Friday, November 18, 2011

The Alloy of Law

I interrupt the (ir)regularly scheduled Korea trip posts for a quick diversion.

I have been a big fan of fantasy author Brandon Sanderson's work since I read his Mistborn Trilogy some years back. The story was conceived as a way of turning most of the Tolkienesque tropes of fantasy on their head. In this setting, the grand quest to rid the world of evil failed, saddling the known world with a thousand years of dark lord dictatorship. The books were fun, interesting and fresh, and I really enjoyed the world Sanderson created. While the ending wrapped up the trilogy quite nicely, there is always room for more stories. Hence, The Alloy of Law.

This newest book in the series is a stand alone tale set three hundred years after the end of the trilogy. Unlike most fantasy worlds, where things stay generally medieval for centuries, here is a much more dynamic world. Railroads are proliferating, and a general wild west/ steampunk vibe has been very successfully overlaid on the rules and history of the series. The Alloy of Law was written as a bit of a break between other more epic fantasy novels and is a much shorter, fluffier book than we might be used to in the genre, and even from this author. There are no world spanning conflicts, no epic armies clashing. Rather there is a solid central mystery complimented by fun characters, interesting dialogue and a chance to revisit a very interesting setting. As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed The Alloy of Law, and I am very much looking forward to more stories in the Mistborn universe.  

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