This is a follow-on to a review of the Mistborn trilogy here.
Immediately after reading The Hero of Ages, the kids and I dove right into the Wax and Wayne series. Set a few hundred years after the events of that previous trilogy, humans have thrived. In this Scadrial, society is more technologically (and in other ways) evolved, similar to Earth in the 20th century.
As with practically all of Sanderson’s work there’s no shortage of reviews online, so we’ll take the perspective of a Dad reading to his kids: this second trilogy does not disappoint.
Far from suffering the fate of much sequel material, Sanderson found a novel and exciting application of Allomancy amd Feruchemy, such that these books are uniquely brilliant in their own right.
Free from the dystopian setting of the 1st trilogy, this series feels more light-hearted. The characters have their moral dilemmas and even deep trauma, but we witness them dealing (or not dealing) with them in ways that bring about more laughter.
Wayne especially is probably one of the most likeable and fun characters in Sanderson’s roster—which is saying a lot.
As with the previous trilogy, there’s a not-insignificant amount of violence but nothing egregious by today’s standards. In my opinion totally suitable for 10+.
Sanderson paints a picture that is decidedly Steampunk. Having had the luxury of playing on a Steam-punk inspired set the style feels familiar and comfortable yet intriguing at the same time. This would be an amazing set of movies to watch, if they did it right.
For fans of old Westerns this has enough of that flavour to pay homage to the genre without being restricted by any of its stereotypes.
Sorry, as a hardened fan-boy now of Sanderson’s work I’m gonna epically fail at providing that “balanced” perspective. These books are entertaining as heck and if you haven’t read them you should do so immediately.
On to The Stormlight Archive (another Sanderson series) next!