Which Brandon Sanderson Book to Read First

Which Brandon Sanderson Book to Read First

Brandon Sanderson is a highly acclaimed fantasy author known for his intricate world-building, compelling characters, and innovative magic systems. With numerous books and series under his belt, newcomers often find themselves wondering where to begin their journey into his expansive literary universe. In this article, we will explore the best Brandon Sanderson book to read first, providing an overview of his works and addressing frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.

Overview of Brandon Sanderson’s Works

Before delving into our recommended first book, let’s take a brief look at some of Brandon Sanderson’s notable works:

1. Mistborn Trilogy: This series is an excellent entry point into Sanderson’s universe. It begins with “Mistborn: The Final Empire,” introducing readers to a world of ash-covered cities ruled by a tyrannical lord. The trilogy offers a unique magic system based on ingesting and “burning” metals to gain superhuman abilities.

2. The Stormlight Archive: Regarded as Sanderson’s magnum opus, this epic series takes place in the vibrant world of Roshar. The first book, “The Way of Kings,” sets the stage for an intricate storyline, a vast cast of characters, and an awe-inspiring magic system involving sentient swords and powerful armor.

3. Elantris: Sanderson’s debut novel explores the fallen city of Elantris, once a place of divine power but now cursed. This standalone book is an excellent option for those seeking a self-contained story.

4. Warbreaker: This standalone novel follows two princesses as they navigate political intrigue and a world where magic is derived from breath. It showcases Sanderson’s ability to create complex characters and clever plot twists.

5. The Reckoners Trilogy: A departure from Sanderson’s traditional epic fantasy, this young adult series begins with “Steelheart” and takes place in a world where superhumans rule with unchecked power. It offers a thrilling blend of action, suspense, and moral dilemmas.

Recommended First Book: Mistborn: The Final Empire

Considering the vastness and complexity of Sanderson’s works, “Mistborn: The Final Empire” is often recommended as the ideal introduction to his writing. This book not only showcases Sanderson’s storytelling prowess but also provides a glimpse into his unique magic systems.

“Mistborn: The Final Empire” is set in a world oppressed by the tyrannical Lord Ruler. Readers are introduced to Vin, a street urchin with hidden powers, and Kelsier, a master thief with a plan to overthrow the empire. The book combines elements of heist stories, political intrigue, and epic fantasy, creating a captivating narrative that appeals to both novice and seasoned fantasy readers.


1. Are Brandon Sanderson’s books interconnected?
Yes, most of Sanderson’s works are set in a shared universe known as the “Cosmere.” While each series can be enjoyed independently, keen-eyed readers will notice subtle connections and recurring themes that tie the various books together.

2. Can I start with “The Stormlight Archive” series?
While “The Stormlight Archive” is an incredible series, its complexity and length may be overwhelming for newcomers. Starting with “Mistborn: The Final Empire” or another standalone novel allows readers to become familiar with Sanderson’s style and world-building before diving into the grandeur of “The Stormlight Archive.”

3. Are Sanderson’s books suitable for young adult readers?
Sanderson’s works span a wide range of age groups. While some of his books, like “The Reckoners Trilogy,” are specifically targeted at young adult readers, many of his other series, including “Mistborn” and “The Stormlight Archive,” have crossover appeal and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

4. What is Sanderson’s writing style like?
Sanderson is known for his straightforward yet immersive writing style. He excels at creating vivid and diverse worlds, crafting intricate plots, and developing multi-dimensional characters with relatable motivations.

In conclusion, “Mistborn: The Final Empire” serves as an excellent entry point into Brandon Sanderson’s literary universe, allowing readers to experience his unique magic systems and captivating storytelling. However, each of Sanderson’s works offers a distinct and remarkable journey, ensuring that whichever book you choose as your starting point, you will be in for an unforgettable adventure.

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