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.
I was vaguely aware when starting this series that at some point it would skip ahead 300 years. Still it’s hard to start a book without Vin. In fact it’s hard to start it at all knowing everyone I’ve grown horribly attached to is dead. It feels dodgy that this is considered a sequel at all to Hero of Ages, it is set within the same universe, but is in no way the same story. But it is the same writing, with the same down to earth, very dry humour and it definitely shows more in this book given the world isn’t ending anymore.
‘She sniffed. “I had some modest help from you.”
“It might be said that I had modest help from myself, technically.”
“The voices whispering to you as result of sleep deprivation do not count, my lord.”’
The Setting Changes
I’ve never read a Western but as a film genre it’s one I like. There’s something comforting about following a man on a horse who drinks whiskey like water and will eventually ride off into the sunset…BOY was I wrong. More on the western front than the sunset one. It reals back the pain factor that I’ve enjoyed in the other books but given how God damn funny this book was, I’ll let it pass. And although it does start out as a western, this is more a steam punk mystery than a fantasy epic or western. I think Brandon Sanderson writes a lot better in a more realistic genre. I certainly understand what’s going on a lot more in his action scenes.
‘Wax cocked his gun softly, then drew a little vial out of his mist-coat and pulled the cork with his teeth. He downed the whiskey and steel in one shot restoring his reserves.’
The Character Changes
Wax is funny but also really traumatised, (my favourite kind of main character). I like him because I understand his dilemma, he wants to be one man but knows he must be another. He’s also in essence lost his ability to fight as he can’t face another battle, it’s something he really struggles with and you can sense that conflict all throughout the book.
Marasi also isn’t Vin. They couldn’t be further apart: Marasi is a timid uni student and Vin is a decomposing body right now. There is an easy path to find what works and just keep hammering at that. It would have been easy for this book to be just Final Empire but set in the future. Instead it’s a completely different story. Marking them against one another would be cheating given how different they are but Alloy of Law is a great book on its own merit.
‘“Why do they call it research if I’ve only done it this one time?”
“Because I’ll bet you had to look things up twice.”’
The Medium Changes
I want to talk about something not story related but book related. This is the first physical book I’ve read in a long time. If you follow me on Instagram (follow me on Instagram) you’ll know I mostly read on a Kindle. But it’s an absolute joy to hold a book in my hands and I stormed through this as it’s a joy to turn and fold real pages. Now I’m stuck between reading as I wish and pleasing my in-laws by using the kindle they bought me.