Mistborn: Secret History is a novella by Brandon Sanderson, set in the world of Scadrial. It takes place during the Original Trilogy and it is from the point of view of one of the major characters in the OT. Reading it after the Bands of Mourning is highly recommended, as it contains some information that would make the Bands of Mourning less OMG inducing.
Secret History also packs a lot of Cosmere information for such a short book. And it is certainly the book that gives us the largest peek at the secrets of the Cosmere, giving us some information about what happened to Adonalsium and finally showing some characters onscreen, which existed only in Words of Brandon (Sanderson’s answer to questions in book signings, interview and the like).
So MUCH GOOD STUFF!!!! There’s not a lot I can say without spoiling the entirety of the book, but suffice to say that I enjoyed it a lot. A freaking lot. It helps that the main character is one of my favorite characters from the OT. They (Singular they is a thing now, works well as a gender neutral pronoun) up to their shenanigans is also a joy to read.
Secret History answers a lot of the questions we have about the Cosmere. Though a large part of that has to do with Mistborn, the rest of the Cosmere is not neglected. And it brings up as many questions as it answers. Also, we get to see a lot of the Cognitive Realm, and we see some worldhopping happening in the book. That’s just delicious and leaves me wanting more of the same. I’m not sure when the next Cosmere aware book will be coming, I think Elantris 2 is the earliest planned book that we know of. Here’s hoping there’s more Cosmere stuff in Oathbringer.
I don’t speak from firsthand experience, but I have a feeling that people who aren’t aware of the Cosmere are not going to like this book. Or at least, not going to be able to enjoy the book as it should be. There’s a lot in the book that requires knowledge of at least some of the Cosmere. I’m not sure following Words of Brandon is required, I don’t think it is necessary. I think as long as you’ve read most of the books that are out, particularly Elantris, Mistborn, Shadows of Silence in the Forests of Hell and maybe the Stormlight Archive books, you should be able to get what some of the scene means in the context of the Cosmere. Basically, if you know about Adonalsium, Shards and Hoid, you should be golden.
There’s really not much else to say about the book. It was short. It didn’t really have any character development. The plot is straightforward, it just showed us a lot of what happened during the time of the OT, particularly about the behind the scenes battle among the gods and how they and the main character influence the things happening around them.
A must read for Cosmere-aware fans. Might be a bore or confusing for others.