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The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
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The Alloy of Law (edition 2012)

by Brandon Sanderson

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1,559734,699 (4.05)126
Member:reading_fox
Title:The Alloy of Law
Authors:Brandon Sanderson
Info:Gollancz (2012), Epub, 336 pages
Collections:Recommendations ONLY, Ebooks, Your library, Crime, thrillers and adventure, Fantasy
Rating:****
Tags:!san, /wax01, fantasy, elemental magic, romance, crime, law and order, ebook, use, @2013, historical fantasy, western, physics, humour, sidekick, steampunk, @2016

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The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

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Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
Alloy of Law is the start of Sanderson's most revolutionary idea--to take the Medieval world of his bestselling Mistborn trilogy into the future, step by step, over the course of, as of now, thirteen books. The last trilogy will basically be science fiction set in space. It's incredibly ambitious, and as far as I know it has never been done before. I have confidence that he can pull it off.

As I understand it the original plan did not include the time period of Alloy of Law, instead starting with a second trilogy set in a 1980s society. Alloy of Law started as a short story and grew into a novel, but a much shorter novel than is typical of Sanderson, clocking in at a slim 325 pages. It's a sort of in-between book, introducing the characters that will feature in the new 1800s trilogy that Sanderson decided to write before the 1980s one.

Perhaps because of that I was left wanting in the world-building area. Alloy of Law paints a vague picture of a mid-late 1800s society. I absolutely love the setting, but I just didn't get enough details for my taste. Similarly, Sanderson brings the characters and events of the first trilogy into this new time as legends, religions, etc. He gives little tidbits of the effect allomancy and feruchemy have on a society of this level of advancement. One of my favorites was an off-hand reference to a politician who won by a landslide by emphasizing the fact that he was a coppercloud and thus couldn't be influenced by emotional allomancy.

Again, I loved it, but just didn't quite get enough. If this book had been just 50-100 pages longer with more of his typical attention to world-building and a slightly more complex plot, it would be perfect. As it stands, it's just really good.

What it did do though is get me very excited for the upcoming trilogy. The things that work well, work really well. The action is actually aided by the fact that mistborn are no longer a thing. Everything is scaled back, gun-play has been added, and the comparative simplicity works wonders. Now people can either have one allomantic power, one feruchemical power, or one of each. These last are called "Twinborn" and of course the main character, Waxilllium, is one of the more powerful mixtures of these, being able to reduce or enhance his weight with feruchemical iron, and push on metals with allomantic steel. This allows him to do cool stuff like add velocity to his bullets so that low calibur handgun rounds can pierce through thick wood and still kill someone. Or create a bubble of steel-pushing around himself that helps deflect bullets. Or shoot buckshot into a floor and use it to launch himself into the air. It's all incredibly cool.

The side characters are very likeable. Moreso, I would argue, than many of the ones in the original trilogy. Wax's old lawmaker buddy, Wayne, is a sarcastic master of disguise who just wants to fight the bad guys. Marasi is a noblewoman who just wants to become a lawyer and learn about crime-related statistics. Etc.

Like I said, it's a really good book. It just doesn't have enough in it to fully immerse you in this new time period which may as well be a world unto itself since everything is so incredibly different. ( )
  ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
Mistborn magic and witty persiflage: what's not to like? (second reading; first was in 2011, before the sequels appeared) ( )
  librisissimo | Feb 26, 2017 |
Guns + magic = lots of fun. This is a pretty fun read, though I thought some of the action sequences were too long. Kind of like a Transformers movie but not nearly as bad.

Wayne kind of reminds me of Sanderson's version of Mat Cauthon, which made me like him less. Unfortunate, that. ( )
  AngelClaw | Jan 18, 2017 |
8/2014

Reread 10/29/16. ( )
  moonlight_reads | Dec 11, 2016 |
Now this book was a LOT of fun to read. It was not one of Sanderson's 600 page epic tomes, but a fun revisitation to the Mystworld.

This was really a western at heart. I remember reading Louis Lamour when a young teen and how it appealed to me. Thankfully, Sanderson doesn't write the same ultra-cliches that Lamour did, but that spirit was there.

The untamed gunslinger/magicuser comes back to supposed civilization and ends up having to clean up messes worse than he ever found out in the Wild, Wild West.

And it was a lot of fun to see allomancy used differently. Sanderson has given some good thought to the practical application and while I didn't really care about the particulars, it was good to know that the internal physics of the world hadn't been thrown jambalaya like into the plot pot. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
Highly recommended for fantasy fans, especially followers of the original trilogy. This fantasy is not a stale visit to a fondly remembered setting. Rather, it offers a fresh view of how a world can grow, building new dimensions into the best of the old. Sanderson continues to show that he is one of the best authors in the genre.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, William Baer (Oct 15, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Green, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGrath, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McSweeney, BenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stewart, IsaacIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Joshua Bilmes

Who is never afraid to tell me what is wrong with a book,
then fight for that same book no matter who else gives up on it.
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Wax crept along the ragged fence in a crouch, his boots scraping the dry ground.
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Book description
Fresh from the success of The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson, best known for completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time®, takes a break to return to the world of the bestselling Mistborn series.

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.
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"Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is 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 thefrontier 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 hisAllomancy 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. "--… (more)

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