Nov 8 2011 6:30pm

The Alloy of Law Spoiler Thread

Brandon Sanderson’s The Alloy of Law contains a number of references to the original Mistborn trilogy, and some very intriguing hints as to what is to come in the larger Mistborn series, as well as some ideas as to what the characters from the original series got up to.

And that’s just scratching the surface. There’s a lot buried within The Alloy of Law, so we’ve opened a spoiler/speculation thread below!

You can read a spoiler-free rundown of The Alloy of Law here, as well as the first six chapters here.


1. Duerrienda
The last fight scene was great. I kept yelling in my head, "USE YOUR POWER, WOMAN" only to find out she had been burning cadmium the whole time. Awesome.

I kept an eye out for Hoid - does he only appear as the author of the Ars Arcanum? Verrrrry interesting that he mentioned Sel in his writeup though.

Also, SO MANY LOOSE ENDS AUGH. It did not have the same sense of conclusion that The Final Empire or The Way of Kings did.
2. Pillotsky
@Duerrienda Definitely not. It had an entirely different feel from those. Up until the Appendix, it barely felt like a part of the Cosmere. It was it's own little standalone novel - standing alone in almost every way. I liked it though, nice and light.
Andrew Blackburn
3. ajbcool
I found it interesting, in the Appendix, how it mentioned how Hemalurgy (and all the the capitalized Terms, like Investure, that are probably important on other worlds) might be more important later on in the whole scheme of the Cosmere. And I saw 'Sel' in there too. Had to double check to make sure that it referred to Elantris's world.
4. Aerudaer
Argh. Waiting to get it until he comes to my city for a signing (next week). Regretting that decision right now....
Daniel Goss
5. Beren
A few things:

Also noted that I did not see Hoid. If he's the author of the Ars Arcanum (or of the 'book' itself) it's odd that his name isn't given like it is in other works.

Are we certain that Elantris' world is Sel? I'm not doubting, only speculating that if we're talking about a type of Investure based on form, that would seem to fit with Warbreaker's world more closely, as Awakening works better with better forms. Then again, I suppose AonDor (sp?) was shown to be very precisely based on one specific 'form' for its foundation, so . . . I could see it being either. I'm just asking if you have specific information you're going on.

Also interesting is the Feruchemical power that increases 'Investure.' Wild Speculation here, but . . . I wonder if this could be used to impart someone with an ability from a different shard?

And has he said if there will be a specific sequel to this one? I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere that he's planning another story on Scadrial (Urban Fantasy, maybe? Or steampunk? Can't remember, it's late and I'm tired) but I really hope this particular thread is eventually unwound in more than just a footnote in a later book.

All in all, loved this book. My only disappointment, if you can even call it such, was its length. Not that I felt that the story was inadequately told, I just wanted . . . more. Then again, I always want more so that's hardly damning criticism. Sometimes you eat a big juicy steak, and sometimes you have a burger. And this was definitely a well-made burger, cooked medium-well with just the right amount of seasoning on a perfectly-toasted buttered roll with just a little bit of peppered mayo and a single, crisp leaf of iceburg lettuce. I'm sorry, I've lost my train of thought.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for now, having finished the book about fifteen minutes ago. Will be following this discussion. Which reminds me. Does anyone know of an established official or unofficial fandom community where discussions, appreciations, dissections and wild guessing are taking place? Because I'd love to find one and see what others are thinking / have already thought of.

John Skotnik
6. ShooneSprings
@5/Beren - Brandon's official fan community site is http://www.17thshard.com/

The current plan is that this is a standalone novel. At WorldCon, he stated that he plans to do a trilogy of trilogies for the Mistborn series. We already had the first trilogy (starting with Mistborn). This is NOT the start of the next though. He also mentioned that this is something that just started as a short story that ended up getting longer.
Melissa Shumake
7. cherie_2137
those were some pretty crazy cliffhangers at the end. i'm pretty disappointed he chose steris over marasi, quite frankly. if there really doesn't end up to be a direct sequel to this, i'm going to be a little befuddled, honestly, because i feel like he could have wrapped it up in a similar word/page count without letting whole new plots try to get started the way they did.

also, the entire time i was reading, i was picturing nathan fillion as wax. anyone else? i think wax is the perfect mesh of rick castle and mal reynolds. just sayin.
8. exiledjerseyite
Oh, that was a cool story. I actually gasped out loud when Marasi met "Ironeyes." Well done.

