

“Intrigue, politics, and conspiracies mesh complexly in a world Sanderson realizes in satisfying depth and peoples with impressive characters.” —Booklist on Mistborn

“Highly recommended to anyone hungry for a good read.” —Robin Hobb on Mistborn

“Enjoyable, adventurous read.” —Locus on Mistborn

Kirkus Reviews
A fantasy adventure about a race to discover, and control, magical artifacts of immense power. Waxillium Ladrian is settling down, or trying to. But first his wedding to the oddly endearing Steris hits a bit of a snag, and then some pesky shape-shifting immortals show up with wild stories of relics known as the Bands of Mourning, rumored to bestow immense magical power on anyone who holds them. Soon enough, he's off to the outlying city of New Seran, chasing down a legend—and his own uncle, who's part of a mysterious organization known as the Set trying to manipulate and control inborn magical abilities and who may be holding Wax's sister captive. This sequel to The Alloy of Law (2011) and Shadows of Self (2015) continues to push back the frontiers of Wax's world and raise questions about what justice is and what it means to be a good person. But it's the characters that are the real strength here: besides the conflicted, striving Wax, there's Wayne, who's more than just the comic relief, Marasi, who's forging her own identity in a changing world, and Steris, who's just not like anyone else. Fans of Wax and his companions will thoroughly enjoy this next installment of their absorbing adventures. A fast-paced novel that's part Wild West, part Indiana Jones, and wholly entertaining, combining high emotional stakes with a deep, good-natured sense of humor.

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Mistborn Series , #6
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.60(d)

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Read an Excerpt

The Bands of Mourning

A Mistborn Novel

By Brandon Sanderson, Moshe Feder

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2016 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-6267-8


Waxillium Ladrian hurried down the steps outside the bar-turned-hideout, passing constables in brown who bustled this way and that. The mists were already evaporating, dawn heralding the end of their vigil. He checked his arm, where a bullet had ripped a sizable hole through the cuff of his shirt and out the side of his jacket. He'd felt that one pass.

"Oi," Wayne said, hustling up beside him. "A good plan that one was, eh?"

"It was the same plan you always have," Wax said. "The one where I get to be the decoy."

"Ain't my fault people like to shoot at you, mate," Wayne said as they reached the coach. "You should be happy; you're usin' your talents, like me granners always said a man should do."

"I'd rather not have 'shootability' be my talent."

"Well, you gotta use what you have," Wayne said, leaning against the side of the carriage as Cob the coachman opened the door for Wax. "Same reason I always have bits of rat in my stew."

Wax looked into the carriage, with its fine cushions and rich upholstery, but didn't climb in.

"You gonna be all right?" Wayne asked.

"Of course I am," Wax said. "This is my second marriage. I'm an old hand at the practice by now."

Wayne grinned. "Oh, is that how it works? 'Cuz in my experience, marryin' is the one thing people seem to get worse at the more they do it. Well, that and bein' alive."

"Wayne, that was almost profound."

"Damn. I was aimin' for insightful."

Wax stood still, looking into the carriage. The coachman cleared his throat, still standing and holding the door open for him.

"Right pretty noose, that is," Wayne noted.

"Don't be melodramatic," Wax said, leaning to climb in.

"Lord Ladrian!" a voice called from behind.

Wax glanced over his shoulder, noting a tall man in a dark brown suit and bow tie pushing between a pair of constables. "Lord Ladrian," the man said, "could I have a moment, please?"

"Take them all," Wax said. "But do it without me."

"But —"

"I'll meet you there," Wax said, nodding to Wayne. He dropped a spent bullet shell, then Pushed himself into the air. Why waste time on a carriage?

Steel at a comfortable burn inside his stomach, he shoved on a nearby electric streetlight — still shining, though morning had arrived — and soared higher into the air. Elendel spread before him, a soot-stained marvel of a city, leaking smoke from a hundred thousand different homes and factories. Wax shoved off the steel frame of a half-finished building nearby, then sent himself in a series of leaping bounds across the Fourth Octant.

