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The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel

The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel

Написано Brandon Sanderson

Озвучено Michael Kramer


The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel

Написано Brandon Sanderson

Озвучено Michael Kramer

оценки:
4.5/5 (223 оценки)
Длина:
10 часов
Издатель:
Издано:
8 нояб. 2011 г.
ISBN:
9781427221049
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, the Mistborn series is a heist story of political intrigue and magical, martial-arts action.

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.

A Macmillan Audio production.

Издатель:
Издано:
8 нояб. 2011 г.
ISBN:
9781427221049
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Об авторе

Brandon Sanderson grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He lives in Utah with his wife and children and teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University. He is the author of such bestsellers as the Mistborn® trilogy and its sequels, The Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self, and The Bands of Mourning; the Stormlight Archive novels The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance; and other novels, including The Rithmatist, Steelheart, and Skyward. In 2013, he won a Hugo Award for Best Novella for The Emperor's Soul, set in the world of his acclaimed first novel, Elantris. Additionally, he was chosen to complete Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time® sequence.


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  • (5/5)
    really great expansion of the mistborn universe, leaves you wanting more
  • (5/5)
    Sanderson is so talented. I enjoyed everything about this. Not as grand as the first 3 books but somehow I was totally fine with that!
  • (5/5)
    Loved this book, but that goes for anything and everything written by Brandon Sanderson.
  • (4/5)
    Some parts of the audiobook skipped and were unintelligible. The story all in all was good though.
  • (3/5)
    it was such a fun and short ride. it so different than mistbron loved the mystery and the action. good fun light read.
  • (3/5)
    While I adore the other Mistborn novels, this one disappointed me. I didn't feel really connected to the characters, and I felt that the action happened too quickly. I would have also liked to hear more about what happened in the 300 years since "The Hero of Ages" ended. For example where did the new metals come from? The story finally started to really interest me in the last three pages of the epilogue, so I hope that if or when more Mistborn books are written they will continue the plot stared in "The Alloy of Law" and I'll like them better.
  • (5/5)
    After finishing a reread of all three books of Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy, I finally felt ready to tackle this book. Sure, I was aware that The Alloy of Law could technically be read as a standalone, given that it's set 300 years after the events of The Hero of Ages and stars completely new characters. Nonetheless, I wanted to refresh my memory on the background of the world and especially Allomancy lore.Good thing I did too, because even though centuries have passed and characters like Vin, Elend, Sazed and the rest of the gang are long gone, their lives and stories have become immortalized in this world's history and even religious canon. They are respected figures, with cities and landmarks named for them, and being able to recognize references such as these makes the reading experience that much better. The magic systems of Allomancy and Feruchemy are also still around, and in fact are made even more interesting by all the resulting possible combinations of metal powers that people can possess.The protagonist of The Alloy of Law, for instance, is known as a "Twinborn", someone who has access to both an Allomantic power and a Feruchemic power. Waxillium Ladrian's set of abilities allows him to push on metals as well as change his mass at will -- a useful and powerful combination which serves him well as a crime-fighter out in the lawless frontier called the Roughs. But then his uncle dies, and Wax is recalled to the city and his noble roots. He reluctantly turns away from his lawman past and prepares to take on the role and duties more befitting a lord of his stature -- until a gang of bandits called the Vanishers surfaces, robbing trains and kidnapping hostages, and Wax realizes he can no longer stand idly by while decent people get hurt.I'm not surprised at how much I enjoyed this. If there's one thing I can count on, it's that Brandon Sanderson gets better with each book he writes. Even though his Mistborn trilogy featured more characters and a more epic and elaborate story, I think I might have liked The Alloy of Law better than all three of those books put together. Despite its simplicity, I loved the western-like setting as well as the mild hints of steampunk I caught from passing descriptions of the new and extraordinary technology. It's always amazing to me whenever we get to see a fantasy world evolve like this.It was also nice to see the humor between the two characters Waxillium and his friend Wayne. I don't think the book is meant to be a lighthearted read exactly, but I like it when Sanderson writes funny scenes like this with clever and witty banter. Reading this book made me laugh quite a few times, a fact I don't take for granted, especially since I make it no secret that I was not particularly happy with how things ended in The Hero of Ages. I don't deny that it might have even soured me on the whole trilogy, so to follow it up with something like The Alloy of Law definitely had the effect of lifting my spirits somewhat. The ending of the book sets things up nicely for the next installment, and I'm already looking forward to it.
  • (4/5)
    This was the first Sanderson book I enjoyed in quite a while. The writing was well thought out and the characters were charming without being cardboard. Since it has been a while since I finished the Mistborn Trilogy I did have trouble following all the religious cults briefly mentioned (an appendix on that would have been much appreciated) but the different attitudes to the people of the first trilogy were interesting asides. The book was very enjoyable and highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    WTF????!?!??!!?!?!??!?

