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If your on this site, then you probably already know that Brandon Sanderson is a pretty good author. But I want people's opinions, is he the BEST? If not, then who is? What makes him a good writer?

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In all my reading endeavors, I’ve never been able to look at any author as positively post-Sanderson. After reading his books, I’ve never been able to go back. (A curse, sadly.) In my opinion, Sanderson is the best as of my knowledge.

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Brandon will (probably) always be my all-time favourite. Robert Jordan had some issues for me, as I still haven't managed to fight my way through Wheel of Time (though I am planning another try pretty soon). Patrick Rothfuss would rival him if he had even half of Brandon's prolific-ness. I did just start the Farseer Trilogy as my introduction to Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb, and I must say if she keeps up this great writing, she might hold a place in my heart as near to Brandon as it's possible to be. I plan on broadening my horizons, but I'm not holding my breath that anything will amaze me as much as the cosmere has and doubtless will.

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Terry Pratchett is close in my opinion, but Brandon is definitely number 1.

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For quite a long time I thought Tolkien is best then I read GRRM Song of Ice and Fire and first I thought that I found new best but later books spoiled it and I got bored and then I read Brandon for the first time. It was Final Empire and I just coudln’t believe how much I loved it and when I finished trilogy I cried because I wanted more. Also after Brandon on second place I have Steven Erikson because Malazan Book of Fallen is just epic and then Partick Rothfuss but none of them are near him. And I was very surprised that I loved SA may be even more and during Oathbriger I seriously cried at least 4 times (and I normally don’t do it)

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I do have some problems with Brandon's writing style, but I have to give him some credit for his world building skills, and speed of writing. But I feel that his stories do lack deep thought invoking words/actions.

I often think a story is good when I don't know why I'm crying for a character, or when it's not a time I normally would when reading about certain circumstance. I feel when this happens it shows how perfectly the writer was able to tether you to their emotions on a level you were even unaware of. If I do tear up in one of Brandon's works, it's when it's obviously "supposed to happen", does that make any sense?

I also love Patric Rothfus, but he is incredibly slow (as he is showing in his decade and counting time period between What The Wise Man Fears, and the third and last book in the trilogy) at writing...

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7 hours ago, Leyrann said:

Terry Pratchett is close in my opinion, but Brandon is definitely number 1.

I second the opinion. I love them so much that I can no longer read any authors but Pratchett and Sanderson. The only problem is that Pratchett is dead, so no new books (he has 50 though, so I'm not complaining too loudly), and I joined the Fanderson a bit too early, so I have to wait for more books.

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2 minutes ago, I am Witless said:

I second the opinion. I love them so much that I can no longer read any authors but Pratchett and Sanderson. The only problem is that Pratchett is dead, so no new books (he has 50 though, so I'm not complaining too loudly), and I joined the Fanderson a bit too early, so I have to wait for more books.

 

7 hours ago, Leyrann said:

Terry Pratchett is close in my opinion, but Brandon is definitely number 1.

How have I never heard of Pratchett? What kinda stuff does he do?

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10 minutes ago, Weedolfin said:

How have I never heard of Pratchett? What kinda stuff does he do?

Write the best satirical fantasy ever. Go read Discworld. All of it. You'll spent half of your time laughing and the other half of the time anticipating the next laugh, and when you put down his books you'll realize he's actually pretty good at worldbuilding as well, even if only by creating a world where internal inconsistencies are part of the entire thing*.

*And he's very good at humoristic footnotes. Much better than me.

(and that's my 1000th post...)

Edited by Leyrann
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27 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

Write the best satirical fantasy ever. Go read Discworld. All of it. You'll spent half of your time laughing and the other half of the time anticipating the next laugh, and when you put down his books you'll realize he's actually pretty good at worldbuilding as well, even if only by creating a world where internal inconsistencies are part of the entire thing*.

*And he's very good at humoristic footnotes. Much better than me.

(and that's my 1000th post...)

He did Landover, right? Those were really good. Haven’t read Discworld, but I’ve heard of it.

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Just now, Kidpen said:

He did Landover, right? Those were really good. Haven’t read Discworld, but I’ve heard of it.

Nope. He did "The Long Earth" series. Discworld is amazing, and I second EVERYTHING that Leyrann said. 

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1 minute ago, I am Witless said:

Nope. He did "The Long Earth" series. Discworld is amazing, and I second EVERYTHING that Leyrann said. 

Ah, Landover was Terry Brooks. My bad.

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1 hour ago, Leyrann said:

Write the best satirical fantasy ever. Go read Discworld. All of it. You'll spent half of your time laughing and the other half of the time anticipating the next laugh, and when you put down his books you'll realize he's actually pretty good at worldbuilding as well, even if only by creating a world where internal inconsistencies are part of the entire thing*.