He passed over a field of carriages for hire, rows of vehicles waiting quietly in ranks, early morning workers looking up at him as he passed. One pointed; perhaps the mistcoat had drawn his attention. Coinshot couriers weren't an uncommon sight in Elendel, and men soaring through the air were rarely a point of interest.

A few more leaps took him over a series of warehouses in huddled rows. Wax thrilled in each jump. It was amazing how this could still feel so wonderful to him. The breeze in his face, the little moment of weightlessness when he hung at the very top of an arc.

All too soon, however, both gravity and duty reasserted themselves. He left the industrial district and crossed finer roadways, paved with pitch and gravel to create a smoother surface than cobbles for all those blasted motorcars. He spotted the Survivorist church easily, with its large glass and steel dome. Back in Weathering a simple wooden chapel had been sufficient, but that wasn't nearly grand enough for Elendel.

The design was to allow those who worshipped full view of the mists at night. Wax figured if they wanted to see the mists, they'd do better just stepping outside. But perhaps he was being cynical. After all, the dome — which was made of segments of glass between steel supports, making it look like the sections of an orange — was able to open inward and let the mist pour down for special occasions.

He landed on a rooftop water tower across from the church. Perhaps when it had been built, the church's dome had been tall enough to overshadow the surrounding buildings. It would have provided a nice profile. Now, buildings were rising taller and taller, and the church was dwarfed by its surroundings. Wayne would find a metaphor in that. Probably a crude one.

He perched on the water tower, looming over the church. So he was here, finally. He felt his eye begin to twitch, and an ache rose within him.

I think I loved you even on that day. So ridiculous, but so earnest. ...

Six months ago, he'd pulled the trigger. He could still hear the gunshot.

Standing up, he pulled himself together. He'd healed this wound once. He could do so again. And if that left his heart crusted with scar tissue, then perhaps that was what he needed. He leaped off the water tower, then slowed by dropping and Pushing on a shell casing.

He hit the street and strode past a long line of carriages. Guests were already in attendance — Survivorist tenets called for weddings either very early in the morning or late at night. Wax nodded to several people he passed, and couldn't help slipping his shotgun out of its holster and resting it on his shoulder as he hopped up the steps and shoved the door open before him with a Steelpush.

Steris paced in the foyer, wearing a sleek white dress that had been chosen because the magazines said it was fashionable. With her hair braided and her makeup done by a professional for the occasion, she was actually quite pretty.

He smiled when he saw her. His stress, his nervousness, melted away a little.

Steris looked up as soon as he entered, then hurried to his side. "And?"

"I didn't get killed," he said, "so there's that."

She glanced at the clock. "You're late," she said, "but not very late."

"I'm ... sorry?" She'd insisted he go on the raid. She'd planned for it, in fact. Such was life with Steris.

"I'm sure you did your best," Steris said, taking his arm. She was warm, and even trembling. Steris might be reserved, but unlike what some assumed, she wasn't emotionless.

"The raid?" she asked.

"Went well. No casualties." He walked with her to a side chamber, where Drewton — his valet — waited beside a table spread with Wax's white wedding suit. "You realize that by going on a raid on the morning of my wedding, I'll only reinforce this image that society has of me."

"Which image?"

"That of a ruffian," he said, taking off his mistcoat and handing it to Drewton. "A barely civilized lout from the Roughs who curses in church and goes to parties armed."

She glanced at his shotgun, which he'd tossed onto the sofa. "You enjoy playing with people's perceptions of you, don't you? You seek to make them uncomfortable, so they'll be off balance."

"It's one of the simple joys I have left, Steris." He smiled as Drewton unbuttoned his waistcoat. Then he pulled off both that and his shirt, leaving him bare-chested.

"I see I'm included in those you try to make uncomfortable," Steris said.

"I work with what I have," Wax said.

"Which is why you always have bits of rat in your stew?"

Wax hesitated in handing his clothing to Drewton. "He said that to you too?"

"Yes. I'm increasingly convinced he tries the lines out on me." She folded her arms. "The little mongrel."

"Not going to leave as I change?" Wax asked, amused.

