The Alloy of Law
by Brandon Sanderson
Recommended Ages: 13+
Other things have changed, too. One of the reborn world's major religions follows the wisdom of Sazed, who at the end of The Hero of Ages ascended to become the god known as Harmony. Wax, for example, practices this faith, which includes an unusual tenet forbidding the worship of its god. Also, you don't see a lot of Mistborn anymore. Some folks still use Allomancy - a variety of magic that involves burning certain metals in one's stomach - but they are limited to one metal each, their specific power dependent on which metal it is. Some also use Feruchemy, which alternately deposits and withdraws a person's supply of some property such as sensory perception, mental quickness, physical strength, etc., each in a specific type of metal. Some metalborn, known as Twinborn, have one allomantic power and one feruchemical at the same time. Wax is one of those: he can burn steel, allowing him to push against metal objects; he can also store and retrieve his own weight in iron bracers that he wears on his arms. So, in effect, he can often deflect bullets in flight, and can practically fly himself. His buddy Wayne has a similar pair of Twinborn powers, combining fast healing with the ability to form a bubble of accelerated time around himself.
Powers like these make them good at surviving battles with bad guys in the roughs. But when Wax inherits the title to one of the most powerful noble houses in Elendel, he finds it even more challenging to survive in the center of civilization than out in the Roughs. A member of his household staff tries to assassinate him. A band of robbers, whose bizarre power of making property disappear has earned them the nickname "Vanishers," has vanished with Wax's fiancee as their hostage. There seems to be a sinister plot behind how the Vanishers are choosing their hostages, none of whom has yet returned. And Wax has recognized their leader as one of his former colleagues in the lawman business - a guy whose "double gold" abilities make him virtually unstoppable. Will it be the end for Wayne, Wax, and the latter's unsettlingly attractive sister-in-law-to-be Marasi? No doubt. But then again, this is only the first book in a second series of Mistborn novels that currently also includes Shadows of Self and The Bands of Mourning.
This is a shorter, more quickly-read book than any of the previous Mistborn titles. At the same time, it is a fully absorbing, addictive pleasure, introducing an all-new and equally fantastic world built one the old one, which itself seemed to overflow with possibilities. I am already devouring Shadows of Self, and I look forward to Mr. Sanderson writing even more Mistborn books - including some that he hinted about in his acknowledgments to this book, possibly including Scadrial versions of our present-day and future world. (Scadrial is apparently the name of the planet these books are set on.) I'm also on the scent of a local source of his "Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians" books. If Sanderson wrote it and I can get my hands on it, it will have my full attention before I read anything else. Put that in your metal reserves and burn it.