That’s a wrap, folks! Brandon Sanderson closed out Mistborn era two with an explosive climax. Not only that, but The Lost Metal is by far the most Cosmere-aware book he’s released to date. With that in mind, I encourage you to steer clear of this review if you aren’t already deep into the Comsere’s many mysteries. Need a primer? We’ll update our Cosmere reading order tomorrow to include The Lost Metal. For now, let’s review this amazing conclusion. I’m not about to spoil the major plot points, but I do encourage you to stay away until you’ve read the book.
The Lost Metal takes place six years after the events of The Bands of Mourning. Waxillium Ladrian is married with kids, and tensions between the Elendel Basin in the North and the Malwish in the south are rising. The mysterious god Trell and their followers are threatening the very existence of Scadrial. Wax, Wayne, Marasi (now a constable), Steris, and the gang set out to stop Trell’s followers from destroying civilization.
This, of course, is a woefully inadequate summary of the events leading to the Wax and Wayne era’s climax. The best way to prime yourself for The Lost Metal is to read the series leading up to it. However, there’s another wrench in the gears here. The machinations of Cosmere actors and world hoppers have been relegated to the background (for the most part). That changes drastically in The Lost Metal. If a reader approaches this book with only the previous six Mistborn books and the Secret History novella under their belt, they will probably 1) enjoy this book quite a bit and 2) be very confused about some of the things that happen, and some of the people who show up.
In other words, Sanderson’s gloves are off. A $42-million Kickstarter, looming movie deals, and the approaching finale of Stormlight era 1 create a perfect storm for Sanderson to bring characters and magic systems from disparate worlds together.
What does that mean for a full-fledged Cosmere superfan like me? It means holy SHIT this book is a ton of fun. I laughed. I cried. I gasped, sparking questions from my wife, who is only up to Warbreaker so far. “I can’t tell you what I’m gasping about,” I told her. The payoffs in this book are fun and big. But in a way, I still feel like Sanderson is holding back. I expect Stormlight five will be the real big guns, the Avengers moment, if you will. Still, The Lost Metal makes good on the promises of the series so far. It advances character arcs in significant and hard-hitting ways. And it unites elements of the Cosmere in a way Sanderson hasn’t done before.
I’ll take a few moments now to talk about the actual book, and not just the many other books related to it. I loved so much about it. Wayne has long been my favorite, because I am a normal person who breathes air. Wayne’s arc in this story is my favorite, and it’s not close. Though he’s matched up with a beautiful Marasi arc about finding yourself and seeking purpose, the hat-wearing, wisecracking, potty-mouthed dueler wins the day. Wayne fans will not be disappointed.
Wax’s storyline is good and about what I expected. He deals with a similar story to Vin from the first trilogy, grappling with different identities he doesn’t believe can co-exist. His relationship with Steris is as lovely as ever (and she finally gets some amazing moments in this book, go Steris!). His four-book-long identity crisis finally feels grounded in reality, which feels like an accomplishment after the Shadows of Self twist pulls the rug out from under everything we knew of him.
And then there’s the plot! How juicy! How delectable! The Lost Metal is a triumph in that it ties the knot on plotlines Sanderson laid groundwork for early on, even as far back as Vin’s trilogy. To stick the landing with so many internal plotlines and external reveals from off-world is a tightrope act, but Sanderson’s got equilibrium for days.
The Lost Metal ends in the best way it could’ve in my opinion. I couldn’t think of a stronger ending, and maybe that’s why Sanderson gets paid the big bucks while I review his work for free! Again, not gonna bother spoiling anything, no matter how small, but I think longtime readers will really appreciate how this arc closes. Hints about the future of the Mistborn story and Scadrial abound. It may be years before we return to this world in a full novel, but it’s certain to be a treat when we do.
The Lost Metal: no notes. I loved it. Word of caution to hold off if you want big Cosmere payoffs, but otherwise, it’s an exceptional book.