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The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel
Brandon Sanderson
Tor, 325 pages

Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1994, he enrolled at Brigham Young University as a Biochemistry major. From 1995-1997 he took time away from his studies to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Upon his return, he became an English major. It was in 2003, while Brandon was in the middle of a graduate program at BYU, that he got a call from an editor at Tor who wanted to buy one of his books. In December of 2007, Harriet Rigney chose him to complete A Memory of Light, book twelve in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.

Brandon Sanderson Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Way of Kings
SF Site Review: The Way of Kings
SF Site Review: The Gathering Storm
SF Site Review: Warbreaker, Part 1
SF Site Review: Warbreaker
SF Site Review: The Mistborn Trilogy

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Dominic Cilli

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The Alloy of Law If I didn't know any better I would say Brandon Sanderson is secretly keeping a team of authors hostage in his basement to do his writing for him while he tends to his family and does normal stuff like eat or sleep. To say I was surprised when I saw he had released another novel based on his Mistborn Trilogy would be an understatement. Since 2005, Brandon Sanderson has released 13 novels. Thirteen. Let me try and put this in better perspective. Currently, Sanderson is writing The Highprince War, the second novel in his planned ten-volume Stormlight Archive as well as finishing up Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series while simultaneously writing his young adult Alcatraz series and now out of nowhere comes another Mistborn novel. I have yet to see an author this prolific in quite some time which leads me to believe that Brandon Sanderson is on steroids.

The Alloy of Law is a very straight-forward story and not very complex, but has a really interesting premise. The book takes place in the same world as the Mistborn Trilogy, but this time the story is about 300 years into the future. The Alloy of Law occurs during what would be the equivalent to our turn of the 20th Century. Guns, railroads and skyscrapers exist and electricity is just becoming commonplace. Kelsier, Vin and the rest of the gang have long since faded into the mists and have become a part of this world's folklore and religion. As far as the plot goes, it reminded me quite a bit of an old Sherlock Holmes novel and Sanderson has created his own allomantic version of Holmes and Watson with Waxillium and Wayne, our two protagonists. Waxillium is an aristocrat who has shunned his position in society to instead fight outlaws in the "roughs." Circumstances conspire and Wax comes in from the roughs back to the city he grew up in to assume his position as Lord Waxillium and he hangs up his guns. In fairly typical style, a series of mysterious allomantic crimes draws Waxillium out of retirement and before too long he and his sidekick Wayne are back and involved in trying to solve a series of mysterious crimes and bring the villains to justice.

The Mistborn Trilogy is one of my favorite fantasy trilogies of all time and this universe certainly deserves to be revisited and Brandon Sanderson is not the type of author to leave his fans wanting for more. However, The Alloy of Law seems a minor distraction rather than a total revisitation. Yes, it is a really neat idea to place this same system of magic in a different time frame, but with as many novels as Sanderson is juggling it only stands to reason that one of them isn't a complete smash hit. The Alloy of Law is an enjoyable story and worth a read, but for those of you hoping that Sanderson would recapture the magic of The Mistborn Trilogy in the book would be much better served by reading his amazing The Way of Kings.

Copyright © 2011 Dominic Cilli

When asked to write a third-person tag line for his reviews, Dominic Cilli farmed the work out to an actual 3rd person, his friend Neal, who in turn turned it over to a second person who then asked his third cousin to help out and this person whom Dom doesn't even know then wrote in 8th person Omniscient mode "Dom's breadth of knowledge in literature runs the gamut and is certainly not bounded by the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. One thing I can say with certainty is that of all the people I don't know who've ever recommended books to read, Dom's recommendations are the best.


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