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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  4,400 ratings  ·  290 reviews
Of the son of a High Duke of the interstellar Empire, much glory is expected. And expected. And still expected, despite endless proof that young Dennison Crestmar has no talent whatsoever for war. But the life Dennison is forced to live will have its surprising lessons to impart.
Kindle Edition, 47 pages
Published July 14th 2010 by Tor Books (first published December 17th 2008)
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Mr. is with a heavy heart that I must report that this story contains a fair to moderate amount of... [image error]

2.0 stars. The fail is by no means EPIC or UBER, but given how much I loved the Mistborn series, it was, in the end, a disappointment. Now, I don't mean to imply that this SF short story is horrible or poorly written because that is not the case. I just found it to be very UNDERWHELMING and seasoned with a healthy sprinkling of is the very de
Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽
So look what I stumbled across this morning: a Brandon Sanderson novelette, free on, thus combining two of my favorite things, a Tor freebie and Sanderson. It's a space opera tale, full of spaceship battles and imperial galactic empires. Dennison, the younger son of a nobleman, feels completely overshadowed by his older brother, High Admiral Varion, the greatest military genius the empire has ever known. Dennison, unlike his older brother, is a complete failure at military command.
He mov
In this short story, acclaimed fantasy author Brandon Sanderson writes science fiction! It was incredibly interesting to read something of Sanderson's that wasn't fantasy, and though the story was lacking his amazing magic systems that I love so much, it was a really entertaining read. There were several twists to the story that really surprised me, and it was both fast paced and easy to jump into. I would definitely recommend this story to any Sanderson fans, or any sci-fi lovers looking for a ...more
Duffy Pratt
The story felt quaint and derivative. It's science fiction, but very light on the science, so SF in the same sense that Star Wars is SF. The closest Sanderson comes to explaining a scientific principle is to say that heavier objects move slower in space than lighter ones. Thus, a fleet of starships gets slowed down by the largest ship in the fleet.

Also, in the tradition of Star Wars, we have a highly advanced technological society whose political structure seems bound up with ideas of Empire an
A decent mini space opera with a good premise. Good writing especially considering it came quite early in Sandersons career before he perfected his short form. Its definitely a concept that could have stretched to a novel .
Eh...didn't hate it. I did have trouble staying focused and probably drifted away too many times to really get what happened. But that's ok.

I didn't expect much, as it was a short science-fiction story. I mean, it's a short story and it's sci-fi. Two things that are suspect before I begin.

But it was worth killing an hour or so.
I'd love to see Sanderson write more sci-fi! Is there anything he can't write?
I've got mixed feelings about Brandon Sanderson -- I liked his Mistborn series, and I've gotten invested in his new doorstopper epic fantasy series The Stormlight Archive, but he's kind of a dork and sometimes he writes dorky stuff. He talks on his blog about being a big Magic: The Gathering player, the magic systems in his novels are very clearly based on spending his teen years as an RPGer, and while reading this short story, I pictured him pushing little cardboard chits around on a Starfleet ...more
This was OK... It just didn't really grab me. On a scale of 1 to 10, my interest in military battle theory is a -2, so I wasn't exactly engrossed here.

There were some interesting concepts though, such as the expectations that others put on us, and those we put on ourselves, and how we don't always live up to them, no matter what the potential is. Sometimes those very expectations backfire.

This wasn't terrible, but definitely not my favorite of Sanderson's stories.

I'd still give him a good leg
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dzemo Sh
I am a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson, and I love everything he writes. After reading so many of his longer works, I decided to read some of his shorter stories and see what I think about them, but also to catch up a little on my reading schedule.

This story was by no means perfect, but still it was better than I thought it would be and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the main character a lot, and I liked how everything unfolded.

However it's better when Sanderson writes longer stories, becaus
This is the first Sanderson that I have read that was science fiction and that made me skeptical.

But it's Brandon f'ing Sanderson people!

A novella about a seemingly failure of an officer who just happens to be the brother of the greatest military officer in history - someone who has never lost a battle - but what do you do when you have to fight yourself?

Just two or three days ago I posted about how down on sci-fi I have been this year and then I read Scalzi and now Sanderson and they have rede
I rounded out my reading of his short fiction with the e-book Firstborn. Originally released as a Kindle edition in 2008, it was later re-released by Tor in a DRM-free format. I purchased it on my nook color and read it on an iPad. I’m not accustomed to reading on digital devices yet, but it was the simplest way of acquiring this particular story. Firstborn is a different venture for Sanderson as well, as it is short form science fiction. It’s a story about a second son who lives in the shadow o ...more
I'm not generally a huge fan of short stories--I'm all about character-driven stories, and it's so hard to really make a character feel real in such a short period of time. But this is Brandon Sanderson we're talking about here, and you know? He manages! I liked Dennison a lot, as well as Kern, and even the emperor. Still, I feel like the short story is just not where Sanderson's real strength lies. There are a couple of twists in this one, but neither of them really came as much of a surprise t ...more
A sci-fi themed and fast-paced story told from the fantastic words of Sanderson. Considering that this cost next to nothing and it's pretty short in length the story does well and has good development and intrigue for its size. I love Sanderson's skill at forming a new world and believable characters every time I read his work. For a short snap of sci-fi or Sanderson pick this up. Recommended :-)
Robin Ambrose
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was decent and fun to read!
Veronica Hincapie

