The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4)
By: Brandon Sanderson
Format/Source: Hardback; my copy
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.
I admit, I put off reading this book for a few reasons: 1) the first trilogy was fantastic/perfect/filled with feels so I wasn’t sure how a second trilogy was going to work, and 2) I was still recovering from The Hero of Ages to embark on a new series set in the same world (you know, feels). But I finally picked up this book to read…
…and I finished it in a day 😛 Seriously, I could not put it down once I started reading (as are pretty much all of the Brandon Sanderson books I’ve read to date). Wax’s character and his circumstances totally drew my attention; Brandon Sanderson has a knack for writing characters like Wax who hold a particular position in society but doesn’t necessarily act it or wish they didn’t hold such a position.
The mystery element was pretty interesting too, isolated incidents coming together to form a particular situation in the development. Scadrial is quite different from the world inhabited by Elend, Vin, Breeze, Ham, Sazed, etc.; the world is at the brink of modernity with electric lighting and guns replacing swords in battle. The great city of Elendel is quite an organised place (though not necessarily the safest) and the whole world in which Wax and Wayne inhabit feels something out of the Wild West with the Roughs and the gunfights and everything xD At the same time, I like the little touches referring back to the first trilogy with statues dedicated to Elend and Vin and referring to them as Lord Mistborn and the Ascendant Warrior (feels!).
I admit, it took a bit of a refresher to remember all of the Allomancy and Feruchemy abilities and how they work (and recalling who from the first trilogy could do what). Everyone in this world are sort of related to each other in that they all descended from the Originators, survivors from the first trilogy. I wish there was more to this element of this world, but I reckon it will come back in subsequent volumes.
The characters were great, I really enjoyed Wax and Wayne’s interactions, the banter was fun to read and the reader learns a lot about how they became friends and partners in catching the bad guys 😉 Wayne’s antics were pretty fun to read on their own, whether he be impersonating a waiter or bemoaning over his hat. I love that there was a lot more to Marasi’s character over the course of the novel; she’s no Vin, she knows what she’s capable of, but she’s smart and sees things that Wax may overlook and not figure out.
And now a bit on to some specific spoilers:
Overall I enjoyed reading The Alloy of Law and returning to this world centuries after the end of the first series. I’m more curious about the subsequent novels in this sequence because the events of this novel felt more like a set up for bigger mysteries. It’s not as epic as the first trilogy but it’s fast-paced and entertaining. My only quibble about this novel is that we do get the perspective of the antagonist later in the novel, which for me didn’t really add much to the story except for one small detail that shows up later on. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to the latest volumes in the series! (Slightly related but !!! that two books in this series is coming out later this year…How does this man write so fast? I must learn his ways xD)