The Alloy of Law (Mistborn)
by Brandon Sanderson
Review by Harriet Klausner
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765330420
Date: 08 November 2011 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Scadrial has come a long way in the last three centuries due to a technology boom that has brought rails to the surface, electric lights on the streets and in the luxurious homes and steel skyscrapers reaching beyond the clouds. However, while the steel age erupts across Scadrial; the ancient magic of Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy still thrive especially in the dangerous Roughs.
Waxillium has been a law enforcement official in the Rough for two decades. He is one of the best at his vocation because of his Twinborn skill that few possess. He deploys Allomancy to work metal and employ Feruchemy to change his mass. After twenty years in the Roughs as a law enforcement official, Wax must go home to replace his late uncle as Lord Ladrian in Elendel, the sophisticated city in the round. His return home is marred by the Vanishers outlaw gang who steals cargo from railcars and kidnaps women. Feeling it is his mission, Wax, accompanied by his BFF Wayne the depraved deviant and Marasi the brilliant beauty, set off to take down the Vanishers and rescue the abducted.
Although part of the Mistborn Saga, The Alloy of Law is a stand alone that can be read without the benefit of perusing the original trilogy though those who have not are missing a wonderful magical fantasy. In fact this novel is a clever extrapolation three hundred years after the end of the last Mistborn Saga tale (see The Hero of Ages). The heroes of that era are now part of the mythology and history books of this period. The merging of magic and technology works as competing methodologies that with a rare practitioner like the hero merge into a super system.
Wax is superb as he has feet in the two competing systems. He is a rarity who is not just comfortable with magic and steel; he is able to merge the normally conflicting approaches into a cohesive Alloy of Law enforcement tool. His partners add loyalty and humor, while readers and Wax know not to wager with Wayne the slick con artist, while we also believe he and Marasi have the hero's back.
Filled with amusing Rough frontier banter in a realm in which early twentieth century technology and science competes with magic, fans will enjoy this action adventure caper. Brandon Sanderson brilliantly provides a refreshing guns and sorcery thriller.