I reserved this book at Waterstones while I was reading Hero of Ages, and I was very surprised when I went to pick it up that it was so short! The other books have been 700+ monsters, and this one clocked in at just over 300 pages. Let me tell you, my shoulder was very glad for a rest!!
The book itself took a little while to get into, the only real common element with the previous 3 books was the elements of Allomancy and Feruchemy, the book was set far in the future from Vin and Elend, and since they destroyed all the cities when they rescued the final empire, even the cities in this book were different.
However, once I got my head around how different it was, I loved it. I’m used to fantasy books being set in worlds which seem quite far back in time, with pretty much no technology, so it was intriguing for this one to be set around the time of the invention of electricity.
The main character in the book is a man called Waxillium, he’s just returned to Elendel after the untimely death of his Uncle. Once an unofficial lawmaker out in the roughs, he’s now in charge of an entire noble household and all that entails. But when women start going missing in strange robberies, he finds himself interested in the goings on, and when his future wife-to-be Steris is one of the kidnapees, he has to get involved with the help of his old partner-in-anti-crime Wayne.
Now in this future world, there are certain people who have an allomantic power and a feruchemical one. Certain combinations can make you very very powerful indeed. Wayne, for example, can allomantically create a speed bubble that slows down time for everyone inside the bubble, letting him conduct entire conversations in what seems like seconds to the outside world, and he can feruchemically heal himself using health stored inside his metalminds. Quite a useful trick when you’re in the midst of a gunfight!
All through the book, we’re reminded by Lady Marasi (Steris’ half-sister), that her powers are useless. After all, why would anyone want to create a speed bubble to slow down time so that everyone in the outside world is going at normal speed while you’re sat in super slow motion. However, with the number of times that this ‘useless’ skill is mentioned, it’s obvious that it’s going to come in extremely handy at the end.
Talking of the end, it was left on quite the cliffhanger, definitely setting up for further books in the series. I would be very disappointed if Wax ended up with Steris instead of Marasi, but Sanderson always has a twist up his sleeve so who knows what will happen!
Once again, a superbly written book by Brandon Sanderson. I have to wonder what goes on inside his brain to allow him to write something so complex and superbly detailed, which each character having such unique characteristics and the world described in such vivid detail that you could almost be there!
Sanderson is fast becoming one of my favourite authors!