For people just getting into fantasy books, it is pretty daunting choosing what books to read. If you go online, and search for top fantasy books you are inundated with hundreds of titles and series. Of course, there are the old standards such as Tolkien and Jordan etcetera and frankly these are the best for a reason. Yet, the real problem is finding the next great Fantasy writer. Determining this isn’t an easy task and to list out all the criteria would be impossible. Yet, I would like to humbly submit the name of Brandon Sanderson as possible suitor for the title. The corner stone for any contender has to be a great book series (notice that I didn’t say just one book, to be the best lightning has to strike more than once). In Sanderson’s case, the Mistborn trilogy fits the bill. As far as I am concerned it is his calling card, and for me the first series that I mention to anyone looking to expand beyond the old standby’s in fantasy.
Recently Brandon Sanderson decided to take a next step in the Mistborn mythology by writing the Alloy of Law. While both the trilogy and Alloy of Law take place in the same world; the Mistborn trilogy takes place during a time that could be called early European Renaissance while the Alloy of Law moves the time scales to a post industrial revolution period. This move into the future does two things for a reader 1) for those who have read the series, we are given a glimpse of the legacy left behind from the original trilogy 2) for those who haven’t read the series, the book is separated in such a way that no prior knowledge is necessary to read and enjoy the book. While there are a couple of references that might not make too much sense, overall Alloy of Law is a separate story to the Mistborn Trilogy.
Due to its new time period Alloy of Law feels more like a Western mixed with a batman style mythology. A blue blooded law man famous for his exploits in the rough and lawless outskirts of civilization is recalled back to the big city he originally abandoned, where he must adapt to new dangers hidden below the surface of high society. Laced throughout the story is the presence of metallurgy, which are abilities given to certain individuals who ingest specific metals into their system. These abilities range over a while spectrum of powers and are artfully explained during the story as well as in a help reference area in the back of the book.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Alloy of Law. Unfortunately, the story ends with you wanting more. After searching the internet I found that no sequels are scheduled for the book, which is refreshing considering how sequel crazy everyone is right now. With that said, while the story resolves itself pretty well it seemed that the characters journey was not finished. In my opinion, the books as a gateway to reading the more detailed and in-depth Mistborn Trilogy as well as a neat story in itself. A quick side story: My uncle, who as far as I know doesn’t read fantasy novels, was visiting and just so happened on the book. He started reading a couple of pages (the TV wasn’t working…don’t ask!) and got hooked. I guess that is all you really need to know.