Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review: The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Book: The Alloy of Law
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: Mistborn #4
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Fantasy 
Pages: 392
Release: Oct. 20th, 2012

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.

Introducing the industrial revolution!

It's been centuries since the ending of the original Mistborn trilogy (GUYS CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT IT BECAUSE MY HEART IS BROKEN). Technology has advanced--we have trains, guns, the first skyscrapers, and electric lighting! This new trilogy stars Waxillum Ladrian (last name familiar, anyone? ;D). After spending 20 years as a lawman in rural areas known as the Roughs, he is summoned back to the glistening main city following the mysterious death to his uncle to take on the duties as the head of one of the most powerful Houses in Elendel. Except he can't seem to keep himself out of trying to play lawkeeper, and it doesn't help when Wayne, his old partner, comes in down baiting him with a new case. Turns out Elendel might just be even more dangerous than the Roughs...

This era of the Mistborn series was definitely different than the original one in atmosphere, setting, timeline, plot, and characters. Even the powers were slightly different, with the introduction of a few new metals (they let you control time (to a certain degree)--can you imagine what Vin could have done with that???).

Wax, our main character, was brilliant and essential for the plot advancement, but to me, Wayne and Marasi were the true stars of the story. They added such flavour to the book. Don't get me wrong, Wax was absolutely brilliant in his usage of skills in battles; but it was Wayne who brought the life to both Wax and the book with his humour and unique style of fighting, and Marasi who brought a different side of institutional intellect, which made for some interesting contrasts in brainpower and direction of plot. 

I loved how the all of Kelsier's original crew were mentioned in the book and were glorified. Given the time that has past, it was nice to see that all of their actions and sacrifices did not go waste. They even got cool names, like the Ascendent Warrior for Vin, and the Last Emperor for Elend. They all went down in history as figures of true importance!

I don't know what it is, but I couldn't quite latch fully onto the idea of fighting with guns. I don't know, fighting with Allomancy to me is a lot more epic and creative. Then again, I don't quite understand guns very well, so that might be why (but rest assured, Wax utilized his abilities of marksmanship and allomantic abilities quite effectively and creatively). I also found the timeline of the novel much too fast; whereas a substantial amount of time normally passes in a novel of such length, there was only a lapse of two days or so during the main plot. I found that much too quick; it didn't seem like the characters had any recovery time, as normal humans would require. And all the governmental restrictions! Argh, they frustrated me. Why couldn't the constables recognize that Wax was better than all of them? But I guess that's the issue as you get closer to modern era settings; there are more and more laws you have to obey, more restrictions to abide by.

True to Sanderson's style, he weaved twists into the storyline, particularly the ending. The characters all have been properly introduced, their character developments set up nicely for the next books to pick off of. I'm looking forward to reading the next one to see what Wax decides to do with his new knowledge and position, and of course to read more about Wayne and Marasi!

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