The Lost Metal

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<The Lost Metal
TLM US Cover.jpg
Mistborn Era 2
Follows The Bands of Mourning
Setting Scadrial, Cosmere
Released November 15, 2022[1]
Publisher Tor Books
Page Count 507
Word Count 156,381

The Lost Metal is the title of the fourth and final Mistborn Era 2 book. It was released on November 15, 2022.[1]


For years, frontier lawman turned big-city senator Waxillium Ladrian has hunted the shadowy organization the Set—with his late uncle and his sister among their leaders—since they started kidnapping people with the power of Allomancy in their bloodlines. When Detective Marasi Colms and her partner Wayne find stockpiled weapons bound for the Outer City of Bilming, this opens a new lead. Conflict between Elendel and the Outer Cities only favors the Set, and their tendrils now reach to the Elendel Senate—whose corruption Wax and Steris have sought to expose—and Bilming is even more entangled.

After Wax discovers a new type of explosive that can unleash unprecedented destruction and realizes that the Set must already have it, an immortal kandra serving Scadrial's god reveals that Harmony's power is blocked in Bilming. That means the city has fallen under the influence of another god: Trell, worshipped by the Set. And Trell isn't the only factor at play from the larger Cosmere—Marasi is recruited by offworlders with strange abilities who claim their goal is to protect Scadrial... at any cost.

Harmony's vision of future possibilities comes to an abrupt halt tomorrow night, with only blackness after that. It's a race against time, and Wax must choose whether to set aside his rocky relationship with God and once again become the Sword that Harmony has groomed him to be. If no one steps forward to be the hero Scadrial needs, the planet and its millions of people will come to a sudden and calamitous ruin.

—Tor book announcement[1]



Following completion of The Alloy of Law Brandon plotted out three more books, following the same characters, to finish the story. Brandon began writing The Lost Metal in April 2021, after he finished Cytonic,[2] and completed the first draft on August 4, 2021.[3] The second draft was completed on September 20, 2021,[4] and went to beta readers and Brandon's editor shortly thereafter;[5] the beta reads concluded some time in November.[4] The post-beta read edit was done by March 7, 2022;[6] it took more time to complete than Brandon had expected and resulted in the book growing longer than he had initially anticipated.[7] After that, Brandon did one final edit, which was done by May 24, 2022, before turning the book in to Tor[8] for a November 15,[1] 2022 release, around when the first two Era 2 books were released in leatherbound.[5]

The book includes some information relevant to the broader cosmere, including the identity of Trell, the nature of trellium,[9] and some clues about Kelsier's plans.[10][11] Most of those elements are more foreshadowing for Mistborn Era 3[12] and the book mostly focuses on the characters of Wax, Wayne, Steris, and Marasi,[9][13] though Brandon also considers the book to be slightly more cosmere-aware than any other book he has written.[14] The book begins with a Wayne flashback, rather than one of Wax.[15] Early in the development process, Brandon envisioned Wax having essentially retired and the book opening with Wayne as Marasi's deputy.[16] The book includes a broadsheet, like the other books in Mistborn Era 2.[17]

The first draft of the book was about 149,000 words total;[5] in the third draft, it grew by about 25,000 words.[18] In the first draft, Part One was about 30,000 words and had two separate narratives, each with two of the main characters, and alternated viewpoints between all four main characters; Part Two was about 45,000 words and brought all four of the main characters together, continuing to alternate viewpoints; and in Part Three, the characters split again, with Marasi on her own arc of about 30,000 words, Wax and Wayne together for an arc of about 40,000 words, and Steris on her own for a short arc of about 10,000 words. Brandon wrote each of the arcs of Part Three separately from each other, which he found was a good approach as it essentially let him write the ending three times and he likes writing endings.[19] In total, Brandon predicted that Steris would have around seven or eight viewpoints.[20] The epilogue is a bit longer than normal, as it is the last book of Era 2 and Brandon wanted to linger with the characters and setting a little more.[5]

Pre-Publication Content[edit]

  • At JordanCon in 2021, Brandon did a reading of the first draft of the prologue, a flashback to Wayne as a young child. It can be listened to and read here on Arcanum and was also sent out in Brandon's July 2021 newsletter.
  • At Dragonsteel Mini-Con in 2021, Brandon did a reading of the second draft of chapter one and part of chapter two, which can be listened to and read here on Arcanum.
  • On September 19, 2022, Tor began releasing sample chapters from the book every Monday, which can be read starting here on their website.
  • Brandon considers the book to be slightly more cosmere-aware than any other book he has written; the primary cosmere connection in the book relates to one of the stories from Arcanum Unbounded.[14]
  • Investiture without Connection appears in the book.[21]
  • Brandon mentioned at JordanCon that he thinks there is a mention of the Shard Whimsy in the book.[22]
  • At least in the first draft, there is a "very minor" plot point that involves a desiccated frog.[23]
  • At Dragonsteel Mini-Con, Brandon mentioned that there is a worldhopper from a planet with a culture inspired by the Indian subcontinent in the book.[24]
  • Marsh also makes an appearance in the book.[25]

Cover Gallery[edit]

Interior Art[edit]

Statistical Analysis[edit]

The Lost Metal consists of seventy-four chapters, one prologue, and seven epilogues, reaching a total 156,381 word count. There are eleven different unique point-of-view characters in a total of 94 POVs.

Word Count 156,381
Page Count 507 Tor hardback
Chapter Count 82 Including prologue and epilogues.
PoV Characters 11
PoV Count 94


  1. a b c d Announcing The Lost Metal, a Mistborn Novel From Brandon Sanderson - 2021-12-06#
  2. Brandon's starting announcement
    — Twitter - 2021-04-01#
  3. Brandon's completion announcement
    — Twitter - 2021-08-05#
  4. a b State of the Sanderson 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-12-20#
  5. a b c d The Lost Metal Updates
    Arcanum - 2021-08-05#
  6. Draft 4 completion announcement
    — Reddit - 2022-03-07#
  7. Secret Project Kickstarter Reveal and Livestream
    Arcanum - 2022-03-01#
  8. May 24, 2022 Weekly Update
    — YouTube - 2022-05-24#
  9. a b Interview
    Arcanum - 2021-04-22#
  10. Skyward release party
    Arcanum - 2018-11-06#
  11. Tel Aviv Signing
    Arcanum - 2019-10-18#
  12. Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-01#
  13. YouTube Weekly Updates 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-03-08#
  14. a b Secret Project Kickstarter Reveal and Livestream
    Arcanum - 2022-03-01#
  15. General Reddit 2020
    Arcanum - 2020-07-01#
  16. MisCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-05-26#
  17. YouTube Livestream 24
    Arcanum - 2020-12-31#
  18. Some FAQs You Might Enjoy
    Brandon's website - 2022-03-16#
  19. YouTube Weekly Updates 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-07-06#
  20. Miscellaneous 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-08-05#
  21. FanX 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-09-17#
  22. JordanCon 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-07-17#
  23. Miscellaneous 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-08-05#
  24. Dragonsteel Mini-Con 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-11-23#
  25. YouTube Spoiler Stream 3
    Arcanum - 2021-12-16#
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