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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Good for fantasy/crime novel readers, excellent for Mistborn fans, 7 Dec. 2012
By 
Andre Nobrega (Porto, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel (Paperback)
I read Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy last year and it is one of my favourite epic fantasy works. I hope that one day I can actually review those books here, maybe after reading them again, but for now I'll just say that I became a fan of Sanderson's writing, his world building and the way he tackles a lot of interesting and important issues throughout the trilogy's plots. He has said, to my absolute delight, that his intention for that world was to produce three trilogies in different times. Meanwhile, he seems to have decided to give Mistborn fans a dessert with The Alloy of Law.
This book has a short story, a typical gunslinger-western plot with the addition of Mistborn's magic system, happening 300 years after the events of the original trilogy. It follows Waxillium Ladrian, a noble turned lawkeeper, initially in the Roughs (the rural part of that civilization) and then as he comes back to the big city somewhat forced to assume his role as the family's heir. Although there are some references to Wax relearning to live with the aristocracy after spending years away, that's by no means the main focus of the book. There are also some steampunk elements, namely the introduction of guns, cars, trains, lamps in a magical and somewhat unindustrialised world, the emancipation of women, or even the main character with his tendency to individualism - a typical "I'll change the world by myself" kind of mind - and his do-it-yourself science (here in the form of alloying). Despite all this I wouldn't consider The Alloy of Law a steampunk novel. The plot is first and foremost that of a crime thriller and a very good one at that, with a bit of mystery kept until the end. The reference and description of the multiple weapons used adds to the western feel of the book. The characters are very believable, if somewhat predictable, though the plans they concoct aren't as obvious and keep the story quite interesting all the way through. The action is also constantly present, giving the plot a fluid and exciting development.
The fusion of magic and technology was very well done and I actually wish I could read more stories exploring the possibilities Sanderson's allomancy/feruchemy/hemalurgy system allows in multiple contexts (in other words, I can't wait for his urban fantasy and sci-fi story arcs). The way the gun fights are enhanced by the movement the magic allows, the increased bullet power, a kind of kinetic shield, the time warps and the healing ability had really cool consequences. Another marvellous addition is the association with the previous trilogy, mostly through religious (which for those who have read Mistborn is particularly good) and historical references. The characters I knew and liked became legends for this society, used as moral examples but also as everyday expressions, in Scadrial's own versions of "oh my god" or the even the boogieman.
One particular theme I enjoyed seeing explored was the effects of taking ideals as your only compass, here shown by a character who doesn't mind harming or killing innocent people in the name of his own revolution, his war against injustice and exploration. For those who have read the previous trilogy, another thing one must notice is the recurrence of nobility systems. It seems that whatever cataclysm this world goes through, the society ends up organizing itself in a similar manner, despite the consequences such injustices have had before.
The one negative claim I can make is that, probably to try to make the book readable as a stand alone story, there are some moments where the narrator slows the action and dumps some information. But I should add that this is by no means too frequent or considerably damaging to the reading experience.
With The Alloy of Law, Brandon Sanderson offers both a bonus read for Mistborn fans and a genre bending humorous and very refreshing story, probably as a bridge to his second arc in that same world, establishing a new social and technological context and defining a mythology based on the events of the first trilogy. If this is in any way a sample of what's to come, good for us all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, disappointing, 26 April 2012
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I'll begin this review with a preface: Brandon Sanderson's novels are better than 95% of what's out there. By far. And The Alloy of Law matches that. It's incredibly readable, fast paced, with a plot that, even if complicated, never gets too bogged down in itself. The characters are likable, including the villain. It's an excellent read, and definitely recommended, if you've read Mistborn and want to read another book.
However, Sanderson lost a lot of his shine. The end resolves nothing, and the book feels like the first part of a trilogy, even if it is a standalone. Where other Sanderson books were good enough with exposition so that I could just read and flow through the novel to understand everything, I found myself repeatedly checking the appendix, completely disrupting the flow of battle scenes.
There isn't really much to say. Don't read this if you haven't read Mistborn. If you have read Mistborn and are looking for something in the same style, read Sanderson's other work. The Way of Kings and Warbreaker are both excellent novels. Not only that, but their ending is more resolved than this book's, even if this one is the only true "standalone" of the bunch. If you've already read all of those, and don't want to change style to try other authors, then go ahead and read this. If not, or if you're willing to try other authors, I recommend find something else.
Four stars because, at the end of the day, it's still a fantasy novel by one of the masters of the craft. But when you add Sanderson's natural flaws (clumsy humor, and black-and-white characterization) to a book lacking what makes him absolutely unique in the genre (an ability to bend the reality of what you've read and still have it make sense), you get a book that's decent. Not great.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but not a great Mistborn book., 24 Nov. 2011
By 
M. Wilcox "elvendil" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a sequel of sorts to the fantastic Mistborn trilogy and is set about 300 years after the events those books descibe.

