Shadows of Self

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<Shadows of Self>
Shadows of Self US Hardcover.jpg
Mistborn Era 2
Follows The Alloy of Law
Precedes The Bands of Mourning
Setting Scadrial, Cosmere
Released October 6, 2015[1]
Publisher Tor Books

Shadows of Self is the second book set in Mistborn Era 2. It was released on October 6 2015.[1]

An excerpt was released on Brandon's website which involves preparation for Wax and Steris's wedding.

Cover Synopsis[edit]

With The Alloy of Law, 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.

The trilogy’s heroes are now figures of myth and legend, even objects of religious veneration. They are succeeded by wonderful new characters, chief among them Waxillium Ladrian, known as Wax, hereditary Lord of House Ladrian but also, until recently, a lawman in the ungoverned frontier region known as the Roughs. There he worked with his eccentric but effective buddy, Wayne. They are “twinborn,” meaning they are able to use both Allomantic and Feruchemical magic.

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.

Shadows of Self will give fans of The Alloy of Law everything they’ve been hoping for and, this being a Brandon Sanderson book, more, much more.

Plot Summary[edit]


Wax is an inexperienced and naïve bounty hunter determined to make a difference in the Roughs. He is hunting Granite Joe, with a teenage Wayne tagging along as his assistant. He runs into a woman named Lessie who is also trying for Granite Joe, and they agree to team up and split the bounty. They find him in the basement of a saloon, and there is a fight. It looks like Lessie is about to betray him, but she shoots Joe instead. They quickly hit it off and leave together.

Part 1

A year after the capture and execution of Miles Hundredlives, Wax and Steris plan for their wedding. Wax works as a special constable. Wayne barges in and reports that an infamous thief has been spotted, and they give chase with Marasi, who is also working in the constabulary now as an assistant to Constable-General Aradel. The criminal is known as the Marksman and has styled himself as a Robin Hood figure. They chase him into the slums, and Wayne uses some clever disguises to hunt him down. He is captured but almost immediately killed by an assassin before they can bring him in.

They are called away to investigate another incident, this one the murder of the brother of the governor and a whole bunch of criminals and shady nobles in his home. It appears to be the work of a feruchemist.

Part 2

Elendel is in a state of unrest. Food prices and unemployment are high, the people are tired of the corruption in the noble-controlled government, and working conditions for those who are employed are poor and unsafe. An assassination attempt is made on the governor. Harmony talks directly to Wax through his earring and asks for his help in finding Paalm, a kandra who calls herself Bleeder and is causing havoc in the city.

Wax and the gang go to Lady ZoBell's party to try to find her. He starts hearing her voice in his head while he wears his earring. She wants to "free" the people of the city from Harmony. He chases a man playing the part of a server, but loses him in the mists. He instead walks into an ambush of Set operatives, but he gets some help from MeLaan, a kandra who has been sent from Harmony to help him.

As the evening progresses, more events stoke the unrest, threatening to throw the city into complete chaos. Paalm dresses as a Pathian priest and murders a Survivorist priest to sow religious discord. She makes an attempt on the governor’s life again, but Wax gives chase, and she escapes. He finds evidence that she’s been in the kandra Homeland, so he goes there and meets TenSoon. They are both attacked by savage beasts—people transformed into an unknown hemalurgic construct. Wax figures that this was all a distraction and hurries back to try to protect the governor.

Part 3

The governor is preparing to speak to the mob gathered around the mansion, and Wax realizes that the governor is really Bleeder. Wayne had already figured that out and got captured. Bleeder flees the scene and Wax catches up to her on a bridge. She removes her mask and reveals the face of Lessie. Wax shoots her with a special bullet – a bullet forged from his earring – allowing Harmony to gain control over Paalm again. She chooses to die instead, and reveals that she was Lessie all along. She had been sent by Harmony to watch over Wax. Wax is furious at Harmony for making him kill her a second time.

Meanwhile, at the mansion, MeLaan’s attempt to impersonate the governor doesn’t go well, but Aradel arrests “him” for corruption, promising to the crowd to arrest more nobles and clean up the corruption. The city is preserved and Aradel becomes interim governor.


Wax is in a deep depression. Only Steris can comfort him, offering no words, just a shoulder to cry on.


Following completion of The Alloy of Law Brandon plotted out three more books following the same characters to finish the story, the first of which is Shadows of Self. Brandon wrote the first third or so of Shadows of Self in 2012 between drafts of A Memory of Light to keep from being burned out. The book was then shelved until the later half of 2014. He however had difficulty re-acquainting himself with the characters and story, which is a common problem for him when he stops work on a story part-way through. To remedy this he jumped ahead and wrote the sequel, The Bands of Mourning, before going back finishing Shadows of Self.[3]

Brandon has explained that the title "Shadows of Self" refers to the multiple roles a person occupies over the course of their life, as well as to the inclusion of a kandra character.[4][5]


  • Reddit Fantasy Stabby Award for Best Novel of 2015[6]

Cover Art Gallery[edit]

Statistical Analysis[edit]


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