Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Review: Arcanum Unbounded

Arcanum Unbounded
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Brandon Sanderson's first story collection: novellas and short stories set in the Shardworlds, the worlds of Stormlight, Mistborn, Elantris, and more.

An all-new Stormlight Archive novella 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 eight works in all. The first seven are:
“The Hope of Elantris” (Elantris)
“The Eleventh Metal” (Mistborn)
“The Emperor's Soul” (Elantris)
“Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, Epsiodes 28 through 30” (Mistborn)
“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” (Threnody)
“Sixth of Dusk” (First of the Sun)
“Mistborn: Secret History” (Mistborn)

Originally published on Tor.com and other websites, or published by the author, these wonderful tales convey the expanse of the Shardworlds and tell exciting tales of adventure Sanderson fans have come to expect, including the Hugo Award-winning novella, “The Emperor's Soul.”

Arcanum Unbounded will also contain a currently untitled Stormlight Archive novella which will appear in this book for the first time anywhere. 

Okay, so I lowkey spoiled myself for Mistborn and Stormlight but I kind of don't really care! If you care about being spoiled then I'd wait to read this until after you're all up to date...if not then go for it! I'm relatively new to Sanderson's books. I've read The Final Empire and Elantris, and I have a few of his other books on my shelves. I completely loved Final Empire as soon as I started to read and knew Sanderson was going to become a favourite author! 

I was so intrigued by this book. I thought it was just a collection of short stories, but there's so much more to it than that. There's an interesting preface that was mind blowing for me, and we get information on each of the different systems. I'm definitely going to be looking at the books in a different way now! For fans who've read more than me, I'm sure there are wider implications that I'm missing because I haven't you know...read all the books yet! There's illustrations at the start of each story, and there's diagrams of each Solar System, which I found fascinating! 

The thing I liked most about this collection, aside from how well put together it is with all the notes from the author for each story plus everything else I've mentioned...is that it lets you dip in and out of all the different worlds in the Cosmere. Now, as someone who hasn't read all of his books yet...I found it exciting and fascinating to get a glimpse of all these worlds that I have yet to read about, as well as meeting lots of intriguing characters. It's gotten me really excited for the Sanderson books still on my TBR, and like I said....I should probably care about spoiling myself but...eh. I'm really not. 

So...the first story up is from the Selish System which is the world of Elantris. I really, really enjoyed Emperor's Soul, I found it so intriguing and I'd love to see more of Shai! Hope of Elantris, well...that definitely left me wanting a sequel more than ever! I loved the glimpse of Sarene and Raoden! 

For the Scadrian System, which is the world of the Mistborn series...we had the Eleventh Metal. I found this to be such an interesting story, getting to see younger Kelsier training and meet Gemmel! I've missed Kelsier for sure. Then we had Allomancer Jack, I haven't read Alloy of War but...oh well. This made me excited for it, like I'm assuming from the spoiler warnings that it's something to do with that book, but I really enjoyed it! Plus I loved the snarky footnotes! I'd love to see more. Aaannd then we had Secret History which was really, really spoiler heavy so I basically know what happens now in the rest of the first Mistborn trilogy, but I'm actually intrigued to read the other two books knowing what I know now from reading this short story! I just really love Kelsier okay! And it's Kelsier centric! I imagine it fills in some gaps too! 

The Taldain System gave us an extract from White Sand that drew me in completely and now I NEED that book. I need it. I'm so intrigued by the different magic, and how everything works and what's going to happen to the character next. We also got to see a written version of it, and I have to agree with Sanderson, after reading both....a graphic novel was the right format for this world and it's very visual magic! 

The Threnodite System is home to the story Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell! Long name, but it all clicks in to place once you've read the story. I'd actually really, really like to see a full length book set in this world. It was a great short and drew me in, and got me invested in the characters. It was a little bit dark too! 

The Drominad System is home to the story Sixth of the Dusk, another intriguing story. I'm not sure if I'd say this was one of my favourites, I was intrigued by the world and how it worked, and I was interested to see what would happen next after the story ended though. I spent most of the story hating Vathi! 

And finally we have the Rosharan System, and thus we have Edgedancer. This is the brand new novella appearing for the first time in this collection! It's from the Stormlight Archives and I debated skipping it so I didn't spoil myself, but I couldn't resist. I was too curious. Spoiled I may be, but I'm also really, really intrigued by the world and really excited to read The Stormlight Archives! I really liked Lift too though I understand she doesn't appear much in the books so far! 

Arcanum Unbounded is a story collection that any Cosmere fan NEEDS in their library, it's a wealth of information on the worlds, it provides insight in to other stories and it's great fun to read zipping from one world to the next! 

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