In terms of appearance, I started imagining Wax as a bit like Raylan Givens from the show "Justified." They have a lot of similarities in character. Old-school lawkeeping in a different environment. An affinity for firearms and getting into trouble. Wax and Raylan would have an interesting conversation.

I really want more story set in this world. That was quite a cliffhanger, and I love the whole 1920s-esque time period. And all of the hints about the orginial Mistborn trilogy? I definitely need to reread it to catch them all, but my favorite was the gun. Vindication. Nice.
Alice Arneson
9. Wetlandernw
Expanding on ShooneSprings @6 - Brandon said at one point that the second trilogy on the Mistborn world would be urban fantasy, and the third space fantasy. This is supposed to be a standalone; I'm guessing now that it will be sort of a prequel to the second trilogy. I plan to ask him at the signing on Friday. (If anyone has questions they'd like me to ask, let me know either here or in my shoutbox, and I'll post the answers on Friday night or Saturday.)

For myself, I was pretty sure from early chapters that Wax would indeed choose Steris over Marasi, but I was really curious how BWS would make that work out. I thought it was pretty satisfactory, really - and makes me think that perhaps (if I'm right about the prequel business) she will be a major player in the urban trilogy. Specifically, she will be a major player in her own right, rather than Wax's sidekick, which I think would be right down Brandon's alley.

Ironeyes.... Yoiks! I thought the early mentions were people's imaginations, perhaps aided by deception. I never thought he'd really show up as himself again.

Hoid - I assumed he was the "scruffy man who looked like a beggar, all dressed in black" to whom the newly-weds were speaking in Chapter 4. Another possible question for Brandon.
Lauren W
10. laurene135
It seemed to me that Hoid was the one who wrote the Ars Arcanum.
Also, "Investure" seems to be simply accessing the Cosmere's "magical" power, and different worlds have different methods of Invesure and different expressions of that power.
As stated, it isn't that (in the Mistborn world) metal is the source of power, but simply the catalyst to accessing that power.
@ 5. Beren "Also interesting is the Feruchemical power that increases 'Investure.'Wild Speculation here, but . . . I wonder if this could be used toimpart someone with an ability from a different shard?" Good theory, especially with the author of the Arcs Arcanum expressing interest in Hemalurgy as a "great interest to the Cosmere"
Roy McCarty
11. kloud213
Well I think the whole Wax, Wayne, Marasi thing is more of a set-up for a group of people dedicated to stopping the other group(Wax's uncle). Just a idea, that way a next book could take place in a later time and still be a sequel.

I thought Harmony wrote the thing at the end. Seems to have to much intimate knowledge it would be hard for hoid to get. Like the things about Terris people not telling people about the different powers on the outside.

What was in the book from Marsh!!!!
Alice Arneson
12. Wetlandernw
kloud213 @11 - Was that last supposed to be a question?
13. ioxman
As part of an international community, it is a sorry to note that the ebook version has geographycal restrictions.It is imposible for me to buy it .
14. kurtharsis
I've read elsewhere (probably 17th Shard, but who can remember?) that Hoid will play a sizable role in the 3rd Trilogy, and since Hoid's central world is Roshar (Way of Kings), then it's safe to say that yes, there will be some cross-threading.

I loved seeing Marsh. And I like how Sazed communicated directly to Wax when he had his earring in--amongst other things, it lets us know that Sazed and Marsh have regular conversations. The fact that it was an earring was a nice nod to Vin, and it told us something about Pathian earrings. It makes me wonder what hemalurgic power it's granting him. And who was the woman who gave it to him? A kandra? Hoid?

Also, I was wondering how Tarson got to be Koloss-blooded. The Koloss were a hemalurgic creation, so they don't breed. Do they?
Daniel Goss
15. Beren
@14 kurtharsis

Harmony changed the Koloss to allow them to breed true. I'd be curious to know if they still have the "not enough skin to cover their bodies" problem, or if they're now just another race of humans with a genetic predisposition to largeness, blueness (bluness? blue-ness? blue-osity? they're blue-ish? ka-blue-ee?) and less-than-average intelligence.

