Book Review | The Alloy of Law

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Synopsis:

“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.”

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“You are inexperienced. So was I, once. So is every man. The measure of a person is not how much they have lived. It is not how easily they jump at a noise or how quick they are to show emotion. It’s in how they make use of what life has shown them.”

Oh God, how I’ve missed Sanderson’s books! Ever since I finished the Mistborn trilogy I’ve been meaning to get to The Alloy of Law, and I can’t believe it took me this long to pick it up! I had heard so many things about this, especially how it didn’t come even close to how epic and amazing the original Mistborn trilogy was, and I disagree. I do think that this does not even compare to the original books yet, I don’t think Brandon Sanderson intended this to be like those three first books. He has said so himself, he just wanted to create in this new novel a story that would be set in the same world but showing how much this world had changed. And he excelled at doing that. It is a very rare thing to see in the Fantasy genre worlds that resemble a “modern” world, because then we would be talking about a completely different genre, like urban fantasy, but not fantasy per se. And yet, Sanderson did it. He was able to take that gloomy and dark world of Scadrial from the Mistborn series and realistically turn it into a modern one. All the changes and introductions he did to show the passing of time -300 years if we are going to be specific- made sense, and I think this is the first time I see an author from that genre do something like this.

The Alloy of Law, like I’ve said, is set in Scadrial, the same world of the Mistborn trilogy, but we get to see how the world changed after the events of that last book. Even though everything related to the different magic systems -Allomancy, Feruchemy and Hemalurgy- still exist, we are introduced to a modern world. The people have now developed inventions, they have electricity, railways, trains, and guns. Even though at first I was a bit hesitant about the guns, what Sanderson shows us in this book is absolute genius. Imagine all the possibilities of having guns with Allomancers who can actually push or pull on metal? You could not only tear guns away from people’s hands but also change the trajectory of bullets into whatever direction you would want.

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I get why many people when reviewing this book say “it isn’t like Mistborn; it’s not as deep as those books were”, and that is where I think they don’t get what Sanderson was trying to do. He only ever intended for this to be fun. And it was such a joyful ride. True, there are criminals doing awful things, there are serial killers, kidnappers, but it is the lack of that gloomy and dark world that makes this so much lighter than the previous books. And another reason for that is due to the characters themselves. The constant sass and banter from Wax & Wayne was everything this book needed to make it even more enjoyable and light-hearted. The dynamic between those two was one of the highlights of this book for me, I loved and enjoyed every single interaction they had, and just like Marasi said, it does feel as if they were brothers. And Marasi, one of the female characters, also plays a huge part in making the story funnier and more intriguing. I’ve always thought that Sanderson should include more female characters to his stories, since it is usually the case where there is a group of guys and only one female character, and I think that is an aspect of his writing that he needs to improve on, yet with Marasi and later on with the appearance of Ranette, I was satisfied. Marasi brought wisdom and freshness to the story, and as an independent young lady facing many insecurities about herself and her family history, she was never anything but loyal towards Wax and strong-minded.

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I also want to talk about Wayne, the main character, a little bit more. We are introduced into the story with an extremely harsh and unexpected scene -those who have read this book know what I’m talking about. And so, we are already aware of the baggage Wayne might be dealing with throughout, at least, the beginning of the book; we see him struggling afterwards from PTSD from that particular event in his life, and we also see him trying to overcome his grief and his past life of lawmaker in the Roughs to try to save the finances of his house in the city of Elendel. Throughout the book we see his constant struggles between these two sides of him: the lawmaker and Lord Ladrian. Will he be able to find balance between both of them? Or will he have to renounce one in order to be the other?

Even though I was initially going to rate this 4 stars, the last few chapters were absolutely mind-blowing and it was impossible for me to give this anything less than 5 stars. There are no other fight scenes or battle scenes as the ones Sanderson writes, and this one was no exception. And it wasn’t only particularly the fight scene, but the whole ending that left such a strong impression in me. The constant mentions of old characters from the Mistborn trilogy, which are now considered and regarded as Gods or part of religion and myth, the epilogue with the appearance of Ironeyes *cries forever*, and the revelation as to who was the person behind the whole plot with the Vanishers turned this into a solid 5 star book.

If you have never read a Brandon Sanderson book, please pick one up, you will not regret it, I swear. He has a way with words and with creating unique world-buildings that I have never witnessed in my life. I just can’t wait to read the next two books in this series!

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