Sanderson, Brandon

Author Website | Reviews | Bibliography & Rights Information

To see quotes and reviews for an individual work, simply click on a title.

You can also read the first sections of Brandon Sanderson's work online, as well as the full text of Brandon's latest standalone novel, WARBREAKER!

The Brandon Sanderson Library

Standalone Novels
Elantris (Tor, 2005)  | Biblio. & Rights Info
Warbreaker (Tor, 2009)  | Biblio. & Rights Info

The Mistborn Saga | Biblio. & Rights Info
Mistborn: The Final Empire (Tor, 2006)
Mistborn: The Well of Ascension (Tor, 2007)
Mistborn: The Hero of Ages (Tor, 2008)

The Stormlight Archive | Biblio. & Rights Info
The Way of Kings (Tor, forthcoming)
Books #2-4 under contract!

The Alcatraz Smedry Series | Biblio. & Rights Info
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (Scholastic, 2007)
Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones (Scholastic, 2008)
Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia (Scholastic, 2009)
Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens (Scholastic, coming soon!)

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Series
The Gathering Storm (Tor, 2009)
Towers of Midnight (Tor, coming soon!)
A Memory of Light (Tor, under contract)



"Sanderson's outstanding fantasy debut, refreshingly complete unto itself and free of the usual genre clichés, offers something for everyone: mystery, magic, romance, political wrangling, religious conflict, fights for quality, sharp writing and wonderful, robust characters... The intrigue and excitement grow steadily in this smoothly written, perfectly balanced narrative: by the end readers won't want to put it down. As the blurb from Orson Scott Card suggests, Sanderson is a writer to watch."

-- Publishers Weekly (Starred review)

"In this stunning debut novel, Sanderson has created a completely unique world that enfolds the reader in mystery and wonder right through till the last page. Sarene and Roaden are compelling characters, and it's wonderful to see a strong female heroine who doesn't compromise her integrity."

-- Romantic Times

"A surprisingly satisfying, single-volume epic fantasy that invokes a complex, vibrant world."

-- Booklist

"Sanderson's fantasy debut offers a vibrant cast of characters and a story of faith and determination set against a vividly protrayed world where magic is based on channeling power through the depiction of runs. The author's skill at turning conventional fantasy on its head produces a tale filled with surprising twists and turns and a conclusion both satisying and original. Libraries of all sizes should add this to their fantasy collection."

-- Library Journal (Starred review)

"Fascinating... [Elantris] is handled with such expertise, you'll swiftly forget you're reading a first novel. This is a heck of a debut."

-- Locus

"Elantris will be enjoyed immensely by those dedicated, advanced fantasy readers who appreciate a complex plot. Sanderson leads his readers through a long and difficult puzzle, but the freshness and inventiveness of the conclusion make the ending well worth the wait for a reader who finds delight in serious fantasy lore."

-- Kliatt

"Elantris is a well-told, character-driven story. It's also that rarest of creatures: a done-in-one-volume fantasy... although there is room for a sequel. If readers are fortunate, Sanderson will return to Arelon soon."

-- Starlog

"A genuinely interesting setting as well as a good story... Good reading."

-- Chronicle

"A new and fascinating world... a brilliant first novel."

-- Book Loons

"Brought to a satisfying ending, Elantris is a story that will stay with you long after you've finished reading it."

-- World's Biggest Bookstore (fan letter)

"Elantris is the finest novel of fantasy to be written in many years. Brandon Sanderson has created a truly original world of magic and intrigue, and with the rigor of the best science fiction writers he has made it real at every level.

"What makes this novel unforgettable, however, is the maginificent characters he has created. True heroes who, in the face of adversity, find strength they did not know they had, make mistakes from whose consequences they do not shrink, and sacrifice to save what is worth loving in their world.

"Best of all, the story is complete. Oh, there's room for a sequel - and I hope there'll be one. But this does not feel like 'volume 1,' with all the important questions yet to be answered. Sanderson bring off an impossibly complicated resolution only a few pages from the end of the book, and you finish the book satisfied.

"Sanderson writes within a moral universe where people are rarely sure who the good guys and the bad guys might turn out to be. But the difference between good and evil is clear even though it's subtle and sometimes hard to find.

"It's rare for a fiction writer to have much understanding of how leadership works, how communities form, and how love really takes root in the human heart. Sanderson is astonishingly wise.

"I'm glad I didn't write this book. I'm not the least bit envious. Because if I had written it, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of letting it unfold before me as this story did, in all its ugliness and beauty and excitement and pain."

