Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is becoming one of the foremost fantasy authors. His continuance of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series (finishing the last three books of the series) has given him enormous attention. Two books into his Mistborn series, I believe he has rightfully gained his fame. Elantris and Warbreaker were written as stand alone books, which may yet develop into series. His children's series, Alcatraz Smedry books, are light, humorous fantasy that he writes when he needs a break from the heavier topics. Mistborn is shaping up to be a complex, psychological epic. I haven't read it yet, but The Way of Kings is from Sanderson's newest series and promises the same awesome reading.

All of Sanderson's books share three themes. Each explores a different magic or power source. Elantris draws on runes connected to the geography. Warbreaker's gods derive their power from the life force of other humans. The Alcatraz Smedry books use glass as the conduit for their magic. In Mistborn, metals are burned for the use of powers specific to each metal. Another factor the books have in common is governmental coups. They are all highly political, employing different forms of government, usually with the peasants rising up to gain some freedom in their lives, though there are variations to that as well. The last aspect shared is religion or belief systems, with varying levels of faith or belief.

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