*And he's very good at humoristic footnotes. Much better than me.

(and that's my 1000th post...)

Well congrats on your 100th post lol

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My favorite series is probably Malazan, but there is a lot of stuff that the author writes that I am not really a fan of. My favorite author is probably Glen Cook. There are several individual books that I would recommend from other authors, but speaking for the authors complete collection it has to be him.  I have read all of his over 50 books and though he is usually a 4 out of 5 star author and does occasionally get into the 5 star territory. I feel like everything is writes is very solid even if it isn't extraordinary. I love how he really gets into the minds of his characters and voices their deepest fears and longings with many of them similar to my own personal feeling, but I never see expressed elsewhere.  The Black Company series is the best place to start for newcomers. I also love how in many of his books there will be enough plot in 300 pages that would take place over 5 books or so in another series by a different author. 

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I know I may get a lot of flack for this as apparently he is an atrocious person. Orson Scott Card is the only other author I can think of where I've actively sought out all of his work. My reasoning is his personal belief system does not make him a bad storyteller. Crafting a story is a skill and Card definitely has it. I was introduced by Ender's Game of course and I held it as a standalone novel for several years. I didn't care much about the future of the series. I eventually found out that Ender's Shadow was the same time frame as the first book so I gave it a shot. I loved it. I think I lean more towards the Shadow series and its theme of the beauty of a family. The Ender sequels were pretty awesome in the way they introduced me to the concept of alien life forms that are so bizarre we have to categorize them as a different type of sapience. I plowed through Card's works at a pace equal to that of Sanderson's. (It really helped that nearly all of the books are already obtainable.) Card, despite being a terrible human being is my number two behind Sanderson. So if you can get past that whole racist, sexist, whole mess of other -ists, thing he really is a fantastic author. If you don't feel like supporting someone reprehensible at the very least do yourself a service and borrow the books from a library instead of spending money on them. LOL.

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4 hours ago, Ammanas said:

My favorite series is probably Malazan, but there is a lot of stuff that the author writes that I am not really a fan of. My favorite author is probably Glen Cook. There are several individual books that I would recommend from other authors, but speaking for the authors complete collection it has to be him.  I have read all of his over 50 books and though he is usually a 4 out of 5 star author and does occasionally get into the 5 star territory. I feel like everything is writes is very solid even if it isn't extraordinary. I love how he really gets into the minds of his characters and voices their deepest fears and longings with many of them similar to my own personal feeling, but I never see expressed elsewhere.  The Black Company series is the best place to start for newcomers. I also love how in many of his books there will be enough plot in 300 pages that would take place over 5 books or so in another series by a different author. 

Glen Cook sounds really familiar, what's some of his stuff?

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30 minutes ago, Weedolfin said:

Glen Cook sounds really familiar, what's some of his stuff?

He's written a ton of stuff. The Black Company, Garrett PI, Instrumentalities of the Night, are probably his best known series. He also has a really common sounding name so some people think that they have heard of him but it turns out they haven't :)

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Brandon. Is. The. Best.

But I a currently reading tGH, and it's a great book just to have on a nightstand and just reading a chapter or so every night before bed. I live the description in them, but Brandon is still #1. 

But I have to say this: Brandon has basically ruined stuff like Harry Potter for me. I reread the first book a while ago, and I could point out so many things wrong with it. (Does Rowling discovery write)? I'm almost scarred to read my other two elementary school favorites, Percy Jackson and Fablehaven. (Well, Fablehaven less so than PJ. Cause it's Brandon Mull were talking about. He writing style is just fun). 

But I really like Brandon Sanderson's books partly because I have a really strange mind for a middle schooler. I can understand pretty complex concepts, enjoy understanding them, have a crazy sense of empathy, have a long attention span when it comes to reading, and love a complex plot. They satisfied that need for something more. And through those I have started writing again, and now want to take a philosophy class.

(Urg! Long reply! Again)!

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4 hours ago, Tesh said:

Brandon. Is. The. Best.

But I a currently reading tGH, and it's a great book just to have on a nightstand and just reading a chapter or so every night before bed. I live the description in them, but Brandon is still #1. 

But I have to say this: Brandon has basically ruined stuff like Harry Potter for me. I reread the first book a while ago, and I could point out so many things wrong with it. (Does Rowling discovery write)? I'm almost scarred to read my other two elementary school favorites, Percy Jackson and Fablehaven. (Well, Fablehaven less so than PJ. Cause it's Brandon Mull were talking about. He writing style is just fun). 

But I really like Brandon Sanderson's books partly because I have a really strange mind for a middle schooler. I can understand pretty complex concepts, enjoy understanding them, have a crazy sense of empathy, have a long attention span when it comes to reading, and love a complex plot. They satisfied that need for something more. And through those I have started writing again, and now want to take a philosophy class.

