urrutiap

wow Alloy of Law sucks. Spoilers alert in case

22 posts in this topic

Been reading 237 pages of it recently and the story pretty much sucks. The only major thing that happened was the gang of thieves showing up at that shindig party and the entire beginning was of Waximillian and his butler

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It gets better towards the end, but yeah, pretty low action.

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That is it? You just find it boring? No complaints about plot holes, terrible characters or illogical solutions? Your topic is pure click-bait. ;)

Seriously, I do think that any book (or any story for that matter, regadless of the medium it is told in) can be regarded good, bad or anything in between, depending on the person reading it. And there might be interesting discussions to be had talking about all the different points and Interpretations. 

I really liked Alloy of Law. It took me a while to get used to the different era but I really liked the characters and the way the story developed. The following books got even better (imo) and Bands of Mourning is my favorite Sanderson book so far. I'm close to doing a little happy-dance whenever I think of The Lost Metal being written kinda right now. :D

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, one of Brandon's worst, imo

Edited by Honorless
Wow, look at all our ranks: Pahn Kahl, Voidbringer, Silent Gatherer, Unmade
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original Mistborn Trilogy had more action in them than Alloy of Law. 

 

all that has happened in Alloy of Law is of Waxamillian not doing a darn thing until he just happened to go that shindig party which that one gang of thieves showed up. 

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Alloy of Law is a different kind of novel than Mistborn Era 1 - it's practically a novella.  Two main factors conspire to result in a much shorter and simpler read: 1) we've already read three novels about Scadrial, and 2) it's obviously (now) the Sanderson planet most similar to our Earth.  This means we don't need nearly as much worldbuilding as we are used to getting in other Cosmere works; we already know a lot about how Allomancy works, the mythology and lore of this time stem directly people and events we know very well, and the pseudo-turn-of-the-century situations and settings are much more familiar to us.

I think it's supposed to be a relatively light, fun read - a detective mystery - with just a bit of groundwork being laid for connections to the grand story of the wider Cosmere.  I feel the best feature of this series is the characters.  Wax, Wayne, Marasi, and Steris are all complex, nuanced people whose strengths and flaws move the story forward in an interesting way.  I also love the broadsheets!  Both the text and artwork do an amazing job of placing the action in the context of a known historical period... plus they are an important part of the story, chock full of hints and easter eggs.

If it's Allomancy-driven combat you are longing for, there is definitely more in the next two books, although I agree the fight scenes never quite rise to the epic level of those in Era 1.  But I think this series absolutely measures up in terms of character and emotional content - perhaps not at the beginning, but very much so by the end.

 

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While I got some enjoyment out of them, you can count me among those who feel that the Mistborn Era 2 books are some of Sanderson's weakest published work so far. Alloy of Law had its moments (especially during the climax & denouement), and Shadows of Self had an interesting twist. Bands of Mourning really jumped the shark, in my opinion -- I'll not go into specifics, but it has a terrible case of sequelitis, it showcases Brandon's blind love of early Indiana Jones, and the way it capitalizes on Wayne's proclivities to move the plot forward feels way too contrived to me. I also read Secret History before Bands of Mourning, which was probably a mistake (I say probably, because I might not have liked the final twist if I had gone in blind -- Secret History may have given me time to digest the twist before writing it off as author fanboyism).

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I'm also among those who think that Era 2 is rather weak (for Brandon's standrads) and am open to discussion about its strengths and weaknesses (it has both in spades). But this doesn't really seem like it's aiming at discussion as much as belting out your opinion, which is totally fine but would probably be more at home in the Unpopular Brandon Sanderson Opinions thread.

To add a bit to the discussion, one of my personal main problems with Era 2 is the lack of plot progression from book to book. Plot threads that are left open at the end of individual books are left hanging and a lot of them are still waiting to be resolved. The abducted nobles? Still waiting. Who's Trell? Still waiting. It's been 10 years, 300,000 words! This made the two sequels feel like side-quests to me (even though I'm aware that they technically aren't).

