Moving on down my reading list, I am now up to the fifth overall book set in the Mistborn universe and the second from the Wax and Wayne cycle. I’ve really gotten into this series over the past few months and am excited to continue my journey in this world. Although my thoughts below contain one or two minor spoilers, they are pretty tame compared to some of the other reviews I came across after I had finished reading.
This book takes place about a year after Wax’s defeat of the Vanishers and discovery of the Set conspiracy. In it we find Elendel a city teetering on the edge of crisis as mounting social unrest over food shortages and factory working conditions is threatening to boil over into widespread protests against the nobility-dominated government. When the governor’s brother is found murdered in his mansion along with a host of prominent criminal leaders and lesser nobility, the authorities are desperate to solve the crime before a major scandal leads to chaos in the streets. Wax and Wayne, in their capacity as special constables, join the investigation as the killer embarks on a campaign of terror throughout the city, intent on inciting an enraged populace against both the government and the nobility. It’s not long, however, before Wax discovers that the killer is something much more dangerous, and deadly, than even the highly skilled Twinborn they initially suspect. Fortunately some unexpected allies emerge that just might be enough to help restore order.
Another strong entry in the series, this book was packed full of action and intrigue. The main arc involving the hunt for the killer was exhilarating, and I enjoyed how the author mixed in a touch of urban politics as an added dimension to the story. I am curious to see how the social unrest plays out in the remaining books and the extent to which it will be leveraged by the Set, especially since Wax and his allies are mostly sympathetic to the complaints brought forth by the protesters. Regarding some of the other developments, I was a bit skeptical at first about (minor spoiler) the return of the kandra, but their re-emergence was handled well and my worry that this book would feel repetitive of the Well of Ascension proved to be unfounded. The major revelation at the end relating to Wax was pretty shocking and made me really think back on how the story has progressed thus far. Likewise the scenes with Harmony left me wondering about not only past events, but also what the extent of his powers are and what his place within this universe really is. I can’t help but wonder when and where the larger Cosmere will come into play within this series (and if it hasn’t already).
As for the characters, the entire cast was once again excellent. I am really enjoying this group and how they give the series its own distinct feeling from the originals. I like Wax a lot as the protagonist and Wayne brings a sense of levity that wasn’t quite as pronounced among Vin’s associates. For Marasi, it was nice to see her move up in the world and become a detective. Her character needed a clear role going forward and this suits her skill set and sense of justice perfectly. The interactions between this trio remained one of the highlights of the book and putting Marasi on more equal footing gives her character a solid reason for her continuing adventures with Wax and Wayne.
Upon finishing this book, I couldn’t wait to get started on the next one. This story felt like a huge moment in the series, not only impacting the current characters but also giving them some additional context in relation to the original trilogy as well. Between these connections and the huge surprise at the end, I am very excited to see where the story goes from here!