Disclaimer: This review of The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson may or may not contain some spoilers for The Hero of Ages. Read at your own risk.
Scadrial, then and now
The Alloy of Law is the first book of the second era of Mistborn. It is set around 300 years after the events of the third book of the original Mistborn trilogy, which means that in The Alloy of Law we are following a completely different set of characters.
Vin, Elend, Spook, Kelsier, and all our heroes from the first era are now legendary figures, and some events of the first era are now considered myths. Harmony (or Sazed) allowed the advancement of technology, unlike the Lord Ruler before him. The technological advancement reached as far as the use of electricity on Scadrial now, and people started to use guns.
Allomancy and Feruchemy are still around of course, and a couple of new metals have been discovered. I will let you find out what abilities those metals grant for yourself, or as Brandon would say “Read and find out” (RAFO).
What you should know before you read
The main character Waxilium Ladrian is a lawman who has been living in the Roughs for the past twenty years or so. The Roughs is Scadrial’s version of the wild west, away from the city. Wax is a Coinshot, a Misting that can burn steel which grants him the ability to Push on nearby sources of metal.
He also possesses a Feruchemical power which allows him to store his weight in his Ironmind. Having access to both Allomancy and Feruchemy makes the person known as a “Twinborn”, a new concept that was not present in the first era, aside from what we have seen in Rashek.
After his uncle’s passing, Wax heads back to the city of Elendel to take the role of lord of House Ladrian. His friend Wayne shows up unexpectedly and warns him about a group of criminals -known as the Vanishers- that need to be stopped. Wax decides to act, and the story goes from there.
My thoughts and feelings
For me, the best part of this book was the interaction and the banter between Wax and Wayne, I found myself laughing out loud each time Wayne was on the page, not necessarily about the things he says, but rather about the things he does. I found myself caring deeply for Wax due to his tragic past and his daily struggle from moving on from it.
Other than those two, I felt that the other characters were not nearly as interesting as them. A surprising thing for sure, considering that this is a Sanderson book. The villain in The Alloy of Law was probably my least favourite villain in the entirety of the Cosmere.
What made me love this book was that the stakes were not as high as the other Mistborn books, and it had a lighter tone compared to the tone of the ashen covered Scadrial of the past.
One disappointing thing in my opinion was the climax, or as Sanderson fans call it “the Sanderlanche”. I was loving every bit of this entry up to the ¾ point, where it started to lose my attention.
Overall, it is a quick and an enjoyable read, I bet that you will read it in a couple of sittings at the most. After reading this book, you would wish that you had friends that were half as funny as Wax and Wayne. I would have given this book a 5 out of 5 had it been written by another author, but I feel that it is a 4 out of 5 compared to other Brandon Sanderson books.
Rust and Ruin! Read this book.