--Orson Scott Card

"Brandon Sanderson is the real thing--an exciting storyteller with a unique and powerful vision. ELANTRIS is one of the finest debuts I've seen in years."

--David Farland

"While every new fantasy author is hailed as unique, new, and different, Brandon Sanderson's ELANTRIS does indeed provide an absorbing adventure in a unique, different, and well-thought-out fantasy world, with a few nifty twists as well."

--L.E. Modesitt

"ELANTRIS is a new BEN HUR for the fantasy genre, with a sweeping, epic storyline and closely personal characters."

--Kevin J. Anderson

"Brandon Sanderson's Elantris is a marvelous, magic monster of a book, packed full of intrigue and daring, based around a killer high concept. When the city of the gods becomes a city of the damned, who and what do you believe in? The story twists and turns, characters bait traps for one another as they vie for secular and religious power, and no-one is necessarily who or what they seem. Royal houses rise and fall, the fate of all Humanity is in the balence, and maybe, just maybe... the gods are coming back. All this and a genuinely touching love story too. Elantris; the book that put epic back into fantasy."

--Simon R. Green

Brandon Sanderson obviously has thought about it-and has used a variation on this notion as part of the premise for his excellent first novel, Elantris-except that, in the world he's imagined, this unhappy state stems from a disease. After you've 'died' from it, you're not really dead-but every injury done to you from that point accumulates, along with all the aggregate of pain. And you can never really die.

"There's more-much more-but I'll refrain from revealing any more of the ingenious plot twists.

"Elantris, Brandon Sanderson's excellent debut novel, is marked by vivid and strongly drawn characters (including a memorable female character) and ingenious plot twists that will keep the reader turning pages. Don't miss it!"

-- Katherine Kurtz

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"Epic fantasy heavyweight Sanderson (the Mistborn series) pens a powerful stand-alone tale of unpredictable loyalties, dark intrigue, and dangerous magic... Sanderson melds complex, believable characters, a marvelous world and thoughtful, ironic humor into an extraordinary and highly entertaining story."

-- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Lets Sanderson show off what he does best... Beyond shining as a world-building exercise, Warbreaker's drama is peppered with excellent humor. With so much to love, it's easy to wish for a sequel, but hard to imagine a better ending."

-- The Onion A.V. Club (Best of 2009)

"A highly readable and compelling stand-alone volume from the acclaimed author of the Mistborn trilogy. As is to be expected, the worldbuilding is superb, utilizing a thoroughly thought-out system of magic and religion. Highly recommended to fans of epic fantasy."

-- Romantic Times (4 1/2 stars, Top Pick!)

"Sanderson again demonstrates his capacity for handling large and complex themes while creating believable characters. He also succeeds at building a unique fantasy environment. This series opener is essential reading for fantasy fans."

-- Library Journal (Starred Review)

"The developing drama is compelling... in a genre dominated by series that drag on as long as people keep shelling out for the books, Sanderson knows how to wrap things up cleanly. He spins a world that's easily complex and mysterious enough to warrant sequels, but prefers to end it climactically, answering many of his biggest questions, while leaving others to the imagination.

-- The Onion -- A.V. Club

"This very superior stand-alone fantasy proves, among other things, that Sanderson was a good choice to complete the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga. Sanderson is clearly a master of large-scale stories, splendidly depicting worlds as well as strong female characters... The system of magic is also novel... and demands far more of the characters' ingenuity, which in turn demands developing them -- male and female, divine and mortal -- to a far higher degree than one expects of much fantasy these days. May the author write long and prosper."

-- Booklist

A first rate storyteller... Twists and turns keep the excitement high, and the action is relentless. Sanderson has really delivered with a solid and intriguing novel full of magic and mayhem, worthy of addition to your personal library."


"That rarest of fantasy rarities, a satisfying self-contained book that leaves the door open for more books down the line. As usual, Sanderson's meticulous world-building sets the stage marvelously; his characters are complex and compelling, and his plot is full of unexpected twists."

-- Contra Costa Times

"Sanderson is expert at spinning fantasy stories packed with memorable characters, crisply detailed settings, unique magic, and major helpings of intrigue. [Warbreaker] is a single fantasy novel, and as it stands a quite nice one, with room for irony and sarcasm as well as brooding, foreshadowing, some lively action, and even a little romance, all wrapped up in a multi-layered story of believable characters and choices that are far from easy."

-- Black Gate

"Every major character in this novel is memorable... an iridescent tale of magic, mystery, mayhem -- and love."

-- BookPage

"The stuff of great epic fantasy... Sanderson weaves a complex and fascinating plot, with many twists and turns... I wholeheartedly recommend the work of Brandon Sanderson after this, my first reading of his writing... an excellent starting point for this soon-to-be-if-not-already household name."

