All right, so, I’m starting a new thing which is just what it says on the tin: authors I love.
These aren’t just authors that I read; these are authors I follow, whose books I buy as soon as I get a chance. These are the authors for whom I’ll read everything they write just because they’re the ones writing it
First up? Brandon Sanderson.
What does he write?
How did you first hear about him?
In a news story linked from Fark.com, when it was announced he would be finishing off the Wheel of Time series after Robert Jordan’s death. A lot of people were really excited and couldn’t stop talking about Mistborn, pointing to it as an example that Sanderson would do a good job of completing the WoT books.
What was the first book of his you read?
Mistborn. I loved the premise, got hooked in the first couple of pages, and then stayed up until 1:30 a.m. finishing it because I literally could not put it down for the last 150 pages.
Of course, then November started and I couldn’t read anymore of his stuff until NaNoWriMo was over.
How many of his books have you read?
Six of them. I’ve read:
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages
The Alloy of Law
I also own The Way of Kings and The Rithmatist, thought I haven’t had a chance to read them yet.
Why do you like his work so much?
One major reason is his worldbuilding, specifically in regards to magic systems (a strength he’s well aware of, because if you listen to the Writing Excuses podcast, Sanderson regularly refers to himself as “the magic system guy”). All of his magic systems are fascinating and I love the way they tie into his worlds. In some cases, they actually help drive the plot (as with Elantris).
In addition, he’s very good with relationships—friendships, family relationships, and romantic relationships. He does a fantastic job of building the relationships realistically, and since I’m such a hardcore romance reader, I love to see that done well in epic fantasy.
Not only does he do epic well, but he also writes an amazingly fun adventure story. I intended to just start The Alloy of Law and read for about an hour, and then I ended up reading the entire book in a day.
What’s your favorite book of his?
Mistborn. A high fantasy heist/con story? BE STILL MY HEART. It was fabulous, and the whole series was one of the best fantasy trilogies I’ve read in years.
What’s your least favorite book of his?
I would have to say Warbreaker, and that’s simply because I didn’t like the magic system in that one as much as I did in Elantris and the Mistborn world, and the ending fell a little flat for me. Other than that, it’s still a very good story with some great twists and two of my favorite character arcs ever.
Where should a new reader start?
The two best places to start, in my opinion, are either Mistborn or Elantris. Obviously I’m partial to Mistborn, for reasons, but it is the first book of a trilogy, and Elantris is a standalone novel. So if you’re not quite willing to hop all the way into a trilogy, then Elantris would be the better place to start.