Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

“Wax crept along the ragged fence in a crouch, his boots scraping the dry ground.”

First line in The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Mistborn: The Alloy Era (Book 1)

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: 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.

Goodreads

Review

I finally picked up this book which is a follow up to Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. As you can tell from my rating, it was a bit of a let down without being a horrible book. It takes place 300 years after the events in The Hero of Ages and therefore, it has a completely new cast of characters. It also means that the world has progressed to a western inspired setting. I think this book has taught me that I don’t like westerns.  Just keep that in mind.

I’ll split this review up into what I liked and disliked about the book because there’s a bit of both. We start negative to end on a positive note.

Dislikes:

  • Pacing of the plot

I felt the plot was unnecessarily slow for such a short book. The edition I read was only 324 pages long, so I was actually expecting it to be very gripping and exhilarating from start to finish. That’s not what I got. A lot of time is spent on world building (which I’ll get back to) and so the plot almost felt like a side note. Like Sanderson forgot that plot is a thing and just quickly thought of something. In my opinion, the problems could have been resolved much faster but was drawn out to flesh out the world and the characters.

  • Awkward dialogue

Yes, this is weird, I know. Some of things the characters said just made me cringe to hard. Especially Wax when the topics just resembled anything romantic. Definitely not where Sanderson is strongest.

  • The main character Waxillium

We follow Wax for most of the book with a few short POV’s from other characters. That just means that your level of enjoyment is very dependent upon whether you like Wax or not. Well, I didn’t hate him. I just didn’t care very much about him and found him kind of boring. He’s very dry and always very responsible. He lightened up a bit when he had interactions with Wayne but there were very few of those.

Likes:

  • Wayne

Wayne was just a joy to read about. He was a necessary opposite to Wax’ gloominess and I just wish he’d had a more central role to play in the plot. I hope to see more of him in the next books. I need more of his amazing lines and quick wit.

  • Worldbuilding

Absolute favorite thing about this book and the reason I still liked it despite the dislikes I mentioned. Sanderson spends a lot of this book showing how the world and also the magic have evolved. I found it so intriguing to read about and just wanted more. It clearly opened up so many possibilities for the progression of the plot in the next books which I can’t wait to read.

Overall

The Alloy of Law very much functions as an introduction to the next Mistborn Era and it’s clearly meant to set up the next books. Maybe that’s why I overall found it a little underwhelming. Especially for a Sanderson novel. I wanted to be tricked and surprised, but I wasn’t because the plot felt very straightforward and predictable in my opinion.

I’m going to continue with the series and hope Sanderson returns to his earlier amazing storytelling.

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