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Best Cosmere Novel?


Best Cosmere novel  

46 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the best novel in the Cosmere?

    • Elantris
    • The Final Empire
    • The Well of Ascension
    • The Hero of Ages
    • The Alloy of Law
    • Shadows of Self
    • The Bands of Mourning
    • The Way of Kings
    • Words of Radiance
    • Oathbringer
    • Warbreaker

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Voted for HoA but I just worship Mistborn era 1 as a whole. Don't take me wrong, I love everything Cosmere and I'm completely and utterly obsessed with SA. Right now the RoW sample chapters are the highligts of my week; but those first Mistborn books just got to me in ways I think no other books ever have. The excitement and emotion I felt while reading them! All the surprises and revelations! By the end I was in tears saying goodbye to my favorite charachters and see you soon to the one who's actually my favorite Cosmere charachter ever....

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23 hours ago, I Used To Be A Fish said:


Can you include the novella's? I ADORE sixth of dusk for some strange reason. 

The Emperor's Soul is the one work I'd recommend as a standalone example of Sanderson's style to anyone new to it, especially someone not deeply into epic fantasy already.

I ended up naming Words of Radiance as that is the one I find I've re-re-read the most - Kaladin reviving Syl with the Third Ideal is the most epic and emotional scene for me yet in the Cosmere - but The Hero of Ages and The Final Empire are a very close second and third.

I actually didn't like Oathbringer that much the first time I read it through, I thought the pacing was way off and some of the scenes disjointed or jarring, but I've come to realize that that was largely because I skimmed so much of what I'd already read in the Dalinar flashbacks already released in other collections, plus doing the one-a-week chapter release readings a little too closely. I like it much, much more on re-reads, to the point where it is one of my favorites as well, but still behind TWoK and WoR.

(Also when I realized on a re-read that the scene with Lopen reaching the Second Ideal not during but after the battle of Thaylen Fields, and cursing out the Stormfather for saying YOU WEREN'T QUITE READY, wasn't there (just) for comic effect in a context that really isn't a laughing matter at all, one of the scenes I ;mentioned that I found jarring... In fact, the Stormfather doesn't prank about Ideals, as a spren he cannot - it was actually a subtly deep statement about what the Second Ideal meant for Lopen, and I just missed that the first time, which is on me.)

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1 hour ago, MapEffects said:

I'd have to say The Final Empire is still my favorite. I've certainly enjoyed the others but they didn't hit me like the first Mistborn novel did.

- Josh

It was a great ride, The Final Empire, and I was really thrilled at the way Sanderson did "hard magic system" in a way I hadn't seen in epic fantasy before - it felt like he was spooling out a really good role-playing session with the detailed mechanics of Allomancy and then Feruchemy. But in the end, when I finished it, it felt like it ended on the expected cadence where the good guys won and the Dark Lord was cast down. Standard fantasy stuff, really, though it was a neat twist at the end about Rashek being TLR and not Alendi turned into a megalomaniac with power...

Until I read the next two books and I was like, wait, there was an even deeper twist buried there the whole time?

Sazed was the one I liked and personally identified with the most as a character, so seeing him end up as God was amazing as well. It wasn't the Action Hero who ended up being The Hero! Any of the possible ones (Kelsier, Vin, even Marsh)! It was the scholar who carried the fate of the world... On "his" [neuter possessive] arms... WOW! And even more amazing, it was RIGHT THERE in the epigraph to THE PROLOGUE of BOOK ONE! (I'd even thought that phrasing sounded odd when I first read it, then shrugged and moved on).

He deftly arranged it so that that odd phrasing, "on his arms," would not resonate until much later, when we learned about Feruchemy and Sazed wearing his copperminds as arm bracers. But by then the prologue's epigraph would have faded from memory. But it would still have been odd enough to resonate when it was the aha moment for Sazed himself.

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14 minutes ago, HSuperLee said:

This is not a reasonable question.


I guess I have to go with Bands of Mourning, but we're splitting hairs to get to that. I need a all of the above option.

Yeah, but I think we can all agree that The Well of Ascension is the one we all skim on re-reads. I can do without a play-by-play revisiting of Wussy Parliamentary Procedure Elend Getting Bossed Into Shape By Tyndwyl, or POVs from the deeply scuzzy Straff Venture or the unlikeable (if somewhat tragic) Zane.

