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Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson {4 Stars}

Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson {4 Stars}

Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Tor Books on Nov. 22nd, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Page Length: 672 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Brandon Sanderson's first story collection: novellas and short stories set in the Shardworlds, the worlds of Stormlight, Mistborn, Elantris, and more.

An all-new Stormlight Archive novella 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 eight works in all. The first seven are:
“The Hope of Elantris” (Elantris)
“The Eleventh Metal” (Mistborn)
“The Emperor's Soul” (Elantris)
“Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, Epsiodes 28 through 30” (Mistborn)
“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” (Threnody)
“Sixth of Dusk” (First of the Sun)
“Mistborn: Secret History” (Mistborn)

Originally published on Tor.com and other websites, or published by the author, these wonderful tales convey the expanse of the Shardworlds and tell exciting tales of adventure Sanderson fans have come to expect, including the Hugo Award-winning novella, “The Emperor's Soul.”

Arcanum Unbounded will also contain a currently untitled Stormlight Archive novella which will appear in this book for the first time anywhere.

4 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of Arcanum Unbounded from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Hope of Elantris: Elantris is my hands-down favorite Sanderson book so I was unbelievably pumped to see more of that city. It’s been about three years since I read it, however, so I was grateful for the reminders snuck in here and there. I thought this story was a nice addition to the novel, but not a necessity to read. It did make me want to reread Elantris though!

The Eleventh Metal: Yey more Mistborn details! Oh Kel, poor poor Kel, how I love you all the more. Seriously though, this is a great story for showing you more of Kel’s personality and origins.

The Emperor’s Soul: Emperor’s Soul is a novella that I bought a while ago because a. it’s amazing and b. that cover is so freaking gorgeous! I still really enjoy this novella and I think it’s probably my favorite of the collection. The magic with stamping is so cool and I just felt that it tells the best complete story.

Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania: These are obviously meant to be a bit silly and I do like that I finally get the references to this meta-fictional story from Alloy of Law and sequels. Beyond that sort of fun aspect, I didn’t find them particularly noteworthy.

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell: This is the story that is battling Emperor’s Soul for my favorite of the collection. I read this novella a year ago when it was newer and loved it. It’s super spooky and shows a completely different world in the Cosmere. I also really love that Sanderson set out to show how dangerous and strong women don’t have to follow the warrior trope to still be kick-ass.

White Sand: I bought this graphic novel as soon as it came out (don’t tell my book-buying ban!) but of course have yet to read it. I liked what I saw from this preview and am happy that I have the full color to read since I really love full color comics. The original text that follows was a bit boring for me since once I know how a story goes, I lose a lot of interest, but it’s interesting from a ‘how is a graphic novel made’ perspective.

Sixth of Dusk: I have mixed feelings about this one. I never feel like I can judge whether a culture has been treated fairly in fiction if it isn’t my own, but I get uncomfortable when white authors use POC cultures, specifically Polynesian in this case, to inspire their fantasy stories. I also just wasn’t as grabbed by this plot as I normally am by Sanderson stories.

Mistborn: Secret History: This is one of stories that I’m sure many people are going to be buying the book to read. This story shows what Kel is up to for much of the Mistborn trilogy and gives A LOT of insight into how the worlds work and connect. Plus, Kel is awesome.

Edgedancer: Ugh, this one kills me. I wanted to LOVE this brand new story! And I definitely thought it was entertaining and I liked what it showed about the world. BUT it just didn’t resonate with me in the way that some of the other stories in this collection did. I think it’s because the protagonist, Lift, just didn’t click for me. Her use of the word ‘awesome’ to describe her Shard-based magic was something I couldn’t get used to.

My favorite part about this collection, however, is the notes before each story that detail the planetary system that the story takes place within. This is the first time that I’ve felt I really understand the Cosmere and how it is laid out and am getting a really significant feeling for how the Shards work. I finally can speculate what they came from! This collection, more than anything, makes me very excited for the further development of the Cosmere. I absolutely love the breadth of this universe and am so happy that Sanderson has been able to expand it as thoroughly as he has. Can’t wait for more!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson

© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Sixth of Dusk was the one story in the collection that I didn’t care for – it just never hooked me. I had a ton of fun with Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, but it was the fictional editor’s footnotes that made it work, not so much the story itself. As for the Mistborn tales, it was so nice to see more of Kelsier.

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