So you’ve read all of Sanderson’s work?
I ran into this problem earlier this year after I finished Oath Bringer by Brandon Sanderson and had no idea what to read next. I first decided to read Storm Light Archives again and then went back and read Elantris for probably the fifth time. I next did what any sane person would do… I reread The Reckoners. I then finally realized that I was a crazy person, and ransacked the internet for a new author to obsess over. I asked Facebook and Twitter for help. I poured over countless other blogs. Google and Bing were even tired of hearing about Sanderson by the time I was done. I eventually found some pretty amazing new stuff, and some older stuff I had read and forgotten about.
Why I love Sanderson’s writing?
He masterfully builds worlds.
Nalthis, Roshar, Scadrial, Sel, Braize, Taldain, First of the Sun, Threnody, and Yolen are but a few of the worlds created to house his stories. These worlds, and I’m sure there are more that I missed, are all part of the same universe(The Cosmere). Each one of these planets is set in its own planetary system complete with star charts and maps. It’s seriously deep and sometimes a little overwhelming to think about how much time and thought went into all of the little details. If you haven’t seen just how big the Cosmere is head over to Brandon Sanderson’s website and check out the art section for Arcanum Unbounded. Arcanum Unbounded is a must have for any Sanderson fan. The hardcover book is incredibly beautiful.
If I had to pick my top 10 favorite characters spanning all books, movies, tv shows, and video games the vast majority of them would come from Sanderson’s awe-inspiring mind. The characters in his books have become my best friends over the last couple years. Much in the same way Sanderson builds fantastic worlds, he paints perfect pictures of his characters in your mind. He makes you fall deeply in love with some characters over the course of the books and makes you so astonishingly mad with hate for others that you want to rage quit and hurl your book across the room. Please don’t throw books… unless it’s at Shallan, she kinda annoys me.
Fantastically structured magic systems.
I think this is probably why most people like Sanderson. It’s ok to have magic systems without rules like in D&D. Magic systems where an author is free to pretty much create any kind of magic item or spell. Some examples might be a ring or a cloak that makes you invisible, a wand that can cast hundreds of different spells just by waving it the right way, or a magic lamp that grants you any wish you can think of. This kind of magic is great, in fact, tons of really popular and successful books use magic systems like this. Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings are great examples. The magic systems in the Cosmere are more structured. I like this better because it makes me think more. When a character is limited and bound by the rules of these systems they cant just simply wave their magic wand and make magic missiles fly out of their butts. The magic systems are detailed and learning about the rules of each of these systems is as fun and exciting as meeting and learning about new characters and places.
Where do I go from here?
1. Robert Jordan
The obvious choice I suppose. Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series will keep you busy reading for a very long time. It spans 14 novels, a truly epic fantasy series. I actually read these before I knew about Sanderson. In March of 2006, Robert Jordan released a statement to let his fans know that he was diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis. Doctors said they expected that he had only 4 years before he would pass. He went through an experimental treatment, and though he fought, he sadly passed away in September the following year. When Jordan had passed away he had finished 11 books in the series and had his vision for the end of the series. His widow and his publisher chose Sanderson to complete the series.
The Wheel of Time is notable for its detailed world, well-developed magic system, and its extensive cast of characters. 7 of the 14 books reached number one on the New York Times Best Seller list, and the series was nominated for a Hugo Award. As of 2017, the series has sold over 80 million copies worldwide. If you haven’t read the Wheel of Time series you should. Its the series that introduced me to one of my favorite authors after all.
