Brandon Sanderson is easily one of the best fantasy authors actively writing and publishing. From his detailed world building to relatable characters, Sanderson knows how to do fantasy right — at least for those of us who love the genre. The Lost Metal, the latest entry in Sanderson’s Cosmere Series (more on that later), is no exception. The final book in the second trilogy set on the planet Scadrial, Sanderson concludes the stories of some of his most engaging characters yet.

Beginning with Mistborn: The Alloy of Law, The Lost Metal continues the adventures of Waxillium “Wax” Ladrian, a man born to a noble heritage who prefers the ruggedness of the Roughs, Scadrial’s version of the wild, wild American west. Wayne, who plays a prominent part in The Lost Metal, is Wax’s close friend and former partner. Marasi Colms, the uncertain law student turned confident and competent law officer, completes the original trifecta of characters originating in The Alloy of Law.

Although there’s a decent chance some of the Mistborn: Wax and Wayne trilogy characters will return in yet-to-be-published stories (again, more on that later), The Lost Metal brilliantly and poignantly concludes what it seems is their contribution to Scadrial and the broader Cosmere as a whole. Here’s some of the best revelations from the book (and yes, spoilers abound).

The Gods are People We Know

A Man in White Looking at a City

In the original Mistborn trilogy, main character Vin taps into the planet’s magic system, Allomancy, to attain godlike status. As a result, Vin temporarily becomes the avatar for the planet’s divine Shard (referred to as Preservation) and sacrifices herself to combat its opposite cosmic force, Ruin.

Although Vin and her husband Elend both die at the end of the first trilogy, other key characters live on as supernatural heroes of Scadrial turned figures of myth by the time Wax and Wayne come along. Kelsier, the revolutionary that sparked the rebellion against the Lord Ruler in the first Mistborn book, is now the immortal Sovereign of Scadrial’s mysterious southern continent. Sazed, the Terrisman steward, ascends to godhood under the guise of Harmony, the merged entity of the Preservation and Ruin Shards.

Similarly, Kelsier’s older brother and greatest skeptic, Marsh, reappears in The Lost Metal as Death, a result of his transformation into an Inquisitor during the events of the first trilogy. Now seen as the lord of the underworld — for lack of a better term — Marsh actively warns Wax, Wayne, and Marasi about the danger posed by Autonomy and Wax’s sister, Telsin.

Complex backstory aside, The Lost Metal features the main characters from The Mistborn Era 1 trilogy as divine beings venerated by the people of Wax, Wayne, and Marasi’s period. As in many of Sanderson’s Cosmere planets, regular mortals can essentially become gods by making heroic (or horrid) choices during their lifetimes. The Lost Metal is the most detailed glimpse into this process readers have had so far, particularly since Sazed, Kelsier, and Marsh all play critical roles in the plotline of this book. And that continuation of previous characters and timelines is pretty darn cool in and of itself.

Scadrial Has Technologically Progressed

An elevated train curving around a 19th century industrial city

In The Alloy of Law, Wax and Wayne navigated a world filled with railroads, firearms, and industrial machinery. Roughly corresponding with technological developments that occurred in the United States around the turn of the twentieth century, The Lost Metal has moved Scadrial into the age of electricity and flying aircraft.

As lamented by a now older Wax and Wayne, Scadrial’s landscape is peppered with electric lights and massive elevated trains. Most surprising of all to the old lawmen is that the Roughs themselves have started rapidly adopting new inventions and even begun discussing independence from the capital, Elendel.

As one of the more technologically advanced planets — at least, according to Harmony and the Kandra — Scadrial seems to generate more attention than its celestial peers. Knowing that Sanderson is planning a third trilogy that will supposedly conclude the Scadrial stories makes the prospect of reading about an even more technologically advanced planet unbelievably exciting.

There Are Aliens on Scadrial in The Lost Metal

A Crowd in a 19th Century Looking City

That’s right. The Lost Metal confirms the presence of interplanetary beings living and working right under the nose of the native Scadrial population. Called the Ghostbloods, this group, whose members likely have made appearances in other Sanderson novels (remember Hoid also known as Wit?), is actively working against Autonomy’s attempted takeover of Scadrial.

Due to her keen intellect and penchant for catching bad guys in a less public way than Wax, Marasi becomes a potential candidate for the Ghostbloods. Moonlight, a familiar character known to anybody who read Sanderson’s The Emperor’s Soul novella as Shai, in particular takes a liking to Marasi and begins initiating her into the secrets of the Cosmere.

Ultimately, Marasi politely but firmly declines membership in the mysterious group, but their presence and fearless leader (surprise!) Kelsier will likely show up in future Cosmere stories at some point.

The Lost Metal Has Invaders From…Taldian?

Planets from Another Solar System in the Cosmere - the lost metal

In Sanderson’s visual novel, White Sand, he provides a glimpse into the planet Taldian, home to Autonomy’s Shard. Each side of Taldian experiences either permanent day or night, and the magic system allows for the spectacular control and manipulation of sand.

As one of the Shards of Adonalsium, Autonomy rules the planet of Taldian just as Ruin, Preservation, and later, Harmony preside over Scadrial. As the name implies, however, Autonomy values independence and self-reliance, which most likely contributes to its expansion into other Shards’ territory. The Lost Metal, then, is really a story about an interplanetary war between an aggressive usurper and an indecisive leader (Sazed as Harmony).

Perhaps the most exciting part of all this Shards, gods, and planets talk is what it’s likely leading up to in Sanderson’s prolific works. All this cross-pollination between planets is going to build up into something massive, something that likely incorporates characters from a myriad of stories and planets. Perhaps, each planet-specific book is subtly introducing us to characters that, like Sazed and Kelsier, will ascend to godhood and/or immortality. At that point, are we going to have a full Cosmere battle royale take place?

Only Sanderson knows the answer. But boy, are we anxious to find out.

Strangely Awesome Games Staff
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