Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my FINISHING THE SERIES! list.
I loves me a good series! But I'm terrible for starting a new series before finishing my last - so this reading list is all about trying to close out those series I've got on the go.
When I first heard that Sanderson had written this book, my initial reaction was of cynical disappointment. I mean, the original Mistborn trilogy closed itself in a satisfying and definitively final way – the only explanation I could think of for tacking on another novel was to try and cash in on the series’ success. I’m very relieved to discover that’s not that case (and I’m sorry for ever expecting the worst of you, Mr Sanderson).
I was fascinated to read, in the author’s introduction, that Sanderson has planned a trilogy of trilogies in the Allomantic world. We’ve already had the first trilogy, set in past, and he’s got two more to go, one set in a modernish world and a third set in a futuristic world – all linked by the wonderful blood/metal magic system of the mistborn. The Alloy of Law is not the start of the planned second trilogy, it seems to have grown organically from the planning phase of that series – a surprise baby, if you will.
If you've never read Mistborn, the basic premise of Sanderson's magic system is this: metal gives you magical powers. You can eat metal and burn it inside you to give you magical powers. You can wear metal against your skin and store natural abilities for later recall.
The iconic usage is 'pushing' against metal objects to throw yourself into the air. Or pushing metal objects at enemies as projectiles. While this magic was fun in the original fantasy series, it gets a reboot here with the introduction of guns. Magic that turns people and random objects into projectiles... combined with projectile weapons!
The Alloy of Law is a (gun) barrel full of fun!
Start with a pistol slinging spaghetti Western sheriff
Supercharge him with metal-pulling and weight-changing magic
Dump him into a steampunk fantasy city
Give him a smart-mouthed klepto sidekick
Confront him with an unkillable enemy
Insert a little love interest
A dash of family intrigue
BOOM – paperback magic!
It’s quick to get into, difficult to put down, and leaves you wanting more.
The Alloy of Law isn’t an amazing story, nor is it incredible writing. But Sanderson has powerful knack for crafting mighty likeable characters, and this is a popcorn-perfect, adventure-ride experience. And I'm a big fan of the allomancy action sequences - they're tremendously kinetic and imaginative, like two brightly coloured marbles having a gunfight in a pinball machine.
I’ve not yet read a Sanderson I didn’t like – and I still have The Way of Kings waiting for me on a shelf somewhere. Happy days!
After this I read: Ender's Game