Lauren W
16. laurene135
@ 15. Beren

From the one article we saw in the Elendel Daily they seemed to have normal--but blue--skin.

Now do we think the earring has to be hemalurgically charged or simply pierce the skin? I can't see Sazed approving of the continuation of hemalurgy just so he can communicate with his followers. Seems a little gruesome. Perhaps because he has Pres's powers as well it doesnt need to be hemalurgically charged...
17. jtmz
Does anyone know how much time will pass until the second trilogy?

I think that Wax´s uncle and his friends are trying to breed a Mistborn. Could be the villain in the next trilogy.
Alice Arneson
18. Wetlandernw
Wall o' Text: Here are my gleanings from tonight's signing. (Except I just looked at the clock, and now it's "yesterday's signing." Oh well.) I've copied the relevant bits to the Alloy of Law spoiler thread; if you want the WoT parts, go to the WoT reread (TGS part 8, comment 147) to find the whole shebang. (Sorry, I can't get the link to work right.)

Alloy of Law questions:

1. Why do the Twinborn in Alloy of Law have only one feruchemical power, when all previous feruchemists, in spite of breeding programs, could use all the metals? (from travyl) Or were Ferrings always part of the system and we just didn’t meet them in Mistborn? (my addition)

A: The Ferrings are a new development since Mistborn, as the Feruchemists have been interbreeding with the Allomancers. Basically, the Allomancy genes interfere with the Feruchemistry genes, breaking it down and creating the limitations we see in Alloy of Law. (His response to this was really fun - he found it a very perceptive question, and enjoyed talking about it. I wish I'd had my recorder handy so I could give you the full transcript instead of the boiled-down version.)

2. Is this a prequel to the “modern” trilogy? How far into the future is that? (in-world)

A: There will be several “Wax and Wayne” books dealing with the next development; they’re not so much “prequel” as they are a side venture into life between the first and second trilogies, but they will be used to provide some foreshadowing for the second trilogy. Incidentally, he also described the beginning of the second trilogy as “a Misting SWAT team trying to figure out how to take out a criminal Mistborn.” It is to be set in a time frame much like ours; early in the 21st century. He also said that the third trilogy will be much nearer “hard scifi” as their understanding of Allomancy and Feruchemistry enables them to develop FTL propulsion.

3. Was the scruffy-looking “beggar in black” guy at the wedding dinner Hoid?

A: Yes.

4. In whose voice is the “Ars Arcanum” written? Hoid's?

A: I’ve avoided answering that question. It’s either Hoid or a member of the 17th Shard. That’s as much answer as I’m giving anyone right now.

Other miscellaneous notes from the Q&A:

AMoL is already near 300,000 words (he's marked it 90% on his web page), plus there’s about 20,000 for RJ’s ending, and BWS needs about another 20,000 to get the two joined up. It will likely end up at around 340,000 words – roughly the size of ToM. He needs 2-3 good solid weeks of writing to finish it up, which will have to wait until this signing tour is over. He expects to finish the first draft by early December. Final release date will depend on how much time Harriet needs for editing as well as the marketing people’s choice for good timing – like not going directly up against another major competitor for the #1 spot on the NYT Bestseller List. Sometime between July and November next year.

He read an excerpt from a new novella, Legion. It was quite bizarre, and very funny. The premise is hilarious, and Lionsgate has already bought the television production rights for it. They want to do a pilot next year, if I heard correctly.

The contract has been signed for the Mistborn game, but he can’t announce the company yet; they want to do a big announcement with cool artwork and stuff, and they aren’t ready yet. BWS will be writing all the dialog and the ending to make sure it’s a satisfying wrap-up, but he won’t interfere in the game content. He’ll have some voting rights over characterizations/actors. The announcement should come in January; it will be set as a prequel to the first Mistborn trilogy.

Upcoming book plans: AMoL is first, of course; he expects to follow that with Book 2 of the Stormlight Archive in March or April 2013. Book 2 will have Shallon as the focus character (like Kaladin was in book 1), followed in subsequent books by Szeth, Navani and Dalinar. Once the first 5 Stormlight books are out, he plans to do the second Mistborn trilogy, then books 6-10 of Stormlight. Interspersed with the first 5 Stormlight books, he’ll do several more Wax and Wayne books; similar to Alloy of Law, they’ll be shorter, lighter, more witty & adventurous than the epics.

