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The Alloy of Law

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<The Alloy of Law>
The Alloy of Law Cover.jpg
by Chris McGrath
Mistborn Era 2
Follows The Hero of Ages
Precedes Shadows of Self
Setting Scadrial, Cosmere
Released November 8, 2011
Publisher Tor books
ISBN 978-0-7653-3042-0

The Alloy of Law is the fourth book set on Scadrial and takes place 341 years after the events of The Hero of Ages. The events from the Mistborn trilogy are now legend, history, and religion.

The book follows Waxillium Ladrian, a descendant of Breeze and former lawman who returns from the Roughs to assume leadership of his house in the wake of his uncle's passing, and Wayne - Wax's formidable partner and old friend. The two of them are Twinborn, with both one Allomantic power and one Feruchemical power.

Plot Summary[edit]

Waxillium Ladrian is a lawman of the Roughs, the harsh outland far from civilized society where it is said honor goes to die. In the wake of his uncle's death, Wax is summoned back to Elendel to assume his duties as the lord of House Ladrian. Despite trying to acclimatise to the radically different lifestyle and settle down with an arranged marriage - Steris Harms, daughter of Jackstom Harms, a wealthy but stern woman is to be married to Wax to secure a future for the both of their houses - Wax realizes it's not in his nature to simply put down his guns. That's when an old friend shows up with a proposition.

Wax and Wayne are old partners, close friends, and are both incredibly powerful Twinborn. With Wax's return to the city, Wayne was left in charge of Weathering, a small town out in the Roughs, appearing now on the trail of the Vanishers; an infamous gang of thieves renowned for their bizarre theatrics and efficiency. Wax's desire to investigate the recent robberies itches at him.

Putting on appearances for the public eye Wax and Steris attend the wedding reception hosted by the Yomens. They meet with Lord Harms and Steris' cousin, Marasi. Wayne speaks with Wax while Steris and Lord Harms are not around - Marasi had recognised him through his waiter's disguise, having attended the previous meeting at Wax's house with her cousin and uncle where he impersonated Wax's uncle on his mother's side. They each confirm their suspicions to the link shared by the Vanishers' kidnappings, right before the ballroom is invaded by the Vanishers themselves.

Steris is taken hostage while Wax attempts to calm Wayne. Marasi is also kidnapped but in the ensuing gun battle instigated by Wax and Wayne she is able to break free of her captors and provide assistance in the fight. Steris is kidnapped and the trio manage to overcome the staggering number of Vanishers without causing a single casualty amongst the bystanders. In the aftermath, while Wax has an argument with the local Octant's constable Captain, Brettin, Wayne steals an aluminum gun from the evidence pile, giving it to Wax.

The next day, Marasi visits the Ladrian mansion to find Wax deep in his work with metallurgy, trying to determine the exact alloy of the gun Wayne had given him. Realizing he'd been up all night, Wax shows her what else he'd been working on, pulling out a genealogical tree plotted by himself using information in his uncle's library. Marasi leads him to a startling discovery before Wayne shows up with a report on his own investigation; Wayne had infiltrated the Fourth Octant constabulary to gain knowledge of the Vanishers' hideout from the prisoners.

Tillaume - Wax's butler - brews Wax a tea and Wayne takes it for himself. Going back to make another and Wayne suddenly declares, passively, that the tea is poisoned before collapsing to the floor. Tillaume turns to face Wax, pistol in hand, but Wax gains the upper hand. While Wax is checking on Wayne, who has slightly recovered from the poison thanks to his goldmind, Marasi cries out as she notices Tillaume activating the bomb he'd brought with him. Wayne throws up a speed bubble just as the explosion bursts from the basket. Wax increases his weight Feruchemically and breaks through to the floor below with Marasi on top and Wayne following to land on both of them. They escape the explosion but Wayne is left badly burnt and so with little of his goldmind remaining.