    What kind of ending was that? Is there going to be a sequel???

    Later....

    Okay, so there IS going to be a sequel. I was under the impression when I started this book (THANK YOU, HUSBAND) that this was a stand-alone story (BECAUSE HE TOLD ME IT WAS), so when I got to the end and it ended the way it did, I was IRATE! So irate, that I swore in front of my (copycat) 31-month-old daughter, and she said her very first cuss word! :( OOPS! (Only a "what the hell," but still! EEK!!! BAD MOMMY!!!! "What the hell" is quite cute in 2-year-old speech though... but still bad! Very very bad!)

    So, now that I can go back and think about this more objectively, I really quite liked the book. It takes place 300 years after the original Mistborn trilogy, and I thought it was fascinating to see (1) how Allomancy and Ferochemy had changed and mingled over that time (No sign of any Mistborns, but I'm guessing that's what the bad guys are trying to recreate...), and (2) how Allomantic powers mix with technology! GUNS! I don't ALWAYS like steampunk (I don't ALWAYS like anything...), but this was VERY well done! In fact, I don't even know if you can really call it steampunk, because it doesn't take place on Earth, and therefore not in the Victorian age that one usually associates with steampunk, but it had a definite steampunk FEEL to it. So I don't feel bad classifying it that way. I'm also going to mark it as a western. Because it has that feel, too. (I LOVE books/movies/shows that cross boundaries like that! FIREFLY!!!)

    Anyway.... OBVIOUSLY, the ending was less than desirable. NONE of the questions have been answered, and the guy and girl haven't even gotten together!! (Also obviously, it was the latter of those two issues that caused me to swear...) I am ECSTATIC to know that there will be a sequel. If there hadn't been, I would have had to drive up to Utah and beat Brandon Sanderson's door down (after somehow figuring out where he lives... I wonder if his address is listed in the BYU Alumni directory?), and DEMAND he write one. I'm quite happy to save on fuel expenses. And door costs. And court fees. ;)
  • (5/5)
    Got this one out of the library, and since I'm going there tomorrow I decided to try and read it in a day. Done :)
    Boy, I wished it was longer and also to read more about Wax. At first I was a bit lost, since it has been a bit of time since I read the original trilogy, but you still feel all of it and just get back to it pretty soon.
    Can't say much without spoiling it, but I would say that Sanderson is a good wine, just gets better with time (is that how the saying goes?). More enjoyable than the original Mistborn trilogy (I wonder then what the next book will be, how can things get better than they already are?).
  • (4/5)
    7.5/10

    Alloy of Law is an apt name for this novel - which was originally intended as a short story - not only because of the strong emotions between characters and the law, but also because of their personal laws (Wayne and his "trading" comes most vividly into my mind).

    The character quirks are quite entertaining and very laughable at times, but where this novel excels less at is the plot. It is still rather interesting and enjoyable by anyone's standards; and yet it doesn't quite have the same spark the rest of Brandon Sanderson's novels do. But the ending, the ending felt natural. Wax and Streris's continued engagement felt right - despite Marasi and Wax making an amazing team, she would become so much more with him only as a friend.

    Mr Suit being Wax's uncle, I could tell as soon as I read that he was an old man. Making his death look suspicious beforehand does ruin the surprise quite sadly.

    An entertaining novel, with many Mistborn references, which made this quite a treat to read! (Elendel and Vindication ;-;) But I imagine this would be much less interesting to a newcomer, so I recommend reading the Mistborn trilogy first.
  • (4/5)
    I'm not a fan of "steampunk" nor modern conventions (guns, etc.) in my fantasy fiction, but I weathered it in this book because my coworker assured me I'd be impressed.

    A little disclaimer: I did not like the ending of the long-winded Mistborn trilogy. I loved the world and the magic system (Allomancy & the others), but I really did not like where the story went, nor how long it took to get there.

