November 27, 2011

Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Tor Books
ISBN 0765330423 (ISBN13: 9780765330420)
Edition Language: English
Source: Purchased

The Blurb (

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools 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. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and 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 than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

True fans of Brandon Sanderson have come to expect certain things in one of his books. You expect an interesting, original, and cohesive (if crazy) magic system. You expect non-traditional characters. And you expect a certain level of tongue-in-cheek humor. I'm here to tell you, that Alloy of Law did not disappoint.

To start with, we have the same magic systems found in the original Mistborn trilogy, allomancy and feruchemy. However, 300 years after the world ended and was remade, we no longer find true mistborn or feruchemists. No, the mistborn of yore have entered the religious pantheon, and no mention is made of feruchemists. Instead, we have people who either have one allomantic skill or one feruchemical skill, and in rare circumstances we have the Twinborn: those with one allomantic and one feruchemical skill together.

Which brings me to non-traditional characters. In Alloy of Law, the two main characters are Wax and Wayne. Oh yeah, there's that tongue-in-cheek humor, too. Wax is a 40-something sorta-broke lord. Who ran away as a kid to be a lawman. And then came back to be a lord. With no money. Wax, however, is overly observant, always tried to do the right thing, and is pretty smart besides, always good traits to have. His partner, Wayne, however, is also those things. He just hides it better. Because really, who wants to be known as the smart guy? Just gets you into trouble.

I can't remember the last time I read a fantasy novel where the main character was over the age of 25. In fact, it's hard to classify this book as a fantasy. I mean, if you really think about it, it's more like an old western, with gun fights, an evil villain and a damsel in distress. There just happens to be a few magical powers and some fun tech involved, steampunk style.

All in all, this was a very fun read. I can see why Brandon Sanderson says writing this book was his vacation. The book definitely doesn't take itself too seriously, and still manages to tell a really good story that keeps you hooked from start to finish.

My favorite part? Without spoiling too much, the line is Harmony saying "You're welcome."

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