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The Alloy of Law (Mistborn Era 2 Book #1) by Brandon Sanderson Review - An underwhelming installment after Mistborn Era 1

Read Time: 8 minutes
Published On: August 30, 2023
The Alloy of Law

The Alloy of Law is the first book in the second era of the beloved Mistborn series. It takes place 300 years after the events of the first era.

About 'The Alloy of Law'

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Series: Mistborn Era 2 - Book #1

Publisher: Tor Books

Genre: Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Steampunk

Other works from the Author: The Stormlight Archive Series, Elantris, Warbreaker, Skyward Series, The Mistborn Saga

Page Number: 332 pages

Audible Listening Time: 10 hours 48 mins

Goodreads Rating: 4.21/5

My Rating: 3/5

Plot: 2/5

Scadrial is now a modernized and bustling planet with electricity, much like it is during the Industrial Revolution. The beloved characters of the first three books are not part of history, as they have been deified and turned into religious figures.

alloy of law by soyabeansoldier d9niq24 414w
Alloy of Law by soyabeansoldier

In this new era, Waxillium Ladrian, also known as Wax, is a twinborn with the ability to push on metals via Allomancy and the ability to use Feruchemy to become lighter and heavier at will. Wax is forced to leave the life of a roughshod adventurer and return to the city of Elendel to take on the responsibilities that come with being a lord after a financial crisis hits his family. However, the life of a lord is proving to be more difficult than the life of guns and violence.

I found the plot of The Alloy of Law to be underwhelming after the mind-bending books published in the previous era of the Mistborn series. I didn't care about anything that was happening in the book. It felt like the book only exists because of the success of the previous era.

Characters: 2/5

Wax Ladrian

Wax is the main character of The Alloy of Law. He is a twinborn Allomancer and Feruchemist who is forced to leave his life as a roughshod adventurer and return to the city of Elendel to take on the responsibilities that come with being a lord. Wax is a capable and skilled fighter, but he is also a bit of a loner and has difficulty connecting with others. I found him to be a somewhat bland and uninteresting character.


Wayne is Wax's sidekick and friend. He is a street-smart thief with a knack for getting into trouble. Wayne is a more colorful character than Wax, but I found him to be annoying and distracting. I didn't find him to be very likable or relatable.

Marasi Colms

Marasi is a young woman who is investigating the kidnapping of her cousin, Lady Steris. She is intelligent and resourceful, but she is also naive and inexperienced. I found Marasi to be the most interesting character in the book, but I didn't feel a strong connection with her. She was a bit too perfect and idealized for me.

Overall, I found the characters in The Alloy of Law to be underwhelming. They were not as well-developed or as relatable as the characters in the Mistborn trilogy.

Worldbuilding: 3/5

The worldbuilding of The Alloy of Law is impressive, but it is not the best work of Brandon Sanderson. After reading other books from him, this feels underwhelming. Perhaps the steampunk fantasy is not my cup of tea. However, I did not connect with the worldbuilding in the same way that I did with his previous works.

I liked the details of the city and other technological marvels that were created in a world with Mistborns. However, other than that, nothing felt awe-inspiring.

Magic System: 3/5

The Alloy of Law does the magic system the best. However, it is not the greatest magic system in all of the Cosmere books. The previous era books expanded the magic system in very interesting ways. This book does not feel like it contributed much to the expansion of the previously established magic system.

There are many new ways that the twinborn powers are used in The Alloy of Law. Creative combinations of Allomancy and Feruchemy are seen throughout the book, but it was not something that blew my mind away.

Pacing: 4/5

The pacing of The Alloy of Law is perfect. It is a short book that doesn't drag much. The plot is well-paced and keeps the reader engaged. This is the only thing I loved about the book.

Enjoyment: 3/5

I have to say I didn't enjoy The Alloy of Law as much as the previous books I read from Brandon Sanderson. This is the last series I'm reading in the Cosmere. I have read all other books in the Cosmere, so I was expecting something great and mind-bending. However, this book didn't do anything for me. I was just reading to catch up on the Cosmere, not to enjoy.

Also, it put me in a terrible reading slump that still isn't going away. I didn't DNF it only because I am a fan of the Cosmere and want to know everything about it.

Final Verdict - 3/5

The Alloy of Law is set 300 years after the first era of the Mistborn Saga, during a time when the world is undergoing an industrial revolution with a steampunk feel. Being a big Cosmere fan, I was eager to read this book, but I ended up disappointed.

The story in The Alloy of Law is not as exciting as the earlier Mistborn books. It moves slowly and is easy to predict, with lower stakes. The characters didn't really connect with me – their interactions felt dull, and they seemed one-dimensional.

While The Alloy of Law describes the technological advancements of the past 300 years, it doesn't expand the world as much as Sanderson's other works. The magic system is interesting, but it doesn't add a lot to what was already there. There are a few new ways to use Allomancy and Feruchemy, but they didn't wow me.

Compared to the Mistborn trilogy, The Alloy of Law falls short. I was hoping for something amazing, but the book didn't deliver. It's a quick read, but that doesn't make up for its issues.

All things considered, I'd rate The Alloy of Law 3 out of 5 stars. It's not terrible, but it's not great either. If you're a fan of the series, you might still want to give it a read.

Favorite Quotes

“The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.”

“That hat looks ridiculous.” “Fortunately, I can change hats,” Wayne said, “while you, sir, are stuck with that face.”

“Why do they call it research if I've only done it this one time?”

“Doesn't matter how good your bullets are if you don't aim carefully.”

“Why is it,” Marasi said angrily, “that small-minded men must destroy that which they know is better, and greater, than they?”

“Funny, how quickly someone can stop calling you a miscreant and a rogue when they want your help,”

“The human mind was very clever at tricking itself, at keeping the despair of inevitability at bay.”

“People today … it seems they are good, or sometimes evil, mostly by inertia, not by choice. They act as their surroundings prepare them to act.”

“People, they misunderstood the word “accent.” They thought accents were those things everybody else had.”

Amazon Blurb

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will.

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

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