    This book is set some 300 years later. It's very fast-paced (there's hardly time to catch your breath between the action scenes), contains your typical likeable Sanderson characters, and it gives you a "Wild West" feel. In the end, I have to say I really liked it. It's very exciting and gets to the point. In previous Sanderson works, I'd find myself skimming -- in some cases I'd skim over half the book -- because of lengthy chapters dedicated to characters analyzing their motivations and plans, among other things I found irrelevant. Not so much in this book, although this "character analyzing" was still present. It was just done to a lesser extent. A Sanderson work less than 400 pages? Color me surprised and relieved.

    My main complaint is that the ending makes the book seem like it's intended to be a series. In the "Acknowledgments" section at the beginning of the book, Sanderson said that's not on his agenda. So the questions left open will not be answered, just like in Elantris. It's a downer. So, although I liked the characters, on some level I wish I hadn't read it because we'll never see who Wax ends up shipped with. I hate to admit it but romance is rather important to me, and Sanderson has led us along by the nose but did not resolve the budding romance; it's obviously intended to be further explored in the nonexistent next volume. Especially since it was hinting at love triangle.

    Another complaint is that the references to the Mistborn Trilogy feel a bit cheesy to me, and I could do without them. It doesn't ruin the story, but I can see it confusing people who did not read the trilogy. I think the author should have cut some of them out, especially near the end. I mean we don't really need to see that the characters from 300 years ago are still around watching over the world in spirit. It's implied, but you don't have to make it true. That's just silly.

  • (4/5)
    I don’t know what to say that has not already been said in other reviews. I simply love Brandon Sanderson and his brand of genius. When I began the Mistborn series it just utterly consumed me. I loved Vin, Kelsier, Elend and all the other secondary characters like they were my best friends. I loved the world he created. I loved the magic system and most of all I loved the story.

    Alloy of Law takes place in the same world, but 300 years later. My favorite characters are now considered legends. I admit it bought on a bit of nostalgia seeing them mentioned this way, but it was nice to see what all their struggles have produced. It was also neat seeing how the world has progressed and changed since their story. This was something I often thought about when I finished Mistborn.

    As for this installment, I really enjoyed it. It was not as consuming as Mistborn, but it certainly had its moments. I liked the new characters Wax, Wayne and Lady Marasi. Wax, in particular, seems like he’s going to be a complex character. I would like to see what is in store for him. Wayne sometimes came off a little too hokey for me, but overall he seems like a fun dude. Just when he was starting to get on my nerves he would pop out with something funny and I would forgive him. ♥