Warbreaker 2 will be another “in between” book; he plans to use the same process as the first Warbreaker, posting sections on his website and getting feedback, using a very open and interactive process of development.

Last thing – BWS gave the name of the second shard on Sel to someone at the signing tonight, but I can’t tell you what it is; it’s his to reveal in his own way. When I know he’s posted it for all the world, I’ll add it here.
Alice Arneson
19. Wetlandernw
I sure hope that makes sense. I need to get some sleep; I'll check it in the morning!
Adam Bodestyne
20. thanners
I gotta say, I laughed at "high imperial".
Jennifer B
21. JennB
Just finished it. It was a fun read.

I didn't quite understand the part where Miles burned gold and saw his past self. Isn't he constantly burning gold so he can compound his stored health? Does gold only show his past self if the gold is not storing health?

Glad Marsh is still around.

I assume that Lord Mistborn was Elend. They implied all Mistings are his descendants, but he died before having children. I would assume that this is just legend, but they have detailed genealogies, so I didn't quite understand that. Maybe someone has some insight??
22. FellKnight
@JennB 21: "Lord Mistborn" is almost certainly Spook, who was made Mistborn at the end of the original trilogy, and the way people use the term "tracing their lines back to the Lord Mistborn", means it cannot be Elend, also due to events at the end of the Mistborn trilogy.

Alice Arneson
23. Wetlandernw
JennB - A couple of things. Miles, being a Twinborn who uses the same metal both allomantically and feruchemically, is somewhat rare. He mostly uses gold feruchemically, to store health; he almost never burns it allomantically to see the past or the might-have-been. I must admit, though, the explanation of how Compounding works wasn't entirely clear to me.

I believe the Lord Mistborn was actually Spook, who was restored and given Mistborn powers at the very end of the trilogy. Definitely not Elend; as you pointed out, he didn't have any children.
Jennifer B
24. JennB
@22 Ahhh...
I had forgotten that Spook had been made Mistborn (I'll have to look that up because I can't remember the details.). I have to admit, he was my least favorite character in the trilogy and I was a bit annoyed when he became a main character, so I may not have paid as close attention to some of his parts as I should have. I did think it was funny that his thick dialect became a formal ceremonial language.

Trying to answer my own question above, I looked up compounding. I had forgotten that burning the metalmind produced a short burst that would then need to be stored on a new metalmind so that it could be drawn out a little at a time. So Miles would only need to burn gold when filling his metalminds. Of course that makes me wonder if he can then keep compounding the same health over and over again. Then he would never have to make himself sick to fill his metalminds. This is implied in the book, but if this is possible, how come the Lord Ruler couldn't do it? He had to spend time being old to fill his metalminds before he could burn them and compound the youth stored within them.
James Hogan
25. Sonofthunder
Yep, I think that was one of my loudest "laugh-out-loud" moments, when I realized where their "high" language came from. Hilarious!! Also, I loved all the nods to our old friends..."The Last Emperor" = Elend. "The Ascendant Hero" = Vin...the Lord Mistborn = Spook. Awesomeness. And then Marsh shows up again. Amazing.

Also - loved the book!! Wish it had been a bit longer, like Beren@ 5! I'm never satisfied!! But the characters were amazing and the story gripping. Loved Wax & Wayne! (as much as I groan at that terrible word play) Also, I'm sort of glad Wax ended up with Steris. Maybe not the typical choice, but I think it will work out well for them. I liked Steris a lot actually, despite her seemingly off-putting demeanor, Sanderson made her very real.

And now I need more. Maybe Mistborn re-read time?
26. Guinevere
Slight correction to #14 kurtharsis: Hoid's home world is not Roshar; he comes from Yolen which is the world in Dragonsteel and Liar of Partinel, as of yet unpublished works (well, technically Dragonsteel was sort of published as Brandon's thesis, but only one copy is available). We will be seeing a lot of him on Roshar, but that isn't where he is from.
27. Al2
“a Misting SWAT team trying to figure out how to take out a criminal Mistborn.”

