Review: The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Man, I wanted to like this book. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy was a wonderfully unique fantasy series. The premise of The Alloy of Law is interesting. It takes place in the world of Mistborn, but 300 or 500 years later. Trains now exist. Guns exist. Electric lights are springing up in the city. One could off handedly call this steampunk, but it’s more like a western.

What disappoints me about this book though is the lack of originality I’ve come to expect from Sanderson. If you’re familiar with X-Men, the villan in this novel espouses Magneto’s worldview and thinks “allomancers” have the right to rule over those without powers. Mutants anyone? So, yeah, there’s that.

The other plot point deals with the villan and his gang mysteriously robbing trains. In this case, it seems like Sanderson was inspired by Scooby-Doo. Mist + large light + fake train = ghostly train? It’s obvious and not on par with his other novels.

What may be the deciding factor for some readers though is the accessibility and tone of this book. It’s fast and easy to read. But, it lacks the depth of the previous books. The characters are more two-dimensional and seem like clichés instead of archetypes.

By the way it ended, you can be sure this is the first in a new series. I’m not sure I’ll read the other ones. On a different note, I wonder if he’ll continue to develop this world and eventually write scifi Mistborn books. It’d be a fantastic project to see the world continue to develop and I’m not sure if another writer has undertaken such a work before.

Tim Lepczyk

Writer, Technologist, and Librarian.

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