“The Alloy of Law” by Brandon Sanderson (TOR, 2011)

Alloy of Law

Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson is back with his 336-page “novella.”  In between lengthy, epic fantasy projects, Sanderson likes to have fun with some short pieces.  The Alloy of Law is an example of one of those once he was done with The Way of Kings and Towers of Midnight before he started working on the final Wheel of Time book, A Memory of Light.  In the acknowledgements he talks about the potential to write two more trilogies set within this world, each trilogy set further in the future from the original Mistborn trilogy.  The Alloy of Law is a shorter work set in the time of this proposed second trilogy.

Three hundred years have passed and the planet of Scandrial is now turning into a modern place with railroads and electric lighting in the homes of the wealthy.  Waxillium Ladrian is called back to his old city of Elendel to take the mantle left by the death of his uncle, living the city life and looking for a potential wife.  As he tries to turn away from his rebel, gun-toting days, a series of strange train cargo thefts and kidnappings pulls him back into action.  Wax will need Allomantic powers, with his ability to Push on metals; he’s also a Twinborn, with the Feruchemical ability to make himself lighter or heavier at will.

While Sanderson perhaps should’ve gone with a shorter name for his main character, or stuck with Wax as the official nickname – seeing twenty Waxilliums on the page gets a little annoying – he does what he did best with the Mistborn books, using his magic system skillfully and telling a great adventure story.  Alloy of Law is definitely set in the time of a steampunk type world that fans will immediately latch on to.

Originally written on December 1, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

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