Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson (Part One)

Fantasy. 672 pages, published in 2016

This collection of short stories from Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere universe include stories from Elantris, Mistborn, and The Stormlight Archive.

Spoiler Free Review:

I decided to split this post into two! I will be doing mini reviews for each of the nine stories in this collection, so if I did it all in one, this post would be very long. I am going to rate each story, instead of the book as a whole. Look forward to part two, coming on February 20th!

THE EMPEROR’S SOUL

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I really enjoyed this story! It took place on the same planet as Elantris, but no prior knowledge of that story is required to enjoy this one. At first, I was a little hesitant because I didn’t know if it would be hard to understand an all new magic system in a short story. I’m sure he could have gone more into depth with it, but it was kept simple enough.

What I enjoyed the most about this story was how much the main character analyzed and understood people. She has to recreate the soul of someone she’d never met, so the lengths she went to to understand him were really interesting. I also enjoyed how creative the magic could be, but it could also be very tricky.

Overall, I just really enjoyed this story and I can understand why it won a Hugo!

THE HOPE OF ELANTRIS

💜💜

This takes place during the climax of Elantris, so I won’t say anything about the plot. However, I thought this story was pointless. It was super short, so I didn’t mind too much, but still, I didn’t like it. It was information that I just did not need. The reason why he wrote it is sweet, but it doesn’t make up for how unnecessary it was.

THE ELEVENTH METAL

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This story takes place before the events of The Final Empire in the Mistborn series. It shows a vital character to the series and his motivations. For the most part, I enjoyed this while reading it, but it has since kind of faded from my mind. I did feel super nostalgic returning to this world, so I may just have to reread this series soon.

ALLOMANCER JAK

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This story takes place in the second era Mistborn books. There aren’t any characters from that part of the series. It is about Allomancer Jak, who writes his adventures down and publishes them in broadsheets. There is heavy usage of footnotes in this story, which I normally don’t like, but they were so funny in this! This story was just the right length. Any longer, and it would have gotten old, but it was just long enough to be super funny. I really enjoyed it!

MISTBORN: SECRET HISTORY

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This takes place during The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages. Again, I won’t say anything about the plot since it contains lots of spoilers. It kind of explores the events of those books from a different perspective. There is a ton of information in this story about the magic of this world and about the Cosmere in general. It was kind of overwhelming to take in, to be honest.

I thought the actual story was fine for the most part. The ending was my favorite section because it made me super emotional. I appreciate the story and all the information, but I did think that this story was a little bit too long.


Stay tuned for the second part of this review!

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3 thoughts on “Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson (Part One)

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