Review: The Alloy of Law | Mistborn fun, with a more modern twist

the alloy of lawThe Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4; the Alloy Era #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Published on November 10th 2011 by Gollancz
Genre: epic fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★ 

Centuries after the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is on the verge of modernity – railroads, electric street lights, and skyscrapers. Waxillium Ladrian can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After 20 years in the dusty Roughs, in the city of Elendel, the new head of a noble house may need to keep his guns. my review

Did I just realize, while starting to write this review, that I never even bothered to review the first three books in the series? Yes, I did. Oops. Anyway, I absolutely adored the first Mistborn trilogy. I don’t think that will come as a surprise to anyone, really. I waited quite a while to read The Alloy of Law, because I was scared it wouldn’t live up to the first three books. I’m always quite hesitant with series that span over multiple trilogies/series -if that made any sense.

The Alloy of Law didn’t disappoint, but it didn’t reach the level of the first trilogy for me either.

The plot

The book is set 300 years after the ending of The Hero of Ages. The magic in form of Allomancy is still here, but it now includes a more modern (or steampunk) aspect as well. The world after 300 years includes trains, guns, street lamps, and more. I quite liked the addition of that, especially in combination with Allomancy (like someone who can Pull or Push on bullets or a gun). It adds a level of creativity to the magic we were already familiar with, which I adored. 

What set this apart for me, and made it a fun addition to the original story instead of just a carbon copy, is that this centers around two lawkeepers. Meaning they chase outlaws and bring them back to justice -kind of like a bail bondsperson, I guess. One of them has to return home to his family (because he is part of the nobility) when his uncle passes away and he becomes the heir to the family. It felt like a detective story was added to the good vs. evil fantasy that we were already familiar with.

What did surprise me is that this book is fairly short. I’m not used to fantasy novels being this short, especially Brandon Sanderson’s ones. That made it feel like an introductory piece, instead of the full experience I got from his other books.

The characters

Like I mentioned earlier, this did feel like an introductory piece, both to the world and the characters.

The main character throughout this book is Waxillium, or Wax. For some reason, every time I had to read his full name it turned into Maximilian in my mind. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. Then again, what kind of name is Waxillium?? He is the one to return home and take over his duties as head of House instead of being the lawmaker he has been for the past years. I quite enjoyed reading from Wax’s perspective, even though I did get a little bit annoyed at the constant internal battle of should I and shouldn’t I.

Harmony protect us from small-minded men with too much power.

My favorite, however, was Wayne. He was just so hilarious! I loved him so much, and his attachment to his hat was fun to read about. I also loved how he always had Wax’s back, and how he encouraged him to do what he wanted to do instead of what he had to do.

“I thought of you happy in a comfy bed, resting and relaxing, spending the rest of your life sipping tea and reading papers while people bring you food and maids rub your toes and stuff.”
“And?”
“And I just couldn’t leave you to a fate like that.” Wayne shivered. “I’m too good a friend to let a mate of mine die in such a terrible situation.”
“Comfortable?”
“No,” Wayne said. “Boring.” He shivered again.

Wayne is also incredibly good at imitating accents. He knows how to sound like pretty much anyone.

Did people see how their voices were like living things? Move a plant, and it would change and adapt to the environment around it. Move a person, and they way they talked would grow, adapt, evolve.

There were some other characters I really loved, but I don’t want to mention them in case it’s a little spoiler for the events happening in this book. Overall, I liked getting to know these new people, and I can’t wait for the next books.

Conclusion

I think The Alloy of Law was a good segue from the first trilogy into this new series. I enjoyed learning about the new characters, and how the world looked like 300 years later. I do wish it was a bit longer so there could’ve been more development in terms of character and plot, since this did feel like a set-up for the next ones. All in all, another solid read. I can’t wait to find out what happens next to Wax and Wayne.