Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Sanderson’
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve been so impressed with Brandon Sanderson as an author recently. Not only does he write amazing, sprawling epic fantasy novels, but he also somehow finds time to write some very creative novellas like The Emperor’s Soul and Legion.
Although The Emperor’s Soul won’t go down as my favorite of Sanderson’s works, I did really like the concept behind it. The novel is set in a fantasy world that felt very much like imperialist China, where Forgers are able to convert regular items into glorious works of art. A Forger could take pottery that you created in art class and make it look like something that belongs in a museum.
The process is obviously magical, but Sanderson lays out the rules so clearly that it almost feels like science. A Forger must create “soul stamps” to bend an item to their wishes. Essentially, they invent a plausible history for an item and forge that history into the stamp. Once the stamp is applied, item takes on that history and reflects it.
The magic system was definitely one of the best parts of the novel, but the plot and characters were also interesting. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that enjoys inventive fantasy or interesting magic systems. I really liked it.
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
Legion by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Legion is simply yet another example of Brandon Sanderson’s immense talent. The guy is clearly one of the best fantasy writers today and Legion just shows how far that talent extends. I have no idea how Sanderson can publish so many works so quickly.
Legion is a short novella set in the modern day about a guy who sees and interacts with a host of imaginary individuals. These individuals each possess unique skills or knowledge, which they ultimately pass onto Steve, the protagonist.
I was immediately drawn in by this concept. I mean, Steve is basically a genius, but his genius requires him to interact with hallucinations. What an awesome concept. I was totally sucked in right from the start.
The story itself is pretty neat, involving a camera that can take pictures of the past, but the best parts are the interactions between Steve and his hallucinations.
The only real complaint that I have is that it was too short! I really hope that Sanderson intends to revisit this world, because I am eager to read more. I found Legion to be a very creative and entertaining story and I would recommend it highly to any fantasy reader.
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Sunday, July 24th, 2011
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Well of Ascension was a fantastic follow up to Brandon Sanderson’s first book in the series, Mistborn: The Final Empire. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel…maybe not as much as the first, but still enough to give it 5 stars.
Sanderson’s talent as a writer is multifaceted and he showcases his capabilities in this series. In this series he shows that he can write a strong female protagonist, craft a unique and creative magic system, and build a complex and dystopian society.
As I already mentioned, one of the best parts of this series is the magic system. It’s pretty simple in concept, but there always seems to be new aspects that can be unlocked, lending a little intrigue and unpredictability to the story. It truly seems like the perfect compliment to the story that Sanderson is weaving.
I also love the characters. It’s true that some of the secondary characters from the first novel are featured less prevalently in this novel, but that doesn’t detract from their overall appeal. Sazed, Ham, Clubs, Dockson, Spook, and Breeze–they are all well-written and lovable in their own way. However, I found OreSeur to be a particularly intriguing character in this novel. He definitely made things interesting.
Another great aspect of the novel is simply the mythos, the history of the Lord Ruler, The Final Empire, the Deepness, the Hero of Ages, and the Well of Ascension. Sanderson does a fantastic job stringing along little tidbits of information that only hint at the real stories behind such mysteries. Even now, I’m still itching to find out more about this world that Sanderson has created–why it has come to be the retched place that it is.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Well of Ascension and the Mistborn series as a whole. If you’ve ever been thinking about trying our Sanderson’s work, the Mistborn trilogy is an excellent place to work. He has quickly become a favorite author of mine as he has proven to be an expert at writing a great fantasy story with all of the quintessential components, but none of the cliche.
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Monday, February 21st, 2011
So I haven’t posted in awhile and rather than make an excuse like being too busy or simply admit that I’ve been too lazy or perhaps even some combination of the two, I’ll take the high road and put the blame on another man’s shoulders, namely Robert Jordan.
If you have even dabbled in reading the fantasy genre, then you have heard of one of the great epic series, the Wheel of Time. The series was started back in 1990. At the time, I was 6 years old and my favorite pastime was watching G.I. Joe and Transformers cartoons. Today, the 13th volume of the series has been published with the 14th and final novel is on the horizon.
The series was originally conceived as a 12 novel series, but Jordan became ill and passed away while still working on the final novel. Apparently Jordan did not want to see the series left unfinished (and I’m betting the publishers didn’t either) and fantasy “newcomer” Brandon Sanderson was selected to pen the final novel from Jordan’s notes.
Brandon Sanderson is best known for his Mistborn trilogy, but also considers the Wheel of Time series as one of his major inspirations. I recently read the first installment and it really was very good. When he came to the table and began looking through Jordan’s note, he realized that there was no way he could cram all of the remaining story into one novel so he turned the final novel into a trilogy, resulting in a 14 novel series.
Well, a few years ago when I was gearing up for a long flight to Alaska, I picked up The Eye of the World for the trip. To Jordan’s credit, though there were some pretty obvious allusions to Tolkien’s work, it was pretty awesome.
Since then, I’ve been gradually making my way through the series. Around Christmas, I started up the fourth novel, The Shadow Rising. After several weeks of making little progress, I decided that in order to finish the 980 page paperback in any reasonable amount of time, that I would need to really devote myself to it. And that’s what I did. I read during lunch, I read at the gym, I read before bed. I neglected my computer and my oh-so-wonderful blog and now you see why I blame Robert Jordan.
Admittedly, it was pretty good, but it was also really long and somewhere around page 600, I was ready for something new. I struggled to stay interested at times, but I kept at it and I’m glad I did. Like I said, it was good, I just wish it was a couple hundred pages shorter.
Will I read volume 5? Hell yeah. Not only do I feel compelled to because I own it or because I have devoted so much time already, but I genuinely want to know what happens next. However, the wiki page for the series has some interesting statics for the series that might make me think again. Check this:
- Total pages: 11,308
- Total words: 4,062,312
- Audio playback: 17d 11h 30m
That means if I keep reading at my current pace, which is about one a year, I won’t finish until 2021. I’ll be 37. Wow.
Now given, these numbers aren’t exactly accurate because they had to estimate the length of the upcoming 14th novel, but holy crap…over 17 straight days to listen to the series. That’s insane and I’ve committed to reading the rest of the series. Well, I suppose it’s good to have perspective.
Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
I’ve had Mistborn on my “to read” list for some time now (along with about 50 other novels), but my resolve to read the trilogy has increased significantly lately.
First, while wandering around the Gaslamp district during Comic-Con, my brother and I went into Borders to borrow some Wi-fi and I noticed that Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, and Brent Weeks were going to be there doing readings, signings, and the like while I was in town. I was really excited until I realized that I had never read anything by any of those authors.
Second, the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club on Goodreads chose Mistborn as their August Fantasy novel.
Third, I discovered that Amazon.com had the trilogy listed at $16.30 (which is a really good deal for three new paperbacks) and I jumped on them. They came today and I can’t wait to tear into them.
But there is one problem: I promised myself that I wouldn’t start a new series until I finished at least one other series that I’m currently partway through. So I guess Mistborn will have to sit and wait patiently on my bookshelf for me to finish reading Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy (at the very least).
I really want to read some of the newer Fantasy work that’s coming out, but I feel the need to work through some of the classic works first. Right now, I’m somewhere in the mid-90s. I just hope I catch up eventually.