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4 hours ago, Elegy said:

To add a bit to the discussion, one of my personal main problems with Era 2 is the lack of plot progression from book to book. Plot threads that are left open at the end of individual books are left hanging and a lot of them are still waiting to be resolved. The abducted nobles? Still waiting. Who's Trell? Still waiting. It's been 10 years, 300,000 words! This made the two sequels feel like side-quests to me (even though I'm aware that they technically aren't).

Honestly, we might not get the answers to some of those questions until era 3. Brandon didn't intend on making era 2 originally, so he might be using it to set up plot threads in later eras. For example, it might feel like a bit of a stretch if he just introduced a Mistborn breeding program out of the blue, but with the setup of the kidnapped nobles, it will be believable.

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52 minutes ago, Nameless said:

Honestly, we might not get the answers to some of those questions until era 3. Brandon didn't intend on making era 2 originally, so he might be using it to set up plot threads in later eras. For example, it might feel like a bit of a stretch if he just introduced a Mistborn breeding program out of the blue, but with the setup of the kidnapped nobles, it will be believable.

This might be what he planned initially (and I was mad when I read it):

Quote

Questioner

Trell, who is he? Or if you're not going to reveal that, when will you...

Brandon Sanderson

It's going to take a little while to dig into that. It's going to need Mistborn Era 3, is all the Trell stuff.

Idaho Falls signing (Dec. 29, 2018)

But he seemingly changed his mind:

Quote

Argent

Is The Lost Metal planned to be the actual conclusion of the Wax & Wayne story then, or more of an epilogue to it and/or transition to [Era 3]?

Brandon Sanderson

It is an actual conclusion.

Stormlight Three Update #2 (Jan. 20, 2016)

And promised:

Quote

Cosmere.es

We are more or less sure that, once you finish the last book from Wax and Wayne, this is going to have kind of an impact, maybe, on everything?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes and no. Wax and Wayne as a series, entirely, is more focused on the characters than the cosmere. Which is different from Era Three. Era Three, while it's very focused on characters, is more cosmere-focused. Remember, Wax and Wayne is the series I interjected. And I realized, as I was writing it, there were a lot of things I needed to do in it (that's good I started it), but they are mostly setup. You will get done with Wax and Wayne Four, you will know who Trell is. You will know what trellium is. You will know what's been happening there. But what it's not gonna do is give you definitive, cosmere-wide, large-scale changes. It is more going to be setting up and building for the big things that are coming next. So don't put too much pressure on the poor little Wax and Wayne series; they really are about Wax, Wayne, Steris, and Marasi, and kind of uncovering this stuff. You could consider it the buildup and prologue to the second large era of the Cosmere, if that makes sense. (Which, the second era of the Cosmere is basically going to be: third era Mistborn, second era Stormlight.)

Cosmere.es Interview (April 22, 2021)

I'm honestly still kinda shocked that Brandon even considered leaving that open. To me that's just miserable storytelling, introducing a major mystery at the end of book 1 and not resolving it even three books later, but in a completely different story. Just the thought of it ... :wacko:

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On 2021-10-03 at 10:09 PM, urrutiap said:

original Mistborn Trilogy had more action in them than Alloy of Law. 

I don't find this to be a measure of quality, rather a measure of difference.

The Era 1 world of political machinations and superpowered assassins segueing into the end of the world lends itself more easily to action than old west cowboy with superpowers trying to act properly upper-crusty because he thinks he has to.

Full disclosure, Alloy is the Sanderson book I've read the most times, I never kept track of my re-reads properly, but it's something like 7-13 times.

So I'm coming in here with a pro-Alloy bias.

On 2021-10-05 at 5:46 PM, Olmund said:

Alloy of Law had its moments (especially during the climax & denouement), and Shadows of Self had an interesting twist. Bands of Mourning really jumped the shark, in my opinion

Heh, I find myself in the opposite camp on the Era 2 sequels, Bands is the peak of Era 2 and Shadows is basically a hole in my memory wherein like two interesting things happen.

Reflecting on it now, I think I might not like Shadows for similar reasons to why I couldn't finish Shadows for Silence...