"We're to be married in less than an hour, Lord Waxillium," she said. "I think I can stand to see you bare-chested. As a side note, you're the Pathian. Prudishness is part of your belief system, not mine. I've read of Kelsier. From what I've studied, I doubt he'd care if —"

Wax undid the wooden buttons on his trousers. Steris blushed, before turning around and finally putting her back to him. She continued speaking a moment later, sounding flustered. "Well, at least you agreed to a proper ceremony."

Wax smiled, settling down in his undershorts and letting Drewton give his face a quick shave. Steris remained in place, listening. Finally, as Drewton was wiping the cream from Wax's face, she asked, "You have the pendants?"

"Gave them to Wayne."

"You ... What?"

"I thought you wanted some disturbances at the wedding," Wax said, standing and taking the new set of trousers from Drewton. He slipped them on. He hadn't worn white much since returning from the Roughs. It was harder to keep clean out there, which had made it worth wearing. "I figured this would work."

"I wanted planned disturbances, Lord Waxillium," Steris snapped. "It's not upsetting if it's understood, prepared for, and controlled. Wayne is rather the opposite of those things, wouldn't you say?"

Wax did up his buttons and Drewton took his shirt off the hanger nearby. Steris turned around immediately upon hearing the sound, arms still folded, and didn't miss a beat — refusing to acknowledge that she'd been embarrassed. "I'm glad I had copies made."

"You made copies of our wedding pendants?"

"Yes." She chewed her lip a moment. "Six sets."


"The other four didn't arrive in time."

Wax grinned, doing up the buttons on his shirt, then letting his valet handle the cuffs. "You're one of a kind, Steris."

"Technically, so is Wayne — and actually so was Ruin, for that matter. If you consider it, that's not much of a compliment."

Wax strapped on suspenders, then let Drewton fuss with his collar. "I don't get it, Steris," he said, standing stiffly as the valet worked. "You prepare so thoroughly for things to go wrong — like you know and expect that life is unpredictable."

"Yes, and?"

"And life is unpredictable. So the only thing you do by preparing for disturbances is ensure that something else is going to go wrong."

"That's a rather fatalistic viewpoint."

"Living in the Roughs does that to a fellow." He eyed her, standing resplendent in her dress, arms crossed, tapping her left arm with her right index finger.

"I just ... feel better when I try," Steris finally said. "It's like, if everything goes wrong, at least I tried. Does that make any sense?"

"As a matter of fact, I think it does."

Drewton stepped back, satisfied. The suit came with a very nice black cravat and vest. Traditional, which Wax preferred. Bow ties were for salesmen. He slid on the jacket, tails brushing the backs of his legs. Then, after a moment's hesitation, he strapped on his gunbelt and slid Vindication into her holster. He'd worn a gun to his last wedding, so why not this one? Steris nodded in approval.

Shoes went last. A new pair. They'd be hideously uncomfortable. "Are we late enough yet?" he asked Steris.

She checked the clock in the corner. "I planned for us to go in two minutes from now."

"Ah, delightful," he said, taking her arm. "That means we can be spontaneous and arrive early. Well, late-early."

She clung to his arm, letting him steer her down the side chamber toward the entrance to the dome, and the church proper. Drewton followed behind.

"Are you ... certain you wish to proceed?" Steris asked, stopping him before they entered the walkway to the dome.

"Having second thoughts?"

"Absolutely not," Steris said immediately. "This union is quite beneficial to my house and status." She took Wax's left hand in both of hers. "But Lord Waxillium," she said softly, "I don't want you to feel trapped, particularly after what happened to you earlier this year. If you wish to back out, I will accept it as your will."

The way she clutched his hand as she said those words sent a very different message. But she didn't seem to notice. Looking at her, Wax found himself wondering. When he'd first agreed to the marriage, he'd done so out of duty to his house.

Now, he felt his emotions shifting. The way she'd been there for him these last months as he'd grieved ... The way she looked at him right now ...

Rust and Ruin. He was actually fond of Steris. It wasn't love, but he doubted he would love again. This would do.