    Overall, I enjoyed the story but it was missing the little something special that Mistborn had. I have yet to put my finger on what that was, but it did capture some of the magic in the cliffhanger ending that has me excited for more.
  • (3/5)
    Brandon Sanderson writes rigorously thought-out systems of magic that uphold engaging plots, and that's pretty much always enough for me. His characters aren't necessarily the deepest, but they're not caricatures and they get the job done. I liked the Mistborn novels well enough, and moving that world forward into pseudo-Victoriana works perfectly well. The once-Wild West sheriff returned to high society after a personal tragedy is enough to get the plot rolling, his sidekick is entertaining, and the female lead is well-developed. (And the "love" "interest", while not onscreen much, appears to be an attempt at a autism-spectrum type trying desperately to manage her role as the heir to a large fortune who cannot avoid being married off to someone. It's interesting, and I'm curious to see how Sanderson follows up with it.)
  • (4/5)
    This might just be my favorite of Sanderson's Mistborn novels to date. Shorter and punchier than those of the original trilogy, this book takes on a much smaller story, and gives Sanderson a chance to show the ways he's grown since taking on The Wheel of Time. His characters are snappier, their introspection less ponderous, and the magic system is really coming into its own as an organic part of the world
  • (5/5)
    Having loved the Misborn trilogy, I couldn't help but want to read The Alloy of Law when I saw that it took place in the same world as the other books. I was definitely not disappointed in this one. Sanderson did a great job.The book was fast-paced and, despite being nearly 400 pages, read very quickly. I was engaged almost from the start, because the opening sequence is very engaging. What kept me hooked was the interesting blend of Allomancy and Feruchemy, with which I was familiar from the earlier books, and the way "alloy" was used throughout the text. To that end, I think that Sanderson did a really nice job of integrating the book's title into the text itself. I felt like I knew to sit up and take notice when the word "alloy" was used, and it helped draw even further out the discussions of law and how it should be viewed or upheld. I really liked that, because using the title to "unlock a book" has always been one of my favorite strategies when analyzing a text.The characters were engaging, and while I didn't necessarily identify with them per se, I liked them all quite well. Some of the action was edge-of-seat, hold-your-breath, which I like in some books but don't like in movies. The Alloy of Law is definitely a book where the action worked for me. It really kept me turning the pages.I loved the subtle ties to the earlier books. However, I thought it was also nice that one didn't necessarily *have* to have read the Mistborn trilogy to understand what was going on in the book.The novel could stand alone, as I said above, but there is definitely room for a sequel. I'll be on the lookout for that one too, because I haven't been let down with anything from Sanderson's Mistborn universe so far.
  • (4/5)
    I've mentioned on my Mistborn reviews that I didn't like the books as much as I expected to because I never became very invested in the characters. I was sort of worried that the same would be true here, but to my pleasure the same did not happen. I actually began to like Waxilium fairly early on in the book. And Wayne as well. The banter between these two men was a nice touch. I think it could have gotten to over the top, but Sanderson handled Wanye very well. I did love the magic system in the Mistborn novels so seeing it again here, even if it’s in slightly different ways, was great. Sanderson can certainly get stars with creatively alone. There was also a slightly western feel to the book. I think it must be all the guns and trains. I’ve always liked western books so this also made it stand out for me. And the writing. Sanderson has always, in my opinion, done a fantastic job with his writing in general. It’s to the point but still detailed enough to give his books the meat on the bones. I liked that Wax was not invincible (another general trait to Sanderson’s characters). He gets beat up and thrown off trains and hurts afterwards. He’s not a perfect hero that can solve everything. But he tries. And if the ending is anything to go off, he’s not done trying. The last third of the book was the most exciting part by the way. I’m positive I’ve seen somewhere that Sanderson is hoping to make this part of a new trilogy as a part of the Mistborn world. In fact, if I look it up, it says the second book will be forthcoming in 2014. Sanderson is certainly getting out tons of books these last few years. I can say I’m excited to read more of his books. Recommend for any fantasy fan. Anyways, the book didn’t make it into my “I have to buy” pile but I did end up liking it.
  • (4/5)
    I wouldn't read this before reading the other Mistborn books. Having the knowledge of what has come before is not critical to the plot or anything but it does help set the tone and make the world feel more "realized".This was a little lighter than the other mistborn books but still good. Had a kind of western/steampunk feel, more about guns and trains than crazy steam inventions. Wayne was the best character hands down. Every story should have a Wayne. I'm sure other fantasy authors are very jealous and wish they would have created this character.Definitely a big opening for a second book but I haven't heard anything about it. Sanderson's probably just busy writing 7 other books right now.
  • (4/5)
