The Alloy of Law (Mistborn)

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9780575105829: The Alloy of Law (Mistborn)

The Mistborn trilogy has become a firm favourite with fantasy fans the world over. The imagination that Sanderson brought to the series and his skill at marshalling epic storylines and dramatic action, his ability to create vivid characters made him a natural choice to complete Robert Jordan's epic wheel of time sequence. But with Mistborn, his standalone fantasies and his new series, The Stormlight Archive, Sanderson has shown his bountiful talents in his own fiction. Now he returns to the series that made his name with a new story set years after the events of Hero of Ages. In a world recovering only slowly from evil, a world where allomancers wield immense power through their ability to unleash the magic bound up in common metals someone who can burn metals that no-one has burned before can tip the balance...Sanderson has the knack of giving the epic fantasy reader exactly what they want. This ability has thrown him to the forefront of the genre and the dramatic story within The Alloy of Law shows off this skill to its very best.

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About the Author:

Brandon Sanderson was born in Nebraska in 1975. Since then he has written the Mistborn series, amongst others, become a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author and been hailed as the natural successor to Robert Jordan. He lives in Utah.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1
 

Five months later, Wax walked through the decorated rooms of a large, lively party, passing men in dark suits with tailcoats and women in colorful dresses with narrow waists and lots of folds through long pleated skirts. They called him “Lord Waxillium” or “Lord Ladrian” when they spoke to him.
He nodded to each, but avoided being drawn into conversation. He deliberately made his way to one of the back rooms of the party, where dazzling electric lights—the talk of the city—produced a steady, too-even light to ward off the evening’s gloom. Outside the windows, he could see mist tickling the glass.
Defying decorum, Wax pushed his way through the room’s enormous glass double doors and stepped out onto the mansion’s grand balcony. There, finally, he felt like he could breathe again.
He closed his eyes, taking the air in and out, feeling the faint wetness of the mists on the skin of his face. Buildings are so ... suffocating here in the city, he thought. Have I simply forgotten about that, or did I not notice it when I was younger?
He opened his eyes, and rested his hands on the balcony railing to look out over Elendel. It was the grandest city in all the world, a metropolis designed by Harmony himself. The place of Wax’s youth. A place that hadn’t been his home for twenty years.
Though it had been five months since Lessie’s death, he could still hear the gunshot, see the blood sprayed on the bricks. He had left the Roughs, moved back to the city, answering the desperate summons to do his duty to his house at his uncle’s passing.
Five months and a world away, and he could still hear that gunshot. Crisp, clean, like the sky cracking.
Behind him, he could hear musical laughter coming from the warmth of the room. Cett Mansion was a grand place, full of expensive woods, soft carpets, and sparkling chandeliers. No one joined him on the balcony.
From this vantage, he had a perfect view of the lights down Demoux Promenade. A double row of bright electric lamps with a steady, blazing whiteness. They glowed like bubbles along the wide boulevard, which was flanked by the even wider canal, the still and quiet waters reflecting the light. An evening railway engine called a greeting as it chugged through the distant center of the city, hemming the mists with darker smoke.
Down Demoux Promenade, Wax had a good view of both the Ironspine Building and Tekiel Tower, one on either side of the canal. Both were unfinished, but their steelwork lattices already rose high into the sky. Mind-numbingly high.
The architects continued to release updated reports of how high they intended to go, each one trying to outdo the other. Rumors he’d heard at this very party, credible ones, claimed that both would eventually top out at over fifty stories. Nobody knew which would end up proving the taller, though friendly wagers were common.
Wax breathed in the mists. Out in the Roughs, Cett Mansion—which was three stories high—would have been as tall as a building got. Here, it felt dwarfed. The world had gone and changed on him during his years out of the city. It had grown up, inventing lights that needed no fire to glow and buildings that threatened to rise higher than the mists themselves. Looking down that wide street at the edge of the Fifth Octant, Wax suddenly felt very, very old.
“Lord Waxillium?” a voice asked from behind.
He turned to find an older woman, Lady Aving Cett, peeking out the door at him. Her gray hair was up in a bun and she wore rubies at her neck. “By Harmony, my good man. You’ll take a chill out here! Come, there are some people you will wish to meet.”
“I’ll be along presently, my lady,” Wax said. “I’m just getting a little air.”
Lady Cett frowned, but retreated. She didn’t know what to make of him; none of them did. Some saw him as a mysterious scion of the Ladrian family, associated with strange stories of the realms beyond the mountains. The rest assumed him to be an uncultured, rural buffoon. He figured he was probably both.
