As I mentioned at the end of my review for The Hero of Ages a few weeks ago, there is still plenty more Mistborn ahead of me. Published in 2011, this novel marks the beginning of a new four book cycle set in the same universe. Having loved the other books so much, I was eager to jump into this new set. On a side note, my editor (and loving wife) is taking a pass on these reviews since she plans on reading this series in the near future. Writing doesn’t really come easily to me, something that motivated me to start this blog, but I am determined to push these through on my own. Please bear with me if my reviews are a bit disorganized the next few weeks.
The Alloy of Law is set roughly 300 years after the conclusion of the original trilogy. In that time, our old friends have passed on into history and legend while technology on Scadrial has advanced to be roughly equivalent to the United States in the late 1800s. Most of the action takes place in the city of Elendel, a fertile metropolis created by Harmony as a gift to humanity following Ruin’s defeat. The main character Waxillium “Wax” Ladrian is a descendant of Breeze Ladrian and Allrianne Cett and is what is known as a Twinborn – meaning he has the ability to access one metal each in both Allomancy and Feruchemy. Uncomfortable with life among the nobility, Wax many years prior to this story left the city behind to serve as a lawman out in the Roughs, the term given to a scattering of loosely organized settlements prone to violence and lawlessness. After his lover and partner Lessie is killed in action, a shaken Wax returns home to Elendel to assume his role as family heir and put his adventuring days behind him. However, when his former associate Wayne shows up asking about an ambitious gang of thieves operating in the area, Wax finds that old habits die hard and the two begin a preliminary investigation into the band’s increasingly audacious and inexplicable heists. Things come to a breaking point when Wax’s arranged fiance Steris is kidnapped during a robbery, prompting him and Wayne to take on the case in earnest. Teaming up with them is Marasi, Steris’ sister and an aspiring detective who spent her university years fascinated by tales of her newfound partners. While in pursuit of the kidnappers, it soon becomes apparent that they may be on the trail of a much more menacing conspiracy as larger forces appear to be taking an interest in their actions.
Despite some initial hesitation in picking up this book, I am happy to say that round two of the Mistborn series is off to a strong start. I had been skeptical about how the universe would play out in a more modern society, but these concerns were quickly erased as I got into the story. It was interesting to see both the legacy of the original characters and how the author evolved and updated the magic system. I also liked how well he blended the fantasy elements of the original series here with a detective story, a western, and even a little bit of steampunk. These aspects combined to move the story forward at a fast pace that made it very hard to put down the book. The shadowy Set organization is shaping up to be an interesting adversary and I am curious to see how this part of the story develops. I was also intrigued by the prominence given to the worship of Trell, the main deity in a warrior religion Sazed presented to Vin in one of the earlier novels. What had previously seemed rather inconsequential, now looks likely to have some major significance going forward. As for the characters, they were all strong, and I particularly liked the rapport that developed between Wax, Wayne, and Marasi. The comedic relief offered by Wayne’s antics were a nice touch that really gave this book its own distinct feeling compared to the others and Wax’s tendency of storing his metals in vials of whiskey was a nice touch as well. My wife I’m sure, would be a fan of the budding love-triangle. I don’t have anything to offer by way of criticism this time around, I’m just eager for the next book!