I asked a few of my friends for some book recommendations recently, based on my favourite books. One of them gave me a surprising reply, which got me thinking…
I first started reading Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series [Amazon] when I was 15 or 16 years old. Robert took his time, publishing new books every few years, which meant that I read and re-read most of his books multiple times. And then disaster struck — he was taken by a sickness. Jordan did leave his notes, though, so his final books, ending the series, were completed by an unknown to me author — Brandon Sanderson. After finally completing The Wheel of Time, I started looking for something similar to read. It turned out that Brandon had the answer — his Mistborn and Stormlight Archives drew me in completely!
Mistborn is a completed series — it contains the original three books (The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages [Amazon]) and three more, set three hundred years in the future (Alloy of Law [Amazon], Shadows of Self [Amazon], and Bands of Mourning [Amazon]), in the same universe. I cannot recommend all of them enough!
The Stormlight Archive will consist of five books, but only two are currently available — The Way of Kings [Amazon] and Words of Radiance [Amazon]. I have read them both twice now and I’m pretty sure I’ll have to read them for a third time before Oathbringer [Amazon] comes out.
Anyway, I asked Twitter for some recommendations based on Mistborn and The Stormlight Archive and the answer from @historyk79 that I got, was not what I was expecting:
Brandon Sanderson raised the bar so high, that I’m having trouble liking anything in this category, other than his own work.
That got me thinking and I decided to bite the bullet — I bought Steelheart [Amazon], which is the first book of a three book series. Unfortunately, it’s pretty short. I read the first one in a day, the second yesterday (Firefight [Amazon]), and I should finish book three today (Calamity [Amazon]). The Reckoners series, while short, has what Brandon Sanderson does best — intriguing characters and an interesting, unique story. I got hooked after the first chapter and haven’t been able to put the books down. The plot is quite simple — superheroes are born into our world, in what seems like the not-too-distant future, but instead of helping people, they take control of the world, breaking governments, people, and our societies. In the meantime, some are tired of waiting for their saviours to show themselves, and decide to take matters into their own hands…
I’m 37 years old and while The Reckoners aren’t as ‘serious’ prose as Mistborn or The Stormlight Archive, they’re a great stepping stone while waiting for the next books. I can easily recommend reading them — I’m glad I did since they’re a fresh take on the world of superheroes and not what I expected at all.