Book name: Arcanum Unbounded
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Format: Print, ebook, audiobook
Genre: Science Fiction
Publication Date: 2016
Star Rating: 4/5
Arcanum Unbounded is a collection of material (The Cosmere Collection is its subtitle) from different systems created by Brandon Sanderson.
There are stories from the Selish System, the Scadrian System, the Taldain System, the Threnodite System, the Drominad System and the Rosharan System.
In the case of the Rosharan System, a previously unpublished novella called ‘Edgedancer’ features Lift as the main character and picks up where Words of Radiance left off.
My favourite item was the Hugo Award-winning novella ‘The Emperor’s Soul’.
‘The Emperor’s Soul’ begins with Shai’s arrest for forgery. The Grands of the emperor’s court must decide whether to execute her or to put her to use.
The empress has been assassinated and, unknown to the wider court and the people, the emperor has a head injury. He is passive, and his memory and personality are gone.
The Grands offer Shai her freedom in exchange for forging the emperor a new soul. She agrees but realises that they intend to kill her once her work is done.
The three months she has to complete her task gives Shai time to design an escape route.
The premise of the story is fascinating. Just the very notion that it is possible to reconstruct someone’s soul is a wonderful place to begin a complex tale of double-crossing and shifting allegiances.
I also enjoyed ‘The Eleventh Metal’, which is a short story that comes before the original Mistborn trilogy within the Scadrian System.
Here the reader sees Kelsier training as a mistborn. It also provides a deeper sense of why Gemmel was important to Kelsier.
Kelsier rescues skaas being used for experimentation in the basement of a master metallurgist.
I really enjoyed Arcanum Unbounded. Quite a few of the stories contained minor spoilers and others contained major spoilers.
However, these are carefully demarcated. A diehard fan will have read these books already. But Arcanum Unbounded can also function as an introduction to Brandon Sanderson’s work.
Fans of Brandon Sanderson’s fiction will love the chance to devour more of his writings, in this case short stories and novellas from right across his fictional systems.
Thank you for reading my review.
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