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The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel    by Brandon Sanderson order for
Alloy of Law
by Brandon Sanderson
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Brandon Sanderson's The Alloy of Law takes place on the planet Scadrial three hundred years after the events of his outstanding Mistborn trilogy. It's an urban setting (with railroads, the beginnings of electric lighting, and growing skyscrapers in the metropolis of Elendel), but the series' magics (Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy) are still all at play.

Shades of Wyatt Earp! This story is tremendous fun. Its hero, Twinborn Waxillium Ladrian (a Feruchemist and Allomancer), emerges from the frontier Roughs where he was a renowned lawkeeper, after shooting the love of his life, Lessie, while trying to save her from a psychopath. He was called back to Elendel after the death of his uncle and sister in a tragic accident, to save his House (and all who depend on it) from financial ruin. Wax is now the Sixteenth High Lord of House Ladrian.

He needs to make an advantageous marriage and is in negotiation with Lord Harms, to marry his rather cold-blooded daughter Steris. When they meet, Harms and Steris are accompanied by an intelligent and lovely cousin, Marasi, who is studying 'legal justice and criminal behavioristics' at university. Wayne, an old friend from the Roughs shows up, hoping to involve Wax in the investigation of unusual train robberies, but he refuses. Wayne is a bit of a rogue and a Slider 'capable of creating a bubble of compressed time around himself'.

But the robbers (Vanishers) don't stick to trains and they're after more than valuables. A gang raids a ball and kidnaps Steris. It seems the Vanishers are regularly taking young women from a particular lineage. Their leader is Miles Hundredlives, an ex-lawman well known to Wax. Soon it becomes a duel to the death between the two - and Miles is practically immortal. He's 'a Twinborn Compounder of awesome power' who can instantly regenerate any damage done to his body.

There's tons of Allomancy in action in The Alloy of Law, as well as a puzzling mystery to solve, engaging banter amongst the trio (Wax, Wayne and Marasi) of sleuths, and the seeds of romance with no clear resolution. This episode ends on a meeting for Marasi that raises new questions, leaving me anxious to find out what comes next for these delightful characters. Don't miss The Alloy of Law!

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