My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Before I continue writing this, just know that if you haven’t read at least the Mistborn Trilogy or the Wax and Wayne series, then I guarantee you will be doing yourself a disservice. Where’s the surprise in knowing the secrets before you understand their context? So please, do yourself a favour and read Brandon Sanderson’s awesome Mistborn series at least up to Mistborn #6. Then we can talk.
If you are like me and read the Mistborn Trilogy a while back, reading Secret History was quite the revelation. I bet this novella sucker punched you right where it hurts. I mean I drowned in nostalgia for the Mistborn, feeling as though I literally lived in this universe. The homesickeness for Scandrial had me even miss the Lord Ruler, and I know how screwed up that is. My special, special friends, our dying ash-filled world, the insane individual sacrifice for a greater good, the bloodshed at every turn, the demonic inquisitors…It all comes crushing back at 100 miles an hour right smack into my face.
Brandon Sanderson showed us that he was quite yet done with our boy Kelsier. Secret History plugs those nagging holes we just couldn’t reconcile with the general progression of the plot. It suddenly all makes sense, those cryptic scenes when we couldn’t get the full picture much as we knew something was afoot.
In Secret History, Sanderson finally furnishes a backstory explaining the history of Preservation and Ruin and many many other gods I didn’t realise existed. Call it Worldbuilding 2.0. From here on out, he has inexhaustible material to write numerous other series, all connected to the Mistborn series albeit with their own champions and demons. Also, Secret History gives the Wax and Wayne books perspective. Half the things that happen there are so mysterious and would confuse anybody who’s read the Mistborn Trilogy.
I don’t think I need to add that this little novella is written brilliantly. That standard comes with the name and Sanderson doesn’t disappoint. Cool stuff!