With Alloy of Law, Sanderson has started to write the type of story I've wanted to read (and failed to write) for years - a fantasy epic that spans large chunks of time and throws off a lot of 'fantasy' tropes. His original plan had been to write a trilogy of sequels set considerably further in the future, with technology levels at or greater than our own. I am aching to read those stories as they mirror ideas I've had for a long time. But, that's not what Alloy of Law is. This book is a middle ground between the historical points that pair of trilogies were intended to mark. In Alloy of Law we have railway networks, the beginnings of electricity in general use, and the start of the motor vehicles era: it's roughly equivalent to late 19th or early 20th century Earth. There are guns as well as magic. I adore the setting, it works spectacularly. I don't doubt it will also upset a few "purists", and that's a good sign as far as I'm concerned.

Onto Alloy of Law itself then; The story itself is decent, witty, well paced, engaging, and well worth reading. The characters are likewise engaging, likeable, and well written. But none of it is up to the standards set by the Mistborn Trilogy. This book was written to clear the authors head between other projects, and it shows in the lack of depth and lack of length (this is a short book). What depth it does have come from the borrowings of the Mistborn lore and its setting within that universe. If this story remained largely the same but wasn't explicitly Mistborn it would be a very pleasant throw-away novel, forgotten soon after reading. With that said, the ending pages (literally the last few) made my eyes pop and got me very excited. Those pages made it surprisingly clear that no matter how I'd enjoyed the book, it never got as good as the original trilogy. Those final pages also opened a heck of a lot of things up and left me with a feeling that Allow of Law is merely the first chapter in a much larger and more interesting story. Whether it is or not, I don't know, but they made the entire book feel like a minor side-arc while something truly momentous was going on elsewhere. I like that, weirdly. But I want to know so much more, and the book doesn't deliver on that.

The book as an object:

I ordered the paper-back because I happen to have the Mistborn Trilogy in paperback, and I wanted this sequel to fit comfortably next to those books on my shelf. The (beautiful and minimalist) art style on the cover is the same too, which is great. It's a shame then that the publishers have had a "strategy meeting" and messed up the book itself. Rather than stick with the same format/dimensions as the existing trilogy they've produced a far larger book that has the following drawbacks:

* It's out of place with the existing trilogy and doesn't fit on the bookshelf
* It's too big to comfortably hold one-handed as a soft-back, it'd be fine as a hard-back
* The book feels like some low-brow or teen-orientated affair due to the larger font and huge gap between lines of text

Now, I am pretty sure why they've done this, and the reasons are two-fold:

Firstly the story is much shorter than previous Mistborn books, maybe about half the word count by rough guestimate. Making the text bigger and increasing the gap between the lines is the same trick you likely used as a school-kid to pad out your homework and make it look more substantial than it was. Not that any publisher will admit to that, they will pretend that 'the new format is easier to read and better for the consumer'. Because we all struggle so much with regular books. Putting this next to Tolkein's LOTR paperback is a hilarious example of the discrepancy in information density between the physically larger book and the actually larger book. And I don't think 'small print' stopped LOTR, or the previous Mistborn trilogy, from becoming a success.

Secondly, I think they're trying to get the fantastic artwork that is on internal pages displayed at a scale that works (and I suspect they feel having pictures in the book helps it sell to a younger audience too). Sadly, this fails regardless of the over-sized paperback format due to the decision to print that artwork at full-bleed, edge-to-edge. Which looks great, don't get me wrong because I actually like that look, but it means you can't read anything on that artwork that gets close to the spine. It felt like I was missing a treat that was right in front of me - like the proverbial monkey unable to get the cookie out of the jar as his fist is too big.