After surviving the assassination attempt, the three of them sneak out of the mansion and head for the location of the Vanishers hideout. There they find clues to the nature of their operations and a strong indicator as to who's leading them. Miles Dagouter, or Miles "Hundredlives" as he's known. It is also made clear of Marasi's Allomantic power as a Pulser that Wax attempts to console her rather bitter feelings towards. Meanwhile, Miles talks to Mister Suit, their mysterious benefactor. He berates Miles for failing at the Yomen party and losing so many men and equipment and Miles is forced to assure Suit that Wax will be dealt with.

In the Outer Estates, Wax investigates the scene of one of the Vanishers' robberies with Wayne imposing personal and what he probably thinks, important, questions on Marasi about her affection for Wax. They discuss their theories before heading back into the city via train. There it is Miles attacks Wax and almost kills him in the their fight. Using his skills Wax is able to knock Miles from the train. Needing a place to lay low for awhile Ranette gets a visit she's most unappreciative of, shoving a shotgun in Wax's face. Wayne bribes their way into her affection by giving her Wax's aluminum gun, much to his dismay.

Ranette provides Wax with a set of Hazekiller rounds and a new gun - a prototype that she named "Vindication" after the Ascendant Warrior. Sending Wayne and Marasi on supply runs, Wax sits down to plot where the Vanishers will strike next. The Tekiel's Breaknaught seems the prime target set to make it's maiden trip tomorrow. With a craftily planned distraction, Wax manages to slip aboard the Breaknaught and it sets off with him inside.

The Vanishers show up as expected and Wayne and Marasi watching from afar witness how the Vanishers pull off their robberies. Lifting the entire car off the tracks, a canal boat and crane steal the Breaknaught, replacing the stolen car with a replica. In Miles' workshop he makes an educated guess that Wax is inside the Breaknaught. Wrenching the door out of its frame the inside of the safe is still. Miles notices the length of string tied to the back of the door from the interior of the safe, shortly before Wax, hidden inside, pulls the string tight and setting off the dynamite taped to the back of the door.

Wax evades the Vanishers in their warehouse and comes up against Tarson. The Pewterarm knocks Vindication from his grip and the roof explodes, permitting Wayne to drop down and save Wax. Wayne confronts Tarson and Wax leaps for Vindication which is Pushed up through the roof by Mister Suit's Coinshot thug. Retrieving it, Wax has a fierce battle outside with the Coinshot and now a Lurcher. Marasi brings down the Lurcher with her rifle, but the Coinshot forces Wax and Marasi back into the warehouse. Wax rushes the Vanishers to help out Wayne before noticing Miles. Throwing himself inside the train car Miles follows and is caught in Wax's trap shortly before blowing himself up to escape. Wax is seriously injured and Wayne in turn is shot trying to assist Wax.

Wax has an odd conversation with Harmony and finds the trunk Tillaume had stored his guns in. Emerging from the mists with his mistcloak on, re-armed, he shoots Miles before Miles can do anything. Wax kills the Coinshot with one of Ranette's Hazekiller rounds and goes after Miles, saving Steris and Nouxil in the process before demolishing the entire building. Tarson appears with Marasi as a hostage and Wayne puts up a speed bubble that Wax uses to kill Tarson. Wayne escapes and Wax fights Miles barehanded. Miles overpowers Wax thanks to his healing ability until it becomes apparent that it was just a delaying tactic to allow Wayne to mobilise the constabulary. Marasi has had them in a cadmium bubble (slowing down time for those inside), allowing the constabulary to get there and arrest Miles.

Back at the constabulary, Marasi is turned down by Wax and Wax receives a forbearance from Brettin. This surprises Wax at Brettin's sudden change in character[1] but he is thankful. Steris shows a little vulnerability and Wax agrees that they should go ahead with their engagement, though he feels a slight regret for Marasi.

Marasi watches Miles execution and Wax tracks down his uncle. Wax had suspected his uncle was still alive and playing the role of Mister Suit. Edwarn Ladrian still has possession of the kidnapped women and Wax's sister. Thinking his uncle broke, Edwarn shows Wax the broadsheet that announces Tekiel's collapse because of the robberies, explaining that they, Edwarn and his associates, bought the Tekiel's business. With no proof to incriminate his uncle Wax grows angry. He has to restrain himself from pulling out a gun but he assures his uncle that he will one day kill him.