On 2021-10-05 at 5:46 PM, Olmund said:

it showcases Brandon's blind love of early Indiana Jones

Honest question, why is that a bad thing? Especially for a series of books that seem to be pulp adjacent.

18 hours ago, Elegy said:

To me that's just miserable storytelling, introducing a major mystery at the end of book 1

I'd argue that it wasn't really introduced at the end of book 1, as all mentions of Trell are solely tied to Miles, there's no real mystery, just Miles' religion.

And if I may nitpick, the end of Era 1 introduces Adonalsium without ever explaining what that is.

 

¤_¤

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10 minutes ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

I don't find this to be a measure of quality, rather a measure of difference.

We will have to disagree on this part.

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1 hour ago, Frustration said:

We will have to disagree on this part.

As on so many others, friend. :)

 

¤_¤

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Amount of action is more a matter of preference rather than a matter of quality. The Era 2 books are presented primarily as mysteries so it makes sense that the action is lower.

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2 hours ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

I'd argue that it wasn't really introduced at the end of book 1, as all mentions of Trell are solely tied to Miles, there's no real mystery, just Miles' religion.

I'll put these in spoilers since it's at the end of the book this thread is about:

Spoiler

These are the exact words:

Quote

"You are fools!" Miles yelled at the firing squad.  "One day, the men of gold and red, bearers of the final metal, will come to you. And you will be ruled by them."

[...]

"Worship Trell and wait....."

I think there's several logical reactions readers would have to this. It can be seen as some sort of teaser for things way off in the future. But for me, the way it's presented at the end of a book and the very persuasive tone put a focus on it like something the reader has to keep in mind and that will be important in the near future. To me it feels like the book makes the promise of this being important later on. He literally tells them to "wait", so of course, as a reader, I wait. (And I waited a long time haha.) Then at the end of Shadows of Self, the new metal and its connection to Trell is actually one of the big sequel hooks, so putting it off for another book series is extremely awkward.

Also, all of this doesn't even adress the fact that a bunch of people were abducted in book one and the main characters haven't even thought of them for two books now, despite this being probably their biggest failing in the whole series thus far. I think this is actually one of Brandon's biggest mistakes ever, maybe the biggest one - sometimes I think he has actually forgotten that this happened . . .

 

2 hours ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

And if I may nitpick, the end of Era 1 introduces Adonalsium without ever explaining what that is.

You know, when I wrote that comment, I actually thought someone would come up with that :D But I disagree that it's a similar situation.

Spoiler

It's not comparable at all in my opinion since that's basically a throw-away line in an epigraph, not even the main text - it's something that makes you raise an eyebrow and inspires theories and discussion, but it isn't presented as an important plot point. It's not at all the same as the main antagonist of a book basically yelling "I serve a greater power and you will all die" while he's being executed. The one thing is a little mystery, the other is a promise. Or at least to me, it was. I'm completely aware that it's possible to read it differently. But Brandon should have been aware that it could be read this way. And I guess he is now :D

I still hope that Lost Metal will wrap it up in a way that makes the mess of this series feel satisfying though, and I've been vaguely optimistic ever since those WOBs above dropped

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Personally, out of Mistborn era 2, my favorite has been Shadow of Self. Alloy of law seemed like a prologue, setting things up for the era. But SoS not only linked back to the original trilogy, but helped set up a lot of future possibilities with Trell. And also told a pretty good story. 

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On 2021-10-06 at 11:04 PM, Elegy said:

I'll put these in spoilers since it's at the end of the book this thread is about:

  Hide contents

These are the exact words:

Quote

"You are fools!" Miles yelled at the firing squad.  "One day, the men of gold and red, bearers of the final metal, will come to you. And you will be ruled by them."

[...]

"Worship Trell and wait....."

I think there's several logical reactions readers would have to this. It can be seen as some sort of teaser for things way off in the future. But for me, the way it's presented at the end of a book and the very persuasive tone put a focus on it like something the reader has to keep in mind and that will be important in the near future. To me it feels like the book makes the promise of this being important later on. He literally tells them to "wait", so of course, as a reader, I wait. (And I waited a long time haha.) Then at the end of Shadows of Self, the new metal and its connection to Trell is actually one of the big sequel hooks, so putting it off for another book series is extremely awkward.

