Waxillium and Co.
I could stop gushing about Sanderson's gifts as a writer, but .... yeah, nope. Characterization! Ahh, I just love how he pulls together such dynamic and bold personalities. Wax is a phenomenal main character and does a lot for the genre by being one of those protagonists who resists being the young, naive farm boys who gets handed a magic sword and sent off to do goodiness by a benevolent, bearded know-it-all. He's a rough, rugged, set-in-his-ways lawman who resents having to return to the constraints of a society he'd run away from years before. He's already lived a vigorous life of adventure and romance by the time we meet him in The Alloy of Law, but his story is most certainly far from over.
His trusty side-kick, Wayne, is a delightfully quirky character who continually surprises both his in-book friends and those of us reading along. MeLaan is a fun and humorous continued presence on the team, and Marasi has become a much stronger character through her misadventures with Wax & Wayne, developing her sense of justice and learning just how far she is willing to go to see it done ... and being comfortable with it. I was so stinking proud of her when she realized the crush she'd had on Wax through the first two books was something that she could let go and be stronger for it. It's not that I didn't want to see them end up together, as I'd honestly thought they complemented one another rather well, but Marasi deserves to stand tall on her own. If that turned out to mean there wouldn't be any rekindling of the attraction with Wax, then I suppose I can live with it.
The one exception to my approval of the characterization in this book is Steris. This is entirely personal preference, but I really just can't stand her. I get the concept of a character who is socially awkward and dealing with it the way Steris does ... but she's a caricature! When I imagine her in the scenes of the book I just picture this robot lacking facial expressions and spouting her lists all over everybody. What depth Sanderson tried to write into her just didn't cut it for me. I get the nails on a chalkboard sensation when she starts talking. True, Wayne is sort of a caricature as well, but he works because of what we get of his inner thoughts in his POV chapters. Perhaps if we actually heard from Steris's perspective and got in her head a bit I'd feel differently about her, but I can only think of one POV scene she had in the book, and it was only about three or four paragraphs long. I hate that I feel this way about a Sanderson character -- particularly a Mistborn character.
Okay, moving on...
Have you read any other reviews I've written? Do you get by now that a well-done ending just fires me up and sends me into transports? Yeah, it's a thing for me. And Sanderson's done it yet again! The conflict that gets us to the lead-in for the next and final installment of Mistborn: Era Two is lengthy, stressful, complex, and revealing. It features a race to beat the dastardly forces of The Set, a punishing journey through an Indiana Jones-esqe temple of booby-traps, a whole series of near-misses (one of which turned out to technically not be a miss at all ... technically), a battle of wits and will, and a whole heap of revelatory discoveries that will keep us guessing until next time. Oh! And did I mention there's a cameo appearance by one of our nearest and dearest from Mistborn: Era One?There is! Who is it, you ask? Well, you'll just have to RAFO, as Sanderson himself would say, though I'm sure veterans of the books will manage to make some educated guesses.
It's a thrill ride that's jam-packed from start to finish, defying you to put the book down and walk away. But Sanderson wasn't done yet? Oh no! There was one more maniacal little hint about that bigger picture I'd mentioned earlier that he threw in right at the very end. And, delightfully, it ties in what we learn from Mistborn: Secret History, if you've read it. Want a little clue? There's always another secret...
Thank you for dropping by again with this exciting review to share with us. It's always great to hear from you and get your take on what you've been reading. Your reviews are always so insightful about both the book and the author. Hope to see you again soon.
Judi and the Black Cat