Lord Waxillium Ladrian has been living in the Roughs for twenty years and capturing criminals that no one could before. However, he has been forced back into the heart of society to navigate the ballroom instead of the outskirts of civilization. The city isn’t much safer though and Wax has to use his twinborn abilities to track down the Vanishers with the help of his annoying sidekick Wayne in Alloy of Law.
Wax and Wayne can use both Allomancy (the ability to ingest specific metals to gain powers) and Feruchemy (the ability to store physical attributes like weight and health, for use later). The magic in Alloy of Law has rules and obeys the laws of physics. Wax is also confronted with a marriage of necessity to support the people under his care. The woman that Wax has started courting is a stark contrast to both him and the ever-present Wayne.
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I wish that I had made time to read this book earlier. I enjoyed the Mistborn trilogy, but the Wax and Wayne series set in the same world 300 years later is even better. The first series is all about toppling an oppressive empire, but this series is about finding the hidden bad guys and upholding justice. I have a soft spot for a good detective novel especially if the characters have supernatural powers. Brandon Sanderson is an amazing writer and his dialogue is both beautiful and absurd at the same time, but the setting and that characters pull it all together.
Alloy of Law Parent Guide
Adult Content: PG
Reading Level: Grade 7 – Young Adult
“So,” Marasi said, “you traded a dead man’s scarf for another dead man’s gun. But… the gun itself belonged to someone dead, so by the same logic-“
“Don’t try,” Waxillium said. “Logic doesn’t work on Wayne.”
“I bought a ward against it off a traveling fortune-teller,” Wayne explained. “It lets me add two ‘n’ two and get a pickle.”
“That hat looks ridiculous.”
“Fortunately, I can change hats,” Wayne said, “while you, sir, are stuck with that face.”
The Characters in Alloy of Law
One thing that I really like about this book, and the rest of the series, is how well fleshed out each of the characters is and how different they are from each other. You have Wax, a noble lord who never goes anywhere without at least two guns and loves the law. Then there is Wayne who steals people’s accents and mannerisms and loves trading for things (things like swapping a hot donut for a feather). Then there is Steris the dry, boring, overly proper, and overly prepared wealthy lady. And last but never least Marasi, the bastard daughter of a merchant who is going to college to study criminal justice, is fascinated with statistics and very bashful. This unique dynamic creates colorful and beautiful dialogue.
Thoughts about Alloy of Law
This book is the perfect combination of a western with outlaws and gunfights and a turn of the century novel when they are installing electricity and automobiles are starting to become big. The setting of The Alloy of Law is a huge contrast from the original Mistborn series set in the dark ages, and I think it shows how different the world is after the events in The Hero of Ages (book 3 of Mistborn series). It shows a new culture and understanding of Allomancy and Feruchemy.
If you are completely lost with the whole Allomancy and Feruchemy thing, don’t worry. There are condensed explanations of all things Allomancy and Feruchemy in the back of the book, along with additional information.
The Alloy of Law is both a fun read and a book that makes the reader think of what part they play in the larger scheme as the characters figure out their moral responsibilities and how their unique talents can help those around them. I recommend this book!
What to Read Next?
I hope you continue reading this series with Shadows of Self. If you haven’t read the Mistborn series, I highly recommend it. It gives the reader a bit of context and you will learn more about Allomancy and Feruchemy. For more amazing books to read check out this post about Books to Read after Watching the Mandalorian.