Read The Bands of Mourning Online

Authors: Brandon Sanderson

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #United States, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Epic

The Bands of Mourning

BOOK: The Bands of Mourning


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Who keeps putting up with a bunch of crazy writers as friends,
And finds time to make our books better all the while.



This book comes out in the year that will mark the tenth anniversary of the Mistborn series. Considering all the other things I’ve been doing, it seems like six books in ten years is a grand accomplishment! I can still remember the early months, writing the trilogy furiously, trying to craft something that would really show off what I can do as a writer. Mistborn has become one of my hallmark series, and I hope that you find this volume a worthy entry in the canon.

As always, this book involved the efforts of a great number of people. There’s the excellent art by Ben McSweeney and Isaac Stewarϯ—maps and icons by Isaac, with all the broadsheet art done by Ben. Both also helped a great deal on the text of the broadsheet, and Isaac himself wrote the Nicki Savage piece for it—since the idea was to have Jak hiring out his work now, we wanted to give that a different voice. I think it turned out great!

The cover art was done by Chris McGrath in the US, and by Sam Green for the UK edition. Both are longtime artists on this series, and their art keeps getting better. Editorial was done by Moshe Feder at Tor, with Simon Spanton shepherding the project over at Gollancz in the UK. Agents on the project included Eddie Schneider, Sam Morgan, Krystyna Lopez, Christa Atkinson, and Tae Keller at Jabberwocky in the US, all overseen by the amazing Joshua Bilmes. In the UK you can thank John Berlyne of the Zeno Agency, an all-around awesome guy who worked hard for many years to finally break my books into the UK.

At Tor Books, I’d also like to thank Tom Doherty, Linda Quinton, Marco Palmieri, Karl Gold, Diana Pho, Nathan Weaver, and Rafal Gibek. Copyediting was done by Terry McGarry. The audiobook narrator is Michael Kramer, my personal favorite narrator—and one I know I’m probably making blush right now, as he has to read this line to you all who are listening. At Macmillan Audio, I’d like to thank Robert Allen, Samantha Edelson, and Mitali Dave.

Continuity, all-around editing feedback, and countless other jobs were done by the Immaculate Peter Ahlstrom. Also working here on my team are Kara Stewart, Karen Ahlstrom, and Adam Horne. And, of course, my lovely wife, Emily.

We leaned extra hard on my beta readers for this one, as the book didn’t have the chance to go through writing group. That team is: Peter Ahlstrom, Alice Arneson, Gary Singer, Eric James Stone, Brian T. Hill, Kristina Kugler, Kim Garrett, Bob Kluttz, Jakob Remick, Karen Ahlstrom, Kalyani Poluri, Ben “wooo this book is dedicated to me, look how important I am” Olsen, Lyndsey Luther, Samuel Lund, Bao Pham, Aubree Pham, Megan Kanne, Jory Phillips, Trae Cooper, Christi Jacobsen, Eric Lake, and Isaac Stewarϯ. (For those wondering, Ben was a founding member of my original writing group with Dan Wells and Peter Ahlstrom. A computer person by trade, and the only one of us in that original group who had no aspirations toward working in publishing, he’s been a valued reader and friend for many years. He also introduced me to the Fallout series, so there’s that as well.) Community proofreaders included most of the above plus: Kerry Wilcox, David Behrens, Ian McNatt, Sarah Fletcher, Matt Wiens, and Joe Dowswell.

Well, that was a mouthful! These folks are wonderful, and if you compare my early books to my later ones, I think you’ll find that the assistance of these people has been invaluable in not only slaying typos but also helping me tighten narratives. Finally, though, I’d like to thank you readers for sticking with me these ten years, and being willing to accept the strange ideas I throw at you. Mistborn is not quite halfway through the evolution I have planned for it. I can’t wait for you to see what is coming your way, and this book is where some of that finally starts to be revealed.




“Telsin!” Waxillium hissed as he crept out of the training hut.

