Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Review by Elisabeth Martin Rogers

The Alloy of Law is said by Brandon Sanderson to be an accident, but you would not think so upon reading it. He sought a half step between his more epic novels and this thrilling mystery style novel is a lovely intermission. It beautifully intertwines with the world he has created in what he calls “The Cosmere”. For fans of Sanderson, his intricate world building and how he incorporates powers is the main draw. The Way of Kings and Mistborn, are a part of his Cosmere. This carries on in the new Wax and Wayne series that Alloy of Law kicks off. His popular trilogy, Mistborn becomes the lore for Wax and Wayne because they exist millions of years after Mistborn concludes. You do not need to read Sanderson’s other books to read this one, but I recommend going back to read the “lore” in Mistborn if you have not already.

The fantastical aspects of Sanderson’s writings presents itself as a modernized way of allomancy - which is how characters draw on metals' natural power to give them unique abilities. We get a taste of futuristic use of metals while keeping that nostalgic “lawkeeper in a lawless land” feel.

The story follows Waxilliam (Wax) who was once a rich aristocrat in the city, but went out into the Roughs to help fight crime and live freely as an allomancer (someone who can burn metals). Unfortunate circumstances drive Wax back home to the upper echelon of society where he is wildly uncomfortable…until odd crimes start stringing together in a sinister pattern. He is a detective at heart and can’t help but crack the case.

Sanderson writes smoothly and if you have struggled to get through fight scenes in other books, you will breeze through this with ease. You are there in the fight with Wax and you feel every bullet wiz by your head as it does his.

I recommend Alloy of Law to people who like fantasy books that expertly portrays magic in a practical way. This is not a war epic that Sanderson is known to do, but a simpler, easily digestible heist-detective story.