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Summary

Welcome to New York Times and Sunday Times best seller Brandon Sanderson's first collection of short fiction.

These wonderful works, originally published individually, have been collected for the first time and convey the true expanse of the Cosmere. Telling the exciting tales of adventure Sanderson fans have come to expect, Arcanum Unbounded includes the Hugo Award-winning novella The Emperor's Soul and the never-before-published Stormlight Archive novella Edgedancer.

The collection includes nine works in all:

  • Edgedancer (Stormlight Archive)
  • 'The Hope of Elantris' (Elantris)
  • 'The Eleventh Metal' (Mistborn)
  • The Emperor's Soul (Elantris)
  • 'Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania' (excerpt, Mistborn)
  • 'Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell' (Threnody)
  • 'Sixth of Dusk' (First of the Sun)
  • 'Mistborn: Secret History' (Mistborn)

This superb collection also includes essays which offer insight into the numerous worlds in which the stories are set.

©2016 Brandon Sanderson (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

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An amazing add on to the Cosmere Universe!

An amazing add-on to the Cosmere Universe. This is actually a collection of 9 short novels that take part in the Cosmere universe, adding to the main stories. The fact that they are bundled into one collection obtainable for 1 credit make this an amazing bargain.
First of all, here is a guide on how to listen to this:

Preface - Chapter 1

The Selish System - Chapter 2
> The Emperor's Soul - Chapter 3 (Listen after Elantris)
> The Hope of Elantris - Chapter 20 (Listen after Elantris)

The Scadrian - Chapter 22
> The Eleventh Metal - Chapter 23 (Listen after The Final Empire)
> Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania - Chapter 25 (Listen after The Alloy of Law)
> Mistborn: Secret History - Chapter 27 (Listen after the Bands of Mourning)

The Taldain System - This part has been removed from the UK version of the Audiobook
> White Sand - This part has been removed from the UK version of the Audiobook

The Threnodite System - Chapter 54
> Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell - Chapter 55 (Can listen to at any point)

The Drominad System - Chapter 59
> Sixth of the Dusk - Chapter 60 (Can listen to at any point)

The Rosharan System - Chapter 63
Edgedancer - Chapter 64 (Listen after Words of Radiance)

Narration 10/10
The narration is just amazing, it’s spot on and it sets an example as how Audiobook narrations should be done. Most of the stories are narrated by Michael Kramer (Wheel of Time, Mistborn, Stormlight Archive, etc), who in my opinion is the best narrator out there for fantasy novels, he just brings the story to life and he somehow manages to make everything he narrates more epic and dramatic.

Story 9/10
I’ll rate this in total as an add on book to main stories and I’ll come back in the future to edit and update this review with small individual reviews for each of the stories included when I have some time. The stories range from good to really good (eg The Emperor's Soul) and they all fit nicely in the Cosmere universe offering some extra insight. They are all fun and well written and each of them can easily be listened to in one go.
The Eleventh Metal (9/10): A prequel to the Final Empire that gives some more insight to Kelsier’s story, before he meets Vin, as a new Mistorborn/Alamancer, still working on his basic alamantic skills on his journey to the discovery of the Eleventh Metal.
The Emperer's Soul (10/10): One of the best stories in this collection and one of the best short fantasy stories overall. Shae's story to recreate the head-injured emperor's soul in exchange for her freedom after being captured is really good and engaging, and we do get a different side on the Elantris magic in the form of forging.
The Hope of Elantris (9/10): Well, not really much here but it's still pretty cool when you listen to it straight after finishing Elantris since it's directly connected to the main story and meant to be read after finishing the main book adding some bits to the end of the story.
TBC

25 people found this helpful

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The UK version cuts the White Sand prose

I'm very disappointed that I couldn't listen to White Sand. Otherwise great collection of Cosmere stories.

5 people found this helpful

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A must for any Sanderson fan

Excellent!

I already had Emperor's Soul and Shadows in my library, so arguably I didn't get my full credit's value. However, I'm not complaining; not only were these stories equally good the second time around, but the rest of the collection makes it well worth it.