-- Grasping for the Wind

"A unique new world... a compelling plot... Sanderson's prose falls into a nice rhythm that helps to move the action forward. Multifaceted characters and actions of both the mystical and sword-fighting realms bring added excitement to a complex and creative read."

The Deseret News (Salt Lake City)

"An excellent read."

-- Book Loons

"Another top-notch novel from Sanderson -- a novel that will likely be one of the top fantasy novels of the year."

-- SFF World

"Sanderson is a deft manipulator of fantasy tropes... this book will deliver much pleasure."

-- SciFi Wire

"Sanderson's best book yet... highly recommended."

-- Book Spot Central

"A fascinating world and plenty of scope for future novels."

-- SF Revu

"Brandon Sanderson has written an heroic fantasy depending on originality of character and plot. His heroines and heroes are outstanding -- especially Vasher, the Warbreaker, whose special relationship with his sentient sword is both sardonic and sinister. The mysteries of life after death, of identity and destiny, the politics of magic, are unveiled through three-dimensional characters. Not only has Sanderson drawn a freshly imagined world and its society, he has also given us a plot full of unexpected twists and turns. In subtle prose, noteable for its quiet irony, Sanderson tells the story of two sisters and the god they are doomed to marry. Anyone looking for a different and refreshing fantasy novel will be delighted by this exceptional tale of magic, mystery and the politics of divinity. It's fair to say Warbreaker might even take your breath away!"

-- Michael Moorcock

"Big, vibrant sword-and-sorcery fantasy ... some nifty scary moments."

-- Cleveland Plain-Dealer

"Has me conviced that he will be a mainstay in the fantasy scene for years to come ... it's readily apparent that Brandon Sanderson is an extremely talented author. The novel was a real page-turner and was filled with wonderful characters and thoughtful original ideas."

--SF Site

"Yet another strong showing ... If the worst you can say about a book is that it wasn't long enough, the author is clearly doing something well. In Brandon Sanderson's case, that's nearly everything."

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"An amazing piece of fantasy literature... brilliant... unforgettable... I would highline recommend this series to anyone who considers themselves a fan of the genre."

-- SF Site (on the MISTBORN trilogy as a whole)

"Brandon Sanderson has come up with his own neat idea... He has created a fascinating world here, one that deserves a sequel."

-- Washington Post Book World

"The characters in this book are amazingly believable. Vin is an eminently sympathetic protagonist whose development over the course of the book is beautifully and realistically delineated. The system of magic is exceedingly clever and well integrated into this complex and plausible world that Vin and Kelsier inhabit.

"While this is the first in a series, it's an exceedingly satisfying book on its own, and fans of the genre should waste no time picking it up."

-- Romantic Times (4 1/2 star, gold review)


-- Publishers Weekly

"Intrigue, politics, and conspiracies mesh complexity in a world Sanderson realizes in satisfying depth and people with impressive characters."

-- Booklist

"Author of the critically acclaimed instant fantasy classic Elantris (2005), Brandon Sanderson returns with the first novel of his new Mistborn Series. Staunch fans of Elantris no longer have to defend their new favorite fantasy author; with a riveting opener to an intriguing new series Sanderson is here to stay. Be sure to check this book out."

-- Cinescape Magazine

"Mistborn is a[n]...enjoyable, adventurous read...should satisfy."

-- Locus

"Sanderson does an excellent job of laying the ground work, of establishing both the world and the characters and in developing the major plot lines to be explored. While it's hard to judge a trilogy based only on the first book, this first book holds a lot of promise. Definitely worth a read."

-- SFRevu

"A surprisingly satisfying, single volume epic fantasy that invokes a complex, vibrant world, and in quick-moving, suspenseful, stunning story for fantasy readers and the world of fiction."

-- Curled up with a Good Book

"Sanderson populated this fantastical, red-skied, ash-falling, mist-rising world with believable characters in a fascinatingly detailed world. I liked the novel a great deal, and my enjoyment truly progressed with each page. By novel's end, I felt fully entrenched. I felt very much in tune with the characters and am glad I have the second book by my side to start reading. Readers who enjoy Greg Keyes, Robin Hobb and Gary Wassner would enjoy MISTBORN."

-- SFF World

"Mistborn utilizes a well thought out system of magic. It also has a great cast of believable characters, a plausible world, an intriguing political system, and despite being the first book in The Final Empire, a very satisfying ending. In short, it's one of those great kettle books, in which the author has thrown not merely a bone of an idea and a few potatoes of originality, but half a cow and everything in the garden. And then added seasonings. Highly recommended to anyone hungry for a good read."

