Literature: The Mistborn Adventures

aka: The Alloy Of Law
"When I found my way out to the Roughs, when I started bringing in the warranted, I started to... Well, I thought I'd found a place where I was needed. I thought I'd found a way to do something that nobody else would do. And yet, it appears that all along, the place I left behind might have needed me even more. I'd never noticed."
Waxillium "Wax" Ladrian

The Mistborn Adventures is a Sequel Series to the first of the Mistborn trilogies by Brandon Sanderson, set roughly 300 years after the events of Hero of Ages. It features Waxillium Ladrian, a noble that became a lawman in the Wild West-esque Roughs returning to his home in the city of Elendel to try and settle down. His attempts at the quiet life are quickly foiled, however, by the return of his old friend Wayne, his own internal desire to do the right thing, and the appearance of a mysterious group of thieves called "The Vanishers". Now, Wax, Wayne and newcomer Marasi Colms must team up to solve crimes and save the city. However, the Vanishers are only just the beginning of a much deeper conspiracy...

Originally conceived while Sanderson was taking a break from working on the last volumes of The Wheel of Time as a writing exercise, the story quickly grew beyond its planned scope, and was deemed suitable for publishing as a fully-fledged novel. Brandon Sanderson plans to write four books in this series before the release of the second Mistborn trilogy (planned to be set in a modern day universe with an Allomantic SWAT Team). There are currently 3 officially named books:

  1. The Alloy of Law (2011)
  2. Shadows of Self (October 2015)
  3. Bands of Mourning (January 2016)
  4. The Lost Metal (Tentative title)

See also Elantris, Warbreaker and The Stormlight Archive for more books by Brandon Sanderson taking place in The Verse known as The Cosmere.

