The Alloy of Law – by Brandon Sanderson
This scant 331 page novel is the follow-up to Sanderson’s exceptional Mistborn trilogy. I was thrilled to have something else to read in this universe. Here’s what I thought of The Alloy of Law:
300 years have passed in the land of Scadriel. Vin, Elend, Kelsier, Sazed and the others are little more than figures of myth or faith, but their legacy remains. Peace and prosperity are the general order of things, and as time marches on so too does progress. In the capital, Elendel, the buildings continue to rise higher, new contraptions such as horseless carriages are appearing, electricity is being used more commonly, and the guns are ever more destructive.
There are no more Mistborn – those spoken of in legend who had mastery over all the known Allomantic metals. But some few are Twinborn: that is, they have an Allomantic ability as well as a Feruchemical one. Waxillian is one of these as well as one of the finest lawkeepers the Roughs have ever seen. On the outskirts of the cities, justice is upheld by hard men who must hold firmly in their minds the line that divides them from the criminals they hunt.
When Waxillian is called by family duty back to the city he determines to leave his lawkeeping past behind – but when a flamboyant criminal gang known as the Vanishers baffles the city’s Constables with their robberies and kidnappings, Wax and his oldest friend Wayne are inexorably drawn back into the fight.
Sanderson is a fantastic writer. His worlds are some of the most solid I’ve ever come across in fantasy, which makes for a very satisfying read. I’m a huge fan of the magic systems of Allomancy and Feruchemy, which are familiar to those who’ve read the Mistborn trilogy but are kept fresh by how much of the developing society is now underlined by metal.
His characters are individuals who avoid fantasy cliché by way of their layered personalities. No one is entirely heroic or villainous – Sanderson strikes an accurately human balance by shading between such extremes. His plot lines are rich with detail and his action scenes are well thought out, with a great rhythm.
This novel is a wonderful twist on traditional fantasy, taking an established society forward with industrial advancement, and the story is a welcome addition to the Mistborn universe. I’m still recommending Brandon Sanderson’s books at work to anyone looking for great fantasy, with great success, and I’ll extend that recommendation to you: if fantasy’s your thing, Brandon Sanderson’s for you. Enjoy!
If you’ve read any Patrick Rothfuss – The Name of the Wind/The Wise Man’s Fear – you’ll love Sanderson’s work also. And if you’ve read Sanderson but not Rothfuss, or in fact if you like fantasy at all and you haven’t come across Rothfuss, you’re truly missing out on one of the finest fantasy writers of our time.
I know a lot of readers like YA Fantasy (as do I, of course!). Do you ever branch out into plain fantasy? Have you read any Brandon Sanderson? Who’s your favourite fantasy author?