So over my last long drive, I listened to Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection by Brandon Sanderson. All in all, as a bit of a Sanderson Fanboy I love the whole thing. Some of the stories are more worthwhile than others but if you follow along I’ll point out the best ones.
The Hope of Elantris
The Hope of Elantris tells the story of Matisse during the ending of Elantris. Matisse takes care of the children and when everything begins to fall apart her story begins. To me, the most interesting part of this story is why Sanderson wrote it. He includes that in the postscript and it is adorable.
The Eleventh Metal
Eleventh Metal is a very very short story. But it is nice to see Kelsier shortly after escaping the pits of Hathsin, it is also great to see him learning how o be a Mistborn. Like Vin end El he too had to start somewhere.
The Emperor’s Soul
The only story in this collection that I had already read. Technically is set in the same world as Elantris but with no crossover characters. Shai a forger of great talent is blackmailed into forging the Emperor’s Soul. After that, I really do agree with everything you said about it in your review.
Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania
Honestly the least enjoyable story in this collection. Jak is a poor narrator who inflates his own accomplishments. The only redeeming part is the notes from his steward who points out how stupid Jak is. The other wonderful part was the ending….you know that it ended. Not HOW it ended that was stupid too.
just a smidge of the text from a graphic novel. Honestly, I really want to read it now. And I am not huge on graphic novels. They are too much like reading to have all the pictures and at the same time have too much text to be filmed. Out of the whole collection, I really liked this magic system best.
Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell
I’m sure the only reason I got though this one is because it was playing in my car as I worked through the Arcanum Unbounded Audio book and I just didn’t turn it off. By far the least interesting of the collection. Not connected enough to the Cosmere to be worth thinking about. Until Sanderson writes a trilogy of books that belong in this world. Anyway it mustn’t be too bad anyway. George RR Martin thought it was good enough to include in one of his collections.
Sixth of the Dusk
Another interesting world that I can’t wait to see. Too bad Sanderson gave us such a small taste. Follow Dusk the trapper as he discovers his world is falling apart. I am not really a fan of the ending where. I would have almost preferred a cliffhanger. Don’t get too attached to this world or character or anything. Apparently, it takes place in in the future. Yeah, I know it is getting more confusing by the minute. Each book takes place on it’s own world and also during its own point in time.
Mistborn: Secret History
Ok this one really bit into me. I had been thinking. Cosmere a cool sort of idea but I don’t see any real sign of it yet. I am not a fan of mysteries nor am I prone to the kind of fanaticism that would have helped me eek out the clues before this. But wow this story paired with Bands of Mourning. The Cosmere is so cool. Also, Sanderson tells us what happens after death. Especially for someone as annoying and defiant as Kelsier. But unlike you, I really like Kelsier he is real and makes the whole thing very believable. The story could never be told from Elend Venture’s, or Docs perspective. No Sanderson knew this was happening in the background when he wrote the original trilogy. Which is also why it works to perfectly.
Really the only new work in the collection that has not be published elsewhere. Lift is such an interesting viewpoint. At first, I thought she was special with some kind of mental illness. But then I found out she was 10ish and it all made sense. Then she became awesome! I know I probably shouldn’t have read this one before any of the Storm Light Archive. But I really liked that it was a lite intro to the world and setting. Way of Kings is just such a large and complex read. Edgedancer was just fun. But that might have been because Lift is awesome.
Well this was my take on this collection