The Alloy of Law Review

  • Author: Brandon Sanderson
  • Series: Wax and Wayne #1
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 336
  • Dates read: 28.05.2021 – 07.06.2021
  • Star Rating: 4 stars
  • Challenge: Sequels

Plot: 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.

Well, after nearly landing in a reading slump last month I had to turn to an author I could trust and help me get out of it. Sanderson did not fail! I knew going into this book it was going to be vastly different from the world of Mistborn Era 1, I already knew and had heard some comments that the series was not as good as the first trilogy. So, I was a bit worried as I wanted to enjoy this book a lot and while yes it’s very different from Era 1 it felt like a fun and exciting change that opened up so much more to the world and the reader. I mean how can you go from the ending of the Hero of Ages to then setting the next series in the same setting. You just can’t. You have to do something very different and I really enjoyed where Sanderson went with the series.

The writing as per usual, I enjoyed. I have mentioned this numerous times in my other Sanderson reviews but I personally am a fan of his style of writing. It’s not overly flowery, it’s more to the point focusing more on the actions of characters. We don’t spend too much time lost in descriptions of buildings or landscapes etc. I am more of a plot focused, action focused person, when it comes to my books, so I like getting to the point of things and seeing how this novel is a mystery I felt the writing worked for the nature of the plot as you want to uncover what’s going on rather than getting lost in loads of descriptions.

The plot itself was really good. I love a good mystery so when I realised that Sanderson was doing, what felt like to me as, a detective noir kind of book set in this new world, I was hooked. It felt like a good juxtaposition from the high fantasy focus on Mistborn Era 1. While there are high stakes in this book, Mr Sanderson always delivers, it felt refreshing to read something that was so different from the first trilogy. I was super invested in the mystery and uncovering the reasons why events had occurred and what that means for our characters and the world as a whole.

The characters were really enjoyable. I think I was most nervous to see if I connected with these new characters as much as I did the old ones but it was really easy to like them. Wax, is a great protagonist. I enjoyed following his journey and he is a nice juxtaposition from Vin as the main protagonist from Era 1. Going from a young Skaa girl who was fighting for her life in the slums of Luthadel to a law keeper turned nobleman who must give up his crime fighting ways to run a noble house in the capital city of Elendel, you couldn’t of had two more different protagonists. Wayne was super funny, it did take me some time to warm up to him, which is weird as I normally love the comic relief side characters in most of the books I read. I just needed to find out a bit more about his character before I got fully invested but by the end of the book I was invested. Wax and Wayne’s dynamic I really enjoyed. The jovial digs at one another’s expense, the partnership, the trust. It was super fun and you can tell the love is there between them. Marasi was someone I warmed to instantly. I really enjoyed her character and one of my favourite elements was her mentioning just because her interests align with something that isn’t considered feminine, in her society, it doesn’t mean she wants to shirk her femininity in fact she wants to embrace it and I really enjoyed that message. I think with some male fantasy authors their strong female characters are either tomboyish or, if they like their femininity, are really over-sexualised so it was refreshing to have Marasi be apart of the group without losing her dresses etc. and still be a fully involved in the action.

So, the world building was so much fun to read about. I loved reading all the references to Era 1 like the new names for the old characters like Ascendant Warrior for Vin or the Last Emperor for Elend. I always got excited reading those and thinking back to Era 1 and all those adventures. It was also interesting to see how the story has formed from a reality in Era 1 to now becoming legend and in some case religions in this era. 300 years have passed and stories change as people tell person after person and it morphs into something new and that was so much fun to read and see those changes.

I also really enjoyed seeing how the magic system has adapted and evolved in 300 years. Sanderson’s magic system is a hard magic system so he can’t change too much as there are strict rules but I was excited to see if there was anything new. I loved the whole idea of Twinborns where someone has both Feruchemy and Allomancy abilites, that adds a whole new layer to the magic system, combat and problem solving. I also loved the fact that new metals were found which lead to new powers which again adds so much to the story and brings something new and exciting. I knew about Twinborns because they stated it in the blurb but I was not expecting new metals.

I don’t have any actual criticisms of this novel. This definitely felt like a set-up novel for the rest of the series which was fine. I think the new additions to the magic system were great and I felt it was also a brilliant way to introduce this new world and characters.

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