Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Title: The Alloy of Law
Series: Mistborn (#4) - Alloy Era
Author: Brandon Sanderson
From: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 8th November 2011
Challenges: 2016 Reading Assignment, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Waxillium is the last heir of House Ladrian and has to return to Elendel in order to restore his finances. Putting his days as lawman to the Roughs behind him he aims to become the expected noble, including potential marriage. But soon he finds himself caught up in the mystery surrounding the Vanishers, a group of bandits who seem to be making the contents of railway cars disappear. Armed with his trusted guns, Allomancy and Feruchemy and alongside his sidekick Wayne and fiancée's cousin Marasi, Wax will get to the bottom of things.

I've put off reading Alloy of Law since before it even came out (which shocks me in part how long I've been a fan of Sanderson!) It's not that I didn't think it was good, but rather that I loved the original trilogy so much that I was worried The Alloy of Law wouldn't stand up. Now I'm of two minds, I enjoyed The Alloy of Law and want to continue the story, but it wasn't quite as good as the original three books. Though I do think this is because guns and magic aren't something I'd necessarily pick up without the prior fan status of the author.

I love the idea of fantasy settings progressing with technology. This isn't what you'd call traditional epic fantasy like the original setting, mainly because of the introduction of technology, but nor is a modern setting. To my mind the characters appeared as if in a Western front type setting which actually worked really well. I shouldn't be surprised considering Sanderson's talent at creating unique magic systems, but the magic and technology worked together really well.

The Alloy of Law could be read as a stand alone (I think) as everything is explained and there is a new set of characters. However I enjoyed seeing little nods to the events in the first trilogy (though I found it quite strange having some of the characters turned into Godlike figures after getting to know their flaws!) Little things like earings, street talk, even the name Elendel, all made me smile and appreciate that I knew the back story.

I did feel like I got off to a slow start with The Alloy of Law, but it then picked up for me and I thought it had a great pace. By the time I was about 30% done I didn't want to put it down at all, which is definitely a good thing!

I loved the new characters by the end too! Wax and Wayne have a great amount of banter between them, as well as some good stories from the past. In a way they kind of reminded me of Breeze and Ham, though they were definitely still their own characters. Marasi was my favourite though (and I hope Wax opens his eyes a bit more there). She held her own, and though she was new to action and got nervous, she also came across as brave. Sanderson writes imperfect characters and that makes them better!

I'm looking forward to continuing this part of the series, and I think I was wrong to put off reading it for so long!