2. Patrick Rothfuss
If most of my favorite characters come from Sanderson’s books, the rest of them most definitely come from A Wise Mans Fear and Name Of The Wind. For some of you who, that have read these books, I imagine you are both loving and hating me for mentioning Rothfuss. I’ve seen countless comments on forums and a number of blog posts about how he is never going to finish the series. Then, as the internet will do more often than not, a giant war breaks out. It’s the loyal Rothfuss fans who are patient VS. the loyal Rothfuss fans who are impatient. Oh and the 3rd faction, the trolls(they are my favorite). I’ve seen plenty of people get angry about how long its going to be before the next book in a series is out. When is it coming? Why is he talking about doing movies and tv shows? I wish he would just finish it! Why is he constantly reading other peoples books? He should be locked in a room and chained to his computer until he’s done! No food and water! I’m ashamed to say I have been a part of these brutal, barbarous, and bloody wars. I am on the side of patience. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Really excited to read The Doors Of Stone when it gets here, but I am also really excited to read Pat’s next blog post too! I hope its ok to call him Pat. If you have read all of his books dig into his blog, there is some fantastic stuff in there. Being a father to an 11-year old I can relate to his writings about his kids. I truly enjoy every word.
“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.”
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind
The Name of the Wind, Wise Mans Fears, and his blog aside, he has a bunch of other stuff that is fantastic:
- The Slow Regard of Silent Things, featuring Auri was a beautiful book. I have read it a number of times, and she remains one of my favorite characters. Even after getting a bunch of her story in this book I still NEED to know more about her.
- “The Lightning Tree” – a short story featuring Bast is part of Rogues Anthology, a collection of stories edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.
- Stop reading so much and go play some video games! Rothfuss was part of the story design team for inXile’s Torment: Tides of Numenera.
- The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle was great fun as well. This is a “not for kids” book for adults with a dark sense of humor and an appreciation of old-school fairy tales. It looks like a kids book but is really for adults.
3.Peter V Brett
I was recently introduced to The Warded Man series by a friend on facebook and coworker. I am sure glad I listened to him, because I flew through this series in about 2 weeks, and these aren’t small books. I couldn’t stop until it was over. I got these books through audible and listened to them every chance I got. I was lucky to have gotten my 2 credits for the month just as I finished the second book. I don’t usually get through books that fast.
This series is about a world where demons materialize every night to feed on people who mostly live in fear behind their wards, not ever going out at night. Until a messenger finds secret battle wards and uses them to teach humanity to fight back and not to cower in fear anymore. This is a fantastic story about a simple farm boy becoming an all-powerful demon-hunting hero who inspires humanity to fight back. Peter V Brett has written a number of other books that I admittedly haven’t read yet but are on my to-read list for 2018. They, from what I’ve been told, are stories that take place between books in this series. There are 5 books that make up the main series, The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, The Daylight War, The Skull Throne, and The Core.
4. Terry Pratchett
Ok, so I know Sir Terry Pratchett’s writing is nothing at all like any of the authors mentioned so far. This is why I am including him on this list. Terry Pratchett’s books are just simply fun to read. He builds ridiculous worlds and characters that are easy to laugh at/with. The vast majority of his books take place in a world called Discworld. Discworld is a flat disc resting on 4 elephants who are standing on the back of a giant turtle flying through space. His books are chock full of characters like Cohen The Barbarian, Twoflower and his magic walking luggage, an orangutan librarian in the unseen university, Detritus the troll who works in the guard, Gaspode the talking wonder dog, Death WHO TALKS LIKE THIS, and “Bloody Stupid” Johnson who I don’t think is ever actually in any of the books but is mentioned at least once in almost all of them. There are at least 40 books by Sir Pratchett, I’m too lazy to count them all.
Yep, love Sanderson’s books and you think you have read them all? you probably haven’t. Every time I think I’m out of Sanderson, I end up finding more. Head over to Goodreads, last I checked it had listed over 200 books when you search for him. I know there are some duplicates and some are just translations, but there is a ton of content. After you are done there, head over to The Copper Mind. There is a ton of fun stuff to read about the cosmere, and I can guarantee you will find some new knowledge that will make you want to re-read something. You could also check out brandonsanderson.com and click on library. He has a bunch of free stuff to read there. Stuff like sample chapters, deleted scenes, and short stories.
I’ve really enjoyed writing this and its made me realize that I need to go back and read some stuff over again. Question is, whats next? If you have suggestions for other authors or other books I should check out please let me know by leaving a comment! I still have about 80 or so more books to go for this years reading challenge @goodreads.com. You can also check out my twitter or facebook and tell your friends, family, and dentist to check out my blog.