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March 26, 2016

In many ways, The Hero of Ages, the conclusion to Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy, is the most traditional epic fantasy of the series. An ancient evil threatens to destroy the world. Darkness blots out the sun. Monsters overrun the land. A small group of heroes resist, scattering on various missions whose telling slows the overall story and bloats the page count. But The Hero of Ages is still an intriguing read, largely because Sanderson bent the genre so imaginatively during the...

March 5, 2016

If The Final Empire was essentially Middle Earth if Sauron won, then The Well of Ascension, Brandon Sanderson’s second entry in the Mistborn series, is Middle Earth if Sauron was defeated… and things still sucked.

Or, in some ways, got worse: ash continues to fall from the sky, and strange mists keep descending at night, but now the mists are killing people. And with the Lord Ruler—Sanderson’s Sauron—dead, his once cohesive empire has splintered into factions warring to carve out new...

November 13, 2015

Imagine what Middle Earth would look like if Sauron won.

That’s basically the premise for Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire. Ash falls constantly from the sky, allowing only sickly plants to grow; an eerie mist descends at night; most of the world is enslaved; and the Lord Ruler has reigned as a god for a thousand years.

Sanderson makes several other fun tweaks to the standard epic fantasy formula. Allomancy, the primary magic system in the novel, involves ingesting flak...

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I write mostly speculative fiction. Usually fantasy, with historical elements mixed in. Sometimes there's a bit of mystery too, or (shhh!) even a little romance.


But it's weird—it's always weird. Consider yourself warned.