Tracy's Reviews > The Alloy of Law

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
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Mar 11, 12

Read from March 04 to 11, 2012

I was surprised to learn that there was a fourth book in the Mistborn series, since the first three work perfectly as a complete trilogy. This book feels less like a serious attempt to answer the question "what happens next?" and more like a serious attempt to answer the question "wouldn't it be cool if allomancers somehow had guns?" And let's face it -- it is pretty cool.

I think the less you compare this book to the first three, the more enjoyable it is. The stakes are much lower, there's no great mystery behind the way the world works, it's just not set on as grand a scale. But as a straightforward fantasy-action adventure, it's better than most. The new characters are likable and have good chemistry. (Unless you think a near-constant stream of playful banter does not count as good chemistry.) It's interesting to see how the world has developed since the events of the last book, and how magic has reflected those changes. And while the basic plot is nothing innovative, it does some innovative things along the way.

Overall it's an exciting read full of action and a touch of mystery, and there's the sense that things are only going to get more complex from here. The story leaves us with a few mysteries to wonder about, and a hint that this story is not as disconnected from the others as it seems. I think the way I end up feeling about this book -- whether it's a strong addition to the series or just a fun, action-packed afterstory -- will depend a lot on how those things develop from here.

(EDIT: Now I learn that this was meant to be an experimental one-shot story to go between the first Mistborn trilogy and a planned second trilogy, and wasn't even supposed to be published. Most of my problems with the book now make sense, and I'm just amazed that Brandon Sanderson's little just-for-fun book ended up being so entertaining. Apparently Wax and the crew will be back in some form or another, and the promise of a new trilogy means things may be getting epic again, so either way I'm satisfied.)
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