Dennison and Varion Crestmar are the children of High Duke Sennion Crestmar. The brothers are twenty years apart; they know about the existence of each other, but they have not meet in person. Dennison is a clone; he is genetically modified to be the opposite of his brother Varion. Varion is a strong leader, he never fails, and he has outstanding military skills. Varion has been fighting battles his entire life; he likes to take other worlds technology to fight future battles. He has bee
Jul 08, 2015 Ashley added it
Book Review 2
First Born by Brandon Sanderson; Is a science fiction story about two brothers raised in military family 20 years apart. Denison, the younger of the two, is always following behind the footsteps of his older brother Varion. Denison wants to be a good leader and conqueror like his brother Varion but continues to fall short. Denison begins studying Varion’s every move, all of his previous victories and everything about him to try to be as good as Varion. The two brothers do

Firstborn is set in the technologically advanced future of outer space. Dennison Crestmar, a young inexperienced commander has spent his entire life trying to live up to his older brother Varion, who is an experienced war commander. Despite Dennison's repeated failures and continued self-doubt, his father sends him to learn the ways of war. Dennison knows that he is in trouble.


The ecology in Firstborn is of limited review. The setting for this short story takes place on multiple
I had planned on dropping the $0.99 on the Kindle version of this story when I realized that it was free on! Bonus. (link)

This is what short stories are all about. Just enough description to paint a vivid picture. Enough characterization and personality for the reader to relate to and get caught up in the protagonist. Twists and turns that one can see coming, but not too far ahead. A reversal of fortune through ingenuity and NOT through deus ex machina. I especially liked my mental image
Apr 11, 2011 Elise rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: His fans, sci-fi fans
Recommended to Elise by:
It's eighty pages long, for his short story. That would be um...half of my book? How is that short for anyone! Just kidding. I hope to be like Brandon Sanderson when I writerly grow up. Yeah, I've got writers jealousy from this author. Four out of five because it's short :) He totally could have made it a book and I'd've read it already. I have it on my phone so I can just read it if I've fogotten my book at home or something.
Oliver Bogert
I would call this one Brandon Sanderson writes Ender's Game. The stories parallel each other other than there are no alien's to try and understand in this one just two "brothers". It would probably have gotten 5 stars from me other than it was the first Sanderson book where I saw the twists along the way coming. Not sure if it was the good foreshadowing or the Sherlock like nature that I read his books now, but I got you this time Moriarty.

This space faring tale shares the tale of the younger br
I really wish this was a full-length novel rather than just a novella.
A very interesting and well-thought-out little novella that breaks away from the complex fantasy worlds that Brandon Sanderson is so well-known for, about the younger brother of a military prodigy, who has none of the tactical or strategic brilliance of his elder sibling, and who is constantly judged as inferior.
It was certainly refreshing to read about a character who is just less skilled than pretty much everyone else, as no
I liked this one, it's about failure. I've spent my life surrounded by highly intelligent people, the kind of people who very seldomly fail and so never learn how to handle it. And then there's me, the dyslexic girl. Yeah, I can really relate.
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide)
This was interesting! I liked that it was sci-fi like actually IN SPACE. Very neat to see that from Sanderson. It was kind of hard to get into at first because it's only a novella so it was just jumping into the story line for the sake of time. It took me just a little bit to get used to the world and the backstory (which is hard to do sometimes with sci-fi for me) but it all turned out just fine! A very fun story with a few little twists and I found myself really wishing I could read a whole bo ...more
Such a lovely short story, would love to read more of this but then wouldn't be lovely short story, wouldn't it?
First off, let me say that I love Brandon's writing. His Mistborn books are spectacular and I can't wait to start the Stormlight Archive. Let me also say that I have never read any hard science fiction before, but if it were like this story I'd be willing to try out some more.

Granted this was a long shirt story, the character was interesting, the sudden action was awesome, and there was some shocking moments too in a short time. The only complaint I have is the story ended rather abruptly, with
Lukas Lovas
Wow....I did not see that one coming....This book is special even among Sanderson's works...
Jesse Booth
It is quite obvious that Brandon Sanderson is in his element in his long fiction works. That being said, I still love reading his short fiction. Firstborn was a quick, fun read. It felt like the story could have for in with Enders Game somehow. In a civil war kind of way, at least.

I like the concept of one person having his own personality, and yet a clone of the same person taking on a different personality. Even though the genetics and DNA might be identical, experiences really make up a lot o
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“Better to be the failure who nobly strived than the success who never really had to.” 123 likes
“He moved like some ancient god of lore, presiding over a battlefield of miniature mortals who couldn’t see him, but certainly felt his almighty hand. Except, if Dennison was a god, his specialty certainly wasn’t war.” 0 likes
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