Legion: Lies of the Beholder

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<Legion: Lies of the Beholder
Lies of the Beholder Limited Hardcover.jpg
Follows Skin Deep
Released September 18, 2018
Publisher Subterranean Press, Tor books
ISBN 978-1-5960-6885-8
Page Count 148
Word Count 26,850

Legion: Lies of the Beholder is the third and final of the Legion novellas written by Brandon Sanderson. It was first published as part of Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds an omnibus of the entire Legion series.[1]


Stephen Leeds, AKA "Legion," is the series' hero, a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. The third and final entry in the series, Lies of the Beholder, is perhaps the strangest, most unpredictable installment to date.
The story begins with two seemingly unrelated events: the disappearance of Armando, one of Stephen's many "aspects," and an unexpected cry for help from Sandra, the woman who, many years before, helped him learn to live with his condition. These events lead Stephen, along with several of his aspects, to a sinister high-tech firm specializing in advanced methods of human incarceration. The result is a visionary meditation on the mysteries of the human personality. Like the volumes that preceded it, Sanderson's latest is original, challenging, and utterly absorbing. In Stephen Leeds, a man constantly struggling to understand and control his own divided nature, he has created one of the most compelling heroes in recent popular fiction. Like the best of Sanderson's work, Lies of the Beholder is something special. It is the clear product of a master storyteller, and it is not to be missed.

— Subterranean Press[2]


Stephen meets with a woman he believes to be an interviewer named Jenny Zhang, who makes him uncomfortable with her inside knowledge of his aspects; the interview is cut off suddenly as a text from Sandra, the long-lost woman who helped Stephen control his aspects, appears on his phone saying nothing but "HELP."

Stephen returns to his mansion, where he discovers that Armando has been killed and that Jenny is actually an aspect he unintentionally created. Audrey cracks a cipher in Sandra's message that leads them to a fairground. When Stephen and his aspects arrive, they meet Kyle Walters, who gives Stephen a phone to talk to Sandra. Sandra tells Stephen that she also lost control of her aspects, but that Kyle can help, and encourages Stephen to go with him. Stephen refuses, swearing that he will free Sandra from Kyle and his men. Armando, now a nightmare, arrives and kills Tobias and tries to kill Stephen; J.C. arrives and kill Armando before he can do so.

Stephen researches Kyle with his aspects, discovering that he is the owner of a prison company, Walters and Ostman Detention Enterprises, and that he recently bought a gaming company. Stephen decides to break into the local Walters and Ostman headquarters. Stephen and some of his aspects sneak into the building until, suddenly, everything flashes white and their surroundings shift to a warehouse. Kyle then explains that he is developing a new kind of completely immersive VR that can be used to hold prisoners without them realizing what's happening, thus reducing the cost of keeping inmates. He also reveals that Sandra approached them asking for help; they agreed to keep her in a simulation, where she could feel stable, and they got to monitor her brain, which helped them patch errors in their simulations. Kyle asks Stephen to spend a few days in a simulation in return for a conversation with Sandra and, when Stephen refuses, traps him and his aspects in a VR deserted island.

Lua appears, and helps Stephen escape by building a raft that will carry him out of the VR area. Kyle is annoyed that his aspects helped him, so he throws Stephen and the aspects into a casino where a mob attacks, killing J.C. and Ivy. Extremely distraught, Stephen manages to see through to the real world and, with Chin's help, adjust the computer settings to bring Kyle and his technicians into the simulation. Stephen frightens Kyle with a simulated gun, then receives a goodbye text from Kalyani and realizes that all of his other aspects are dead. He then leaves the simulation, finds Sandra, and enters her simulation.

Sandra is sitting at the end of the pier, her aspects’ dead bodies floating in the water below. She tells him to leave his dead aspects behind and stay safe in a virtual reality world, but Stephen leaves promising to find a way to fix everything. Stephen tells Kyle that he can study him when he comes to visit Sandra, but to leave him alone other than that. As he leaves, he sees Jenny and realizes he still has one aspect left. Barb then arrives to pick him up and they drive to where he first met Jenny. Stephen uses Razon's camera to take a picture of him, J.C., Ivy, and Tobias. Barb only sees Stephen by himself, and Stephen realizes that they are still in his brain somewhere. Stephen decides to go to Wilson's retirement party after all and stays in Wilson's guest room instead of returning to the mansion that night. Jenny arrives, shows him that she has been taking notes on all the aspects, and prompts him to write their stories; after starting to do so, Stephen begins to feel Tobias' hand on his shoulder.

Main Characters[edit]

Stephen Leeds
Stephen Leeds is a private investigator. Due to his ability to process enormous amounts of information subconsciously as well as a condition resembling schizophrenia, he manifests aspects, hallucinations that each carry a part of his immense knowledge.
Wilson is Stephen's butler. He helps Stephen to get around and manage his aspects.
A woman who helped Stephen to learn to control his aspects years ago, then vanished.
The president of a shady for-profit prison company.

Publication History[edit]

Limited Hardcover Edition
2018 - Subterranean Press[3]
US Hardcover Edition (Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds)
2018 - Tor books[1]

Cover Gallery[edit]

Statistical Analysis[edit]

Legion: Lies of the Beholder consists of fourteen chapters and one epilogue, reaching a total 26,850 word count.

Word Count 26,850
Page Count 148 Subterranean Press hardback
Chapter Count 14 Including epilogue.


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