Sanderson. Where to start then?

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#1
Okay peeps. I'm going to try some Brandon Sanderson. Where should I start?
He seems to be a little divisive with some folk so I'd like to read (well, listen) to what folk reckon is his most typical yet best work...?

<Throws arms wide and stands ready to receive the tornado of wisdom from the burning light>
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I would say definitely start with Mistborn for the following reasons:

1. It's a complete trilogy with a beginning and end. A lot more interesting story and setting compared to Elantris and Warbreaker.

2. Stormlight IS better, but reading it first will give you a lot of spoilers regarding the books that came before it.

Either read in publication order.
1. Elantris
2. Mistborn 1-3
3. Warbreaker
4. The Alloy of Law
5. Stormlight Archive

This works fine as well.

1. Mistborn 1-3
2. Elantris
3. Warbreaker
4. Stormlight Archive

Alloy of Law you can read whenever. Just make sure it's after you've read the entire Mistborn trilogy.

You can read Stormlight first of course but I think that would ruin the overall experience of gradually learning about the Cosmere. (All these books takes place in the same universe, the Cosmere. Technically The Way of Kings is book #6 in the series)

Just read Mistborn and Warbreaker before you jump into Stormlight.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#4
Just read Mistborn and Warbreaker before you jump into Stormlight.
Argh, I was planning on reading Stormlight Archive after I finish the First Law trilogy. Are Warbreaker and Elantris stand-alone books?
 

YordanZh

A Poet of the Khaiem
#5
I actually started with the last three WoT books and therefore I immediately loved the guy. But then again, I guess that's not saying much.

I read and liked Elantris, but I agree that you shouldn't start with it - it was weird. Mistborn was great if you don't mind the YA bids and I don't think you will - it wasn't just YA, it had plenty of story, action, world-building, great magic system, etc, for the YA to not irritate a non-YA fan (or YA non-fan? w/e). Legion was mighty fun as well and it was just ~50 pages. As for the Rithmatist - a bit too slow, I wouldn't recommend it for your first Sanderson book.

So based on those that I've read, I'd recommend Mistborn.
I've heard that Stormlight is better, but if it'd indeed spoil Mistborn, save it for later.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#6
I liked the Mistborn trilogy, loved "The Alloy of the Law" (Allomancy meets Wild West :)), and found "Elantris" and "Warbreaker" so-so, with the latter one being a bit more interesting to me.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#7
Are Warbreaker and Elantris stand-alone books?
So far they are. Sanderson has plans to write sequels but as it stands right now they're stand-alone books.

I liked Elantris but I can see why a lot of people didn't like it as much as Mistborn. There is a difference in quality IMO. That's why I don't think you should start with it. Would be a shame if you end up not giving Mistborn or Stormlight a chance because you didn't like his first published novel.

Warbreaker is the only book by Sanderson that I didn't really love so I wouldn't want anyone to start with it. However it is important to read it if you want to continue with the Cosmere. It's by no means a bad book, but Mistborn is my favorite trilogy so for me Warbreaker had a lot to live up to..
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#8
So far they are. Sanderson has plans to write sequels but as it stands right now they're stand-alone books.

I liked Elantris but I can see why a lot of people didn't like it as much as Mistborn. There is a difference in quality IMO. That's why I don't think you should start with it. Would be a shame if you end up not giving Mistborn or Stormlight a chance because you didn't like his first published novel.