This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Alternate Self: Mile's other ability besides healing is to burn gold, allowing him to see his past self and who he could have become. His Knight Templar Lawman alternate self hates him, but the process lets him take on some of those mental qualities.
  • Anti-Magic: Aluminum (and some alloys thereof) is allomantically inert, and can't be Pushed or Pulled allomantically like other metals. In addition, wearing an aluminum foil hat (or just one lined with aluminum) protects against emotional Allomancy.
  • Axe Crazy: Bloody Tan, the villain of the prologue, is a serial killer. Also, several other criminals from Wax and Wayne's Backstory, some of them quite nasty, are mentioned in passing.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Everybody lives, but the Man Behind the Man gets away, and Wax rejects Marasi. Also, the first four hostages (and possibly Wax's sister) are still missing.
  • BFG: Several guns in the book qualify.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: Done by Wax to Miles repeatedly. The reason he is able to do this multiple times is because Miles has a Healing Factor that lets him regenerate his hand each time Wax ruins it.
  • The Cameo: Hoid, Sanderson's Legacy Character who appears in every other book in the overarching multiverse of his setting, briefly appears at the wedding party, though not directly referenced by name, instead being mentioned as a shabby-looking fellow in black who might have been a beggar. The wedding in question is of two Seventeenth Shard (conspiracy) worldhoppers, according to Sanderson.
  • Cattle Punk/Weird West: Given Brandon Sanderson and his extensive use of Magic A Is Magic A, this series straddles the line between both. It's in a Wild West setting with use of magic, but said magic is highly tied into the development of new technologies such as Depleted Phlebotinum Shells. Weapons reach to the advancement of dynamite, revolvers and bolt-action rifles, and transportation technology has advanced to the point of making Traintop Battle scenarios feasible, but one such battle includes someone grabbing dynamite and blowing it up in his own hand.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Ranette the gunsmith is mentioned early in the book; it's no surprise when she shows up nearer the end.
    • As part of a bit of world-building, Marsh aka Ironeyes, showing up right at the end.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Marasi is convinced her Allomantic power is useless. Being able to slow down time by a significant factor for a large area allows Wax and Marasi to stall for time as Wayne goes to fetch the military to apprehend the indestructible Miles.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Wax's last name, Ladrian, ties him directly to Breeze (Ladrian was Breeze's real name). So, presumably he's a distant descendant of Breeze and Allriane.
    • The following map features are named after characters from the original series: Elendel, Rashekin, Doxonar, Vindiel, Alendel, Sea of Yomend, Hammondar Bay, Demoux Promenade.
    • Certain characters from the original trilogy are referenced as quasi-religious figures:
      • The Ascendant Warrior — Vin
      • The Survivor — Kelsier
      • Harmony — Sazed
      • The Lord Mistborn — Spook
      • Counsellor of Gods — Breeze
      • Ironeyes — Marsh
      • The Last Emperor — Elend
      • The Sliver — The Lord Ruler (a reference to his self-appointed title, the "Sliver of Infinity")
    • Marewill flowers are named after Kelsier's wife.
    • Spook's near-unintelligible street slang is now regarded in much the same way as Latin. It's referred to as High Imperial.
    • The "Faceless Immortals" are actually kandra. According to Brandon Sanderson, the woman on the train who gave Wax his earring and the Constable-general Brettin seen at the end of the book are both kandra, with the latter being one from the first series.
    • Ranette calls her anti-Allomancer bullets "Haze Killers," after the term for soliders in the Final Empire who were specially trained to fight Allomancers.
    • A more meta example, referencing the Cosmere itself, comes toward the end when Miles is being executed: his Famous Last Words sound almost exactly like one of the pre-death quotes being recorded in The Way Of Kings.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Miles gives one to Wax near the end. Of course Wax was just trying to buy time as part of a Batman Gambit...
  • Deadpan Snarker: Wayne, though Wax gets a few good jabs in too.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Ranette, the gunsmith who makes all sorts of specialized ammo, specifically made some for killing various types of Allomancers.
  • The Determinator: Wax, with some possibly divine help.
  • Deus ex Machina: Played with. It certainly looks like a literal version of this when Harmony actually starts helping Wax out in the finale...then the epilogue confirms that Harmony is Sazed, and definitely more of an active agent than he appears.
  • Difficult but Awesome: The Pulser power (burning Chromium), which slows time for everything in a pretty wide area...including yourself. For the user, everything outside that area just seems to radically speed up. At first blush it seems useless. In fact, it's an ideal means of keeping people in place and is crucial to capturing Miles.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Miles
  • Elite Mooks: The Vanishers with aluminum guns.
  • Exact Words:
    • Wayne says that Wax was lying about not bringing a gun. Wax replies that he didn't bring a gun and draws a second one.
