Review: Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection

Title: Arcanum Unbounded | Series: Multiple | Author: Brandon Sanderson | Publisher: Gollancz | Publication date: November 10th 2016 | Num. Pages: 672 | Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

5 stars – A brilliant anthology of classic Brandon

My thanks to Stevie F and Gollancz for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


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 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.


Arcanum Unbounded is an anthology of classic and epic proportions from a true Fantasy genius which was full to the brim of Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere universe. The book followed characters we all know and love and plenty of new characters to fall for – Dusk, I’m looking at you.

The book is divided up into “systems” with a neat little explanation as to the layout of each system; which is then related to a specific setting from the Cosmere – Elantris, Mistborn, Threnody, First of the Sun and a previously unnamed and unpublished Stormlight Archive novella.

Oodles of Cosmere.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about the individual shorts for those of you who have not read any the related systems books – (you have to!) – but each story gave a wonderful insight into the characters points of view and their unique history.

My favorites of this anthology would have to be The Emperor’s Soul, Sixth of the Dusk and Edgedancer. They each brought a little something special to this book – Emperor’s Soul took me right back to Elantris, the first ever Sanderson book I read and still my favorite to this day; Sixth of the Dusk had this overwhelming silence to it even when the characters involved were speaking (though this was few and far between in fairness) and this silence across the characters when Brandon’s characters usually talk so much was brilliantly done.

Edgedancer was a book in The Stormlight Archive system, though I’m slightly ashamed to admit I haven’t read all of The Stormlight Archive books yet, but I have them and this gave spoilers into The Words of Radiance (book 2 of the series so far) these spoilers are not really spoilers to me, maybe once I’ve read Radiance it will make a difference but my first read through made no spoilery difference to me.

Each individual short in the system was preceded by a little spoiler warning if there would be one, or a note stating where in the story arc it falls and was then followed by a sweet little Postscript from Brandon – each one tailor made for its preceding event; the best postscript was for The Hope of Elantris but I won’t give anything away, you had to read it.

Overall, Arcanum Unbounded is a perfect book to dive into Brandon Sanderson’s work as few of the stories in it actually need to be read before the main story – Mistborn: A Secret History, The Hope of Elantris, Edgedancer for definite. If you’re looking for a new fantasy author to sink your teeth into Brandon Sanderson is your man.

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