Book Review: The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson (A Mistborn Novel)

Wow! This book was the perfect continuation of the Mistborn series–a must read for fans of the original trilogy!

5/5 stars

A companion to the Mistborn series

cover the alloy of law

 Amazon description:

New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson returns to the exciting world of the Mistborn in The Alloy of Law.

In the three hundred years since the events of the Mistborn trilogy, science and technology have marched on. Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads, electric lighting, and even the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Yet even with these advances, the magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for those attempting to establish order and justice.

One is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax must now put away his guns and assume the duties incumbent upon the head of a noble house-until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

My review

This book was so much fun to read. Fight scenes, great characters, witty banter–it has everything.

The characters are wonderfully alive and endearingly hilarious. Waxillium (AKA Wax) is a great “honest” character–his drive to be a lawman and his moral compass are believable and never become preachy or cheesy. His past in the Roughs sets him up to feel completely out of place in the high society world of being a Lord in Elendel (and so the throwbacks to Mistborn begin ;)). Though he is in his forties, his character still felt approachable and readable for a YA audience. His banter with Wayne (his sidekick) was funny, adding a dose of humor to a grim plot, as well as portraying the depth of their friendship effortlessly. They are the perfect crime fighting duo, with Wax’s fierce drive for justice and Wayne’s obsession with disguises and his lucky hat (once you get over the fact that their names are Wax and Wayne…God). Marasi added a dose of youth to the story and grounded what could have been a ridiculous collection of fight scenes and magic.

On the fight scenes–they are amazing. Probably the most enjoyable part of the book. Brandon Sanderson’s continuation of the magical elements of the Mistborn world work perfectly in this companion novel. His understanding of the physics of Allomancy and Feruchemy make Wax’s fight scenes breath-takingly kick-ass. I could read an entire novel of just these fight scenes (*fangirling*).

The plot of the book is good. I liked the conflicts it presented Wax’s character in regards to getting back into being a lawman. The mystery unfolds nicely and the villain is appropriately daunting (once you know who he is). It is fast-paced, never letting the reader rest or get bored. In classic Sanderson style, there are lots of twists and turns and startling reveals–though not as emotionally damaging as in the original Mistborn series. On the whole, this book is lighter than the Mistborn trilogy, with more of an emphasis on fight scenes and banter than heart-wrenching drama. Fans of the series will probably appreciate this–as well as the fact that this book reads significantly faster than the other books.

The world building takes what is a good story and makes it amazing. I loved that Brandon Sanderson didn’t let his fantasy realm stagnate. Three hundred years in the future, the world looks very different, even if the magic is (mostly) the same. As a reader, I got to at once revisit one of my favorite magical worlds ever and to discover a new one. The throwbacks and allusions to the events of the first series were so much fun to read; but there were also names of events and people that weren’t immediately familiar to people who had read about the city’s founding. The myths and lore surrounding the ending of the Mistborn series and the subtle differences between what the reader knows to be true and the rumors floating around three centuries later added realism to the world building. Also, the Roughs alluded to the setting of Joss Whedon’s Firefly, endearing me to the story from page one.

Anyone who read the Mistborn trilogy would love this book. I can’t wait for future installments of this story (whose ending was left rather wide open) and for other novels set even further into the future.

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