Back at Mile's execution, Marasi turns to leave when Hundredlives is finally dead and notices a strange figure. She follow him through alleyways until eventually coming face-to-face with Ironeyes. The former Inquisitor gives Marasi a book to give to Wax, saying that he gave it to Marasi because Wax would likely shoot him for his appearance. Ironeyes reveals he is an agent of Harmony, and that he wishes for Wax to be sufficiently informed.

Meeting up with Wayne, Wax shows him the pocket book he swiped from his uncle containing appointments and notes. Wax is determined to stop his uncle.

He would see this to the end. Roughs honor. When one of your own went bad, it was your job to see the mess cleaned up.
— Last lines of the Epilogue

Characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Waxillium Ladrian
He is the descendant of Breeze and an extremely powerful Twinborn. Returning to his estates in Elendel, after spending most of his life in the Roughs, Wax is set on assuming his duties to his house until a new threat emerges - one that very much pulls him into the fray.
Wayne
Wax's smart-mouthed, talented partner and long-time friend. Like his friend, Wayne is a Twinborn but he doesn't fight with guns like Wax,[2] instead using duelling canes and speed bubbles as his main strategy. He has a knack for impersonation and a penchant for "trading" items in others' possession with something of his own.
Marasi Colms
The "cousin" of Steris Harms who is actually the illegitimate daughter of Lord Harms and, therefore, half-sister to Steris. She studies "legal justice and criminal behaviouristics"[3] and is particularly interested in Wax and Wayne's exploits in the Roughs.
Miles Dagouter
Also known as Miles "Hundredlives"; is the primary antagonist in The Alloy of Law. Once an associate of Wax, his ideals have driven him to lead the Vanishers and become entwined in the plans of the Set. He is also a Twinborn, able to compound gold and appear as if immortal, hence his nickname.

Minor[edit]

Steris Harms
The daughter of Lord Harms and Wax's fiancee. She is stern and business-like, showing a distaste for most of Wax's personality as she holds the image society has determined to be of the utmost importance. She is kidnapped by Miles and Wax, Wayne and Marasi manage to rescue her.
Tarson
One of Miles' lieutenants in the Vanishers. He is of koloss blood and a Pewter Allomancer, making an extremely deadly combo of physical strength. At the Yomen party he tries to kidnap Marasi but is stopped by Wax. And again after the Breaknaught is stolen, except this time Wax shoots him in the head, killing him.
Ranette
She is a marvellous gunsmith who harbours a sour feeling for both Wax and Wayne. When they visit her she almost shoots them. After being given an aluminium gun she lends Wax her newest gun, Vindication, that is specially designed to be used by only Coinshots or Lurchers.
Edwarn Ladrian
Wax's presumed dead uncle masquerading as Mister Suit, the mysterious benefactor of the Vanishers and a member of a powerful aristocratic secret society known only as the Set. Edwarn's motives are revealed at the end of Alloy when Wax determines him to still be alive and confronts him.
Jackstom Harms
The father of Steris and later revealed father of Marasi to a different woman. He accompanies Steris to her liaisons with Wax before she is kidnapped. He seems amused when Wax succeeds in shocking Steris with stories of his past. Marasi informs Wax that Harms is willing to financially back Wax in his investigation of the Vanishers.

Religions[edit]

Pathism
Known adherants - Waxillium Ladrian
Pathians pray to Harmony for 15 minutes each day in no set posture. Their one basic tenet describes:
"Do more good than harm."[4]
Harmony is not worshipped; rather, performing altruistic actions is the worship for a Pathian. A Pathian will usually wear an earring while praying, a simple thing stamped on the head with the ten interlocking rings of the Path.[5]

The earring acts as a Hemalurgic spike, allowing Harmony to communicate with Wax on several occasions. He received it from MeLaan[5], a kandra who now serve Harmony as his agents and are known to the world as Faceless Immortals.[6]

