Book Review – Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection by Brandon Sanderson

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection
By Brandon Sanderson
Courtesy of Tor Books
Release Date: November 22, 2016

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As an avid fan of Brandon Sanderson and his imagination, I find myself almost giddy with anticipation every time he announces the upcoming release of a new book. His novel ELANTRIS is one of my top-five favorite fantasy titles of all time, and WARBREAKER is a definite honorable mention. He has an uncanny knack for serving up exactly what his fans want, and as such, he is a vastly entertaining storyteller.

ARCANUM UNBOUNDED: THE COSMERE COLLECTION is his first foray into publishing short stories, however each tale is tied to one of his existing universes. This brilliant concept opens new doors for readers to venture through, offering new treks into already traveled worlds. Whether you are already versed with Sanderson’s work or just starting out, this collection of shorts will make a perfect addition to your journey.

If you are not familiar with ARCANUM UNBOUNDED: THE COSMERE COLLECTION, here is the book’s summary courtesy of Tor Books:

An all-new Stormlight Archive novella, “Edgedancer,” will be the crown jewel of Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, the first book of short fiction by #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson.

The collection will include nine works in all. The first eight are:
“The Hope of Elantris” (Elantris)
“The Eleventh Metal” (Mistborn)
“The Emperor’s Soul” (Elantris)
“Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, Episodes 28 through 30” (Mistborn)
“White Sand” (excerpt; Taldain)
“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” (Threnody)
“Sixth of Dusk” (First of the Sun)
“Mistborn: Secret History” (Mistborn)

These wonderful works, originally published on Tor.com and elsewhere individually, convey the expanse of the Cosmere and tell exciting tales of adventure Sanderson fans have come to expect, including the Hugo Award-winning novella, “The Emperor’s Soul” and an excerpt from the graphic novel “White Sand.”

Arcanum Unbounded will also contain the Stormlight Archive novella “Edgedancer,” which will appear in this book for the first time anywhere. It is a story of Lift, taking place between Words of Radiance and the forthcoming Oathbringer.

Finally, this collection includes essays and illustrations for the various planetary systems in which the stories are set.

The Cosmere

The Mistborn series
Mistborn: The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages
Alloy of Law
Shadows of Self
Bands of Mourning

The Stormlight Archive
The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
Edgedancer (Novella)
Oathbringer (forthcoming)

Collection
Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere Titles
Elantris
Warbreaker
Rithmatist

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
The Scrivener’s Bones
The Knights of Crystallia
The Shattered Lens
The Dark Talent

The Reckoners
Steelheart
Firefight
Calamity

Each story is carefully crafted and presents a riveting narrative. The tales flow with Sanderson’s signature style, intricately laying out the plot with subtle ease. The author’s smooth writing style is a big draw for me, and it allows for deep immersion into any story he puts onto paper.

My favorite short in this collection is “The Hope of Elantris”, where Sanderson revisits one of my favorite worlds. This story actually takes place during the events of the climax in the book, therefore it won’t make much sense if you haven’t read it first. But if you are already familiar with it, this tale will certainly put a smile on your face, as it answers some questions you probably never knew you had.

ARCANUM UNBOUNDED: THE COSMERE COLLECTION is a huge win for me, and I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re not familiar with Sanderson and his works, GO PICK UP ONE OF HIS TITLES NOW! Start ANY of his series, and I’ll bet you’ll be hooked. Personally, I recommend my aforementioned favorites, either ELANTRIS or WARBREAKER. But regardless of where you start, make sure you finish here, with this superb collection of shorts. Just be ready to invest some time, as the author’s storytelling with enthrall you and draw you in completely…but it will be time very well spent.

ARCANUM UNBOUNDED: THE COSMERE COLLECTION hits store shelves next Tuesday, so make a note!!

MSB

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