Brandon Sanderson - Shastrix Books

Brandon Sanderson

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The Lost Metal

The Lost Metal

Brandon Sanderson

24th December 2022

The latest Mistborn novel (seriously you need a chart of work out what number this is) sees the wrapping up of the second era, following Wax and Wayne as they and their friends try to really understand what’s happening.

It took me a while to get my head into it - it’s a long time since the previous pair of novels and I had to pause to read synopses of them online to re-catch myself up. But once everything was properly loaded back in my reading sped back up.

This is probably the most Cosmerey of Cosmere books that Sanderson has output so far. I think it’s probably the least entry level novel - and there’s a lot that definitely works better if you’ve read the other Cosmere series to this point. And probably that also makes this novel required reading for everything else from here on.

A really good end to this era. I’m looking forward a lot to finding out what the next will entail.

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Skyward Flight

Skyward Flight

Brandon Sanderson & Janci Patterson

3rd September 2022

Sunreach

A shorter step back into Brandon Sanderson's Skyward series with this first of three novellas co-authored by Janci Patterson, focussed on secondary characters who don't get focus time in the main novels.

This one follows FM, a pilot, as she goes about her daily business of flying battles and investigating slugs, roughly in parallel to the third main novel.

It took me a few chapters to get back into the swing of the universe, but once there I was just as, if not more, hooked by the narrative. There's a subtly different tone to the writing I think which makes it easier to read, less choppy perhaps, and I'm not sure whether this is because of the shared authorship or a deliberate stylistic choice because of the change of focus character.

It'll be really interesting to see how the subsequent two novellas compare.

ReDawn

The second of Patterson and Sanderson's novellas set in this universe, we follow the story from a new cultural point of view.

As well as providing a new insight into known characters and factions, this provides for a fascinating bonus piece of world-building as we see an alien culture up close with many differences from the humans we've otherwise spent time with.

The plot surprised me this time by feeling far more integral to the overall storyline of the series. I was expecting these novellas to just be supplementary, but this really feels like it's necessary reading, and that everything here is going to come to affect the final novel.

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Dawnshard

Dawnshard

Brandon Sanderson

1st May 2022

This novella side story from the Stormlight Archives has finally been published in print in the UK, which means I’ve been able to read it.

It feels very self contained as a story, and yet also feels like something that should impact upon the main narrative in the future as well, which will be interesting to see if it does.

With Stormlight being so epic, and my memory less so, I wasn’t sure at the start whether I was meant to already know the characters or not, and the book didn’t feel like it was giving me many clues. Ultimately I don’t think it matters, although almost certainly this shouldn’t be read without reading the main novels first, at least up to this point, as I suspect a lot about the world wouldn’t make sense to a totally new reader.

But it is itself a fun little self contained adventure, with some good characters and fascinating interactions between them. A nice little return to Roshar between the big books.

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Cytonic

Cytonic

Brandon Sanderson

5th April 2022

The third book in what’s now called the Cytosphere, this continues Spensa’s adventures in a sci-fi action adventure that almost begins to feel like it has a computer game vibe.

This time it took me a while to get my head into the narrative. The first person, young person presentations feels now quite reminiscent of Sanderson’s other series, Alcatraz vs…, and that actually put me off, because I’ve never managed to properly get settled in that series.

After a while though I became absorbed by the plot and raced through the rest of the story. It’s presented as a traditional quest, focussed on character, and as with the previous novel very clearly distinct from its predecessor. The overarching plot is developed, but there are aspects that feel like this entry is just extended exposition and getting things lined up ready for the next book, the finale.

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Rhythm of War

Rhythm of War

Brandon Sanderson

4th July 2021

I don’t remember how many weeks, months probably, it has taken me to make my way through Rhythm of War, the fourth book in Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy series The Starlight Archive. As with the previous book, Oathbringer, I took advantage of the five-part structure to take breaks and read other, shorter, novels to help ensure my motivation didn’t falter.

It is of course, another fantastic story - following characters we’ve loved for several books already and new ones, some characters whose positions have changed, and about whom our feelings have changed, as they make their way through life against adversity on a number of fronts. Sanderson weaves the plot lines together deftly, mixing in this time a number of flashbacks to give more backstory for some of the characters that we’ve picked up along the way.

What really stood out about this novel was the prevalence of the themes of mental health - which we got to see affecting quite the number of characters in different ways. I don’t know whether this is more prominent, deliberately or otherwise, or whether my awareness of such topics has increased to allow me to notice it more, but I certainly appreciated seeing these aspects of the characters shown with honesty and realism.

The fifth and final part of the book felt like it massively upped the pace and drama, and had me utterly hooked throughout, leading me to stay up until 1am so as not to have to stop reading as everything became very exciting. I’m solidly looking forward to book five, and seeing where Sanderson takes us to for the mid-point of The Starlight Archive.

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Oathbringer

Oathbringer

Brandon Sanderson

23rd May 2020

The third epic novel in the epic series to end all epic series. I’ve been averaging a book every two to three days this year, sometimes faster during lockdown. This however took me five weeks - it’s 1200 pages long and handily divided into five parts, after each of which I needed a break of three shorter books just to let my arms recover enough to keep holding it up.

Beyond the length and weight, there is nothing I can find to criticise in this. As with many of Sanderson’s works, it features a rich mix of characters, some old, some new, some mysterious, some well known, and a world that keeps peeling back layer after layer to discover more and more of the tapestry he has crafted with words.

The are some vague hints of the Wheel of Time - with the theme of history repeating itself - but only vague, and the story is a constant delight and surprise.

I’m amazed by Sanderson’s mind and how he manages to construct these epics, and looking keenly forward to the fourth volume later this year.

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Starsight

Starsight

Brandon Sanderson

9th February 2020

The second novel of Spensa, a woman who has grown up on humanity’s last refuge, and become a pilot to help defend her world. Starlight starts without an obvious direction to go in - the plot of the first novel, while leaving space for the sequel, didn’t make the onward path obvious.

So I was happy to find that Sanderson has found a way to advance the plot, and of course his all-important worldbuilding, without dramatically shifting the tone of the narrative. We’re still aligned with Spensa, exploring an unfamiliar environment, learning so much, and facing an even bigger threat than before.

I didn’t find the novel as captivating as I had expected though. It’s not non-captivating, just not to the level I have come to expect from Sanderson’s novels. There are evident similarities between the style of the narrative here with his previous young adult novels, but it’s clearly grown since Alcatraz into something I can at least engage with without being put off.

What I loved the most about this novel is the worldbuilding - that Sanderson is taking all the little seeds that he planted in the first book and growing them into surprising new directions, that either make you feel a bit dumb for not seeing where it was going, or make you rethink your understanding, or just make you go wow.

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Buy book: UKBuy ebook: UK

Other reviewed books

Arcanum Unbounded
Words of Radiance
Skyward
Lies of the Beholder
Snapshot
The Way of Kings (part two)
The Way of Kings (part one)
Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians
White Sand volume one
Calamity
Secret History
The Bands of Mourning
Shadows of Self
Legion: Skin Deep
Warbreaker
Firefight
Mitosis
Elantris
The Emperor's Soul
Steelheart
Legion
The Rithmatist
A Memory of Light
Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia
Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones
The Alloy of Law
The Hero of Ages
The Well of Ascension
The Final Empire
Towers of Midnight
The Gathering Storm

Unreviewed books

Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens
Alcatraz vs. The Dark Talent
White Sand volume two

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