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Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection

(The Cosmere)

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  27,893 ratings  ·  2,054 reviews
Brandon Sanderson creates worlds, and those worlds are linked. His universe spans the Stormlight Archive, the Mistborn series the tales of Elantris, and others, comprising a unique constellation of vividly imagined realms known as the Cosmere.

Now for the first time anywhere, stories representing each of these planets, and their fully realized and distinct magic systems, ha
Hardcover, 672 pages
Published November 22nd 2016 by Tor Books (first published November 8th 2016)
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Stephen The Emperors Soul, the first story in the collection. It's one of Sanderson's best novellas; it's stand alone, and a great starting place.

I wouldn't …more
The Emperors Soul, the first story in the collection. It's one of Sanderson's best novellas; it's stand alone, and a great starting place.

I wouldn't recommend the entirety of this book to a new Sanderson reader though. Most of the stories require the reader to have already read multiple Sanderson series to fully understand, and some contain massive spoilers. Luckily each of the stories that contain spoilers have a spoiler warning on the title page.

I would recommend picking up The Emperors Soul by itself, then pick up Mistborn, once you're a hardcore Sanderson fan come back to this collection.(less)
Peter Ahlstrom About one year from now. That's standard with all of Brandon's books.…moreAbout one year from now. That's standard with all of Brandon's books.(less)

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Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cosmere fans
Buddy read with my favorite Worldhoppers: Celeste, Haifa, Mary & Sarah!

Arcanum Unbounded is without a doubt a must read for any Sanderson’s Cosmere fans. Every book in the Cosmere has always been my comfort read, I can always count on them to spark my love for reading again and this Cosmere collection of novellas and short stories holds true to that statement, it can be defined as the apt complimentary to my comfort food.

For those of you who don’t know, The Cosmere is the name of the universe wh
J.L.   Sutton
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My first thought after reading Brandon Sanderson’s Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection was that it was lots of fun!! I had initially been a little leery about how this collection was repackaging some older stories, but as soon as I began rereading The Emperor’s Soul, I was hooked. What I enjoyed most was the new sense of connection to all of Sanderson’s worlds that the stories and commentary provided. If you haven’t previously read Sanderson’s work, though, I wouldn’t start here. I enjoyed ...more
Lady Luna. ✨


Cosmere Solar System

It was so fabulous. That I died. This review was written from my grave. I swear I say this with every Sanderson book, but this one was actually incredible. I originally was given this book as a gift, the person who brought it for me brought the UK edition. Don't get me wrong I'm not usually this mean or selfish but I asked the person to return it and get the Tor hardcover instead... I know I'm a terrible person. But I just needed the addition with the illus
Sean Barrs
Brandon Sanderson is more cannon than man. He fires out more works than any other author of fantasy. Not only does he write an awe inspiring amount of novels, but he also writes various short fictions that go alongside them. And in here, for the first time, all the major ones are collected together.

There is new material too. 'Edgedancer' has never been published before. It's the fastest short story in here, with its food obsessed heroine, despite it being one of the longest. Lift is a clever lit
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: year-2017, year-2018
Well that was pretty emotional.

It has taken me forever (almost exactly 1 year) to finish up my reading of Arcanum Unbounded! But hey, that's what happens when you want to read everything in order.

Instead of a huge review I thought I would say a little piece about each story & provide an individual rating for each!

The Emperor's Soul - ★★★★★

See my full review of this one here, as I read it last year!

The Hope of Elantris - ★★★

This is a cute short story featuring a behind the scenes moment d
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection is Brandon Sanderson’s first short story collection. Yes, it does an amazing job collecting every previously released Cosmere story in one beautifully illustrated volume, but this collection is more than merely a convenient compilation: It is a mesmerizing study of the Cosmere Universe itself.

What is the Cosmere Universe, you ask? Well, Brandon Sanderson has always asserted his plans to unite all his adult fantasy books
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, the-shorts, fantasy
4.5 stars. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

This gorgeous, nearly 700 page book takes nine short stories and novellas from Brandon Sanderson‘s COSMERE universe, and giftwraps them with hand-drawn maps of six different solar systems in the Cosmere, pen-and-ink illustrations, and enlightening comments from Sanderson on the history and characteristics of each planet, and how they all tie together. Each system and world is unique in its physical features, societies, plant and animal
Hasham Rasool
This is my first hardcover by Brandon Sanderson.

The collection includes nine works in 'Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection book':

'Edgedancer' (The Stormlight Archive)

'The Hope of Elantris' (Elantris)

'The Eleventh Metal' (Mistborn)

'The Emperor's Soul' (Elantris)

'Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltantia' (Mistborn)

'White Sand'

'Shadow for the Silence in the Forests of Hell'

'Sixth of the Dusk'

'Mistborn: Secret History' (Mistborn)

'The Emperor's Soul'

'The Emperor's Soul' is one of 'Elantris' sequ
TS Chan
Update: I should have mentioned this earlier but clearly I was so smitten by this book that it left me with half-a-brain functioning (the other half was probably floating around the Cosmere). I always find that a well-written postscript by an author truly elevates the reader's appreciation of the story. This happened to me for Elantris when I read the Postscript which was an addition to the 10th Anniversary Edition. In this precious collection, Sanderson wrote one for each and every story!! As i ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
"...“All things exist in three Realms, Gaotona. Physical, Cognitive, Spiritual. The Physical is what we feel, what is before us. The Cognitive is how an object is viewed and how it views itself. The Spiritual Realm contains an object’s soul—its essence—as well as the ways it is connected to the things and people around it.” ..."

