Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection

Arcanum Unbounded
By: Brandon Sanderson
Best for: 12 and up
who are also committed Cosmere fans

The ultimate Sanderson Collection…

The Emperor’s Soul
There’s a reason this book one the Hugo Award for best Fantasy Novella in 2013.

Brandon Sanderson’s “novellas” always make me laugh. I guess to someone who regularly writes 1000+ page books, 150 pages is just something to do on a slow, rainy afternoon? Then again, fitting an entire world and it’s magic system into 150 pages might be harder than doing it in 1000…

There’s a reason why The Emperor’s Soul is one on Brandon’s most decorated stories, length be darned.

As I keep discovering, re reading a book last read a decade ago is as good as (better than?) reading it for the first time. I know the story, but getting immersed in the details and nuances was even better the second time.

No content issues. The Emperor’s Soul is a must read for anyone who calls there self a fan of Fantasy.

Everyone else, too.

The Hope of Elantris
This is a short story that gives an alternate view of what happens to the Elantrian children during the brutal climax scene in Elantris. It won’t have any meaning for you until you read Elantris, so that must come first. It’s a sweet story, even if a bit saccharine. It also doesn’ t add much by way of new information. It’s mostly just for fun.

The Eleventh Metal
A short story that is actual a prequal to The Final Empire. It was awesome to get a new Kelsier story, and I loved it. Also it happens chronologically before The Final Empire, I recommend you read it after you’ve finished the Mistborn trilogy as you might not appreciate some of the spoilery elements!

Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania
This was a fun and clever short story featuring the larger than life personality featured in the newspaper clippings of Mistborn, Era 2. While it’s written for fun, I don’t recommend you read it until after you’ve read Mistborn, Era 2 for the most spoiler free experience–although the things you learn won’t diminish the experience at all should you want to read it first!

Mistborn: Secret History
This one is a novella with HUGE Mistborn Era 1 AND Era 2 spoilers. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK ATLEAST UNTIL AFTER YOU’VE READ BANDS OF MOURNING!

Mistborn: Secret History came out a full decade after The Final Empire. When I read when it came out in 2016, I was overwhelmed with information and underwhelmed with the experience because my memore of Mistborn and my understanding of the Cosmere wasn’t up to the task.

The second time I read it was just after a Mistborn re read, and just before Rhythm of War was released.

The second time through, though…HOLY CRAP–things just clicked into place and my eyes are opened to a much bigger picture. This book totally re-framed my understanding of what is happening with Cosmere. The implications of Secret History stretch across all Cosmere worlds!

I recommend you read this one after a through re-read of Mistborn–maybe even plan on reading it twice!

White Sand
Let me admit something to you, and maybe my embarissing admission will help you too: I skip White Sand.

It’s a graphic novel, and I’m not a fan of the format. I know other’s haven’t been in love with the story. Everything Cosmere relevant you can get from Wiki’s.

Am I wrong? Change my mind!

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell
And here’s my MOST favorite Sanderson short story of all time. Brandon write it after being invited by George R.R. Martin to join one of his anthologies titled Dangerous Women. It’s the only book we have from the planet Threnody–for now.


It has the most awesome title of any book, ever.

It’s wonderfully and unexpectedly creepy.

It’s a whole novels worth of fun packed into an 89-page novella.

This is a must read!

Sixth of the Dusk
This one is another short story, and before Tress was chronologically the furthest down the timeline, by quite a long while. It’s all we have from the Drominad System of the Cosmere, and it takes place on a planet that has no Shard, but for some reason has a perpendicularity. It’s the home planet of some chickens we read about on Roshar…

A lovely story, definitely worth your time. It will likely have future Cosmere significance as well.

And another thing I love about Brandon Sanderson…

He calls a 272-page book a novella.

Edgedancer is full of spoilers for The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance. READ THEM FIRST!

Edgedancer tells more of the story of Lift, was the focus of an Interlude in Words of Radiance but became a significant character in Oathbringer and Rhythm of War–and will also be part of the second half of Stormlight as well. It also sets the scene for a couple other characters who are well known and had some significant events happen to them between Words of Radiance and Oathbringer. It’s an important part of the bigger story.

On its own Edgedancer is perfectly entertaining and classically Brandon Sanderson. Lift is an outstanding character who demands to be cheered for and has miles of headroom for growth. She’s funny and kind and troubled, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.

And that’s Arcanum Unbounded! The stories are divided by the worlds they represent, and each world is introduced with an essay by Khriss of interesting. Plus you’ll find new art, including a star map of the cosmere, and planetary charts for each planetary system.

Arcanum Unbounded is a must read for serious fans of the Cosmere!

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