Brandon Sanderson: The Alloy of Law

Brandon Sanderson: The Alloy of Law
Story:
3/5
Characters:
4/5
World:
5/5
Humor:
4/5
Action:
5/5

The Alloy of Law is set in the world of the Mistborn trilogy, about 300 years after the original books. The heroes of that time have become figures of myth and religion. The area around the pre-industrial capital (formerly Luthadel) is fertile and wealthy, farther out in the Roughs live is like in our Wild West. This is where noble-blooded lawkeeper Wax has made it his job to hunt down criminals until personal tragedy prompts his return to the city. He tries to blend in the noble society and behave as he should but is soon intrigued by a series of seemingly impossible thefts. Instead of preparing his inevitable engagement properly he starts to investigate, supported by his friend and colleague Wayne who has come to visit in order to make sure Wax does not die in of boredom.

Alloy of Law is fast, fun and tragic, but most of all fast. Allomantic-Feruchemic gunfights are probably the most awesome, cinematic thing I have read in a while. They show how incredibly well-conceived Sanderson’s magic system is: it evolves and scales with ease. The story itself is a diverting piece in Sherlock Holmes style, nothing too deep. There is potential for follow-up stories, though, so we’ll see. The main characters are very well-developed considering the size of the book; Sanderson makes every word count1. Besides the abundance of action, verbal exchanges between Wax, Wayne and later Marasi provide most of the fun and make the book a light read despite several tragic scenes. As a fan of the series, I enjoyed the many (religious) references—fact distorted to myth by time—to the old heroes, in particular how their way of life evolved to outright schools of philosophy2.

That I recommend a Sanderson book is probably no surprise, me being a devoted fan of his. Go and read this book even if you have not read or did not like3 the trilogy, it is fun!


  1. This book is short by Sanderson’s standards!
  2. Personally, High Imperial cracked me up the most!
  3. The most frequent complaint seems to be that the trilogy is too slow-paced; this is certainly not the case for Alloy of Law!

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