Survivorism
Known adherents - Steris Harms
Survivorism is an evolution of the Church of the Survivor and retains much the same doctrines, albeit altered for modern use. Survivorists regard Ironeyes as an icon of death and worship Kelsier and Vin as deities.
Sliverism
Known adherents - Joshin and Mi'chelle[3]
Sliverists worship Ironeyes himself. Steris has a distaste for people that do.
It is assumed that Sliverism is an evolution of the religion that existed in the Final Empire under the Lord Ruler, as the Lord Ruler was referred to as the "Sliver of Infinity" by obligators during that time. Readers can inference that the religion came out of the obligators that survived into the next era.
Trellism
Known adherents - Miles Dagouter
Why had Trell made men like him, if not to see wrongs righted?
— Miles, The Alloy of Law
Little is known of the religion except that Trell is supposed to have made metalborns. The Words of Founding are said to contain a lengthy explanation of Trellism and its teachings, which indicates that metalborns were special.[7] There are theories[8] on the origins of this religion but most of what is known comes from Miles' perspective.
In the novel Mistborn, Trell is referenced as the god of the Nelazan people, who were said to have lived far to the North in Pre-Ascension times. The Nelazan worshipped darkness, glorifying the stars as the "Thousand Eyes of Trell" and dismissing the sun as profane. Their intricate star maps enabled Sazed to place Scadrial back in its proper orbit at the conclusion of Hero of Ages. The connection between this ancient religion and its incarnation in Alloy of Law is unclear.

Notable Historical Figures[edit]

Harmony
In the original trilogy Sazed took up the Shards of both Preservation and Ruin to become Harmony. He is worshipped on Scadrial in the time of Alloy of Law as a god by Pathians.
Lord Mistborn
Spook is arguably the most prominent historical person in Elendel; the most powerful Mistborn of his time. He is renowned for writing in word most of Elendel's law, which Marasi remarks on one in which all trees in Elendel are required to produce edible food.
Ascendant Warrior
Vin is noted by Marasi as a role model to modern women for defying societal conventions. This particularly plays into the "Real Women Never Wear Dresses" trope[9] as Marasi occasionally fights, influenced by Vin's actions. There is a monument dedicated to her and Elend Venture in the Field of Rebirth at the center of Elendel. [2]
Ironeyes
He is revered as a boogeyman, a legend to scare people. After surviving the Final Ascension, Marsh assumed his former nickname as "Ironeyes" and served the interests of Harmony despite his reputation. During the events of The Alloy of Law, Marasi encountered Ironeyes. Marsh has stayed alive so long through the same technique the Lord Ruler employed with atium.[10]
Originators
The group that survived the Final Ascension with the Lord Mistborn 300 years ago.
The Last Emperor
After his death at the end of the original trilogy, Elend Venture became known as The Last Emperor. There is a tomb dedicated to him and his wife, Vin, in the Field of Rebirth at the center of Elendel.[2]

Series[edit]

The Alloy of Law was initially conceived as one of several short stories Brandon wanted to set between the first and second main trilogies that eventually grew into a full novel.

Publication[edit]

  • Fall 2011 from Tor Books[11]
  • Complex Chinese rights to Fantasy Foundation
  • French rights to Orbit France
  • German rights to Heyne
  • UK rights to Gollancz[12]

Notes[edit]

  1. Is Brettin TenSoon at the end?
    17th Shard forums - 20 November 2011
  2. a b c The Alloy of Law chapter 10
  3. a b The Alloy of Law chapter 4
  4. The Alloy of Law chapter 3
  5. a b Who gave Wax the earring?
    Theoryland - Nov 19th, 2011
  6. What happened to the kandra?
    Theoryland - Jul, 2009
  7. The Alloy of Law chapter 11
  8. Trellism; Why Miles sees metalborns as divine
    17th Shard forums - Mar 31 2012
  9. Alloy of Law
    — TVTropes.org
  10. What happened to Marsh?
    Theoryland - October 15, 2008
  11. Announcement post
    — Macmillan
  12. Jabberwocky
    — Awful Agent
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