    Not quite sure what to make of this. It's a significantly later in time addition to the original Mistborn series. There's enough recap on how the world works that you don't need to have read the original series, but you'll miss a few references to the early characters if you haven't. The feel however is somewhat different. Instead of a 'classical' fantasy world we now have a Western. With electricity and guns, but also still the metal "burning" magic. Our hero one Lord Wax, is the black sheep of the family and spent the last several years out in the Roughs bringing law and order to the small communities there - by whatever means he could. However following the death of his uncle he is now required to come back to the City and establish the family name in a refined and genteel setting. HOwever he quickly discovers that City life is acyually hard er than out in the Roughs, and the number of lawmen around proportionally fewer.Although he has resolved to reform and become the City Lord his family need him to be, he can't prevent himself from investigating a gang of criminals who've started kidnapping prominent women - his own fiancee amoung them.Although the plot is fairly straightforward the feel of the book is somewhat confused. The Western overtone always predominates, but the electricity that is stressed so often counteracts this. Woven around this is a crime/mystery element, but not enough detail is spent elucidating it. . All of this worldbuilding unfortunetly detracts from the characters. Wax and his sidekick Wayne (yes there are quite a few bad puns scattered through this, although it doesn't approach pTerry levels of humour) banter quite a bit between them, and while Marissa stars a little at the beginning she is quickly sidelined. Which is a shame. The action is seldom that intense because of the crime sideline, so there should have been space to develop the characters a little - some more interplay between Marissa and her sister for a start. Perhaps overal the book is actually too short! Somethign of a rarity if fantasy thesedays (esp given Sanderson's recent offerings). An extension would also enable the ending to be finished properly, at the moment the hook is set for a sequel although I understood from the author's preamble that it is intended to be a standalone.The magical system remains clever, but is taken soemwhat for granted, reducing the wonder that it inspired in the earlier books. Sanderson appears to have updated the list of metals' powers a bit, and found uses for ones that were not given in the earlier books. There is a delight in reading the well worked out physics though, the things you can and can't do with extra mass or time. It is easy to get this wrong, but Sanderson appears ot have not made any significant errors, and even more importanlty remained consistant throughout in what the powers can and cannot do. Not bad - enjoyable and novel in many ways - but probably too short and too confused across too many genres to really work well.
  • (4/5)
    This was an interesting stand alone title Mr. Sanderson added to his Mistborn universe. It is in away light and meaty. The story reads fast but leaves you wanting a whole lot more because, while it was designed to be a one off Sherlock Holmes type of story, Sanderson does lay groundwork for a possible series here. I found this confusing after visiting his sight where he mentions plans for a future Mistborn Trilogy, buy seemed to imply that this was not it. Aside from feeling quite hungry for more, the story itself is well paced and fun.
  • (4/5)
    Sanderson’s sequel to his popular “Mistborn” series is set three hundred years after the events of “The Hero of Ages” and society and technology have advanced accordingly, bringing his fantasy world up to a level roughly equivalent to our own Victorian/Wild West era. Waxillium Ladrian, or Wax, is a Twinborn gifted with both Allomantic and Feruchemical powers. Born into a noble family, Wax fled the glittering capitol city of Elendel as a young man to become a lawkeeper out in the wild Roughs. Now older, perhaps wiser, and certainly more jaded, he has returned to take up his role as the head of the Ladrian family following the death of his uncle. He has resolved to give up the coarse lifestyle of a backwoods lawman and marry for the good of his family, but soon finds that the city can be just as dangerous as the Roughs. A band of outlaws known as the Vanishers have been mysteriously robbing train cars and kidnapping noble women, then vanishing without a trace. When Wax’s own intended becomes one of those captives, he, his wise-cracking parter Wayne, and his intended’s bright cousin Marasi are honor-bound to solve the mystery and save the Vanishers’ victims—a task that will strain both their intellects and their Allomantic powers to their utmost.A well-developed and unique setting paired with sparkling, sympathetic characters, witty dialogue, and a rollicking adventure make this title far from a stale rehash of the original series, but a fascinating outing in its own right. We can only hope for further adventures with Wax and his crew!
  • (5/5)
    Aug12:Characters: Damn, Brandon can spin them. Could have used some more female page time, but I'll forgive him. The leading duo were amazing.Plot: Cohesive, clean, and very interesting. This guy can plan and pace a book!Style: So smooth and awesome. Reminds me of a literary Joss Whedon.
  • (4/5)
