Author Topic: Which book should I read first?  (Read 3259 times)

Hobbun

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Which book should I read first?
« on: June 24, 2010, 07:43:50 PM »
I will admit, I have not had the pleasure to read Brandon’s books as of yet (I know, shame on me) but I am in the process of finishing a series before I head off to GenCon.

However, I do plan to start up Brandon’s books afterwards. Now, which book/series do you recommend I start first? I was thinking of going with Mistborn as that series is completed (well, at least I think it is), but would it be better to go with Elantris or Warbreaker first?

I guess I just want to avoid the “Oh, that’s a good series, but I would have started with ________, first.”

What do you suggest?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 07:45:40 PM by Hobbun »

Phaz

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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2010, 08:37:55 PM »
I will admit, I have not had the pleasure to read Brandon’s books as of yet (I know, shame on me) but I am in the process of finishing a series before I head off to GenCon.

However, I do plan to start up Brandon’s books afterwards. Now, which book/series do you recommend I start first? I was thinking of going with Mistborn as that series is completed (well, at least I think it is), but would it be better to go with Elantris or Warbreaker first?

I guess I just want to avoid the “Oh, that’s a good series, but I would have started with ________, first.”

What do you suggest?


There is no right answer.  I've now gotten well over 150 people to read Sanderson's books, and have dealt with this issue a lot, on which book to recommend first.

It really depends on the kind of person.  If someone is a WoT fan, than obviously they should start with TGS.  If someone really likes good action but isn't a typical fantasy reader I would probably have them start with warbreaker.  If they read fantasy and like series than I would go with Mistborn.  If they typically read more sci-fi than I would recommend Elantris.

If I know someone will really enjoy his work and I want them to get as much as possible out of reading him, than I would do the following.

First, I'd start with Elantris.  Brandon's endings are simply amazing.  Once things get going it really starts to go, they are literally impossible to put down at that point.  So many people I know who have read Elantris say that the ending just blew them away more than any other book they have ever read.  It really has that impact.

After that I would probably say to move on to Warbreaker.  It's another stand alone that really starts to turn them on to one of Brandon's other major strengths, his magic systems.  The magic system in this book is really unique and intriguing.  It's also just a nice fun read.

At this point the reader is usually thinking, wow, this guy is amazing, his endings are phenomenal and his magic systems are jaw dropping awesome.  How does he do this?

Then I would have them read Mistborn.  IMO the Mistborn books have the best endings and magic systems of what's currently out there.  They will already be blown away by those aspects of his writing, but then blown away again by reading Mistborn. 

Valkynphyre

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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2010, 08:38:54 PM »
There's really no bad place to start except in the middle of mistborn. I started with Elantris, myself. I, personally would probably start with mistborn if I could do it all again.

Or maybe the Way of Kings. That could be awesome and terrible at the same time.
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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2010, 08:47:01 PM »

In my opinion you should read them in the order they were released. 

Elantris, Mistborn Trilogy, Warbreaker.  Also, read Alcatraz in there somewhere, it's a really funny YA series.
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Valkynphyre

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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2010, 08:49:59 PM »
How could I have forgotten Alcatraz? Definently good books. Their humor reminds me a little of Douglas Adams.
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Hobbun

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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2010, 08:53:04 PM »
Awesome write up, thanks Phaz.  I am a WoT fan, but am holding off on TGS as I am going to do a reread of the series. I actually like your suggestion and am leaning towards that.

There's really no bad place to start except in the middle of mistborn. I started with Elantris, myself. I, personally would probably start with mistborn if I could do it all again.

Or maybe the Way of Kings. That could be awesome and terrible at the same time.


Ok, now this is what I am referring to, in “If I could do it over, I would start with Mistborn, first (instead of Elantris).”  Can I ask why you feel this way?

Valkynphyre

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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2010, 09:01:51 PM »
Let's see if I can nail down my feelings precisely. Elantris is great, but has little action for a large chunk of the book. Mainly political drama, tension, a little romance, and a hint of horror, which is great.

Warbreaker is very fun. A little dark at times, and wonderful complex characters. It takes itself a little less seriously than others.

