The Bands of Mourning Book Summary (Mistborn #6)

the band of mourning book cover

The Bands of Mourning is the sixth book in Brandon Sanderson’s acclaimed Mistborn series, specifically the third installment in the Wax and Wayne series. Set in a world where the magical abilities of Allomancy and Feruchemy interplay within a rapidly industrializing society, the novel continues the adventures of Waxillium Ladrian, a nobleman, lawman, and Twinborn of considerable power.

Plot Overview

The story begins with Waxillium Ladrian, haunted by the loss of his beloved Lessie, as he navigates the complexities of Elendel society and its outskirts. A mysterious set of tracks leads him into a web of intrigue surrounding the mythical Bands of Mourning, artifacts said to bestow the powers of the Lord Ruler himself upon the wearer. As Wax, alongside his companions Wayne and Marasi, delve deeper into their search, they encounter a formidable enemy, the Set, with its own designs on the Bands.

The journey takes them to the city of New Seran, and eventually, to the southern ice-bound lands, revealing long-lost technologies and civilizations. Throughout their quest, they face moral dilemmas, betrayals, and revelations that challenge their understanding of history, magic, and their own identities.

Character Analysis

  • Waxillium Ladrian: Wax’s character is explored in depth, showcasing his struggle with duty and personal loss. His Twinborn abilities, combining Allomancy and Feruchemy, are pivotal to the narrative, but it’s his leadership and moral compass that drive the group forward.
  • Wayne: Serving as both comic relief and a skilled, empathetic ally, Wayne’s loyalty to Wax and his unique approach to problems add layers to the narrative. His ability to mimic others and his unconventional use of Allomancy are crucial at several points in the story.
  • Marasi Colms: Marasi’s growth from a law student in awe of Wax to a confident, capable detective and Allomancer in her own right is compelling. Her insights and bravery play a key role in unraveling the mystery of the Bands.
  • Steris Harms: Steris, Wax’s fiancĂ©e, emerges as a surprisingly complex character. Her meticulous planning and unexpected depth of understanding of Wax’s world bridge the gap between the nobility and the adventurers.

Themes and Analysis

Central themes include the exploration of legacy and identity, the clash between technology and magic, and the nature of power and governance. The novel delves into the idea that understanding and integrating past and present is crucial for progress. The search for the Bands of Mourning becomes a metaphor for the characters’ search for their own identities and destinies.

The narrative also critiques societal structures, highlighting disparities between the wealthy and the impoverished, and suggesting that true leadership lies in service and sacrifice.

Writing Style and Structure

The author’s approach is detailed, with a focus on building a vivid, immersive world. The formal tone and structured paragraphs contribute to a clear conveyance of complex plot points and magical systems. While humor is used sparingly, it effectively lightens the narrative’s density, making intricate concepts accessible. The lack of direct questions to the reader and the objective, information-driven narrative foster a space for readers to engage deeply with the text on their own terms.


The Bands of Mourning is a fantastic new story in Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere world. It has interesting characters, a complicated plot, and a world that feels so real. This book shows how talented Brandon Sanderson is as a writer. Whether you’ve been reading his books for a long time or you’re just starting, this one will grab your attention and keep you interested. You’ll be drawn into the story and won’t want to put it down!

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