Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Alloy of Law

...I...I have no idea why it took me so long to read this book.  I checked it out December 1, 2011, and did not actually get around to reading it until, oh, March 25 or so.  Yeah, it's now been renewed five times (three weeks each!), the limit for what my library allows.

But I finally read it!  And I enjoyed it, as I knew I would.  Because, you see, I love Brandon Sanderson, and I don't think he gets nearly enough credit as an author of modern fantasy.  If someone were to come up to me and ask for a epic fantasy novel they could really sink their teeth into, he'd probably be the first on my list.

Yup, even above Tolkien.   I am a heathen.

So, The Alloy of Law, by Brandon Sanderson, is a "sequel of sorts" to his amazingly awesome Mistborn trilogy--"of sorts" because it takes place 300 years after the end of the trilogy, so the characters from those books--Vin, Elend, Sazed, etc.--are legendary figures with religious followings.  Instead, we get two new main characters, Waxillium "Wax" Ladrian and Wayne ("wax" and "wane," geddit?!).  There is also Marasai, an intelligent young woman and possible love interest for Wax, but Wax is stupid.  This is also "of sorts" because it can easily be read as a standalone--so if you're wary about reading an entire trilogy before getting to this one, you can relax.  Go ahead and go pick it up if you want.

I think one of the reasons why I enjoyed this so much is that the world of Scadrial actually had progression in those three hundred years, so while Allomancy and Feruchemy are still the big deal, there are also such nifty little things like guns, electricity, and even horseless carriages (or at least, mentions of horseless carriages--I don't quite remember if any of the main characters actually used one or not).  This makes the world so much richer and more believable, I think--so many fantasies seem to be permanently stuck in an idealized Middle Ages, which, yes, can be very fun, but once you really think about it, it's kinda boring with all the "same ol', same ol'."

Also: Sanderson has said there "might" be a sequel to this "sort-of sequel," to which I say, Mr. Sanderson, you are fooling yourself if you think you won't eventually write a sequel.  Yes, I know you've got a billionty-and-one other books in the works right now, but your ending was so blatantly set up for continuation that I think your subconscious may not be entirely in tune with the rest of your plans. You may want to look into that.

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