Brandon Sanderson has shot up quickly to the top of my list of favorite fantasy authors. At one point in my life I was reading 60+ fantasy novels a year. that point ended in 2006. Elantris, Brandon’s debut novel, was released in 2006. It is not by happenstance that I had never heard his name uttered (even as the man who would finish the WOT series, even as a local author, even as a professor at a school which several of my family members attend). I stopped reading fantasy around 2005/6 because I returned to school full time and it left me no spare moment to read anything other than textbooks, philosophy, memoirs, histories or political treatises. Not always was I reading them for school, but it had become something I did for fun and felt like if I was reading something it should somehow correlate with my education. Then I met PoseySessions, she reminded that reading was a way to explore our imaginations, she got me excited to once again crack open a fantasy novel. her passion is infectious, if any of you know here, even through the internet, you probably know what I am talking about.
Within a month of meeting her she began telling me about a story she was reading, Elantris. I was at the tail end of East of Eden (John Steinbeck) and was not sure about speculative fiction, something about years in university had soured my imagination for flights of fancy. So I listened patiently as she told me about this book that I thought I would never read. Then I did read it (review below) and it ignited a spark in me.
Sanderson is a masterful story teller, sure I found a few flaws with Elantris, maybe I was being hyper critical with my freshly scrubbed brain, but for the most part I stick by my review. I wanted to read more fantasy. I went searching and strange names were popping out at me like road signs in the dark flying past at a hundred miles an hour. Names I had not heard before. Bakker, Erikson, Butcher… and many more. I thought I was versed in the genre, but the years had left me behind. One name that kept popping up was Brandon Sanderson. I knew him from his debut work and decided if I was going to jump headlong back into fantasy he would be the place I started.
That was an excellent choice.
I cannot say too much about him as a writer without spoiling the way I feel about the other books I have read, which I will be reviewing this month. I know I am late to the party here, but Sanderson is probably in my top 3 favorite fantasy writers of all time. And I could not order the list if you asked.
After having met him I can say, without hesitation, the guy is legitimate. He speaks about the fantasy genre with passion. He understands what he is writing and the audience to which he writes. He grew up reading what we read and he is writing stories for those of us who can relate. He is also just a fantastic writer. He formulates stories that are spectacular. He interweaves his books with so much substance that they transcend a single genre.
Long after growing tired of Robert Jordan (He is a legend, may he rest in peace) and the Wheel of Time the injection of Sanderson into the series has brought me back around and I have just started my own reread, very excited to finish the series with him at the helm. So stick around for a couple more reviews of his works and a post concerning some things he said while speaking at Teen Book Fest.