Glancing back, Telsin winced and crouched lower. At sixteen, Waxillium’s sister was one year older than he was. Her long dark hair framed a button nose and prim lips, and colorful V shapes ran up the front of her traditional Terris robes. Those always seemed to fit her in a way his never did. On Telsin, they were elegant. Waxillium felt like he was wearing a sack.

“Go away, Asinthew,” she said, inching around the side of the hut.

“You’re going to miss evening recitation.”

“They won’t notice I’m gone. They never check.”

Inside the hut, Master Tellingdwar droned on about proper Terris attitudes. Submission, meekness, and what they called “respectful dignity.” He was speaking to the younger students; the older ones, like Waxillium and his sister, were supposed to be meditating.

Telsin scrambled away, moving through the forested area of Elendel referred to simply as the Village. Waxillium fretted, then hurried after his sister.

“You’re going to get into trouble,” he said once he caught up. He followed her around the trunk of an enormous oak tree. “You’re going to get
into trouble.”

“So?” she said. “What is it with you and rules anyway?”

“Nothing,” he said. “I just—”

She stalked off into the forest. He sighed and trailed after her, and eventually they met up with three other Terris youths: two girls and a tall boy. Kwashim, one of the girls, looked Waxillium up and down. She was dark-skinned and slender. “You brought

“He followed me,” Telsin said.

Waxillium smiled at Kwashim hopefully, then at Idashwy, the other girl. She had wide-set eyes and was his own age. And Harmony … she was gorgeous. She noticed his attention on her and blinked a few times, then glanced away, a demure smile on her lips.

“He’ll tell on us,” Kwashim said, drawing his attention away from the other girl. “You know he will.”

“I won’t,” Waxillium snapped.

Kwashim gave Waxillium a glare. “You might miss evening class. Who’ll answer all the questions? It will be rusting quiet in the classroom with nobody to fawn over the teacher.”

Forch, the tall boy, stood just inside the shadows. Waxillium didn’t look at Forch, didn’t meet his eyes.
He doesn’t know, right? He can’t know.
Forch was the oldest of them, but rarely said much.

He was Twinborn, like Waxillium. Not that either of them used their Allomancy much these days. In the Village, it was their Terris side—their Feruchemy—that was lauded. The fact that both he and Forch were Coinshots didn’t matter to the Terris.

“Let’s go,” Telsin said. “No more arguing. We probably don’t have much time. If my brother wants to tag along, then fine.”

They followed her beneath the canopy, feet crackling on leaves. With this much foliage, you could easily forget you were in the middle of an enormous city. The sounds of shouting men and iron-shod hooves on cobbles were distant, and you couldn’t see or smell the smoke in here. The Terris worked hard to keep their section of the city tranquil, quiet, peaceful.

Waxillium should have loved it here.

The group of five youths soon approached the Synod’s Lodge, where the ranking Terris elders had their offices. Telsin waved for the group of them to wait while she hurried up to a particular window to listen. Waxillium found himself looking about, anxious. Evening was approaching, the forest growing dim, but
could walk along and find them.

Don’t worry so much,
he told himself. He needed to join in their antics like his sister did. Then they’d see him as one of them. Right?

Sweat trickled down the sides of his face. Nearby, Kwashim leaned against a tree, completely unconcerned, a smirk growing on her lips as she noticed how nervous he was. Forch stood in the shadows, not crouching, but
—he could have been one of the trees, for all the emotion he showed. Waxillium glanced at Idashwy, with her large eyes, and she blushed, looking away.

Telsin snuck back to them. “She’s in there.”

“That’s our grandmother’s office,” Waxillium said.

“Of course it is,” Telsin said. “And she got called into her office for an emergency. Right, Idashwy?”

The quiet girl nodded. “I saw Elder Vwafendal running past my meditation room.”

Kwashim grinned. “So she won’t be watching.”

“Watching what?” Waxillium asked.

“The Tin Gate,” Kwashim said. “We can get out into the city. This is going to be even easier than usual!”

“Usual?” Waxillium said, looking in horror from Kwashim to his sister. “You’ve done this

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