He’d been on show all night. He was supposed to be looking for a wife, and pretty much everyone knew it. House Ladrian was insolvent following his uncle’s imprudent management, and the easiest path to solvency was marriage. Unfortunately, his uncle had also managed to offend three-quarters of the city’s upper crust.
Wax leaned forward on the balcony, the Sterrion revolvers under his arms jabbing his sides. With their long barrels, they weren’t meant to be carried in underarm holsters. They had been awkward all night.
He should be getting back to the party to chat and try to repair House Ladrian’s reputation. But the thought of that crowded room, so hot, so close, sweltering, making it difficult to breathe....
Giving himself no time to reconsider, he swung off over the side of the balcony and began falling three stories toward the ground. He burned steel, then dropped a spent bullet casing slightly behind himself and Pushed against it; his weight sent it speeding down to the earth faster than he fell. As always, thanks to his Feruchemy, he was lighter than he should have been. He hardly knew anymore what it felt like to go around at his full weight.
When the casing hit the ground, he Pushed against it and sent himself horizontally in a leap over the garden wall. With one hand on its stone top, he vaulted out of the garden, then reduced his weight to a fraction of normal as he fell down the other side. He landed softly.
Ah, good, he thought, crouching down and peering through the mists. The coachmen’s yard. The vehicles everyone had used to get there were arranged here in neat rows, the coachmen themselves chatting in a few cozy rooms that spilled orange light into the mists. No electric lights here; just good, warmth-giving hearths.
He walked among the carriages until he found his own, then opened the trunk strapped to the back.
Off came his gentleman’s fine dinner coat. Instead he threw on his mistcoat, a long, enveloping garment like a duster with a thick collar and cuffed sleeves. He slipped a shotgun into its pocket on the inside, then buckled on his gun belt and moved the Sterrions into the holsters at his hips.
Ah, he thought. Much better. He really needed to stop carrying the Sterrions and get some more practical weapons for concealment. Unfortunately, he’d never found anything as good as Ranette’s work. Hadn’t she moved to the city, though? Perhaps he could look her up and talk her into making him something. Assuming she didn’t shoot him on sight.
A few moments later, he was running through the city, the mistcoat light upon his back. He left it open at the front, revealing his black shirt and gentleman’s trousers. The ankle-length mistcoat had been divided into strips from just above the waist, the tassels streaming behind him with a faint rustle.
He dropped a bullet casing and launched himself high into the air, landing atop the building across the street from the mansion. He glanced back at it, the windows ablaze in the evening dark. What kind of rumors was he going to start, vanishing from the balcony like that?
Well, they already knew he was Twinborn—that was a matter of public record. His disappearance wasn’t going to do much to help patch his family’s reputation. For the moment, he didn’t care. He’d spent almost every evening since his return to the city at one social function or another, and they hadn’t had a misty night in weeks.
He needed the mists. This was who he was.
Wax dashed across the rooftop and leaped off, moving toward Demoux Promenade. Just before hitting the ground, he flipped a spent casing down and Pushed on it, slowing his descent. He landed in a patch of decorative shrubs that caught his coat tassels and made a rustling noise.
Damn. Nobody planted decorative shrubs out in the Roughs. He pulled himself free, wincing at the noise. A few weeks in the city, and he was already getting rusty?
He shook his head and Pushed himself into the air again, moving out over the wide boulevard and parallel canal. He angled his flight so he crested that and landed on one of the new electric lamps. There was one nice thing about a modern city like this; it had a lot of metal.
He smiled, then flared his steel and Pushed off the top of the streetlamp, sending himself in a wide arc through the air. Mist streamed past him, swirling as the wind rushed against his face. It was thrilling. A man never truly felt free until he’d thrown off gravity’s chains and sought the sky.
As he crested his arc, he Pushed against another streetlight, throwing himself farther forward. The long row of metal poles was like his own personal railway line. He bounded onward, his antics drawing attention from those in passing carriages, both horse-drawn and horseless.
He smiled. Coinshots like himself were relatively rare, but Elendel was a major city with an enormous population. He wouldn’t be the first man these people had seen bounding by metal through the city. Coinshots often acted as high-speed couriers in Elendel.
The city’s size still astonished him. Millions lived here, maybe as many as five million. Nobody had a sure count across all of its wards—they were called octants, and as one might expect, there were eight of them.
Millions; he couldn’t picture that, though he’d grown up here. Before he’d left Weathering, he’d been starting to think it was getting too big, but there couldn’t have been ten thousand people in the town.
He landed atop a lamp directly in front of the massive Ironspine Building. He craned his neck, looking up through the mists at the towering structure. The unfinished top was lost in the darkness. Could he climb something so high? He couldn’t Pull on metals, onl...

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