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"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 more alone you are, the more important it is to have someone you can rely upon.
—The first rule of the Roughs

The Alloy of Law is the fourth book in the Mistborn series, a stand alone story set roughly 300 years after the events of the first trilogy. It features Waxillium Ladrian, a lawman from out in the Roughs coming to the city to try and settle down. His attempts at the quiet life are quickly foiled, however, by the return of his old friend Wayne and his own internal desire to do the right thing.

See also Elantris, Warbreaker and The Stormlight Archive for more books by Brandon Sanderson. Per Word of God, Sanderson plans two or three direct sequels to Alloy featuring the same characters, as well as two more Mistborn trilogies set further down the timeline.

This page has its own Character Sheet.

Tropes used in The Alloy of Law include:

  • Accidental Aiming Skills: Wax jokes that he once hit a criminal in the eye with a throwing knife while aiming for his balls.
  • Aerith and Bob: Marasi, Waxillium and Wayne.
  • A God Am I: Miles
  • Anti-Magic: Aluminum (and some alloys thereof) is allomantically inert, and can't be Pushed or Pulled allomantically like other metals, also wearing an aluminum foil hat (or just one lined with aluminum) protects against emotional Allomancy.
  • Axe Crazy: Bloody Tan, the villain of the prologue. Also several other criminals from Wax and Wayne's Backstory are mentioned in passing.
  • Badass: Wax, Wayne, and Miles.
  • Badass Bookworm: Marasi.
  • Badass Longcoat: Half mist-cloak, half duster, all Badass.
  • Battle Couple: Wax and Lessie until Lessie dies in the prologue.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Everybody lives, but the Man Behind the Man gets away, and Wax rejects Marasi.
    • Also the first 4 hostages (and possibly Wax's sister) are still missing and presumably being repeatedly raped in an attempt to breed a new mistborn.
  • BFG: Several guns in the book qualify.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Done by Wax to Miles repeatedly. The third or fourth time he complains about it. "Stop doing that! You bast--"
    • It should be noted he was blasting it "out" of his hand by blowing up the hand...
    • It should also be noted that "bast--" was interrupted by Miles being shot in the face. He got better.
  • Building Swing: Wax, sorta.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Oh so many, some of which are actual guns...
    • When Marasi and Wax are trying to looking for a motive, Wax mentions the extensive genealogical resources in his uncle's library. "It was a hobby of his."
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ranette the gunsmith is mentioned early in the book, it's no surprise when she shows up nearer the end.
    • Not to mention Marsh aka Ironeyes, showing up right at the end.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Hmm, I wonder if Marasi's apparently useless Allomantic power will come in handy after all?
  • The Chessmaster: Mister Suit
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Wax's last name, Ladrian, ties him directly to Breeze. 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 Survior — 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.
  • Curb Stomp 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 that all sorts of specialized ammo, specifically made 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.
  • 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.
    • Also 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.
  • Faking the Dead: Wax's uncle.
  • Fridge Brilliance: In case you didn't catch it the first time, an aluminum hat protects against mind control. *Snorting laugh*
  • Functional Magic: Same magic system from Mistborn, 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: 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: 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 duals, cane vs guns... it's not surprising that he'd cop a clobbering.
  • Guile Hero: Wax, full stop. Wayne and Marasi are no slouches either. Sanderson really loves this trope.
  • Healing Factor: Wayne. Miles makes Wolverine look like a wimp.
  • 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 marries her after all, probably in part so she can manage his business empire while he chases down criminals.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Played for Laughs: "Logic doesn't work on Wayne."

  "I bought a ward against [logic] off a traveling fortune-teller," Wayne explained. It lets me add two 'n' two and get a pickle."

  • 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!
    • This is also a case of Fridge Brilliance, as the Lord Mistborn referred to in the book is Spook, who originally spoke in the thieves cant almost exclusively.
    • There are no more full Mistborn, and Wax considers them at least half-mythical. Hemalurgy is also forgotten according to the appendix.
  • Lighter and Softer: It's 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.
  • Master of Disguise: Wayne.
  • Medieval Stasis: Averted. Technology has progressed in many many fields since the events of the first trilogy. Also, the way people talk about philosophy and criminology is downright modern.
  • Named Weapon: Vindication, sufficiently awesome to deserve its namesake.
  • 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.
  • Spirit Advisor: Harmony/Sazed, talks to Wax at a couple points.
  • Steal the Surroundings: Miles used a crane to steal loaded train cars right off the tracks and replace them with empties.
  • Super Strength: Pewterarms again, and anybody with koloss blood. One of the bad guys is a koloss-blooded Pewterarm.
  • Taking You with Me: Tillaume attempts this after trying two other methods of assassination.
  • Theme Naming: The heroes are Wax and Wayne.
  • Ultimate Gunsmith: Ranette.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Rust and Ruin! Might also be considered a form of Oh My Gods, since Ruin actually is a (admittedly dead) god in-universe (rust isn't, but makes sense as a curse considering the importance of metal).
    • Ruin isn't actually dead, only Ati, who was the previous holder of Ruins shard, is. Ruin's shard was taken up by Sazed, along with the shard of Preservation, forming Harmony.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Miles thinks of himself as one.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Marasi feels this way about her Allomantic ability but it ends up being instrumental in stopping Miles.
    • Aluminium and duralumin Mistings follow this trope to the letter however. 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 sort of "super-flare" for any other metals being burned at the time, depleting it all in an instant for a single massive effect. Both of these are only useful to full Mistborn, however, as they are the only people who can burn more than one metal- and since there are no Mistborn anymore, those people unlucky enough to be aluminum or duralumin Mistings essentially have no powers at all.