    A very interesting setting, with an interesting but minor story in it. This is a few hundred years after the Mistborn series, and unlike most fantasy societies, Sanderson actually let his develop. The result is a sort of steampunky Western with metal magic used as tools. Also, most of the characters in the Mistborn series are now worshiped as gods, apparently...I don't remember the story well enough to recognize all of them. One major city, with rough, wild areas (physically and culturally) surrounding it. The protagonist is noble-born, a child of the city, who left as a young man and has made quite a name for himself as a vigilante lawman in the Roughs. He's called back to the city because apparently all the rest of his line have died and he's now the Lord. He's trying to adjust to city ways again (no, Sir, it really isn't appropriate for you to carry pistols and a shotgun at all times...), including finding himself an appropriate wife to breed more of his line. Minor interruptions like his old sidekick showing up (by the way, it took me 3/4 of the book to catch the pun in their names. Wax(illium) and Wayne??? (Hmmm, does this world have a moon? I don't remember and I don't think it was mentioned in this book.)), an impossibly successful group of thieves, and a plot within his home interrupt his good intentions. By the end of the book he's established as useful though annoying by the constables (who are _supposed_ to be doing this protective stuff - what's this amateur doing showing us up?). There could be more stories, or it could stop here - either one would be good. Fun, I'm glad I read it, but it's not going to be one of the really memorable stories or worlds to me - it's already fuzzing away (admittedly, it took me a month to write this review). I'll still be keeping an eye on Brandon Sanderson - he does come up with interesting concepts!
  • (4/5)
    I admit, I had lost much interest by the third of the original Mistborn series; it was getting a bit too religious for my taste. This felt like a stripping down and revamping of the story, which felt overdue. The compelling innovations from that story (metal bending) were kept, and put into a spaghetti western format. Highly enjoyable, except for one brief moment near the end, where the author relies on a deux ex machina to get his hero out of trouble; a moment which sort of stuck in my craw. That element aside, the book was fresh like the original Mistborn novel was, and I am looking forward to the series' continuation.
  • (4/5)
    fun, fast paced detective thriller based in the same world as the Mistborn trilogy. You don't have to have read the previous books to read this one. If you have read the Mistborn books then there's a delightful conversation with the mist 3/4s of the way through. Wonderful escapism with phenomenal pacing. I can definitely see this in movie form someday.
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite recently read fantasy series are the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson. The original books set up a unique world with systems of magic that are almost mundane. Not that the magic-users are not quite powerful, or do not inspire a lot of awe in the non-magic using characters, but just that it is not a “wizard” type of setting. That dynamic is changing in the latest book, The Alloy of Law.A note of explanation on the books may be necessary, especially when one considers how short this novella is, at about 280 pages, versus the average of 600 to 700 pages for the books of the Mistborn Trilogy that precedes it. Sanderson explains in Alloy's preface that he has a vision of not keeping to the typical “medieval”, “sword and sorcery” type of setting for which most fantasy is known. His vision was to do the original Mistborn with (mostly) the said “traditional” setting, then do a second trilogy in an urban setting analogous to modern times, and then a futuristic trilogy.On a whim, Sanderson began writing a story that would take place in a time analogous to the 1890's in our own world, but with some unique links to the original trilogy. This was actually accomplished in quite a clever way. Sanderson had made quite clear in the original Mistborn, that the world the story takes place on (called Scadriel) was made to have been technologically stunted and degraded to a lower level by the Lord Ruler after his Ascension. So the fact that the current narrative is so interconnected to the previous one with only about three and a half centuries after Sazed's Ascension having elapsed, yet has a far higher level of technology and increasing modern ideas and conveniences, (comparable to the 1890s United States) makes sense. Essentially, Sazed left documents guiding them in starting on the path to re-discovering the lost technology and ideas of the world before the Lord Ruler's Ascension. They had a base to move up from, so it wasn't nearly “from scratch”.In the current novel, a lawman from the “Roughs”, which is an area outside of the mountainous region surrounding the city of Elendel (where most people live and work), receives some news. The man, Waxilium Ladrian, is sent a letter telling him that his uncle and sister have been killed in a horrible accident. Now, Wax must return home to lead his noble house. Clues including his last name, and the name of some of his facilities bearing the name “Cett” tell the attentive reader that Wax is the descendant of Breeze Ladrian and his eventual wife Allrianne Cett, from the original Mistborn.Wax begins making the connections needed to try to rescue his near-bankrupt house from financial ruin. Despite his lawman instincts, he wants to have nothing to do with trying to prevent the crime wave of thefts and kidnappings done by a mysterious group called “the Vanishers”. He itches to do something, but realizes he can not afford to intervene in this issue because of his lack of legal authority, and because many thousands will become destitute if he dies and House Ladrian fails.All of this changes at a party where Wax and his friend from the Roughs, Wayne, are dining with Wax's eventual (for business reasons), fiance, Steris, and Steris's father and cousin, Lord Harms and Marasi Colmes. The Vanishers burst in and start robbing the guests, and they kidnap Steris and almost kidnap Marasi. Between the kidnapping of his (future) fiance and a murder in his presence, Wax decides to join his friend in stopping the criminal group.But Wax, Wayne, and Marasi discover a much more sinister plan. Can they save Steris from the chilling plan the criminals have for her and the other hostages? Or will it be too late?Okay, admittedly this has been quite a long-winded introduction and description. In my defense, it was really necessary to give the