Brandon Sanderson’s Fantasy Book Recommendations

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Brandon Sanderson (Born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1975) is a bestselling fantasy author, best known for creating the Cosmere universe, from which his Mistborn and The Stormlight Archive series are part. In his works, He has established rigid rule-based magic systems, creating the Brandon Sanderson’s Laws of Magic. This collection of fiction writing guidelines is designed to assist authors in crafting effective magic while also incorporating it into the worldbuilding.

Sanderson wrote consistently throughout his studies, but he couldn’t find a publisher until Elantris, released in 2005 to generally positive reviews. Since then, he has been exceptionally prolific, authoring more than thirty novels, several novellas and short stories.

Outside of the Cosmere, he has written several teens and young adult series including The Reckoners, the Skyward series, and the Alcatraz series, and a graphic novel. He is also known to have been selected to finish Robert Jordan’s fantasy series The Wheel of Time after his death.

On his website, Brandon Sanderson shares some favorites, suggesting readings for his fans. From Terry Pratchett’s classic series to Robin Hobb, see his fantasy recommendations below:

Brandon Sanderson’s Suggested Fantasy Reading List

Going Postal, Guards Guards, and The Truth by Terry Pratchett (all part of the Discworld)

In his 2012, “Brandon Suggests” list, the author of Cosmere indicates Going Postal as is actual favorite Pratchett book:

Terry Pratchett (Going Postal is my favorite Pratchett right now). (If you read him, don’t start with the first book. (start with the books in the middle of his career, like Guards Guards, not the beginning because his books get better and better as he goes along. His later books are pure genius!)

On his “Quick List of Favorites“, the fantasy writer chose The Truth as his favorite:

The Truth is my favorite. As a writer, and one who likes to explore the nature of the truth in his works, a novel that deals with someone trying to publish a newspaper in a fantasy world mixed philosophy and laughs in the way only Pratchett can. However Guards Guards, is the book where I suggest people new to Pratchett start. I suggest avoiding the Colour of Magic as your first experience, even though it’s technically the first book in the series. They are all stand alone novels, really, and Guards Guards can be seen as the beginning of the best sub-series within the series.

Anything by Daniel Abraham under any of his various pen names.

Daniel Abraham also writes under the pen names M. L. N. Hanover and James S. A. Corey. He is best known as the author of The Long Price Quartet and The Dagger and the Coin fantasy series and as the co-author of The Expanse science fiction series (co-written with Ty Franck.)

– The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

Slight content warning.

– Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn

I especially like her epic fantasy, I haven’t read her urban fantasy but DRAGON PRINCE is one of my favorite books of all time.

– Anne McCaffrey (author of the Dragonriders of Pern series)

If you haven’t read her books I don’t know why you’re reading mine. You need to go and read hers immediately!)

– Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

TIGANA is a wonderful work. Slight content warning.

– Name of The Wind by Pat Rothfuss

And, of course, Pat Rothfuss–who is a genius. (I loved NAME OF THE WIND)

Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly

DRAGONSBANE was one of the books that got me into Fantasy.

– Robin Hobb (author of the Realm of Elderlings series)

Anything by Robin Hobb, but particularly the Fitz books.

– Brent Weeks (author of the Lightbringer Series)

Black Prism in particular.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Garth Nix is wonderful. If you haven’t tried Sabriel, I suggest it.

Tad Williams (author of the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy)

Tad Williams is wonderful, but very long-winded. (I happen to like how long-winded he is, but I should warn that is his style. Very little tends to happen at the start of one of his novels, as it’s all set-up.)

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (author of The Saga of Recluce)

L.E.Modessit Jr. writes epic fantasy after the older style–more slow-paced, lots of description. I find his books to be quite good, but they’re not for everyone. They do tend to be very clean, though.

Terry Brooks (author of the Shannara series)

Same goes for Terry Brooks, who has a strong personal rule that he will never write, or cover blurb, something that is not clean. His books do feel a tad out dated these days, though.