Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Review - Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection
Author:  Brandon Sanderson
Publisher:  Tor Books, November 22, 2016
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 672 pages
List Price:  $27.99 (print); $14.99 (eBook)
ISBN:   9780765391162 (print); 9780765391179 (eBook)

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)

Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere Titles

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

Qwill's Thoughts

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection is the first story collection by Brandon Sanderson. The Collection is broken into 6 sections dealing with the Selish System, the Scadrian System, the Taldain System, the Threnodite System, the Drominad System, and the Rosharan System. Each of these systems is the setting of novels or future works in the broader Cosmere or simply places that Sanderson wanted to write about that may never see treatment in a novel. These works have been previously published save for "Edgedancer"- a Stormlight Archive novella.

This is a stunning collection, which not only includes stories, but has beautiful illustrations, maps of the Systems and even a comic. Each section is prefaced by notes from Khriss (who writes the Ars Arcanum appendixes at the end of the novels) and is followed by a postscript by Brandon Sanderson giving some history of the story - when it was written and why.

Of the 9 stories (some of which are novella sized) my three favorites are the the "The Emperor's Soul" set in the Selish System, "Mistborn: Secret History" set in the Scadrian System and "Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell" set in the Threnodite System. There is no weak story in this collection; these are just my favorites. Each story provides new information and insights into the Cosmere in general and into specific events or persons.

Can you read this collection before reading any of the novels set in the Cosmere? Absolutely yes. There is enough information in the stories to keep you from being lost especially if you pay attention to Khriss' notes. For fans of the Cosmere this is a must have addition to your Sanderson collection. These stories, which vary in point of view and style, are all deeply engaging, beautifully written, and highlight the depth and breadth of the Cosmere and Sanderson's writing. I fervently hope that this is just the first collection of Cosmere stories that Sanderson will share with us.


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