Stormlight Archives

The Way of Kings

Words of Radiance


The Final Empire

The Well of Ascension

The Hero of Ages

The Alloy of Law

Shadows of Self

The Bands of Mourning

Mistborn: Secret History



White Sand

The Reckoners

About the Author

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson


Brandon Sanderson was born in December 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested for him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This all changed in eighth grade when an astute teacher, Mrs. Reader, gave Brandon Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly. Brandon thoroughly enjoyed this book, and went in search of anything similar. He discovered such authors as Robert Jordan, Melanie Rawn, David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, and Orson Scott Card. Brandon continued to be an avid reader through junior high and high school. He liked epic fantasy so much that he even tried his hand at writing some. His first attempts, he says, were dreadful.

In 1994 Brandon enrolled at Brigham Young University as a biochemistry major. From 1995 to 1997 he took time away from his studies to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Brandon often says that it was during this time in Seoul, Korea that he realized that he didn’t miss chemistry one bit, but he did miss writing. Upon his return to BYU, Brandon became an English major, much to the dismay of his mother, who had always hoped he would become a doctor.

The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings and is on the short list again in 2012 for The Alloy of Law. He has also won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice award for Best Epic Fantasy twice and has been nominated three other years. He was twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He has hit the New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best-Seller List six times, with his first Wheel of Time book knocking Dan Brown out of the #1 spot and his second dethroning John Grisham. Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians was optioned for film by DreamWorks Animation, Mistborn was optioned by Paloppa Pictures, and a Mistborn video game will be released by Little Orbit in 2013 for all platforms. Brandon’s books have been published in over twenty languages.

Biography from

  • TMCP

    Really enjoyed this podcast! Are you guys planning to tackle the Stormlight Archive at any point? Because if so, that would be amazing!

    • Thanks! Yes, Ryan has been bugging Craig for a while to do Stormlight, so we will absolutely get there. Thanks for listening, and please share!

      • TMCP

        I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

    • The time has come! We’re doing a 2016 Sanderson reading challenge, with podcasts on it starting next month. The link is impossible to miss on our front page. It will take you to the challenge, and you can see the schedule of upcoming episodes, including the Stormlight ones.

  • Kannan Chandrasegaran

    Random nugget of info about the “french connection”. I believe Brandon mentions this in one of his classes (which you can find online if you look for Write About Dragons). For names, he decided on different European cultures for different regions. So Elend and Straff are from the Northern Dominances, which have more German-style names. The Central Dominance has a lot of French names (Kelsier, Vin, Demoux, Renoux, etc). I think he mentioned another dominance being more Spanish but I can’t remember which.

  • Shannon Christensen

    I recently finished the first 2 books in the Stormlight Series and have finally caught up on your podcasts for those specific books. In the podcast, Megan had thanked Ryan for his suggestion as to the order of reading all of Brandon Sanderson’s books. I was wondering what that order was. I’ve listened to most if not all of his books but it’s been awhile so in regards to the Cosmere, I would like to know your suggestion of order so I can re-listen in that order. Thanks guys!! I love your podcasts, you are all awesome!!

    • Craig here, I’ll try to speak for Ryan as well, but he may want to correct me later. Here’s the order we generally recommend, IIRC:

      * Mistborn, era 1
      * Elantris
      * Mistborn, era 2
      * Mistborn: Secret History
      * The Way of Kings
      * Warbreaker
      * Words of Radiance

      There are lots of shorter or different works, like the ones in Arcanum Unbounded, that we haven’t gotten to yet. I think the general rule with those is that you can read them any time once you’re familiar with the Cosmere as a concept. I’d sprinkle those in as a palette cleanser throughout the larger stuff.