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The Ninja Reader

High-brow or downright pretentious, good PNR or sparkly vampires, I don't care about the premise so long as it entertains me.

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Bullying: The Social Destruction of Self
Laura Martocci

The Alloy of Law (Mistborn Series #4)

The Alloy of Law - Brandon Sanderson So it took 300 years to re-invent electricity, but less to discover sexism. Hmm....300 years after the events from The Hero of Ages, the world of Mistborn is rapidly evolving. After thousands of years of arrested development, this new world is now entering a period very close to the Industrialization one, complete with electric lights and steam engines. Allomanticy and Feruchemy have evolved too, leading to the creation of Twinborns, people who have both kinds of abilities. Waxillium Ladrian is one such Twinborn, who spent quite a long time in the Roughs as an alloy of law, is forced to return to the capital city after the deaths of his only relatives. He reluctantly puts aside his old ways in order to take on the role of a refined gentleman, but he finds out pretty quickly that you can't assume identities so easily. Not to mention that somebody is dead set on drawing him back into the game.My relationship with Sanderson's work is... a little complicated. On the one hand, I love the complex worldbuilding, the fabulous characters and the intristic plotlines... but his homophobia puts quite a damper on my fangirlism. I only learned about it after I finished the first Mistborn trilogy, so it didn't affect it then, but I'm pretty sure that it soured my experience with The Alloy of Law, just a teeny bit.Now, the things I love about Sanderson's books are all here: great characters, worldbuilding and story. I especially liked it how Lady Marasi isn't some kind of anomaly in this world - she's a woman who studies Law at the University and is also learning to shoot, but she also enjoys the city and doesn't have to demonstratively burn her pettycoat in order to prove that she is One Of The Boys. She's intelligent and keen, but also has her limits, and is a hero within the constraints society put her in.But why should those constraints be there in the first place? I'm not saying that this is a sexist book, but come on - the first three Mistborn books had the ladies and the gents fighting on equal ground. Vin in particular was an awesome badass and she liked to wear skirts every once in a while too. Surely, the founders of this new world couldn't have forgotten that fact once it became clear they had to start from scratch again. I understand that "religious" texts are open to interpetation, but really now - it's only been three hundred years. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't seem unreasonable that a more socially egalitarean society should form.Also, I don't know how to feel about the implication that Ranet, an incredibly experienced weapons master, is also a lesbian. There's nothing wrong with that in itself, but she's portrayed as curt, no-nonsense and generally unpleasant towards Wein and Wax, and somehow the remark about her possible sexuality (like that's a big deal) sounds almost like an explenation about her bad treatment of the two main male characters.But I guess that's mostly nippicking here. The good stuff in this book definitely outweighs any objections I might have. A character I particularly liked was Ladi Steris (apologies for any spelling mistaxes, I read the translated edition). Yeah, she's an unusual choice, especially since she only got a few chapters and seemed to be there for comic relief, but I found her incredibly relatable, and complex under her straight-laced exterior. I really enjoyed how the book tied in, with all the little plot threads coming together and the resolution the characters got (or didn't get, in some cases). Sanderson knows his shit, and hats off for that.Just please, please, don't fall into stereotyping, man! You're way too good for that.