-- Robin Hobb

"Brandon Sanderson has done something rare here--written a sharply original fantasy that stands on its own as a single book while teasing the reader into a sense of impatience for the sequel. Strongly recommended. A good balance of good, evil, action, drama, politics, scheming, backstabbing, mystery--you name it, MISTBORN has it all!"

Orson Scott Card on the Mistborn books: "In short: These books are, together, a masterpiece."

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"A real breath of fresh air. It both subverts an embraces the typical epic fantasy genre and it does both well. Fans of epic fantasy should run out and read these now if they haven't already."

-- Nethspace (Best of 2008!)

"This entertaining read will especially please those who always wanted to know what happened after the good guys won."

-- Publishers Weekly

"The Well of Ascension is full of plot twists and surprises, leading to a cliffhanger ending."

-- Locus

"Vin's a beautifully realized protagonist whose struggles are wonderfully written and, as always, the worldbuilding is unusual and compelling."

-- Romantic Times

"Vin's struggles with love and power inject the human element into Sanderson's engaging epic."

-- Booklist

"Throughout the novel Sanderson does a good job of incorporating interesting aspects of the mist-magic into the otherwise realistic scenario, and of juggling the small-scale and large-scale scenes that must comprise an undertaking of this scope and magnitude. ...Most [readers] will be mesmerized by Sanderson's balancing act."

-- Realms of Fantasy

"Part of this one is a quest, but part of it is also an examination of what it might really be like to bring down an absolute ruler."

-- Critical Mass

"Fans of Terry Goodkind and Terry Brooks will find The Well of Ascension fulfilling, satisfying and incredibly exciting."

-- SF Revu

"Sanderson is crafting an extremely well-thought out saga with Mistborn, one that looks to stand above the pack of his literary peers. The magic system is perfectly detailed, the world, though not completely revealed, has a great sense of natural logic to it, and the characters are a reflection of both. Reading both books so far has helped to remind me why I enjoy Fantasy, especially those stories told in a secondary world, so much."

-- SFF World

"For readers who always wanted to know what happened after the hero killed off the evil bad guys, this is an intricate story fill of tangles and twists, and plenty of intriguing characters."

-- Black Gate

"[Sanderson's] books are a lot different than I've come to expect from fantasy. What I like about Sanderson is that he can write novels where the plot just hums along, and still have some profound character development going on at the same time."

-- Textual Frigate

"Builds to a heartstopping crescendo of a conclusion, setting the stage nicely for book three."

-- BookLoons

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"Transcendent... all the familiar ideas and plots from epic fantasy have been turned inside out, and what happens at the end is utterly astounding in its audacity. The characterization is stellar, the worldbuilding solid and the plot intricate and compelling -- if you haven't read the first two books, go and do so immediately then buy this one. You won't regret it."

-- Romantic Times

4 1/2 stars, Gold Medal, Top Pick (the highest ratings awarded by RT)

"A dramatic and surprising climax... Sanderson's saga of consequences offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility."

-- Publishers Weekly

"A scale grand enough to be almost Stapledonian... where most standard epic fantasy returns to the status quo, this trilogy ends with something bracingly different."

-- Locus

"A good story and a good ending to the series... if (this) is any indication, "Wheel of Time" will have an excellent conclusion as well."

-- Sacramento Book Review

"Fantasy trilogies are so common that it's sometimes hard to decide which ones to recommend above the others. I have no problem recommending this one."

-- Critical Mass

"Sanderson finish(es) the trilogy with three top notch books, each telling a part in a greater story all the while managing to play with his own rules and the conventions of the genre... a terrific story, with great characters and a fascinating world. I would highly recommend this volume and the whole series without hesitation."

-- SFF World

"The conclusion to Sanderson's outstanding -- and highly innovative in its magical elements -- Mistborn trilogy... I highly recommend this unique series to all fantasy readers. I thoroughly enjoyed The Hero of Ages and look forward to Sanderson's future works."

-- Book Loons

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"This is an excellent choice to read aloud to the whole family. It's funny, exciting, and briskly paced. Best of all, the message it gives young readers is that a person's flaws--being late, breaking things, etc.--can sometimes turn into useful talents."

-- NPR (

"Readers will likely bond with the hapless Alcatraz immediately. Most librarians will appreciate the satiric teasing, and they will also see the strong appeal and easy-genre-crossing potential in this futuristic fantasy adventure."

-- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB)

"Enough originality to engage fans of the Baudelaire children's adventures as well as other tween readers with a taste for quirky stories."

-- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Sanderson unexpectedly draws everything together in an extravagantly silly climax. Readers whose sense of humor runs toward the subversive will be instantly captivated. Like Lemony Snicket and superhero comics rolled into one (and then revved up on steroids), this nutty novel...[is] also sure to win passionate fans."

-- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"The conventional trappings of the middle-school fantasy get turned upside down in this zany novel. ...the adventures [are] engaging, as well as silly. Readers who prefer fantasy with plenty of humor should enjoy entering Alcatraz's strange but amusing world."

-- School Library Journal

"In this original, hysterical homage to fantasy literature, Sanderson's first novel for youth recalls the best in Artemis Fowl and A Series of Unfortunate Events. The humor, although broad enough to engage preteens, is also sneakily aimed at adults. Readers are indeed tortured, with quirky, seemingly incompetent heroes; dastardly villains fond of torture; cars that drive themselves; nonstop action; and cliffhanger chapter endings. And as soon as they finish the last wickedly clever page, they will be standing in line for more from this seasoned author of such adult-marketed titles as Elantris."


"The premise is intriguing."

-- Kirkus

"Genuinely funny... plenty here to enjoy."

-- Locus

"The twists are particularly amusing and inventive...the characters are delightfully done and the balance of humor and adventure is managed exceedingly well. I would mind seeing Alcatraz return again, perhaps to battle Perfidious Publishers or Wicked Waitresses or Malevolent Mailmen."

-- Critical Mass

"A happily action-packed romp, with just the right amount of repartée between Alcatraz and his cantankerous teenage protector Bastille, and a cliffhanger ending that promises more of the same. Plus dinosaurs in tweed vests. Who could ask for more?"

-- Horn Book

"Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians is a fun-filled adventure for young readers. The wildly imaginative Sanderson, who has written two fantasies for adults, includes such creative details... Though kids will love his story, be sure to tell them it has no basis in fact--librarians could never be information-hoarding villains!"

-- (Notable Title)

"This clever book rushes through an adventure that resembles ALICE IN WONDERLAND in its oddness. Author Brandon Sanderson has pulled together almost everything that would appeal to readers of the Harry Potter series. I especially recommend ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS to fourth- and fifth-grade readers who enjoy peculiar adventures mixed with fantasy and a little sentimental reuniting of loved ones."


"It just worked for me. It was funny. While it's geared towards the middle-school boy crowd, I think there are a lot of adults who'll get a huge kick out of it. Definitely try it on teen and tween fans of Artemis Fowl, Terry Pratchett and older fans of the Chet Gecko series. I am totally looking forward to the next one."

-- Bookshelves of Doom (blog)


"A thoroughly thrilling read."

-- Horn Book

"Those who enjoy their fantasy with a healthy dose of slapstick humor will be delighted. Give this novel to fans of Eoin Colfer's 'Artemis Fowl' (Hyperion/Miramax) and Catherine Jinks's 'Cadel Piggott in Evil Genius' (Harcourt, 2007). They will appreciate Sanderson's cheerful sarcastic wit and none-too-subtle digs at librarians.

-- School Library Journal

"Every bit as clever, fast-paced and original as [the first book]... Howlingly funny for adults, older teens who can be persuaded to read a "juvenile" novel, and exceptionally bright middle schoolers."


"While aimed at a YA audience, the Alcatraz books should find a willing audience in adults, those parents of the target audience, and Sanderson's own adult fans of his fantasy."

-- Sacramento Book Review

This is the 2nd book in the Alcatraz Smedry series, and I like it. Of course, I'm a librarian so you can't really trust anything I say, but I do regard it as a work of fiction in the Hushlands. As for evil, well, don't believe everything you hear! Really! I truly enjoyed the escapades and travails contained within these covers, autobiographical or fictional, and while I hope never to actually meet Alcatraz in person I look forward to more volumes of his adventures.


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"With comical insight into human nature and just enough substance to make it all matter, the plot offers up plenty of action, gadgetry, metafictional humor, grudgingly dispensed hints of the libararians' endgame, and counterintuitive Smedry Talents to keep the old fans and new readers alike turning pages."

-- Horn Book

"Seductive ... just the right balance between high adventure and silliness."

--Critical Mass

"Offbeat humor, a budding romance, plenty of magic, creative world building, smart references to science fiction lumaries, clever word play, and good action scenes make this one a strong choice for young teen boys and adult fans of the SF genre ... Hard to imagine it being any better written."

--Children's Literature

"Lives up to its predecessors with vivid action and high drama."

--Midwest Book Review

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  4. ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE SHATTERED LENS (Scholastic, forthcoming)

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