proper information for anyone who might be interested in reading Alloy. It's a great story to read by itself, don't get me wrong, but it also does have many links to the original Mistborn, that the reader may not understand right away. Some greater comprehension for any prospective readers may, I hope, be facilitated by this review.The story succeeds in bringing to mind a combination Wild West and turn of the century feel. One can imagine the adventures of Billy the Kid and Jesse James on the one hand, and the adventures of Anne Shirley or Little House on the Prairie, on the other. It's strange, but despite knowing that this is a separate, fictional world from our own, I still got that same sense I get when reading the above adventures and characters.In the beginning of the review, I alluded to the whole difference between this setting and the “sword and sorcery” setting of other fantasy works. The distinction is becoming more fuzzy as time proceeds on Scadriel. Not only are the main characters from the original Mistborn figures of myth and religion, but the systems of magic are becoming diluted and changing. Only two of the original cast still live, and the reader can guess who they are. I'm not saying. Whistles innocentlyWhat makes this development so startling is that while magic is changing, it is changing in a way that, along with the religions and myths surrounding the original Mistborn characters, make the superstition and awe of the magic users increase. We have a unique situation where, as technology and development increase on fictional Scadriel, the whole “sword and sorcery” setting is increasing over where it was in the medieval setting, only with firearms instead of swords.In short, this story was a brief, but brilliant effort from Sanderson. The only real problem was that it was so short, and it may be some time before we read more of what happens in an eventual sequel, as Sanderson has other projects to finish first. He left an obvious opening for the story to continue, and I just hope he gets to it sooner than later.Highly Recommended.
  • (4/5)
    Summary: When his uncle dies, Wax Ladriel reluctantly gives up his position as a lawman out in the Roughs - a position in which his Twinborn powers, of steel allomancy and iron feruchemistry, have served him well - and returns to Elendel to take up the title of head of House Ladriel. But try as he might to adjust to the genteel lifestyle of the city nobility, he can't quite leave his past behind him... especially when his old friend Wayne shows up, and draws his attention to a string of robbery/kidnappings that have been taking place across the capital. Wax knows he should let the constables handle it, but when the thieves attack a wedding he is attending, Wax finds himself in a position to bring a little Roughs-style justice to the city. Unfortunately, the robberies are just the tip of the iceberg, and Wax and Wayne may have gotten themselves in deeper than even they can handle.Review: The Alloy of Law was a highly enjoyable book, not too serious, not too involved, not too long, just a fun, shoot-em-up Western (well, Western-slash-Edwardian) mystery with the kick-ass action scenes that I've come to expect from Sanderson in general, and from his Mistborn books in particular. As you can probably tell, there were a number of elements that I really liked about this book. First, since it takes place in the Mistborn universe but several hundred years after the original trilogy, it feels comfortably familiar without requiring a big time commitment (or a good memory for the details of the trilogy itself). For those who have read the trilogy, though, there's an added layer of interest in seeing how the world has changed in the intervening centuries, how the characters we knew have become myths and legends, how allomancy has changed (there are a fair number of mistings, but mistborns are so rare as for their very existance to be doubted), and how new technologies both avoid and take advantage of the changing times. Those technologies are another element I really liked; I haven't read a lot of historical fantasy set in Edwardian-esque times, and none that I can think of set in the Old West, so I found Alloy of Law's setting to be original, and interesting to explore. A lot of elements of the worldbuilding felt like they were the result of an extended thought experiment (i.e. if you have people in your world that can push metal out of the air, what do you do about guns?), but the answers that Sanderson came up with were fascinating, and they were used in the service of a good story, so I was more than happy to go along for the ride.There were a few elements that kept this book from being a blockbuster for me, however. I liked Wayne's character, but I thought Sanderson leaned on him a little too heavily as the sole source of comic relief at times. There were a few times when I noticed Sanderson's personal ideology leaking through in a way that didn't seem to gel with the rest of the story, which was also something I noticed in the third Mistborn book, and was pretty distracting. And finally, I wish the mystery angle had been just a little meatier - while I didn't figure things out much ahead of the characters, things happen so quickly (the entire book takes place over roughly 48 hours) that occasionally the mystery plotline felt like a bridge between action sequences, rather than the driving force of the book. But really, none of these issues ever soured my enjoyment of the book, which was a quick, original, and just plain fun read. 4 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Even if you're not usually into fantasy for the fight scenes, you should still check this book out; Sanderson's got the coolest ones around. Recommended for Mistborn fans, of course, but also for fantasy fans who are getting a little tired of medieval settings and/or have a secret thing for Westerns.
  • (4/5)
