Brandon Sanderson is unquestionably the best-selling author of fantasy fiction. It’s rare to come across an author who is continuously prolific and who can turn out outstanding pieces on a consistent basis. With elaborate plots and unique magic systems (many of which are based on science), the majority of his works take place in the Cosmere, a shared universe in which a mysterious being called Adonalsium is killed by sixteen conspirators and its powers are shattered into sixteen pieces. The Cosmere is also where the majority of his works take place.
Taken together, the sixteen conspirators go to new planets and populate them with a variety of magical spells that they have created. These universes are largely oblivious of one another, which effectively keeps the stories separate while still exhibiting certain common characteristics in their plot lines.
Best Brandon Sanderson Books
Because of the shared universe feature in Sanderson’s novels, newcomers may find them intimidating at first, yet each of his books functions very well as a stand-alone. You might find my personal list of favorite books useful if you’re having problems deciding which book to start with. Check it out in the video below!
Fans of conventional fantasy will enjoy this book. Originally published as a standalone epic fantasy novel, Sanderson’s debut work was set in the titular city, which is populated by immortals who have the ability to create and heal with a single gesture. What’s the best part? Anyone can convert into an Elantrian with the use of a mystical metamorphosis known as the Shaod.
Ten years before the story begins, disaster strikes, shattering Elantrian magic, cursing the inhabitants, and closing the city off from the rest of the world. Anyone who has been impacted by the Shaod is now cast into the city and cursed with endless hunger and pain, according to the Shaod. There are no spoilers for this story, which serves as the introduction to Sanderson’s Cosmere universe, setting the groundwork for what is today one of the most intricate and rich fictional universes in modern fantasy.
Fans of the sentient sword subgenre will enjoy this. During the course of the film, we follow a young princess who has been sent to be married to the God-king of a neighboring, hostile nation, as well as her older sister’s mission to bring her back safely home. Things become more complicated when the God-king is revealed to be a puppet, and the two of them become embroiled in a scheme to gain control of the world.
In order to live, the siblings form an alliance with a mystery man who has the ability to employ breath—magical energy that transforms people into superhumans—and who carries a talking sword that is exceedingly naive.
For enthusiasts of superheroes and supervillains. So you’re more of a sci-fi fanatic, aren’t you? Sanderson, on the other hand, has that as well. The emergence of a circling cosmic entity known as Calamity transformed some individuals into “Epics,” bestowing upon them superpowers that transcend the laws of physics and physics itself.
When these individuals turn out to be serious bad news, it puts a damper on everyone’s hopes of finally having superheroes. Nations were brought to a halt, and Epics enslaved the rest of humanity. Now, one normal guy is on a mission to bring them down, and he isn’t content with just taking down the Epic that killed his father.
For those who enjoy short stories. Instead of plunging headfirst into the Cosmere, you can sample some of Sanderson’s short stories in his anthology of short stories. Arcanum Unbounded is a collection of nine short stories that wonderfully encapsulate his writing style and voice while also serving as an excellent introduction to the Cosmere universe.
It’s worth noting that The Emperor’s Soul, in particular, is an unforgettable book about a master forger who is compelled to “Forge” an entirely new soul for the emperor, who has been rendered brain-dead by an assassination attempt.
Fans of the Tatooine universe will enjoy this. White Sand, Sanderson’s sole graphic novel (at least for the time being), follows a group of people who have the ability to control sand in a variety of ways. When they are abruptly slain, Kenton believes he is the sole survivor because he is the weakest member of the group. In the face of unknown schemes and foes swirling around him, he joins forces with a lady who is hiding her own dark secrets.
If you’re more of a visual reader, this story can assist you in becoming more familiar with the Cosmere world. Only three volumes are currently available, but they are all pretty lengthy, so you should be able to get a few hours of reading time out of them.
For those who enjoy psychological studies. The peculiar mental ailment that Stephen Leeds suffers from has enabled him to become wealthy, bright, and highly accomplished in his field. He has the ability to create a plethora of personalities, each with their unique set of talents and knowledge. No matter where he goes, he is accompanied by an army of fictitious experts who are there to assist him. The inventor of a camera that can snap photographs of the past is sought after after receiving an impossibly strange photograph.
For those who enjoy mathematics. The art of Rithmatics is a sort of sorcery that use chalk and geometry to defeat wild beasts known as Chalkings on an alternate Earth. Despite his desire to become a Rithmatist, Joel can only look on with jealousy while pupils practice the magical art that he so desperately wants to master. The disappearances of students prompt the assignment of Joel to assist in the investigations, which leads to the discovery of a discovery that will affect their lives forever.
The Gathering Storm
Fans of epic fantasy will enjoy this book. When Robert Jordan passed away, leaving his epic fantasy series unfinished, his widow and editor picked Brandon Sanderson to complete the story and bring it to a close. In addition to remaining loyal to Jordan’s vision, this, along with Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light are regarded some of the best books in the series. I do recommend that you begin with the first book, The Eye of the World, and work your way through the series to the conclusion.
The Battle of Tarmon Gaidon, sometimes known as the Last Battle, is approaching, and humanity is not prepared. Trying to bring feuding kingdoms and alliances together while forging a temporary peace with an invading empire, Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, finds himself in a difficult situation.
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians
Fans of odd situations and even more bizarre abilities will enjoy this book. Alcatraz Smedry’s parents give him a bag of sand for his thirteenth birthday, which he promptly consumes. However, it is not ordinary sand, and it is swiftly taken over by a wicked cult of Librarians, whose objective is to take over the globe by concealing the truth from the public. It is up to Alcatraz to put a stop to them using the one skill he possesses: breaking things.
This is one of Sanderson’s more straightforward stories, full of wit and hysterical “talents,” and it’s perfect for when you want something quick and pleasant to read.
The Way of Kings (Book 1 of the Stormlight Series)
For those who enjoy combat stories. Thousands of years have passed since the Knights Radiant vanished, leaving behind their mystical swords and armor. These relics, which transform men into nearly invincible warriors, have been used to fight and win wars throughout history.
On one such battlefield, the Shattered Plains, a soldier-turned-slave grows resentful of leaders who deem them expendable; a war chief is plagued by apocalyptic visions; and 10 armies fight against a single adversary in separate battles on the same battlefield. This meta-series, which has taken ten years to design, write, and construct, is considered one of the most ambitious in modern fantasy literature.
Mistborn: The Final Empire (Book 1 of the Mistborn Series)
For those who enjoy scientifically grounded magic. This world has been under the continual threat of ash for a thousand years, and the Lord Ruler has maintained control over it via total authority and terror. When one persecuted person “snaps” and discovers that he has become a mistborn—a person who can draw power from metals—he uses his skills of deceit and theft to bring down the Lord Ruler’s regime and bring about a revolution.
Mistborn, Sanderson’s most well-known novel, exemplifies his specific genius for inventing original magic systems and fleshing out elaborate world-building. The following is (in my opinion) the most appropriate place to begin your exploration of Sanderson’s universe. Most importantly, it’s meant to be a trilogy of trilogies, so you can anticipate a lot of pleasurable reading hours ahead of you.