Review: The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4) by Brandon Sanderson

I love Brandon Sanderson. Fantasy’s my favorite genre, and when I read the first Mistborn trilogy I was thrilled to realize I had found a new favorite author who had SO! MANY! Books! Already published!!

Since I adored the first trilogy - The Hero of Ages brought me to actual, physical tears - there was no doubt in my mind I needed to read the second trilogy. (I've already read books 5 and 6 but I don't discuss them here.)

Warning: minor spoilers are below!



Scadrial has become unrecognizable since Vin and Elend Venture ruled centuries ago. The government now represents the people, technology is quickly developing, and mistborn are gone. The mists sometimes haunt the night sky, but ash no longer falls to the earth. 

Waxillium Ladrian is a rare twinborn, someone with both an Allomantic and Feruchemist power. Wax, along with his partner Wayne, has spent his adult life as a lawman on the edge of civilization. When his father dies, making Wax the Lord of House Ladrian, Wax knows he must do his duty and give up his wild days. What Wax doesn't know is that politics in the big city can be just as deadly as a duel in the desert.

My Thoughts:

Before I get into this review, here’s my definitive ranking of the Mistborn books in order of my personal favorites:

  1. The Hero of Ages (#3)
  2. The Final Empire (#1)
  3. The Well of Ascension & The Bands of Mourning (#2 & #6, tied for 3rd place)
  4. Shadows of Self (#5)
  5. The Alloy of Law (#4)

Yes, this was my least favorite Mistborn novel. I didn’t like these characters as much as I had liked Vin, Sazed, and TenSoon. I missed them. It felt weird to suddenly jump into a world that was relatively stable and orderly after all the chaos of the original story. It was strange that there were cars and electricity when I had grown used to a typical, medieval-ish fantasy setting.

BUT - Sanderson did such a good job of making me care about this world previously that there was no question of me not finishing the book. And as I read, I got used to the changes. I liked Wax in the way you always like the hero of the book, and Wayne was amusing with a few laugh out loud moments. He had a couple over the top moments too, but those mostly disappeared after book 4.

The plot in this one was extremely predictable when compared to the original trilogy, and the writing was simpler as well. The Alloy of Law read like a young adult western with a bit of Allomancy sprinkled in. All throughout the book, I was waiting for a cliche romantic moment between Wax and Marasi to complement the rest of the predictability. So when the hero and his female companion didn't get together, I was pleasantly surprised and that made me look forward to what happened in the next one.

Overall, I think the Wax and Wayne stories are a great addition to the Mistborn world; the best part is seeing how these modern characters turned the original ones into legend. 


This one is a 2.5 (rounded up to 3 on Goodreads). The Alloy of Law is my least favorite of the Mistborn series but I still cannot recommend the first trilogy enough!