    • After Steris asks that people stop talking about shooting people and hitting them with bricks, Marasi brings up throwing knives at them.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Miles, though his time as a Face was before the book started.
  • Functional Magic: Same magic system from the original trilogy, though Feruchemy has been broken up into one-power per person, and Twinborn are people with one Allomantic and one Feruchemic power. Notable in that Twinborn are repeatedly said to be extremely rare, while Wax and Wayne are both Twinborn...
  • Game Breaker: invoked Miles is a double-gold Twinborn, letting him get more health than he started with out of a metalmind. Although he still ages, he's functionally immortal. All the Compounders (Twinborn with matching metals) are overpowered, but a double-gold is a particularly dangerous variety.
  • Genre Savvy: One of the many reasons Miles is dangerous.
  • Grim Reaper: Former Steel Inquisitor Marsh (now called "Ironeyes") is believed to be this by most people.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Wayne takes a lot more punishment than Wax does. Miles takes more than both combined. Wayne actually lampshades this at one point, and mentions that people tend to shoot Wayne when they're mad at him, since they know he can heal.
    Wayne: It was like saying it was fine to steal a man's beer because he can always order a new one.
    • Of course, considering that in a world of firearms Wayne's favorite tactic is to use his time-speeding ability to turn the battlefield into a series of one on one duels, cane vs guns... it's not surprising that he'd cop a clobbering.
  • Healing Factor:
    • Wayne is able to rapidly heal from injuries as long as he has "health" stored in his gold metalminds (metal used for storing Feruchemy). Since the exchange is one-to-one, the net effect is still equivalent to normal healing — each "unit" of health stored that can be tapped to speed up healing required him to worsen his health by an equivalent amount at some point in the past. Attempting to store up health and then using it to heal up while injured just means that the periods of lowered health will cancel out the periods of heightened health. Granted, as seen in the previous series the "lowered health" generally amounts to a while with a bad cold, while the "heightened health" can mean near-instant healing of heavy injuries, so it's still very useful.
    • Miles is a twinborn whose Allomantic and Feruchemic metals are the same — gold. This allows his powers to interact in a fashion called Compounding, where the energy stored in a metalmind can be accessed by Allomancy, and which releases considerably more Feruchemical energy when burned, allowing the Compounder to bypass the sum-zero limitation of normal Feruchemy, as long as there is a supply of the metal available for burning. In this case, it allows the regeneration of all but the most fatal wounds in seconds and renders the user functionally immortal.
  • Henpecked Husband: At first it looks like Wax is doomed to become one of these; his fiancee Steris at first appears to be a joyless, humorless matron who hands him a fifty-page prenuptial agreement. Averted, however, in that it later becomes apparent that Steris is just socially awkward and a meticulous planner, who fully intends to respect Wax's privacy and personal freedom. He agrees to marry her after all, probably in part so she can manage his business empire while he chases down criminals.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: As with the original Mistborn trilogy, there are a lot of metal-based figures of speech in the language.
  • Living Doll Collector: Bloody Tam, the serial killer at the beginning, makes carefully composed scenes using corpses.
  • I Call It "Vera": Rannette named her special "hazekiller" revolver "Vindication", after Vin herself.
  • Kick the Dog: The Vanishers should NOT have shot the old constable offering himself as a hostage in exchange for Marasi and Steris.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Most of the major characters from the original trilogy are now legendary figures in this series. Vin is known as the Ascendent Warrior, Elend as the Last Emperor, Breeze as the Councillor of Gods, Spook as the Lord Mistborn, Marsh as Ironeyes, and Sazed as Harmony.
  • Legend Fades to Myth:
    • The events of the original trilogy have taken on mythological and religious significance to the later generations. The most humorous of these changes is the ancient High Speech; when an example of it is given, it's quickly recognizable to readers as the silly-sounding thieves' cant used by a few characters in the original trilogy.
    • There are no more full Mistborn, and Wax considers them at least half-mythical. Hemalurgy, the art of transferring Allomantic powers to other people by killing the donor with a metal spike and embedding it in the body of the recipient, is also forgotten according to the appendix.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Alloy of Law is much less serious then the original trilogy and the setting is much less grim.
  • Magic Pants: Miles sets off dynamite in his hand to escape a net. His shirt is destroyed, but his pants survive.
  • Mad Scientist: Although Ranette is more a Mad Engineer, she does live like a hermit, and has an obsession of building better guns and ammunition.
  • Medieval Stasis: The whole point of the Mistborn franchise is to avert this trope. With each subsequent series being set in a later time period than the last.
