My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have high expectations of any Sanderson novel and I'm rarely disappointed. I will say that Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4) was my entry into the series. I didn't know there was the trilogy proceeding it until afterward (and if I can figure out where I put my copy I need to reread it now that I have read the first three books which are a few hundred years prior to books 4 & 5). Alloy didn't strike me as needing much knowledge of the first three books (or I wouldn't have liked it as well I'm sure) but this book definitely requires you to know something of the first three books as those characters are now part of the myth and religion of this world and are the absolute heart of this book.
Wax, Wayne and Marasi are back in this volume (and to a lesser degree, Steris). Wax is preparing for his marriage to Steris much to the dismay of Wayne who doesn't seem to like her (I don't remember why and you are not reminded of why in this). In fact in light of that there isn't really enough of Steris in this volume (she is hustled off to keep her safe). Wax still holds Lessie, his first and now deceased love, in his heart however.
Marasi is struggling with working with Wax. He'll soon be her brother in law (even though she is just the bastard daughter of a Lord). She is now a constable working directly with the chief of police but she is hindered, not by her sex so much (they are pretty equal in that regard) or even because she is a bastard but rather because she went from law school right into this high ranked position. Men under her are upset she didn't work up to it and being friends with Wax who is a Lord (and not really a cop but acts like one) makes it worse.
Marsai and Wax (and his shadow, Wayne) are trying to stop someone leaving a string of bodies behind her. Her goal is to basically whip the city into rebellion and topple the gods. Think the beginning of the depression, that's about where we are time wise. Cars and electricity are just starting to get a hold on the town. There's a huge money gap between the lords and the workers who are either out of work of working insane and dangerous hours. Worse the governor is corrupt.
This is very hard to review without spoiling anything so let me say that it is rooted hard in Wax's past and even further back. The Kandra for example are nearly immortal and they had served the lord ruler then and now in theory they serve Harmony (the new god) but after centuries the stories have taken on mythic proportions vs actual historical accounts. For example most people believe that the Kandra didn't even exist.
Wax learns early on that hematullargy is happening and several of the people killed were Metalborns and their powers stolen. Marasi, Wayne and Wax are all Metalborns which is always neat, makes for interesting fight scenes. Speaking of which Sanderson knows how to balance those. Overly long fight scenes bore me but he kept them short and crisp.
I really love Wax and Marsai and very especially, Wayne. Yes he's half mad and a thief but there is something endearing about him. It makes me a little sad that Sanderson has so many series going because it takes him so long to put out a new book. That said, I'm willing to wait for the quality I get. I can't wait to see the next one. But if you haven't read the first three books you seriously want to before tackling this one.
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