Spoiler

So, to me his lines at the execution didn't sound like a promise.

I only heard a true believer's fervent rambling.

There is nothing in Alloy that indicates that there's anything significant to the differences between Trelagism and modern Trellism.

It's a bit like modern neopaganism, the new version of the faith isn't necessarily accurate to the historcal one and the differences look mostly like an in-joke for the readers who remembered Trelagism in this case.

And Miles being the only known representative of the Trellist faith in Alloy just makes it look like he's got true conviction, not like the author is making a promise that this will be important.

I agree fully that once later books establish that there's more to this Trell stuff it should have some kind of resolution within the series, though I don't think that resolution has to be the the full truth of what and who Trell is. Something like the dissolution of the Set could work as well, a victory that means Trell can't act on Scadrial for the forseeable future. 

 

On 2021-10-06 at 11:04 PM, Elegy said:

 

  Hide contents

These are the exact words:

Quote

Also, all of this doesn't even adress the fact that a bunch of people were abducted in book one and the main characters haven't even thought of them for two books now, despite this being probably their biggest failing in the whole series thus far. I think this is actually one of Brandon's biggest mistakes ever, maybe the biggest one - sometimes I think he has actually forgotten that this happened . . .

Spoiler

Yeah...

That one's kinda weird.

A throwaway line or thought could have gone into aknowledging that.

Maybe have Suit muse on how they were used to make the Set's spikes or something.

 

On 2021-10-06 at 11:04 PM, Elegy said:

You know, when I wrote that comment, I actually thought someone would come up with that :D But I disagree that it's a similar situation.

  Hide contents

It's not comparable at all in my opinion since that's basically a throw-away line in an epigraph, not even the main text - it's something that makes you raise an eyebrow and inspires theories and discussion, but it isn't presented as an important plot point. It's not at all the same as the main antagonist of a book basically yelling "I serve a greater power and you will all die" while he's being executed. The one thing is a little mystery, the other is a promise. Or at least to me, it was. I'm completely aware that it's possible to read it differently. But Brandon should have been aware that it could be read this way. And I guess he is now :D

Heh

Spoiler

That's entirely fair, though as I've said above Miles' line doesn't read as a hint to a greater mystery at all to me.

I suppose in my mind they are comparable as in their original context both sound like throwaway lines, the Adonalsium epigraph even sounding more significant.

Trellism reading as Era 2 Trelagism (from the shared name Trell) doesn't make me think there's actual significance to it, it just sounds like an outgrowth of one of Sazed's stored religions, one that has no known connection to the beings taking the role of gods of the cosmere.

I just see Miles earnestly believing in a higher power, not anything that makes me think said higher power exists.

It's interesting to see such a different perspective, I don't think I would have realised that it could be taken that way on my own.

Heh, makes me wonder if no-one took it that way before the book was published and Brandon earnestly didn't think that what he wrote could be taken multiple ways.

As a final note, the fact that it read that way to me probably contributes to me finding it really weird that the Set is Trellist.

I did just check the end of Alloy

Spoiler

And Suit says that they only needed the temporary disappearance of goods and that they are being returned.

I now wonder if he counts the kidnapped among the "goods" and that's supposed to be resolution for that plot.

I could see him callously disregarding people like that, though I can't recall if it's contradicted anywhere else.

It could explain why we've never heard of that again.

 

¤_¤

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I might just be strange, or it might be that I'm from Texas and haven't been back home in over ten years, but every time I start to reread Misborn, I can't wait to get to Alloy of Law.  I just...I love it.  All of Era 2 is my favorite of the cosmere books.  And I love Stormlight and Elantris and even Warbreaker.  But I love Era 2 Mistborn.  I love the characters.  I love the interactions, the mystery, the "rise of technology combined with magic" and how that's affecting the growth of civilization.  I love love love the Easter eggs, the misconceptions people have about the heroes of the past.  One of my favorite tidbits is how "Eastern Street Slang" became "High Imperial", and is used in all official documents.  Because OF COURSE Spook would do that.  I just love all of it.  Wax is my favorite protagonist, Wayne is my favorite side character, and by the end of Bands of Mourning, I even grow to appreciate and, dare I say it, like Steris. It's great, and is what makes me excited for future Mistborn books.  

