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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, concise and entertaining.
Three centuries have passed since a young woman named Vin and a band of assorted thieves used the powers of the Mistborn to save the world of Scadrial, dispersing the ash-clouds forever. Vin and her cohorts have become figures of myth or religious awe, but time has moved on. Great skyscrapers are racing for the sky whilst steam and electrical power are becoming more...
Published on 4 Dec. 2011 by A. Whitehead

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good follow up, not as good as the first three Mistborn books
A reasonable follow up on the first three Mistborn books, although not quite in the same league as the first 3 books.
Published 15 months ago by Mike Sankey


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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, concise and entertaining., 4 Dec. 2011
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Three centuries have passed since a young woman named Vin and a band of assorted thieves used the powers of the Mistborn to save the world of Scadrial, dispersing the ash-clouds forever. Vin and her cohorts have become figures of myth or religious awe, but time has moved on. Great skyscrapers are racing for the sky whilst steam and electrical power are becoming more commonplace.

Out in the Roughs, Waxillium Ladrian has spent twenty years trying to bring peace and order to a rough, frontier land. Called home to the city of Elendel by the death of his uncle and forced to inherit his family's estate and business, Waxillium finds trading his six-shooters for cost ledgers to be harder than he'd expected. A spate of kidnappings and disappearance soon tempt him back to a life of law-enforcement, but Wax needs to face his own guilt before he can face down an old enemy.

The Alloy of Law is a (mostly) stand-alone novel set in the same world as Brandon Sanderson's earlier Mistborn Trilogy. Sanderson has previously announced that he plans three trilogies set in this world, one set in a medieval era, one in a contemporary setting and one in a futuristic milieu. The Alloy of Law is a side-story unrelated to these planned future works, though Sanderson layers some hints for the second trilogy into the narrative and also sets up a sequel (or potentially several sequels) for this book in its closing pages.

Written as a side-project to help the author stay fresh whilst bringing Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time sequence to its long-awaited conclusion and coming in at barely a third the length of his last novel, The Way of Kings, it'd be easy to dismiss The Alloy of Law as a bit of fluffy filler to tide his publishers over for a year. This would be a mistake as The Alloy of Law is one of Sanderson's best novels to date.

Sanderson has always been a solid, entertaining author but his most laudable aspect has been the way he's grown and learned with each novel. Arguably his biggest problem has been the length of his books: the Mistborn volumes and certainly The Way of Kings, whilst good books, felt overlong for the amount of plot in them. With The Alloy of Law written as a short side-project, Sanderson has forced himself to write much more concisely, tightly and efficiently than normal, resulting in his most focused, page-turning novel to date. Sanderson has also learned a lot about how to deploy humour in a book (probably learning from his issues - eventually resolved - with handling Mat in the Wheel of Time books), with this book also being his funniest.

Although Sanderson's lightest and most humourous book to date, The Alloy of Law has its share of darker moments, opening with Wax accidentally killing an innocent person and being haunted by it through the book. It also touches upon more epic elements, with several potential references to upcoming storylines in the second Mistborn trilogy. The book also continues Sanderson's tradition of featuring minor links to his other fantasy novels with the appendix apparently being written by the world-hopping Hoid (and featuring a reference to the events of Elantris). The updated setting is another plus point, with the mixture of magic, steam trains, guns and electricity being unusual for a fantasy and blurring the lines between epic fantasy, steampunk and urban fantasy to create something that is more interesting than the norm. Action sequences - something Sanderson has handled quite well throughout his career - are also very strong, with some of his more colourful and memorable battles and duels being depicted here.

Sanderson delineates his main three characters - Waxillium, Wayne and Marasi - well, though the POV structure is a little distracting. The entire first half of the novel is from Wax's POV but suddenly switches over in the latter half to include Wayne, Marasi and the main villain. It feels that Sanderson could have found a more consistent structure to use than this. He also nicely inverts some cliches, such as when Wax finds himself betrothed to a woman who initially appears to be a severe harridan but becomes more well-rounded a character as the book proceeds.

On the negative side, some of the secondary characters aren't as well-defined as the three heroes. In addition, there are moments when it sounds like the lawless frontier would have been a more interesting setting than yet another fantasy city (albeit one that more resembles turn-of-the-century New York than a typical fantasy conurbation), though the culture clash between the two settings is something Sanderson handles well.

The Alloy of Law (****½) is a tight, well-written fantasy novel that uses traditional tropes and ideas but combines them with an unusual (for epic fantasy) setting to produce something fresh and engaging. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb., 15 Nov. 2011
By 
Mr. Patrick J. Ward (UK) - See all my reviews
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Being a huge fan of the under-rated Sanderson, I thoroughly enjoyed the Mistborn trilogy and its quirky "magic" system of Allomancy & Feruchemy etc. I was pleasantly surprised to hear he was returning to the Mistborn world, apparently having written this novel to clear his head between other books.

Love the new protagonists and the dialogue had me cracked up so much at one point that I nearly annihilated my Kindle by dropping it in the bath (yes, I read while soaking, sue me!). Only complaints were that things moved a bit too fast, the book was a bit too short and last but not least, for an alleged stand-alone novel, Brandon sure left it wide open, with huge unresolved plotlines spanning a nefarious diabolical scheme, Wax's continuation of his Lawmaker role and, of course, the romantic tension between him and his ingenue sidekick.

I demand more! Take a breather once Jordan's book is done and then get typing Mr Sanderson, please. We the fans demand more Wax, Wayne and Marasi :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cowboys and Allomancers, 22 Jun. 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel (Paperback)
A new fantasy novel from writer Brandon Sanderson, which returns to the world of his popular 'mistborn' stories. That series started with The Final Empire: Mistborn Book One. This novel stands largely alone from that, but you will still get more out of it if you've read the earlier Mistborn books, so it isn't really a jumping on point.

This book runs for three hundred and twenty five pages. It's divided into twenty chapters, plus a prologue and an epilogue.
There's a map of some of the setting at the start, and a glossary at the back.

This has the first of several great ideas at the start. Most fantasy worlds don't tend to change. But that's not like real worlds, where progress marches on. Thus this story takes place centuries after the end of the mistborn trilogy, and in that time the world has developed. With more technology and weaponry.

There are people living in cities linked by railways. But in the rough lands beyond those, life is a struggle. And a very dangerous one. Only a few people strive to bring law to such places.

One is Waxillium Ladrian. A man of noble birth. When things force him to return to the city, he thinks he's left his law enforcing days behind. But danger and crime and mystery still await. With the help of his somewhat uncouth associate Wayne, and a new friend, can he solve a dangerous mystery?

This thus has magic in a setting that is a mix of the wild west and Victorian style cities. This Is so genuinely original it grabs from the off.

In addition, it has some great characterisation. Waxillium, known to all as Wax, is a very three dimensional and appealing and likeable character. Wayne has a great lot of depth to him, that is gradually revealed along the way. And the two of them make a great trinity with the aforementioned new friend.

There's a good mystery plot. Which will keep you guessing, and which will constantly manage to surprise you.

It also benefits enormously from being such a short book, as it's just the right length to be a breezy and entertaining read.

It's a pity that it's not as self contained as it might appear to be. As the ending does leave a few things up in the air. But that's only a minor. Hopefully there will be more to come after this.

An original, enjoyable, and hugely entertaining little book. A really good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm very glad it did, 9 July 2014
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This book was a complete surprise when compared to the previous books. Do not expect more of the same. Without wanting to add spoilers, Brandon had always intended to bring this world far in to the future, showing the same system of magic in a world progressing through scientific, magical and social advancements. Reading the authors notes, it looks to be a book / series of these books that he had not originally planned, but started writting as an exercise to clear his mind, which then took on a life of it's own. I'm very glad it did. Although not planned, it does fit his theme of advancing the timeline of the world in interesting ways. This is a very enjoyable western themed detective story, keeping the same magic system, and adding to it. The characters are, mostly, are well thought out and the plot leaves room for further books in this vein.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4th book - new story - just as good as the previous three., 16 Jun. 2014
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No spoilers.

