Review: Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson

These wonderful works, originally published on Tor.com and elsewhere individually, arcanumconvey 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 120-page 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.

The Emperor’s Soul (Elantris)

I already read this one before – I got it together with Legion a few years ago. As I wasn’t a big fan of Elantris, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. Fortunately I couldn’t find any connections. Maybe because I never finished Elantris or just forgot, I don’t know 😀

I liked The Emperor’s Soul a lot more as it deals with an interesting kind of magic. Shai, the main character is held prisoner and forced to forge the Emperor’s Soul. Although this art is considered a crime, Shai has no other chance than to obey. It is just a short novella, but the characters’ interactions are quite “deep” and the relationship between Shai and the counsellor Gaotona has room to develop. It is certainly not my favourite Sanderson story – the process of forging is really complicated and I didn’t quite grasp it and it’s a bit boring sometimes. But still a good idea and a nice reading snack 😉

The Hope of Elantris (Elantris)

Skipped it 🙂 No more Elantris for me.

White Sand (excerpt, Taldain)

Loved it much more than I thought I would! I want to read the Graphic Novel now, and learn more about the magic of the sand. It’s like Dune and Naruto mixed together, yes!

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell (Threnody)

I heard that it was the weakest of the bunch and didn’t have high expectations because of that. Wasn’t my favourite but I still enjoyed reading it. It was a bit more scary and had more horror elements than most of Sanderson’s stories. I liked the concept and would probably read more stories that take place in this world.

Sixth of the Dusk (First of the Sun)

I’ve read it before. I thought it was a bit too long and apart from the secret about the birds nothing kept me interested. It’s definitely an interesting & dangerous world as well though. So I wouldn’t mind reading other stories that take place there.

The Eleventh Metal (Mistborn)

Kind of a ‘Nothing’-Story for me, even though it featured a young Kelsier. I liked his weirdo teacher.

Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, Episodes 28 through 30 (Mistborn)

This is one of the stories where I really like the footnotes. They add to it and make it much more entertaining than it would have been without them. A little too goofy & over the top for my liking.

Mistborn: Secret History (Mistborn)

My FAVOURITE! Absolutely made the book for me! I was so impressed, that Sanderson added this different perspective and that one person’s story is not over yet! I won’t spoil anything, because I had way too much fun with it and I had no clue what this story was even about before I picked it up!

Edgedancer (Stormlight Archive)

I will probably be in the minority here, but I really am not a big fan of Lift. The story was a bit of a disappointment for me, because I really didn’t care for most of Lift’s adventures. I don’t think she’s particularly funny – just smug and annoying. I get how this story gives us information on Nale changing his mind and also develops Lift a little more, but I was bored until the end. And damn it, the end was actually good again – although I don’t like Lift, I am interested in the fact that she thinks she is not aging(?) and maybe she develops into a less annoying character in the future. I also love Wyndle.

6 comments

  1. Yay, you liked it! Some of it anyway 😉 Agreed with you that the concepts are always awesome and I’m always eager for more stories in the world, after finishing them. I’m also super excited to hear that you enjoyed the White Sand excerpt! I immediately dived into the graphic after reading this intro. (My first American graphic novel. Loved it!) I really wish Sanderson would publish the actual novel now though *impatient* lol

    Also Wyndle. Wyndle is awesome XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh i think i need the graphic novel asap 🙂 makes me happy that you are so excited about it! Does it have an open ending or is it a story on its own? I didn’t really look into it yet, the excerpts in arcanum were my only experiences 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s definitely room for more at the end of the graphic novel, but I didn’t mind, since the second one is supposed to come out this year. I think he actually split the first novel into three graphic novels? Not surprising, given his tendency to write such humongous stories XD But I still thought it had a nice arc 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I need to try Sanderson, probably with Stormlight archives since that’s the one I’ve seen the most about. I love how prolific he is- if you like his stuff it doesn’t seem like you have to wait long between books with him.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. To go against the grain, shadows for silence is one of my favs ever. But I’m totally with you – mistborn a secret history totally made the book for me!! I ended up not liking the graphic novel for white sands even though I was enthralled by the short story. I’ll look forward to your thoughts on it if you decide to pick it up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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