    This novel is set on the world that Sanderson created in his Mistborn trilogy, but 300 years later. I seem to be the only person in the universe who has not read this trilogy, but I had no trouble understanding how this world and its magical system worked. While other reviewers have said that it is advisable to read the trilogy first, I’d argue that point. The world of Scadrial is Earth like, with humans, walnut trees, whiskey, steam trains, guns, and all the metals that exist on earth plus a couple more. Special forms of magic- super powers?- exist. This story takes place in a time and place that on Earth would be the Wild West. The main character, Wax, spent 20 years in the Roughs, a large, arid land bearing a great resemblance to the setting of every Western movie ever made. He’s a former law man, a sharp shooter, and possesses two kinds of magical ability. After a personal tragedy, he’s returned to the city to take over the reins of his noble family and give up his wild ways. But the resolve to act ‘civilized’ rapidly breaks down when a series of crimes erupts in his face and becomes personal. The bulk of the story takes place over only two days, although so much action takes place that it seems like it can’t possibly fit in that time. Wax and Wayne (yes, really), his former partner in crime fighting, never get a chance to rest as they are involved in gun fight after gun fight. There are subplots within plots, mysterious characters, death is defied many times, and there is much bantering and unique technology. It’s like an episode of Wild, Wild West but with magic. It’s 300 pages of fast, fun read. My only compliant with the book is that the female characters are not well used. Two barely show up and the one that takes part in the action is not cohesive; her reactions and traits are all over the map. While billed as a stand alone novel, the ending is not all wrapped up and just cries out for a sequel. I await it eagerly.
  • (4/5)
    After years of listening to the kids talk about the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, I finally got them from Audible and listened to them. I was amazed by the richness and depth of the world Sanderson created. In a medieval world where people gain special powers by "burning" metals inside them, he tells the story of overthrowing a centuries-old ruler with god-like powers. He doesn't just leave the characters victorious, but tells the often overlooked story of what happens after the revolution. In fact, that part is the more interesting story.In The Alloy of Law, Sanderson returns to the world of the Mistborn, but several hundred years later, at the beginning of the industrial revolution. Taking the special powers of the Mistborn and colliding them with the modern world of machines, guns and electricity is nothing short of brave for a writer. Fantasy and magic rarely hold up in a more modern world. However, Sanderson pulls it off and the two mesh believably.The Alloy of Law, while set in the world of Mistborn, doesn't deal with the large, sweeping issues of the previous books. In fact, those characters are hardly mentioned at all. Instead, this book is a mystery, complete with murder, kidnappings and unexplainable disappearances. The story is well put together, the clues well hidden and the characters engaging. The action scenes are well written and exhilarating. The investigation is thought provoking and moves the story along quickly.My son, who is a budding writer himself, told me about a podcast, Writing Excuses, that is co-hosted by Sanderson. I listened to a few this week out of curiosity. Sanderson is definitely a teacher (obviously, as he teaches at Brigham Young University). One of the discussions they had was on how to write a successful mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to his advice while seeing how he incorporated it into his novel. It made the book more interesting on more levels as I paid attention to how he revealed the story. He is a master. All of his books are highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    In “The Alloy of Law,” Brandon Sanderson manages to accomplish something very tricky. He has taken the premise of a previous series of novels, the popular and successful “Mistborn” trilogy, and applied it to a story in a very different setting. The result is a greater sense of history than most epic fantasy achieves.At its heart, “The Alloy of Law” is a western. There are few surprises along the way—even the big reveal at the end is apparent from about midway through the book. Only once does the plot depend on an unpredictable coincidence, and even that is lampshaded with a bit of literal deus ex machine that had me smiling.Character, rather than plot, drove the book. Our hero, Wax, is something of a western archetype—an embittered lawman, trying to run from the past but never managing to escape it. Contrary to form, he does this by fleeing back to his roots, to the city of Elendel and the management of his uncle’s estates. But there, he finds lawlessness to rival anything he encountered in the Rough.There are several large set pieces that propel Wax through the story. There are elements of a buddy cop story in his relationship with Wayne, and a bit of a love story in his dealings with Marasi. In all, that makes this story the most Hollywood-ready of all of Sanderson’s output.The setting, though vivid, felt a trifle undeveloped to me. The technology level equates to late 1800s, but the social institutions felt anachronistic, both too modern and not modern enough. That’s not a bad thing by itself, since we shouldn’t expect (and don’t want) this society to be just like ours, but I didn’t learn enough about the world’s history to really sell me on it.The quibble is a minor one. The ending, while satisfying, leaves the setting open for further development. Sanderson has repeatedly stated that “The Alloy of Law” is not the beginning of a new trilogy, but after devouring the novel in a single evening, I must say that I hope he changes his mind.