Alloy of Law: Welcome to the Future

The first trilogy of Mistborn books is one of my favorite works from any author. It’s a fantastic story that perfectly showcases Sanderson’s strengths as a writer. Few stories left me as satisfied as it did.

Then I found out that there was more. And after a substantial wait, I’m finally ready to tackle it.

Set ages after the original trilogy, Alloy of Law focuses on law keepers Wax and Wayne. After a mission gone horribly wrong results in the death of his lover, Wax tried to retire and live life as a nobleman. However, when his arranged fiancé is kidnapped by a group of thieves called the Vanishers, lead by his old friend Miles ‘Hundred Lives’, Wax must again team up with his old partner Wayne, along with new companion/love interest Marasi, in order to find her.

It’s interesting to see just how disconnected this world is from the one we saw in the original trilogy. Whereas that one was more fantasy, this one feels more like a western set in the early 20th century. Rather than large scale battles and magical duels and city raids, we’re treated to intense shoot-outs and chases. All with the familiar metal-based magic systems that made the original trilogy so unique. It’s kind of a cool evolution.

Character wise, this book is pretty strong. Wax and Wayne have a fantastic dynamic; each scene they share together is a delight. Marasi adds a nice bit of innocence to the group, even if her will-they-won’t-they relationship with Wax is… kinda weird and unnecessary. Still, as a whole, the group dynamic in this book is really solid.

In terms of villains, however, this book is a bit disappointing. As the central antagonist, Miles is pretty underwhelming. He starts out fairly interesting, then devolves into nonsensical villain exposition. Compared to previous Mistborn villains, like the Lord Ruler or Straff Venture or even Ruin, Miles is boring and forgettable.

The story as a whole isn’t all that interesting, either. It doesn’t have the same hook and intrigue that the original trilogy had. The central conflict and the mystery around it simply isn’t that intriguing. If the characters weren’t so wonderful, I’d probably have dropped the book about halfway through.

Overall, I found Alloy of Law to be an okay book. It isn’t nearly as good as the first three Mistborn books, but it isn’t offensively bad. And maybe I’ll look back on it more fondly after reading the rest of the Wax and Wayne books. But right now? It’s just decent.

Sanderson hasn’t let me down very often, so I have hope.

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