Scenes most worth re-reading:

  • The whole "the Venture kandra infiltrator was impersonating... OUR OWN KANDRA" build-up and reveal 
  • Vin gradually getting in good with TenSoon was well done
  • Vin inventing "the cycling horseshoe Mistborn trick" was awesome
  • So was Vin getting offered cute widdle puppy dogs when she wanted a wolfhound
  • Elend kinging up and regretfully executing his own friend, Jastes, for crimes against humanity (on questionable authority, TBH, as he was no longer actually king, but it was still a kingly thing to do)
  • Vin basically doing a Rand Al'Thor "Kneel... Or you will be knelt" moment with the other kings on the field
  • Vin figuring out a way to out-maneuver an atium burner without atium
  • Our first insights into Ruin's machinations
  • Elend becoming Mistborn just like that? NEAT! Where do I get me one of these pellets?

Though I will say that Ruin's I AM FREE! moment when Vin "releases the power" got a big HUH? WHAT JUST HAPPENED? reaction for me the first time, which is exactly what it should have felt like because that's also what it was like for the characters in the book.

Edited by robardin
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On 9/13/2020 at 5:01 PM, Frustration said:

First read, re-read, all around?

How you going about that?

Good question. I would interpret it as "right now", allowing for re-reads, and in my case (given how many times I've re-read most of the Cosmere works) factoring in the number of times you decide to go and re-read some part or other of a given book as evidence for deeming it a favorite.

If it was "reaction after first reading", my list would be ordered considerably differently.

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For me, this is between The Final Empire and The Way of Kings. I've reread both recently so they're rather fresh. If you had caught me after I had read both but before I re read both, I'd probably go The Way of Kings. But I don't particularly care for the flashback chapters of both The Way of Kings or Words of Radiance on re reads. I don't mind Dalinar's in Oathbringer, but there are other parts of that book I don't really care for either. It's not that they're poorly written, it's just that there are parts of each book that genuinely depress me, which kinda affects my opinion. The Final Empire on the other hand, just works for me. The pacing is just right, the dialogue is superbly written, and the plot never felt predictable at all. I'm not saying The Way of Kings isn't any of those things, but The Final Empire did better in those areas in my opinion. 

So yea, The Final Empire for me.

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2 hours ago, robardin said:

Yeah, but I think we can all agree that The Well of Ascension is the one we all skim on re-reads. I can do without a play-by-play revisiting of Wussy Parliamentary Procedure Elend Getting Bossed Into Shape By Tyndwyl, or POVs from the deeply scuzzy Straff Venture or the unlikeable (if somewhat tragic) Zane.

I actually love WoA and would say for me personally it places above HoA. I'm actually a fan of political drama, and the siege and Elend going from a dreamer to a king is just super satisfying to me. I will admit I'm not a big fan of Zane, but he never was enough of an annoyance to really bother me. So yeah, I might be the one person who thinks HoA is the worst of the original trilogy, but that's where it is for me. Still love it, its just the lowest of many amazing books.

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This is a difficult question luckily it was made a little easier by the lack of novellas. I personally love shadows for silence and the emperor's soul I think they are prime examples of Sandersons work and why we love him they show us the unique magic systems he uses and the wonderful characters that have real problems displayed in a more realistic manor. But with the lack of those two or at least the arcanium unbound I have to go with warbreaker which is the book that got me to read the rest of the cosmere. 

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On 9/14/2020 at 7:46 PM, Innovation said:

Best overall, Emperors soul. No contest. 

But the best novel would be Words of Radience for me (I absolutely love Kaladin as a bodyguard to Dalinar) but Oathbringer outclassed it. 

This is pretty close to how I feel, though I think I give the edge to Way of Kings over Words fo Radiance.  barely.  Oathbringer is good, and has a couple of absolutely fantastic pieces, better at its heights than the other two, but overall i like it less than the others.

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Mistborn TFE. It was my original intro to the Cosmere, but it’s also the one (along with BoM) that I constantly go back and reread. BoM is second, but I love BoM BECAUSE of the original Mistborn, so TFE comes first.


After that I swap to novellas. (ES, SfSitFoH, M:SH, and SotD, in that order) I enjoy the Stormlight books, but I don’t go back to reread them over and over. Ditto for the others.

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