My love affair continues with the Mistborn series and this installment, The Alloy of Law. Although, admittedly, we have reached the 7-year itch phase.
The original Mistborn trilogy is at the top of the fantasy heap for me. It was a masterpiece of world-building, character development and well plotted storylines.
The Alloy of Law is the start of a second trilogy set in this world many years after the events featuring Vin, Elend, Sazed and the others. According to Sanderson’s acknowledgements, he planned for two trilogies after the original. One epic set in an urban area and another in a futuristic area. This book isn’t the beginning of either of those trilogies. I think I understand that this started as a short story that grew into a full novel (not surprising given the volume of content that Sanderson seems to create with a blink of an eye.)
No spoilers so I’ll just give you the highlights. The structure of TAOL is very different. It’s significantly shorter and, if read as a stand alone, the world building would just be average. If you’ve read the original series, you know all the nuts and bolts of this world. But, if you haven’t, you will have some “huh” moments. It is definitely a fantasy novel but has elements of a western, steampunk and mystery.
Did I like it? Yes, that’s why I’ve rated it 4-stars. But…**deep breath**…I came pretty close to giving it 3-stars. It just isn’t at the same level as the other Sanderson works that I’ve read. Maybe it isn’t fair to judge him against himself but once you know the heights of awesomeness he can reach, it feels like a disappointment not to get there. Having said that, I don’t think he intended for this to be as epic as the original series. I believe he just wanted to entertain us. And, that he did.
My only other squabble would be too spoiler-ish. However, though it bothered me throughout the majority of the story, I think Sanderson took this plot point in the right direction at the end and it won’t lead me to anger with book two. Vague enough for you?
P.S. You can’t go wrong with Sanderson so even though this isn’t a glowing review, The Alloy of Law really is a must read.