"No, Steris," he said. "I would not back out. That ... wouldn't be fair to your house, and the money you have spent."

"The money doesn't —"

"It's all right," Wax said, giving her hand a little squeeze. "I have recovered enough from my ordeal. I'm strong enough to do this."

Steris opened her mouth to reply, but a knock at the door heralded Marasi sticking her head in to check on them. With dark hair and softer, rounder features than Steris, Marasi wore bright red lipstick and a progressive lady's attire — a pleated skirt, with a tight buttoned jacket.

"Finally," she said. "Crowd is getting fidgety. Wax, there's a man here wanting to see you. I've been trying to send him away, but ... well ..."

She came into the room and held the door open, revealing the same slender man in the brown suit and bow tie from before, standing with the ash girls in the antechamber that led to the dome proper.

"You," Wax said. "How did you get here before Wayne?"

"I don't believe your friend is coming," the man said. He stepped in beside Marasi and nodded to her, then closed the doors, shutting out the ash girls. He turned and tossed Wax a wadded-up ball of paper.

When Wax caught it, it clinked. Unfolding it revealed the two wedding pendants. Scrawled on the paper were the words: Gonna go get smashed till I can't piss straight. Happy weddings 'n stuff.

"Such beautiful imagery," Steris observed, taking Wax's wedding pendant in a white-gloved hand as Marasi looked over his shoulder to read the note. "At least he didn't forget these."

"Thank you," Wax said to the man in brown, "but as you can see, I'm quite busy getting married. Whatever you need from me can —"

The man's face turned translucent, displaying the bones of his skull and spine beneath.

Steris stiffened. "Holy One," she whispered.

"Holy pain," Wax said. "Tell Harmony to get someone else this time. I'm busy."

"Tell ... Harmony ..." Steris mumbled, her eyes wide.

"Unfortunately, this is part of the problem," the man in brown said, his skin returning to normal. "Harmony has been distracted as of late."

"How can God be distracted?" Marasi asked.

"We're not sure, but it has us worried. I need you, Waxillium Ladrian. I have a job you'll find of interest. I realize you're off to the ceremony, but afterward, if I could have a moment of your time ..."

"No," Wax said.

"But —"


Wax pulled Steris by the arm, shoving open the doors, striding past Marasi, leaving the kandra. It had been six months since those creatures had manipulated him, played him, and lied to him. The result? A dead woman in his arms.


"Was that really one of the Faceless Immortals?" Steris said, looking over her shoulder.

"Yes, and for obvious reasons I want nothing to do with them."

"Peace," she said, holding his arm. "Do you need a moment?"


"You're sure?"

Wax stopped in place. She waited, and he breathed in and out, banishing from his mind that awful, awful scene when he'd knelt on a bridge alone, holding Lessie. A woman he realized he'd never actually known.

"I'm all right," he said to Steris through clenched teeth. "But God should have known not to come for me. Particularly not today."

"Your life is ... decidedly odd, Lord Waxillium."

"I know," he said, moving again, stepping with her beside the last door before they entered the dome. "Ready?"

"Yes, thank you." Was she ... teary-eyed? It was an expression of emotion he'd never seen from her.

"Are you all right?" he asked.

"Yes," she said. "Forgive me. It's just ... more wonderful than I'd imagined."

They pushed open the doors, revealing the glistening dome, sunlight streaming through it and upon the waiting crowd. Acquaintances. Distant family members. Seamstresses and forgeworkers from his house. Wax sought out Wayne, and was surprised when he didn't find the man, despite the note. He was the only real family Wax had.

The ash girls scampered out, sprinkling small handfuls of ash on the carpeted walkway that ringed the perimeter of the dome. Wax and Steris started forward in a stately walk, presenting themselves for those in attendance. There was no music at a Survivorist ceremony, but a few crackling braziers with green leaves on top let smoke trail upward to represent the mist.

Smoke ascends while ash falls, he thought, remembering the priest's words from his youth, back when he'd attended Survivorist ceremonies. They walked all the way around the crowd. At least Steris's family had made a decent showing, her father included — the red-faced man gave Waxillium an enthusiastic fist-raise as they passed.