I love the new interplay of Twinborn as being the new "Mistborn".  I love the concept of Ferrings alongside Mistings.  I just love all of it.  It was a fantastic direction to take, and I love the execution.  But I prefer my stories to be about the characters, not about the explosions.  Yeah, I went to see the new James Bond, and yeah, there was something nice about going to see a movie that was mostly about what's going to be blown up, but that's still cheap thrills.  I prefer to have my characters have some depth to them.  

But that's just me.  

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Just came by to say boooo to the title of this topic :P haha jk jk. But to put it more politely and to echo what others have said, what "sucks" is just personal preference. In the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, one of my favorite sections is when Eragon is living in a certain forest training with a certain someone. Others I talked to hated that because it was "boring", but to me it was among my favorite out of the whole series :) It was just so peaceful with so much character growth, how could you not love it? 

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It's also worth asking how long of a gap between reading Mistborn Era 1 and AoL the OP took.

I also found Alloy of Law very disappointing on my first read - both "sketchy" in structure (which as it arose from a "unplanned writing exercise", kind of showed) and more deeply, felt disappointed in the break in "feel" from the original Mistborn books. It was hard to read "Mistborn", well, without a Mistborn! And both Wax and Wayne came off less as real people, and more as "plot device" characters. I also found myself scouring it for hints of "what happened to Spook, Breeze, Ham, etc." of the original crew as remembered history or legend.

I think this was not helped by AoL coming out literally the same week as I finished reading the original trilogy, so I went straight from the amazing climax of The Hero of Ages to The Alloy of Law. I consider this a mistake (an easy one to make), and now strongly recommend people who finish Mistborn and loved it, to take a break and read other things (Cosmere or otherwise) before embarking on Era 2 and not just plow into it immediately. You need something as a reader to create an effect like the distance of time the in-world characters themselves have to the World of Ash, and the legendary nature of Mistborn.

On re-reads, and especially after Shadows of Self when Wax visits his grandmother in the Terris village, and of course his little "talk with God" in the carriage, things flesh out a lot more for Wax (and to a lesser degree, Wayne). Bands of Mourning has been the best of the Era 2, including where it goes with exploring Scadrial's "magical technology" as well as the question of "the rest of the world".

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On 2021-10-19 at 1:00 AM, Tglassy said:

I might just be strange, or it might be that I'm from Texas and haven't been back home in over ten years, but every time I start to reread Misborn, I can't wait to get to Alloy of Law.  I just...I love it.  All of Era 2 is my favorite of the cosmere books.  And I love Stormlight and Elantris and even Warbreaker.  But I love Era 2 Mistborn.  I love the characters.  I love the interactions, the mystery, the "rise of technology combined with magic" and how that's affecting the growth of civilization.  I love love love the Easter eggs, the misconceptions people have about the heroes of the past.  One of my favorite tidbits is how "Eastern Street Slang" became "High Imperial", and is used in all official documents.  Because OF COURSE Spook would do that.  I just love all of it.  Wax is my favorite protagonist, Wayne is my favorite side character, and by the end of Bands of Mourning, I even grow to appreciate and, dare I say it, like Steris. It's great, and is what makes me excited for future Mistborn books.  

I love the new interplay of Twinborn as being the new "Mistborn".  I love the concept of Ferrings alongside Mistings.  I just love all of it.  It was a fantastic direction to take, and I love the execution.  But I prefer my stories to be about the characters, not about the explosions.  Yeah, I went to see the new James Bond, and yeah, there was something nice about going to see a movie that was mostly about what's going to be blown up, but that's still cheap thrills.  I prefer to have my characters have some depth to them.  

But that's just me.  

I’m not from Texas but I approve this message.

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