If I'd known before ordering that the paper-back book was like this, I'd have ordered the hardback version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read, 8 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel (Paperback)
The Mistborn trilogy was the best series I've read in a long time. I'm now buying everything Brandon Sanderson writes regardless of whether the plot synopsis immediately appeals to me, and he isn't letting me down. This guy is TALENTED.

The Alloy of Law is set in the same world as the Mistborn Trilogy but takes place long after, the events of those books now being a source of legend and even religions. Technology has moved on and the current setting is placed at the technological level of the wild west but with the intriguing addition of the alloy 'magic' system. You don't need to have read the original series to enjoy this book, it works well on its own. Existing fans will already understand the unique 'magic' system and will know the background to the religions that have sprung up, but newcomers won't be left scratching their heads.

Where this book shines brightest is in the banter between the main characters. The plot line is serious, the characters warm and genuinely funny. The book runs along at a cracking pace, which is almost a shame as it is is shorter than I would have liked. Every page turned brings you closer to the end, and I wanted more! The book is billed as a stand alone novel, and has a satisfying ending, but is clearly left open for more books to follow. I'll definitely be buying them if they do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I was eager to jump into this story and I wasn’t disappointed. Sanderson keeps the magic of the original trilogy ..., 6 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel (Paperback)
Brandon Sanderson brings readers back into the world of Mistborn with a magical tale set in a Wile West-esque era. The story grips you tight from the beginning and doesn’t let go, propelling readers from Wax’s days in the Roughs to his feeble attempts at fitting in with a society he despises.

As a huge fan of the Mistborn trilogy, I was eager to jump into this story and I wasn’t disappointed. Sanderson keeps the magic of the original trilogy while embracing a newer world – mixing the old with the new in an artful way that allows readers unfamiliar with the original trilogy to jump in and enjoy.

There were a few very good twists in this story that I didn’t see coming and had me glued to the pages. I couldn’t put the book down. With Wax trailing the mysterious Vanishers – train robbing bandits – with the help of his old friend, Wayne, and a university student, Lady Marasi, while trying to rescue his fiancé-to-be, Wax’s ‘miscreant’ past from the Roughs doesn’t seem to be leaving him any time soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good, 22 Jan. 2014
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I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. The Mistborn series was finished, and I suspected that a fourth book in the trilogy was just a way of cashing in on the popularity of the original story. Well, if it was, it was a damned good try. Although set in a completely different time frame from the original, and with completely different philosophy, there was nonetheless enough reference and use of the original 'magic' to make it a proper continuation. If you enjoyed the trilogy, you'll enjoy this too.
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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, 29 Nov. 2013
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A reasonable follow up on the first three Mistborn books, although not quite in the same league as the first 3 books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 31 May 2012
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I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters are brilliant. They are well developed and well rounded. They each have their own quirks and fails which makes them all the more real.

It's great to see how the world transformed from the first trilogy. The characters you knew in the first books are now legends and stories. This is something I have wished for in other fantasy worlds. Once the world is saved, evil power overthrown, what happens? How does that world move forward? This answers those questions and as a bonus you get to meet more wonderful characters and read their stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a surprise, 15 Feb. 2012
By 
JWalker (Lincolnshire England) - See all my reviews
Having read the first three Mistborn books I was looking forward to this one. I was surprised it didn't start from where Hero of the Ages finished. Even so it's good, different to the first three books. It's funny and at times seems like a Western! Full of twists and turns, kept me guessing. Looking forward to the next book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A decent enough book but beware that its different to other Mistborn, 25 Nov. 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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Fans of Sanderson have been eagerly awaiting this new title in the Mistborn world (I say set in the Mistborn world rather than a Mistworld title as people may be confused as it's not part of the series) where the reader gets to grips with events set three centuries after the previous stories.

It has moments of lightness, it has decent prose and of course it is a title that brings Sanderson's Mistborn back to the fore to over shadow the Wheel of Time series at the moment. However the major problem with this book is that it felt more like a filler rather than a serious book and really didn't accomplish much. Whether the levity of this is due to the darkness to come I'm not sure but we'll have to wait to see.

All in a decent enough book and one that was a fun excursion but if you want more serious fantasy read his Mistborn trilogy and leave this on the shelf for now.
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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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