Published: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 672 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 5.0/5.0
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.
Arcanum Unbounded has finally allowed me to read the multitude of Brandon Sanderson’s short stories that I never wanted to purchase individually in a complete set and it was well worth the wait. This is a really fantastic collection for fans of any level, whether you’ve read one Cosmere story or all of them and it provides further insight into the Cosmere as a whole. For those of you who may not be familiar with the Cosmere, check out this very informative article. I absolutely loved this book as I have all of Brandon’s other works and below I’ll be briefly discussing a few of the stories that really stood out to me.
The Emperor’s Soul –
This may have been my favorite of all the stories collected here, even taking in to consideration the new Stormlight Archive story, Edgedancer. I’m unsure how this fits into the story of Elantris, but this is based on the world of Sel as well. Shai is a well-detailed character, which was somewhat surprising because this is a self contained story and there were only 106 pages for her to blossom.
Mistborn: Secret History –
I must admit, this wasn’t my favorite of the stories by any means, but it did give some valuable insight into what was happening behind the scenes during the original Mistborn trilogy. There were even hints at a return for Kelsier (??!!) in future books. Craziness! This one was also somewhat emotional at the end and managed to wring a tear from my fictionally jaded heart. This should be read after completing the first Mistborn trilogy, otherwise it will make little sense.
Sixth of the Dusk –
Sixth of the Dusk was really unique and I loved the island setting. It was vibrant and Brandon conveyed the dangers of the island very well without dumping information on the reader in an inelegant fashion. This is really a story of a society that is undergoing almost an industrial revolution and it’s threatening the way of life of the trappers and the island species. Dusk and his Aviar companions (birds that provide certain abilities) are the main players here, but there’s clearly interplanetary influence in the Drominad system.
This, of course, is the shining gem in the Arcanum Unbounded crown. Fans have been waiting for AGES for another taste of the Stormlight Archive arc and he gives us this lovely just as he nears the 100% mark on Stormlight #3. Edgedancer is a 130-ish page story that focuses on Lift and Wyndle (her pet Voidbringer). I had forgotten how much I liked her chapters from Words of Radiance and now I’m pretty sure I need a re-read of the series in the near future because I’ve forgotten a few things. I laughed out loud numerous times as I read this and it was actually a lot of fun, even accounting for some of the darker bits. Edgedancer is meant to be Stormlight 2.5, so you should probably read Words of Radiance before this, otherwise you might encounter some unwanted spoilers!
Overall, Arcanum Unbounded is a great collection that is definitely a must have for Sanderson fans. The stories I mentioned are just a few of the ones that really stood out to me personally, but they were ALL great! One of my favorite extra features were the illustrations- the constellations on the end papers, detailed solar systems, and scenes from the stories were wonderful and make the book a lot more fun to read or just peruse. Each solar system has a preface by Khriss, the same character that does the informative bits at the end of each Cosmere book, and each story has a postscript by Brandon Sanderson giving some extra information about how the story came to be or even where it may lead. There are tons of hints at future Cosmere crossovers and I am so excited by the potential of all of this. Happy Reading!!
GIVEAWAY (US & CANADA RESIDENTS ONLY):
Two (2) winners will receive one (1) copy of Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson, provided & shipped by Tor Books
The Giveaway will run from 11/20/16 – 11/26/16 at 11:59pm EST
To Enter– Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject Line “Arcanum Unbounded Giveaway” and include your shipping information in the body of the email. I will randomly select two people and forward their shipping information to the lovely folks at Tor Books, who will fulfill the shipment of the prize.
*Shipping and email information will ONLY be used for the purpose of the giveaway and I will delete all entry emails after the giveaway concludes. If you’re under 18, please make sure you have your parents permission to give out the required information.