(Urg! Long reply! Again)!

Not that long...

Also, if you haven't read all of Harry Potter yet, I'd say, do so. The worldbuilding is atrocious but Rowling has a great sense of humor.

Rereading it is probably not worth it though.

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4 hours ago, Leyrann said:

Not that long...

Also, if you haven't read all of Harry Potter yet, I'd say, do so. The worldbuilding is atrocious but Rowling has a great sense of humor.

Rereading it is probably not worth it though.

I read them ask several years ago, and have re-read then several times since. Just not since reading Sanderson.

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EDIT: Much of my original post was super mega OB spoilers, which Pagerunner thankfully caught. This is what’s left.

 

 

For thought provoking and deep, I loved the Ender Trilogy. Quartet? I dunno. They were some of my favorite books of all time, with things to think about and discuss and ponder and wonder. @theuntaintedchild As for Card being a horrible person... I would disagree. He may have different views than yours- incredibly controversial views, and isn’t very considerate of others when stating them to the public, but that doesn’t make someone a horrible human being. My grandpa will often be in a conversation and make a joke about something incredibly political, or politically incorrect. Is he making it awkward for others? Yes. Is he being offensive? Undoubtedly. Is he showing a remarkable lack of tact? For sure. But he’s not a horrible person. He’s our grandpa and we love him. And he loves us. All this to say that I think you sometimes need to know a person more personally than internet articles and interviews to decide if someone’s a “horrible person” or not. And maybe he is a horrible person. Maybe I’m backing up the wrong guy! I’ll probably never know for sure.

Edited by podman36
Removed OB spoilers
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In that case, I don’t think I can really relate at all. I very rarely, if ever, cry while reading books. I didn’t cry during Old Yeller. One of the only times I’ve ever actively cried in a book is at the end of HoA. I cried the first two times I read it and choked up every time after. Best book ending ever. 

What I think you’re saying, how I can relate to it to make sense to my brain, is that some authors just give you feelings sometimes in ways that Brandon doesn’t, not really. So I can’t say that I really understand what you mean, but I can respect your ideas and opinions. 

Again, thanks for listening to me ramble!

:D

Edited by Pagerunner
Removed OB spoilers
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I do not know enough about other fantasy writers to put him as the best, but he is my favorite.  My other favorites include Sarah J Maas, Maria V Snyder, Kristen Brittain, and Timothy Zahn.

Edited by Illythyrra Dark
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Shoot! Sorry Pagerunner! My thoughts ran away from me there. I totally forgot.

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N. K. Jemisin is my master now.   I'm nearing the end of her Inheritance Trilogy, and I'm going to go on from there to grab everything else of hers.

But there are a lot of different authors whose work I can appreciate in different ways.  Brandon's books, in particular, I find consistently enjoyable.  Other authors I think of in a similar way are Jim Butcher and Ben Aaronovitch.  (From a craft perspective, of those three I would say Aaronovitch does the best at writing diverse characters and voices.  That said, I do appreciate Brandon's dedicated efforts to improve in this area over time.)  I mentally contrast this against folks like Jemisin, Pat Rothfuss and GRRMartin (and Gabriel García Márquez & Colum McCann, if we're not restricting ourselves specifically to fantasy authors), whose works I more greatly appreciate for their... let's call it artistry, though that may not be the best way to say what I want.

Let me also mention that over the years I've been greatly impressed by Brandon and Rothfuss in terms of their... public personas.  Again maybe not the best words---I have in mind things like their interactions with fans/fandom, starting and supporting the Worldbuilders charity, and recent mental health outreach.  (By specifically praising Brandon and Rothfuss I don't want to imply that other authors are necessarily lacking in this area---I'm just not aware of the same scale of awesomeness from others.  I am perhaps blissfully ignorant of many things, given that what theuntaintedchild wrote about Card is largely news to me, though I don't find it hard to believe.)

On 4/25/2018 at 3:49 PM, Weedolfin said:

But I feel that his stories do lack deep thought invoking words/actions... how perfectly the writer was able to tether you to their emotions on a level you were even unaware of. If I do tear up in one of Brandon's works, it's when it's obviously "supposed to happen", does that make any sense?

I think I know what you're saying, or at least it resonates with what I would try to say if words were cooperating with me today.  I recall some Q&A with Jim Butcher, where he said (to paraphrase) that he deliberately tries to write so that his prose plainly and simply tells the story without becoming an end in itself.  It's this sort of craftsmanshipish wordsmithing that I would contrast to the artsier style of the other folks I mentioned.

On the other hand, it seems likely that different folks' Mileage May Vary for those sorts of artsier styles.  As one example, I've heard lots of people recommend John Crowley's Little, Big as their favorite fantasy book, often comparing it to García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.  Although that comparison convinced me to read Little, Big, it never really grabbed my attention.

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