Go-To Author #1: Brandon Sanderson

Sep 23, 2015

Guest Post by Mike

I need to make sure you know about my favorite author, Brandon Sanderson. If I'm ever in a pinch and need to find a book fast that I know I'm going to enjoy, he's my go-to guy. I have yet to find something he's written that I didn't love. (With the possible exception of Elantris, which I did like a lot, but it wasn't to the point of love, but it was very interesting, and it was his first novel, so I'll lean his way on that one too).

A selection of Brandon Sanderson books.   The top three are the original Mistborn series.  
I actually haven't read Warbreaker yet.  I can't keep up with him!

What I like most about his writing is his incredible imagination.  I often stop and ask myself, "How in the world did he think of that?"  The worlds in which his stories take place are truly fantastic, inspiring the reader just the right mix of childlike wonder at the magic and a more mature intelligence that underlies everything.

I somewhat agree with the criticism that fantasy can get a little tiring when new, more powerful spells and creatures keep appearing out of the blue to threaten or save the main characters in their hour of need.  It takes away the excitement and feeling of danger when you don't know the rules and the magic is unrestrained.   Brandon Sanderson doesn't work like that.  There are fanciful phenomena, but there are also clear boundaries. They are fun stories, but not fluff.  And he's not afraid to do some pretty stunning plot twists or even kill off beloved main characters. 

If you don't like hard core fantasy, you might want to try some of his lighter stuff, like the Alcatraz books.  They are geared to a younger audience and take place on earth... sort of.  It's an alternate earth where the oppressed people (such as America) are brainwashed under the oppressive hand of the evil librarians.  I've only read the first one, but was laughing out loud most of the way.  Very fun.

Perhaps the next step up is The Rithmatist.  It's another younger audience book. I found it so creative that it must have literally blown my mind since I can't think of anything else to say about it.  
But Sanderson is also a great destination for the serious fantasy lover. The original Mistborn trilogy is what got me hooked on him in the first place.  It is so well written, such a good story, great dynamic characters, and plot twists that will leave you reeling.  

He then takes the basic premise of the Mistborn books, and translates it to new time periods to create the Wax and Wayne series.  It's kind of a genius mix of steam punk and fantasy. Coincidentally, the latest of these books (Shadows of Self) comes out in a couple weeks.  I don't know how he turns out the volume of books that he does while continuing to change the game.  He has the production rate of a factory with the touch of an artisan. 

I need to sign off for now, so I will save talking about the Stormlight Archives series (probably my favorite of his so far) for another time.

But I think you got the point.  I'm a Brandon Sanderson Fan. 




  1. Lots of Sanderson love over here in our house, we should've chatted about this when we met last month. My husband's first love was the Mistborn trilogy, but the Stormlight Archives might be his new favorite. My personal Sanderson favorite is his novella, The Emperor's Soul. Have you read that one? Quick but profound and beautiful. Also very creative. Sanderson is just brilliant.

  2. I loved the first two MIstborn books - strong heroine, great magic system that was logical, original and pseudo-scientific and internally consistent. But then he did that thing with the third book where someone just out of the blue gets some random-never-explained-power to save the day. So I was a little disappointed. But you've inspired me to give him another try because I do think he has alot to offer.

    1. The first Mistborn was my fave. I didn't love the way the series ended either. If you're willing to give Sanderson a second try I strongly recommend Steelheart. I reviewed that one last year on my blog: http://www.evereadbooks.com/2014/03/steelheart.html

  3. Ok you NEED to read Warbreaker though. Because guess what?! It is my theory (which my sharp husband pointed out to me and I adopted) that a character from Warbreaker is a character in Words of Radiance. Just sayin'. Only a rumor. But Warbreaker is good so you should read it.

    Totally get what you mean about not being able to keep up with him! I still need to read Rithmatist. And Alloy of Law. You know which one of his is my favorite so far? The Emperor's Soul. I like thin books. :) But I make exception for Brandon Sanderson. It was so perfect how you described him: "He has the production rate of a factory with the touch of an artisan."


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