Wax found himself smiling. This was what Lessie had wanted. They'd joked time and time again about their simple Pathian ceremony, finalized on horseback to escape a mob. She said that someday, she'd make him do it proper.

Sparkling crystal. A hushed crowd. Footsteps on scrunching carpet dappled with grey ash. His smile widened, and he looked to the side.

But of course, the wrong woman was there.

He almost stumbled. Idiot man, he thought. Focus. This day was important to Steris; the least he could do was not ruin it. Or rather, not ruin it in a way she hadn't expected. Whatever that meant.


Excerpted from The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson, Moshe Feder. Copyright © 2016 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

BRANDON SANDERSON grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He lives in Utah with his wife and children and teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University. In addition to completing Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time®, he is the author of such bestsellers as the Mistborn trilogy, Warbreaker, The Alloy of Law, The Way of Kings, Rithmatist, and Steelheart. He won the 2013 Hugo Award for "The Emperor's Soul," a novella set in the world of his acclaimed first novel, Elantris. For behind-the-scenes information on all his books, visit

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Bands of Mourning 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great addition to mistborn world i look forward to the next installment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bit shorter than expected but still exciting to read. Can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous 11 days ago
The series has been very enjoyable to read and am looking forward to the next book
Trish-I_read_too_much More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying I missed reading book 5 (heck, I hardly realized book 5 was out before book 6 popped up), so I have only a vague idea of what happened and a not-so-vague idea that I should definitely read that one, and soon. Anyhow, book 6 features the chaotic sleuthing of Waxillium Ladrian and his irreverent sidekick, Wayne, joined by Steris, Marasi, and MeLaan, all while a thickening plot by Wax’s nefarious uncle and a mysterious organization called The Set threaten the tenuous peace of the settled lands around Elendel. There are so many things I love about this book. First of these, though, are the jovial humor and intrinsic likeability of the characters (at least of the good guys). Wayne’s very much my favorite character, though I had trouble remembering who he was at first (it’s been awhile since I’ve read The Alloy of Law). He’s the ultimate chaotic-good character: the rogue, the thief, but loyal and with an odd sense of right vs. wrong, also delightfully unpredictable. And of course, Wax. He’s really the star of the whole thing: the hero, fighting against all odds, figuring things out, sometimes too late to do anything about them, but always ready to act. Then again, Marasi, Steris, and MeLaan definitely hold their own. Merasi’s much stronger and confident than I remember her being in The Allow of Law, and Steris is much more complex and interesting than she seems at first glance. Then there’s MeLaan, fascinating. These three, though not necessarily the focus of the book, are vital to it, and each display an admirable strength of character and will. So, yeah, the characters really bring this story to life, just as in all the previous books in this series. And the action. Wow. The action draws the story along, promising one outcome, but often delivering another. I really had trouble putting this down. Each chapter melds into the next in a satisfying and infuriating way that kept me up way too late for several nights in a row. Totally worth it, though. Totally. So, overall, I loved this story and would strongly recommend it to those who love action-packed adventure, fascinating and structured magic, and plenty of wit and humor. If you haven’t already read the other books in the series, I’d recommend picking up all six and reading them in order. My homework is to go forth and read book 5. I would have done so first had I not had a review deadline that coincided with the release of book 6. Anyway, no regrets. None. One thing I love about Sanderson’s books is that they’re all immensely re-readable. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and wrote this review for the blog at
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Filled in a few holes of questions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That suxs. Van i dead too irl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeping this spoiler free... Dropping a bomb at the end of Bands and immeideatly releasing a short dealing with that revelation, brilliant. Whoever's idea that was, needs a raise Not mentioning at all that both are exelent reads
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you loved the rest of this series. You'll love this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks for coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*walks in with all black on*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She walked in silently. "I only knew Kase breifly," she began. "I met him when he had a run in with wolves and I healed his face for him. From what I knew meeting him, he was a great person. With a knack for burning trees... He will be missed greatly by all," she fell silent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*she sits down*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago