Published: November 10th 2011 by Gollancz
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
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The three hundred years since the events of Mistborn have shaped Scandrial. Ever taller towers race for the clouds, railways as well as canals criss-cross the land. But this is still a land of magic.
Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook and the rest may be part of history - or religion - but as science reaches new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy still have a role in this reborn world. In the Roughs, the wilds beyond the cities, magic is a crucial tool for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.
One such 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 has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. He must assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous that the open plains of the Roughs.
It was great to return to Scandrial and the Mistborn universe in this novel, which shows how the planet has changed over three hundred years. Religions and cults have formed around the lenegendary figures of the original trilogy, and technology has progressed greatly over the years. The development of the technology allows for the interesting experience of reading about magic co-existing with steam trains.
Sanderson’s books being famous for their world building, The Alloy of Law is unique in that there isn’t much world building in it. The world and its magics have been explained in the prequel trilogy, and the minimal world bulding means that more time has been devoted to character development. There is, however, enough background in this book for someone who is not familiar with the Mistborn trilogy to understand and enjoy the book.
The characters in this book are varied and enigmatic, in particular, Waxillium Ladrian is an interesting protagonist who is conflicted about his duties as a law keeper, but still feels the need to help those who need it. From the outside, Wax is a superhero, evidenced by the awe that others display when around him. But really he is a likeable and relatable man, who happens to have powers which he uses to help others. He is snarky and sarcastic, but also understanding and kind, and because of this, Wax’s interactions with the other characters are fun to read.
The Alloy of Law grips you from the very beginning, and has unpredictable twists that keep the reader hanging on for more. I really enjoyed it because it expands on the Mistborn universe and shows the evolution of the magic system. Anyone who loves fantasy will enjoy reading this book.