Review | The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

10803710Title: The Alloy of Law (2013)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Read:  15th – 28th January 2016
Genre: fantasy; urban fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Alloy is a great way to characterise this entire novel – a hybrid of two elements that make this novel not quite high epic medievally fantasy but not quite completely urban or Wild West-inspired steampunk. There are still Allomancers in their mistcloaks in Scadrial but also plenty of talk of trains and horseless carriages too. It’s also a transitional novel in many aspects, technically a standalone story that works to bridge the gap between the first and second Mistborn trilogies. By expanding the existing magic system established throughout the Mistborn trilogy even further through the introduction of Twinborn individuals, those possessing both Feruchemical and Allomantic abilities. All in all, it’s a good way to build and move forward; the evolution of the magic system with the introduction of this new element sets up the metallic arts as evolving and modernising, just as the society apparently has.

“People today…it seems they are good, or sometimes evil, mostly by inertia, not by choice.”

A continuation of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series, The Alloy of Law is a standalone novel that takes place in Scadrial centuries after the events of the first trilogy. In that time Scadrial has changed immeasurably and finds itself on the brink of modernity, with electricity, railways (even plans for an underground railway system, of all preposterous things!), and skyscrapers evolving. The story follows the exploits of lawman Lord Waxillium, of House Ladrian, who is impelled to return to  his house responsibilities in Elendel, forsaking his life in the wilds of The Roughs for an allegedly more civilised life in the high society of the city. Once he arrives in the city of course things aren’t quite as law-abiding as he figured – a mysterious group of bandits known as the Vanishers are causing havoc as they steal railway carriages en route to their destinations. Wax finds himself lured back into the life of a lawman with its detective work and gun-toting despite his position as head of House Ladrian with all its courtly expectations.

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