  • Named Weapon: Vindication, sufficiently awesome to deserve its namesake.
  • Nobility Marries Money: The protagonist Wax who is the current Lord of an old but currently broke house, arranges a marriage contract with a woman from a young and well off house.
  • Nouveau Riche: Steris' family, and the reason for her betrothal to Waxilium. One has the money, but not the name. The other is old, respected and penniless.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Wax's uncle, to a degree that makes him an instant Chessmaster. Incompetent noblemen gambling and carousing their houses into financial ruin is a plot point that shows up often enough that even most readers wouldn't bother to question it.
  • Out-Gambitted: Miles is eventually Out-Gambitted by Wax after several rounds of going back and forth with the gambits.
  • Power Trio: Wax, Wayne, and Marasi by the books end seem to be something like this.
  • Punny Name: In combination, anyway. "Wax and Wayne"?
  • Real Women Never Wear Dresses: Marasi angsts about this a little, what with Vin now being a role model for women, but being a Brandon Sanderson novel it's never played straight and doesn't stop her from kicking ass on occasion.
  • Rescue Romance: Discussed. Steris points out that she and Wax can accelerate the timeline for their wedding and avoid the normal scandal in high society specifically because everyone will assume this trope is in effect.
  • Replacement Love Interest: Both subverted and defied. Marasi is extremely similar to Lessie to the point where Wayne tries to play matchmaker with her and Wax, but her similarity to Lessie is the reason why Wax rejects her: He's no longer the same person he was at the beginning of the book.
  • Sequel Hook: The epilogue is pretty much one giant Sequel Hook.
  • Shadow Archetype: Miles to Wax, as well as to Kelsier.
  • Shout-Out
    • At one point Wayne is reading a book about talking bunnies.
    • The newly married couple Joshin and M''chelle is a Shout-Out to fans Josh and M'chelle who are admins on Brandon's biggest fansite.
  • Shown Their Work: Marasi shows a fair knowledge of criminology and sociology, and makes mention of the real-world "broken windows" theory. Also, aluminum, despite its ubiquity, really was more valuable than gold in the late 1800s before its refining process was perfected.
  • Spirit Advisor: Harmony/Sazed, talks to Wax at a couple points.
  • Steal the Surroundings: How the heists are performed. Miles used a crane to steal loaded train cars right off the tracks and replace them with empties.
  • Sticky Fingers: Wayne is a (somewhat) reformed kleptomaniac. Or, at least, he's using his powers for good now. Mostly. In another world, he might well be suspected of having some Kender blood in him.
  • Super Strength: Pewterarms again, and anybody with koloss blood. One of the bad guys is a koloss-blooded Pewterarm.
  • Swiss Army Gun: Vindication, designed to use various kinds of hazekiller rounds depending on the situation.
  • Take Me Instead: Enraged at the Vanishers taking two young women as hostages, a retired constable vehemently demands to be taken instead. He gets shot
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Justified by Wayne's time-bubbles, which speed up time in a small bubble. When the duo need a moment to plan during a big fight, they duck inside a bubble and hold long conversations.
  • The Cavalry: Wayne arrives at the head of a small army of constables to take down Miles in the finale, having been sent to fetch them at the start of the final confrontation, before Marasi started slowing down time.
  • Title Drop: Done obliquely near the end.
  • Too Awesome to Use: When Wax has a store of rounds designed for use against specific types of Allomancers, he finds he's reluctant to use them except for their intended purpose, even when it means shooting a lot less often than he should be.
    • Earlier on, part of the reason why Wax and Wayne are able to kill so many of the Vanishers when Steris is kidnapped is that the Vanishers didn't already have their aluminium bullets ready as they were ordered, being reluctant to waste the expensive metal on normal targets.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Played with: Wax has two plans to deal with Miles. We aren't told much of either in advance, but Plan A fails while plan B works.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Rust and Ruin! Might also be considered a form of Oh My Gods!, since Ruin actually is a (mostly dead) god in-universe (rust isn't divine at all, but makes sense as a curse considering the importance of metal).
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?:
    • Marasi's Allomantic power is, at first glance, nothing special, and she fails to see the point of it. However, being able to significantly slow local time in a large area lets her and Wax buy the time needed for Wayne to fetch reinforcements to apprehend the indestructible Miles.
    • Aluminium and duralumin Mistings are referred to as "Aluminum/Duralumin Gnats" due to their powers having no practical uses at all. Both their metals have no effect except on other metals that the user is burning; aluminum instantly depletes a Mistborn's reserves of all metals, and duralumin works as a "super-flare" for any other metals being burned at the time. Since there are no Mistborn anymore, these powers do nothing. However, according to Brandon Sanderson, these powers don't do exactly what they're believed to do and Allomancy Marches On. It's possible that an application will be revealed at a later date.

Alternative Title(s):

The Alloy Of Law