I've just finished this after reading the first three Mistborn books I was a little unsure whether a fourth book would be any good.

It is. I really enjoyed the previous three, and this one was arguably my favorite.

The events of the previous books are features as legends, myths, tales, in the names of locations and family names, but other than that this is an entirely new story set in the same world.

If you enjoyed the previous ones, you'll enjoy this one.

Also, if you like alternative history, Westerns or gaslight detective stories, you may like this, it's got elements of all three.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mistborn of a different genre., 2 Jun. 2012
By 
Tim (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
300 years have passed since the end of the Mistborn trilogy and the events and characters have passed into legend. With the book being only half the size of any one of the previous trilogy, I was unsure what to expect with this additional novel to the Mistborn series. I was pleasantly surprised, it is not a deep drama as seen with the previous books, there are no emperors or heroes, armies or sieges. What it is, is a fun western style, buddy-cop, detective story... with magic. The plot is not complicated nor the characters complex, there are no shades of grey here. The protagonists, Waxillium and Wayne, have a great chemistry and a meaningful friendship is portrayed. I likened them to Sherlock and Watson from the latest films, different skills that come in handy at the right times with great back-and-forth dialogue.

This was all skilfully crafted into the Mistborn universe that is developed further yet true to its origins. Very enjoyable with a great ending, the length really helps to move the book at a suitable pace, any longer would have slowed it down too much.

There isn't much to not like about this book, it doesn't try to be any more than it is. I suppose I would have preferred a more in-depth sequel but Sanderson has promised these are still on their way, so that can't really be held against it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic continuation shame it's so short, 12 Nov. 2011
By 
R. Bendall - See all my reviews
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I got this book as soon as it became available after having it preordered since I finished the original trilogy, they were supposed to be my books for my holiday but I read all three the week before I left.

Gladly this book keeps up the tradition of being un-put-downable and is a fantastic addition to the trilogy. The new steampunky setting is refreshing and well established. The main characters are brilliantly written.

However there is only one problem; it's too short at under 300 pages i blew through 75% of the book in a day. I hope this is the start of a new trilogy however Mr Saunderson is very busy so I won't be holding my breath.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 12 July 2012
By 
Tania Johansson (Kent, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I loved the Mistborn trilogy and this did not disappoint. The Alloy of Law is set three hundred years after the end of book three and technology has moved on. I thought this was quite original and interesting. He references back to mythology, which is based on events from the first three books. This knitted the series together well despite the world looking and feeling different.
One of my favourite aspects of this book was the characterisation. The voice of each character was unique. I could open the book at random and by reading a few sentences know whose view point it was. The relationship between Wax and Wayne felt real and I loved the banter between them. These characters made the story come alive.
Highly recommended and I cannot wait for the next instalment!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Allomancy enters a new era, 23 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel (Paperback)
If you have read the original Mistborn trilogy this novel may initially seem a little disappointing. This does not last long however. One of the great strengths of this book is that it is both quite different and somehow still similar to the proceeding Mistborn novels. Unlike the others ‘Alloy of Law’ is not set in a ‘fantasy’ type world. It is, however, set in exactly the same world, mostly the same city, but in a much later era. The world has drastically altered with the passage of time, essentially because the events of the Mistborn trilogy have allowed it to do so. It makes for an interesting choice of sequel. The ash falls, deep mists and oppression that characterised the original trilogy are gone. They are replaced by a world that incorporates an industrialisation process within a semi wild-west style society. More importantly it is a somewhat more optimistic land; again due to the events of the previous novels which have slipped into legend and history.

What remains is the fantastic magic system of the Mistborn trilogy. It has developed and changed with time but is still quite familiar and similar. The well thought out process and explanation for the magic system is still present.

The story itself, perhaps, lacks some of the depth and intrigue of Sanderson’s usual novels as it is much smaller (around half the page count). The main plot concentrates around a simpler storyline (on the face of it) concerning a crime wave of heists that the main protagonist becomes involved in and seeks to stop. However, there are plenty of plot developments as the story progresses that easily set things up and provide a promising outlook for further novels to follow these characters and events.