Mistborn has plenty of action, complex, wonderful characters, awesome magic, the hero's journey, thieves, slaves, tyranny, betrayal, laughs, romance,  and gritty action sequences spaced throughout. Not to mention, every book is better than the last and the endings are fantastic. Hero of Ages has one of the best endings I've ever read. Every time I read it i get an adrenaline rush in places. It's dark and brooding. If I were to read one book of Brandon's I would read the final Empire. Not because It's my favorite, 'cause it's not. But because .. . . ach, IDK. my feelings hate me.

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« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 09:07:24 PM by Valkynphyre »
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Chaos

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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2010, 11:20:42 PM »
Warbreaker. Of his published works, it is the one with the best prose. It's lighter than Mistborn, which makes Warbreaker a superior introduction.

Of course, any of them are a great place to start. I began with Elantris simply because it was the only one out at that point, but don't let that stop you. Nowadays I would easily recommend Warbreaker as an introduction, despite the fact that the first Mistborn is actually my favorite of his books.
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Creative_Vortx

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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2010, 11:29:04 PM »
I was thinking of going with Mistborn as that series is completed (well, at least I think it is)

All the series are technically complete. Elantris' sequel is more or less Mistborn. Warbreaker's sequel isn't in the works yet so don't hold off reading it just because it's not "complete" since it stands on it's own. Mistborn is currently complete as it's the first trilogy in a series. It's like saying the first 3 star wars don't stand on their own without the second 3 (that I pretend don't exist).

Anyways.......

Warbreaker. If I could have started with that I would have, very good book. Lots of humor and good action. Then i'd go on to Elantris and then Mistborn.
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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2010, 01:28:34 AM »
Heck, I think the first book in Mistborn stands well on its own. Start off either there, or with Warbreaker.


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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2010, 04:43:27 AM »
Elantris or Final Empire
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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2010, 05:01:46 AM »
Brandon doesn't have any bad or difficult books in my opinion, so you're probably safe picking up anything. I'd say it depends on your tastes. Mistborn is a great low fantasy book, Elantris and Warbreaker are probably pretty compatible with anyone who likes fantasy at all, and if you're willing to slog through the first eleven books, it's definitely worth reading the Wheel of Time series if you have any interest in more traditional epic fantasy.

TyranAmiros

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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2010, 07:28:52 AM »
My first Brandon Sanderson novel was Elantris, and I'd really recommend it as a place to start.  It's good because it's a stand-alone, so if you don't like it for any reason ( :-\) you aren't only 1/3 of the way through a story.  It's also a good introduction to Brandon's style, particularly how he approaches magic and philosophy in all of his work.

For me, as a Wheel of Time fan, Gathering Storm was a better read having read BS' other work because you're already used to the writing style.

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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2010, 10:23:53 AM »
I too started with Elantris, because it was Brandon's first novel. Then I read Mistborn, then Warbreaker, so in order of release. I liked it that way, honestly! I read the Alcatraz novels most recently, and they're really a lot of fun if you want an easy and quick read.
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Hobbun

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Re: Which book should I read first?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2010, 01:31:43 PM »
Ok, thank you everyone for your suggestions.  I am probably going to start with Elantris or Warbreaker, first. But I haven’t decided, yet.

As for someone suggesting ‘slogging through the first 11 books of the WoT is worth it if you like traditional fantasy”, I definitely do like traditional fantasy and have every intention of rereading the series. I actually read up to book 8 of the series and stopped. But I stopped reading in general, not just WoT (long story). So I just want to reread the series again because I have forgotten so much and then also read 9, 10 and 11 before I start TGS.

As for my comment of reading Mistborn because it is ‘complete’, I said that because of a rule I have instigated now (for myself) that I try to wait until the series is over, or at least to the point by the time I finish the second to last book in the series, the last one is just coming out. I basically want to read all of them together. I started that rule because of WoT. I had to reread the series over twice as it was just too long between books and I would forget a lot of the little things (and some bigger ones) from prior books.

Not saying Brandon is going to be that way, in having years between books, but it is something I have found with the epic 800-1000 page fantasy books. It’s great they are huge, but something like that, understandably so, is going to take a huge amount of time to write, edit, revise and print. That is also why I have waited on reading Martin’s series (Song, Fire and Ice) as well.

It is awesome hearing that the endings in Brandon’s books are that top notch. That is the problem I have run into a lot of book series where the story itself is great, but the ending is so anti-climatic. I am really looking forward to reading Brandon’s work!

Thanks again to all for your suggestions.  :)