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Yes, Brandon's books are all related. Read here to find out! (spoiler free)

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So although the current sticky explaining the cosmere does a good job, I thought it might be nice to write one with a basic explanation at the beginning, and to write it so that new readers can find out what's going on without ruining any of Brandon's books they haven't read. If you're new to his books or even this forum, or just confused by some of the concepts the more hard-core fans are talking about,  you might want to quick read this before you dip in to anything else.

First and foremost:

Yes, most of Brandon's books –Mistborn, Elantris, Warbreaker, and Way of Kings, but NOT Alcatraz and obviously not WoT – take place in the same universe. It's called the Cosmere. No, this doesn't affect how you read the books.

Think of it as more of an "easter egg." That's how this began for fans – a couple of readers noticed a reoccurring character named Hoid. In Mistborn, Elantris, and Warbreaker he never got more than a very brief role, but in Way of Kings, well ... I said this is spoiler free so I'll just say that the Stormlight Archive appears to be a little obviously intertwined in the overarching story of the Cosmere.  However, Brandon has specifically said in an interview that the Archive isn't the overarching story. He said there's another series where he wants to write that.

There are a couple key points to be said here, but  most of them are explained better in longer, more in-depth threads on this forum. If you see a title with the words "Shards" or "Hoid" it's probably one of them.

You see, the idea behind the Cosmere involves a magical/divine artifact/god thing called Adonalsium, which was shattered into sixteen shards. These shards provide the energy necessary to create life on different planets, as well as a source of magic. The magic in Warbreaker, Elantris, Mistborn, and Stormlight is all a product of the shards, sometimes from a single shard and sometimes from the interaction between multiple shards.

Additionally, every shard is controlled by a god-like consciousness that used to belong to a mortal. Each shard has a sort of ... pathology to it that eventually turns the mind of the shardholder until it matches the shard's will. Some might be considered "bad", while others are arguably "good." Some fans believe Hoid might be a shardholder whose power allows him to jump between worlds. It also appears that one shardholder is attacking others.

I'm not as steeped in this as some of you guys are, and I know some what I said is probably still speculation, so let me know if I got something wrong.

I believe that the claim that Hoid is a Shardholder is still up for some debate.  There are still a lot of Shards unaccounted for, of course.  Brandon still has 9 (+?) books left to give us all the information!  :)

Well, I thought the thinking was that Adonalsium was a conscious being who is basically God of the Cosmere and that's where the mortals who became Shardholders came from.

Boo at you!  I just got out of class and came to my room to start up this thread :(

Beat me to it :P

Wow, I didn't pick up on this at all from reading Sanderson's books! This makes me even more fascinated by his stories, which I didn't think was possible.

If I may ask; where did this information come from? Cosmere and Adonalsium? Were those mentioned in his books? Did Sanderson talk about this in an interview or blog post?

EDIT: Never mind, I found a post about it :)


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