Yes, these are all short stories, and while some of them stand alone easily, others can only be appreciated fully if you are familiar with their origin story (eg Kelsier's side story - it runs parallel to Mistborn, so may not make as much sense if you're not familiar with Mistborn).

I also enjoyed the new characters and worlds, eg Dusk, but best of all is the introduction to each story where Brandon Sanderson gives us context and motivation for each story. As a Sanderson fan this was a real treat as it starts to draw threads and links across the Cosmere.

If you're also a Sanderson fan, you can't afford to miss this one!

12 people found this helpful

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Hesitating? Don't

I usually don't go for short stories because even with my favourite authors they always leave me wanting. But this one was like sitting down with an old friend and talking of missed loved ones. Got to spend time with some of my favorite characters and my mind is buzzing with all the implications of a connected Cosmere. So don't hesitate on this one.

3 people found this helpful

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Brandon Sanderson is the most amazing writer.

Every thing Brandon touches is amazing. Each story works on its own but my i sugestion is to read mistborn and stormlight before hand otherwise there are major spoilers.

Kate Reading and Michael Kramer must be the absolut best narrators out there. Good job all of you.

2 people found this helpful

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what did I think you ask

Who's got 3 thumbs and loved this book. Well that would be me silly 👍👍👍

1 person found this helpful

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Epic!

Just listened to Edgedancer so far, which was great - I would recommend for anyone just finished WoR!

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting stories, almost ruined by narrators

The stories provide an interesting backdrop to many of Sanderson's Cosmere novels, neatly answering questions and filling in some blanks. The additions to the Mistborn series are especially welcome.

But once again, Michael Kramer, Kate Reading and whoever edits and checks these recordings do their best to ruin it for the listener. Michael Kramer sounds mechanical, while Kate Reading sounds like a primary school teacher reading out a book to 5 year olds in her best, over acted, "look how dramatic I'm being" voice. Just awful.

Having just listened to Elantris, read by Jack Garret, I was looking forward to the follow up short story in this anthology. Clearly nobody bothered to check the pronunciation of many of the names against either the already published audiobook, or Brandon Sanderson's freely available pronunciation guide available on his website. The result being that many character and place names are pronounced incorrectly. It really would not have been rocket science to check this out beforehand. Neither of these narrators are very good, and the editorial team behind these recordings needs to wake up.

7 people found this helpful

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Not worth the pricetag

The mediocre stories in this collection alone aren't entirely the fault of Brandon Sanderson, a lot of the problems here come from the performances of Mike and Kate, who usually do a decent job but fail on one issue repeatedly.

Pronunciation of terms. Hope of Elantris is ruined by the terrible way certain terms and names are said. Edgedancer has several slips by kate for some unknown reason other than likely laziness on the production teams side and her male voices all sound the same.

Shadows for Silence is lacking a lot to make it decent - and this is the main reason I bought this collection - it feels half made and there's not enough development, is it meant to be weird european wilderness, american western horror, we don't know because there's not enough there.

Allomancer Jack is ruined particularly by the annotations by Handerwym - I know why it's there, but it breaks the narrative over and over, I'd much prefer it to be more like the old radio plays of things like "The Shadow" as I think the overdramatised version would work well with the 1800s industrial revolution setting of Era 2.

Emperor's Soul is a nice tidbit but it doesn't do enough and like Silence, it feels unfinished for my liking, I would love to learn more about things like Bloodsealing and Forgery - especially Forgery that was done very well and I like the allusions to other Investiture based magics to do with change.

The only "good" story in this collection is the Sixth of the Dusk and really, for a 18k word story, it's not enough to spend nearly 20 quid on it. I like the world of Threondy, I want to see more of Threnody, I like the detailing on the world and the dangers of the Islands and the interplay between the mainland and the trappers.

But 1 out of 6 is a big oof and a miss for me, undoing this and it's the only time I'm ever doing this with a Cosmere book funnily enough.

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Omg! Omg! What a phenomenal piece of writing

What a great collection of short stories. Just loved the idea of soul stamps. Also, I had to stop reading when you mention Elantris spoilers and go get the book. The piece dedicated to a student book review brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for remembering the fans