A Mistborn that can burn all 16 metals would be really fun to read I bet. I hope Mr Suit's Mistborn breeding program goes well so we can see something in the next Wax & Wayne book :)
Melissa Shumake
28. cherie_2137
i also forgot to mention how excited i was when marasi was talking about the "broken windows" theory. i'm studying urban and regional planning and i was so excited to see it included. i love when the things i'm nerdy about collide like that. =)
Thomas Keith
29. insectoid
Finished it. I have to say, I did like it; couldn't put the thing down. I loved all the references to the Mistborn Trilogy, especially the place-names. Also, Wayne is hilarious.

For clarification, because my memory is hazy: didn't the Lord Ruler have similar powers to Miles?

I'd been wondering about the fate of Marsh since I finished The Hero of Ages; when "Ironeyes" was first mentioned in this book, I had suspicions right away.

Just as I foresaw, several pages before Wax figured it out, that the wedding dinner would be robbed. (I don't know how I knew; I just did.) But I didn't guess W&W's plan with Marasi until... well, until Miles did. Secret weapon FTW! ;)

Maybe one of you (Wetlander?) can clue me in on this "Hoid" stuff; is it from one of BwS's other books?

Alice Arneson
30. Wetlandernw
insectoid - The Lord Ruler is the only person (at least so far!) to have full Allomantic powers (full Mistborn) plus full Feruchemical powers. Miles is a smaller copy, in that he's a rare Twinborn who uses the same metal for Allomancy and Feruchemy; his healing gives us the mechanism for the Lord Ruler's skills in that area. The LR had a lot more, though.

As far as Hoid... IIRC, we don't know a lot about him, but he shows up in every book. Sometimes we get his name; sometimes he goes by a different name part of the time; sometimes, like this, he shows up but without a name. I don't know what his relationship to the 17th Shard is (anyone? I think there's something out there) but he has the ability to go quietly between worlds, and he's always... there. I can only recall one book where he played a very significant role, and even that was only a third- or fourth-tier character.
Thomas Keith
31. insectoid
I went back and skimmed through Mistborn, and have some thoughts to add:

High Imperial: This made me LOL; I always loved that scene in Mistborn where Spook and Ham and Kelsier are all babbling in that weird street slang of Spook's, and Breeze thinks they've finally lost it. XD

Speaking of Breeze: Something about Wax's House name, Ladrian, tickled my memory, and on further study I discovered that 'Ladrian' was Breeze's given name, though almost never used except by Sazed. I take this to mean that Breeze founded Wax's House, but I could be wrong.

Ironeyes: If I remembered anything from the first three books until just recently, I wouldn't have been wondering about this; 'Ironeyes' was stated in Mistborn as being Marsh's nickname in their crew, even before he became an Inquisitor.

Hoid: Found him in Mistborn, selling Kelsier some information. ;)

32. j_o_s_e_p_h
A question I had: how did Marsh survive 341 years after the original series? Did some of his additional spikes let him have Compounding skills, similar to the Lord Ruler? To remain alive indefinately, he would need to Compound atium. Where would he get it from? All or most of it was destroyed at the end of The Hero of Ages.
33. Sean Mullens
I think the general consesus is either:
Marsh stole some atium
Or harmony lets him stay alive and be his messenger of sorts
34. Arturiel
Why would he need atium? Atium had to do with seeing the future, not staying alive. To stay alive he would only need to compound gold, like Miles or the Lord Ruler. He did have a lot of new spikes, and maybe he even had gotten himself some more, it wasn't much revealed about him.
Allthough I'm curious about how the spikes works when Ruin isn't in charge of them. Can Harmony "use" him in the same way, since he is both Ruin and Preservation?
And that about koloss blood, how can that be possible? Koloss never had kids, they couldn't. And what exactly happened to the koloss when Sazed took the powers of Ruin and Perservation?
35. Malea
I am a little bit confused as well. I've looked over a couple of different posts here and am going to attempt to combine those to make one coherent question.

What is the difference between Atium as a Feruchemical storage and compounding gold? I want a little bit more explanation on compounding, because the book says that Miles would need to store health in the gold and then burn it to compound, but it doesn't seem he needs to become weak (like the Lord Ruler) to store health in the gold, and he also doesn't seem to need to burn gold in order to access that extra health, otherwise he'd be seeing his past self all the time and in the book he only does that once.

Any insight that people have would be greatly appreciated.

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