The Alloy of Law is a great start to the trilogy of books called the Wax and Wayne Series; though I feel like it may have been played safe. This book, takes place hundreds of years after the first trilogy and It follows the characters Wax, Wayne, and Marasi after a lady by the name of Steris gets kidnapped. What follows is kind of predictable if you are already versed in detective stories. This is not a direct sequel to the first trilogy so it’s not hard to jump in, though I feel that the development of the magic and its limits are explained thoroughly in the first. The things of the first trilogy are also considered myths at this point of the story so I was delighted to see details trickle in here and there that directly reference the first. I will break down this review into sections so you can scroll down to what most interests you.
The Alloy of Law is the first book to a sequel series called “Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson. In this world, ingesting certain metals allows a person to have different powers like the pushing and pulling of metal, causing others to feel what you want them to feel, negating all other metal users, and etc. The limits of the magic is pretty well explained and logical. There was also another form of magic that would allow someone wearing metal to store certain things inside like health, weight, strength, and knowledge with the cost of having to be sick or weak for a time prior to store it. This book tries to create a new use bringing the story forward into the, what I would think to be, 20th century.
It fascinates me to see how the use of the metals, which were well developed and explained in the first series, get a modern take. In the first series, coins, swords, and nails were used as weapons for metal users. Now we see guns and cars and all these modern, but not so modern, devices being used alongside the powers. Some powers, to which the explanations I might have missed, intrigued me. To be honest though, I thought there would be more of a twist to the use of the powers than there was. Hopefully they develop them more as the series goes on. For those who have never read the first trilogy the powers will seem awesome, you don’t have to worry about that.
2. Story and Characters.
I love how the story first draws you in. Honestly, I’ve never not been drawn in by the beginning of Brandon Sanderson’s stories so I may be biased but still. It starts out with Wax, our main protagonist, already in hot pursuit of a serial killer. It’s like the beginning of a Sherlock Holmes movie. You can tell he’s pretty confident in himself and has faced many challenges before but everything comes crashing down on him. Six months later he’s lost bit of himself, He’s not that confident man who thought he could predict everything that would happen. He realizes he’s a flawed man and damaged even.
Brandon Sanderson does amazing character work. He makes these larger than life people as vulnerable and grounded as a regular person. They all have their quirks and internal driving forces and moral compasses. all of which makes them uniquely that character.
Wayne is a bit of the sidekick character. He’s like what Watson is to Sherlock Holmes but a bit of a jokester. Not saying his character is a joke but that he comes off as the comic relief. He’s blunt, brash, has a different moral compass than Wax and it almost feels like he treats every situation as a game. He seems nonchalant but he’s capable and a bit of a genius. The point is I liked him.
Marasi is a young enthusiast of detective work. She is smart, well read, capable even though she comes off as harmless as a pup. She surprised me in many occasions throughout the book because her character seems so innocent its easy to forget that she can be as shrewd and cunning as Wax himself.
Overall the story was played a bit safe. Having read his style for a while I would say this is one of his more predictable stories. The real driving force is the characters. They are fun to watch banter and nag each other. Compared to the first trilogy these characters have a different feel to them though to be fair the first trilogy takes place in a much more colder and harder time.
So like I said previously this story is a detective story but what I didn’t mention were the other elements. There’s magic, a small bit of romance, death, political maneuvering and gory scenes depicted.
The magical elements like I said could’ve been developed a little more but otherwise is fascinating to see work. the way they developed from the first trilogy is pretty interesting but I don’t think they are as logical as they were in the first.
There’s a bit of romance in this book but nothing really more than a will they won’t they type of thing. I feel as if they won’t build into the romance until some other things are resolved first especially once you learn of Wax’s backstory. The interactions between the two characters are always filled with a bit admiration and its cool. But there’s no conclusive ark to this yet or I hope there isn’t. hopefully it goes in the way I expect but knowing Brandon Sanderson it’s definitely a wish.
death is common for the bad guys and less for the main characters. being the first book I’m not surprised but death also shapes our main characters in different ways.
there’s a bit of politics at work, if not directly, indirectly. This book is meant to foreshadow greater things to come in the next, so you can see how theirs a cloud looming over the main plot. all things come to a head at the end with a bit of a cliff hanger so i’m ready to start the next book in the series.
I really recommend anything from Brandon Sanderson. He’s a great author, the characters are usually well developed, complex and unique. They are always the type of people you want to get behind and root for the best for. If you are new to fantasy I think this would be a cool entry way. its relatively short, the audio book is well voiced and the plot was pretty fast paced. With that I will end this blog.