Warbreaker is the only book by Sanderson that I didn't really love so I wouldn't want anyone to start with it. However it is important to read it if you want to continue with the Cosmere. It's by no means a bad book, but Mistborn is my favorite trilogy so for me Warbreaker had a lot to live up to..
Hmmm, in that case I think I'll buy the 2 novels and read them before I start the Way of Kings.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#9
and found "Elantris" and "Warbreaker" so-so, with the latter one being a bit more interesting to me.
I agree, the story and setting in Warbreaker sounds more interesting, but the problem I had with it was with the characters. 2 of the main 3 I didn't like... With Elantris it was sort of the opposite. One of the ones from Elantris is my favorite character he's written.
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#10
Well.. I'm not that bothered by YA-ness (I'll happily read kids books) so I'm leaning toward Mistborn, it seems to be what folk are saying as the one no one would want to miss out or spoil (even if it's not out and out his best writing)
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#11
I'm not that bothered by YA-ness (I'll happily read kids books)
I differentiate between the two. To me kids books are usually middle grade and I will read those and probably enjoy the heck out of them.
YA to me means older teens/early 20s. But there is something about certain kinds of YA books that don't work for me and I think I know what it is. It's when the writer basically writes a story with a level of complexity that is for adults, with a harsh world, but censores violence or sex. For some reason I just find that unbelievable and that takes me out of the story.
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#13
I differentiate between the two. To me kids books are usually middle grade and I will read those and probably enjoy the heck out of them.
YA to me means older teens/early 20s. But there is something about certain kinds of YA books that don't work for me and I think I know what it is. It's when the writer basically writes a story with a level of complexity that is for adults, with a harsh world, but censores violence or sex. For some reason I just find that unbelievable and that takes me out of the story.
I can't really say that Sanderson censores violence ... a lot of cutting and slashing with all sorts of bodyparts flying around in Mistborn :p
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#14
I can't really say that Sanderson censores violence ... a lot of cutting and slashing with all sorts of bodyparts flying around in Mistborn :p
He does censor sex though. I remember it bugged me big time when I read the Mistborn series some months ago. I even made a thread about it. :)
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#15
I can't really say that Sanderson censores violence ... a lot of cutting and slashing with all sorts of bodyparts flying around in Mistborn :p
I was speaking in general when it comes to YA. Sanderson censors sex, which is well known thing we have gone over many times on BFB. As a result his relationships are very idealized, which again takes me out of the story.

Edit: Silvion beat me to it.
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#16
Point of order: Final Empire (first of the mistborn books) which I plumped for is actually on offer on UK audible today for 2.99
Just in case anyone else wants to listen along...
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#17
He does censor sex though. I remember it bugged me big time when I read the Mistborn series some months ago. I even made a thread about it. :)
I was speaking in general when it comes to YA. Sanderson censors sex, which is well known thing we have gone over many times on BFB. As a result his relationships are very idealized, which again takes me out of the story.

Edit: Silvion beat me to it.
I just assumed you were still refering to Sanderson, so hence my reply.
I'm well aware that Sanderson censors sex ... I followed the discusions regarding this in the past, and I also finished the mistborn trilogy yesterday ;) (and Elantris before that). But it really didn't bother me
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#18
I just assumed you were still refering to Sanderson, so hence my reply.
I'm well aware that Sanderson censors sex ... I followed the discusions regarding this in the past, and I also finished the mistborn trilogy yesterday ;) (and Elantris before that). But it really didn't bother me
Well, the absence of sex doesn't bother me per se, but combined with some other things it makes the Mistborn series feel squeeky clean.

For example, in the Blade Itself there's no sex either. But there's Logen pooping. And peeing. And he notices floppy balls when Bayaz storms into a room naked. Jezal notices a good pair of boobs. I'm not trying to come across as a randy goat, a pervert, or someone who's into poo and pee, but these are things I would notice too being a guy.

What do guys notice first when they visit a foreign country for the first time? The toilets! In France they poop in holes in the ground. In the Middle East bidets rule. In the Netherlands we've got poo inspection plates in the toilet. This is important stuff! Don't even get me started on boobs, balls etc.

Including banal stuff like that makes the story feel more real in my oponion (it should be used sparingly though). As if the characters could exist in the real world. I just don't believe a character like Elend, who wouldn't fart even if his life depended on it or wouldnt recognize a breast, even if it was pushed in his face.

Come in , we're all adults here (kinda). Whenever I read the interaction between Elend and Viv all I could think was 1 thing; why don't they freaking bone!?

/rant
 

Zymologist

Has been in the eye of the world
#20
Well, I read The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance and quite liked them both, so now I'll have to really consider reading his other stuff (which I apparently should have read first).