(Image from Barnes & Noble)
I went all fan girl about Brandon Sanderson the last time I reviewed a book by him (here), so I'm not going to do that this time. Much. Yeah, never mind. I'm totally going to gush this time, too. Because, really, as much as I loved the first books in Sanderson's Mistborn
trilogy, in some ways, I liked The Alloy of Law even better. It's got everything I admired about the earlier novels, just with a more lighthearted tone, an intriguing mystery, even a little steampunk goodness. It's the Mistborn world made funnier, sexier and, if possible, even cooler. I know, right? Pure awesomeness.
The story takes place 300 years after Vin and Elend make their last stand against Ruin in The Hero of Ages. In the ensuing years, Scadrial has transformed into a progressive, modern land. Electric lights keep the city streets and the homes of the wealthy aglow, while railroads take transportation to a whole new level. Skyscrape
rs reach for the skies, their jaw-dropping height inspiring hope, awe and the promise of more advances to come. Magic may seem out of place in this new world, but Allomancy is still very much alive in Scadrial. Powers are not necessarily flaunted by their owners, especially those living within the city of Elendel, and yet they are used for various and sundry purposes.
Lord Waxillium "Wax" Ladrian, a rare Twinborn (meaning he wields both Allomantic and Feruchemical powers) prefers to use his skills in a less subtle way. The 42-year-old has spent the last 20 years out in the Roughs, wielding his special talents against all manner of ruffians. Maybe order can never be brought to the wilds, but he can at least make sure justice is served as often as possible. Keeping such uncouth company has made Wax unfit for the society life he left behind in the city, but when a family tragedy strikes, he finds himself reentering the glamorous world of the wealthy. He's not too thrilled about his new responsibilities—including the pressure to find a wife—but Wax is resigned. He's head of Ladrian House now and must act accordingly.
But, when a string of train robberies becomes increasingly dangerous, Wax knows someone has to intervene. It shouldn't be him, of course, but he might just go crazy if it isn't. With the help of a dashing old friend and an alluring new one, Wax sets out to solve the mystery. In doing so, he must evaluate the mistakes of his past, the purpose of his present and the goals of his future. There's not a lot of time for musing, though, not with a dastardly villain plotting his demise. It's a time for action, a time for Wax to decide who he is, what he wants and how to save his friends from peril. If he can't figure out the truth in time to stop what's happening, the entire land could be in grave danger.
I can't do justice to the book's plot, so you're just going to have to trust me when I say The Alloy of Law is worth the read. Even if you're not into sci fi/fantasy-ish novels, you're going to dig this one. It is sci fi, but it's also got a lot of crossover appeal since it has a Victorian feel, dystopian elements, a steampunk vibe and just, I don't know, lots of crazy-good stuff. Sanderson knows how to tell a balanced story, creating appealing characters, fascinating worlds and scenes that combine action with mystery with humor with romance with ... everything. Bottom line: Love Sanderson, love this book. Raving fan girl out.
(Readalikes: The Mistborn trilogy [The Final Empire; The Well of Ascension; The Hero of Ages] by Brandon Sanderson)
If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG-13 for language (no F-bombs), violence/gore and sexual innuendo
To the FTC, with love: I bought The Alloy of Law from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger. Ha ha.