The characterisation is extremely strong throughout. Waxillium is a well-developed and sympathetic lead protagonist and hi relationship with his almost sidekick, Wayne, quite entertaining. I’m not sure, however, about naming a duo of characters Wax and Wayne. There are some strong villains throughout, even some of the minor ones, with some clearly being developed for future novels.

Characteristically of Sanderson it is another great work of secondary creation. This is a rich world with, clearly, more to come and a welcome return to the Mistborn series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantasy Western, 23 Jan. 2013
By 
Arch Stanton (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book was somewhat unexpected after the last book in the Mistborn series. Those books took place in a vaguely (but not exclusively) early modern/Georgian realm whereas this book is set 300 years later and feels more like a western than anything else. The characters have guns, there are horseless carriages and trains, and everything feels like turn of the 20th century America. Except for the magic. The world is populated by magic-users called Allomancers who can "burn" metals in their stomachs to perform magic. Ferromancers have the ability to store bodily attributes (such as weight and strength) in metal objects and call on them when required. It's more like an artificial science than a magical ability.

The main character is called Wax (short for the terribly silly Waxillium). He's a forty-something noble who spent the last twenty years as a lawman in the Roughs (think old west). After accidentally killing the woman he loves he finds himself back in the city of Elendel where he has to help recover his House's finances after the mismanagement of his dead uncle. He finds himself bored and unmotivated until his old partner Wayne arrives. Wayne is an annoying and pushy man who is always smiling, fooling around, and constantly stealing from people. He's a lot of fun. Both Wax and Wayne (yes that is a wretched pun) are twinborns, men with the ability to perform both allomancy and ferromancy. Wax is a coin-shot (someone who can Push metal objects) and has the ability to gain or lose weight as he likes. Wayne can create bubbles of stopped time and heal himself rapidly. The two of them work quite well together. Joining them is Marasi, a young woman who's studying crime and has a bit of hero-worship for Wax. The villain is fun: a former lawman who can heal himself so fast that he's basically unkillable.

These characters are remarkably different from previous ones. Wax is an older man, just passing the prime of life, and while he's still very powerful he completely lacks the youthful exuberance of many a lead character. So much of the book is told from his point of view that it's almost an internal monologue. This gives it the feeling of an old detective story. Wayne is a character so silly that previous Mistborn books would have had a hard time finding a use for him. The two of them together have a great banter and provide most of the comedy in the book. A lot of the success of this book comes from the more lighthearted and even innocent tone that it takes. Although it has plenty of dark moments it never feels at all oppressive.

The plot involves a gang kidnapping noble women quite dramatically. Wax finds himself unable to ignore it so him and Wayne attempt to stop the thieves. Most of the book is spent with them doing exactly that. There are enough clues to make this a decent mystery, though only some of the conclusions are given at the end. This book is begging for a sequel and while the main story wraps itself up nicely there is something bigger going on that remains unknown. It must be said that it's not a particularly complex plot and while the book doesn't feel too long it seems more like a long short story than a novel.

Taking place 300 years after the original trilogy you wouldn't expect to be seeing any of the characters from that. Apart from a brief discussion with Harmony (which may or may not be entirely in Wax's head) there is only one character who shows up and does so in quite a surprising way. Wax is apparently descended from Breeze, but apart from the occasional mention of now mythic events there isn't much connection to previous books. Specifically, this book doesn't have the same epic scope and instead is more of an intimate tale. I'm quite glad of it too. The series got rather too big for itself at the end, and my favorite bits were the small, quiet ones anyway.

If you like the idea of fantasy westerns check out Steven King's Dark Tower series. They're entertaining, though I don't find them as much fun as this one. It doesn't have much in common with this book apart from the westernness. What this book reminds me of most is the anime Trigun. They both feature larger than life characters in a fantastical setting who can pull off ridiculous gun tricks.
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The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel
The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel by Brandon Sanderson (Paperback - 1 Nov. 2012)
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