This is a collection of stories from the Cosmere Universe, the creation of Brandon Sanderson, which together or in parts has swept the Fantasy Genre Fandom and has cr
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cosmere, fantasy
Arcanum Unbounded is a wonderful compilation of stories from throughout the Cosmere, spanning several worlds familiar and unfamiliar. And not just that, but it includes a brief introduction to each world with descriptions of its environment and importance, as well as postscripts where Sanderson speaks about the creation of the various stories.

I read the collection in chunks; some of the stories I'd read before, independently or in other anthologies, but most of them were new to me. Overall it's
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy, owned
Buddy read with my favorite Sprens in the Cosmere : Celeste, Mary, Petrik and Sarah

I'm going to skip the part about Brandon Sanderson's genius and mastery, baffling imagination and creativity, vivid worlds, unforgettable characters, remarkable and intricate systems... and get straight to this beautiful collection of Cosmere stories :)

The Arcanum Unbounded includes 8 novellas and an excerpt of a graphic novel (White Sand), taking place on 6 d
The Hope of Elantris (Elantris) -

The Eleventh Metal (Mistborn) - ★★★★
This is a prequel story to the Mistborn series! It’s very short, but I absolutely loved the story. And, to be completely honest, I love seeing anything that stars Kelsier! This story centers around a man named Gemmel who is teaching Kelsier to use his Mistborn powers. And his powers are eventually put to the test when he is required to fight another Mistborn who is up to some no-good deeds. Again, this story obviously take
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review (finally) posted!
Original review can be found on Booknest.

I started this book over three months ago. And I really enjoyed it! But I couldn’t bring myself to finish it for the longest time. You see, whenever I finished Edgedancer, the last story and the only original tale in the collection, I would be completely caught up with Sanderson’s Cosmere until he publishes something else. Being caught up with a series I love is something I can’t stand. It makes me sad, and leaves me feeling a
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Superb. Did you even doubt that it would be?
Good way to start off the year, with a mini-Brandon Sanderson marathon in book form. I spent a cozy day on my couch yesterday visiting the Cosmere, and it was lovely.

This collection is more than just a collection of all of Sanderson's short fiction set in the Cosmere (a shared universe world that a majority of Sanderson's works are set it in). It's also a mini-study of the Cosmere itself. Each system (i.e. the Roshar system, where the Stormlight Archive books are set, or Scadrial, where the Mist
Jonathan O'Neill
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With ‘Edgedancer’ finished, I’ve finally completed ‘Arcanum Unbounded’!

This is a collection of nine novellas/short-stories based in various systems within the Cosmere. Individually they vary in quality, though none of them are horrible, but as a Collection they’re almost essential if you had planned to read the Cosmere in its entirety.

Having all nine works in this one collection, as opposed to owning them all individually, has a number of advantages. One, it’s much cheaper. Two, ‘Arcanum Unbou
Robin (Bridge Four)
Generally I don’t purchase collections of stories from authors. But as with everything else Brandon Sanderson (BS) I break away from my normal habits and feel good about it.


Why is this collection of stories worth purchasing if you have most of the stories in it already?

Duh, because it is Brandon Sanderson. But no really. He didn’t just throw a bunch of stuff he has already written in a book just to make more money. These stories all have one thing in common. They are all happening in the Cosmer
Paul O'Neill
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic collection of stories, a must for all cosmere enthusiasts.

I love the diary entries by Khriss for each world, it gives you such a deeper insight into Sandersons cosmere and the sheer potential for all the systems involved. It boggles the mind as to just how epic Sanderson's world is and speaks volumes that he can write consistently at a high level.

All of the stories within are worth reading, Edgedancer and Mistborn Secret History are the best but there is not a dud story in this colle
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
If you can’t tell by now, I am a HUGE Sanderson fan. To have all of these amazing short stories in one collection is awesome. This compilation includes everything from maps of the Cosmere to behind the scenes expansions for some of our favorite Sanderson works (ahem…Mistborn). In this review, I’ll briefly explain what I liked about each story [In ascending order by rating].

Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, Epsiodes 28 through 30 [No Rating]:

Okay, I’ll admit the blasphemy that I didn’t read
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Okay, so since this is a collection of his novellas and "short" stories, I'm just going to do a breakdown of how I felt about each. I can't go into detail about most because you have to read some of his books before you read these. I do love the prefaces that give you hints and some explanation about the Cosmere, and this is a must have for any Brandon Sanderson fan unless you've collected them all individually and are super good at making small connections.

Selish System (Elantris)

The Emperor's
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, cosmere
Like anyone doubted I would give this 5 stars
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Huge Brandon Sanderson fan that I am, I try to read everything he writes, but especially the works that take place in his fictional universe of the Cosmere. But while I have read all the novels, somehow many of the novellas seem to have slipped through the cracks. When a lot of the stories have only appeared online or in other anthologies, it can make tracking down every single one a challenge.

Enter Arcanum Unbounded: Th
Stefan Bach
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, detailed book with really interesting short stories in it.
(Well, if 150 pages per average can be considered as short stories... but it's Brandon, so no one expected them to actually be as such.)
If anything else, this book for me, with The Emperor's Soul and Mistborn Secret stories, is a clear reminder why that Elantris sequel is long overdue and why we need that world expanded. But, again, I adore Elantris, so I'm biased. I would trade every other of his work for Elantri
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I didn't plan to reread so many of the stories in this collection. I've read most of them and own quite a few already so I expected I would just check out the star maps, read the annotations for each system and skip on over to Edgedancer. Well, that didn't happen. It started when I decided to reread The Emperor's Soul. One thing led to another and before I knew it I couldn't stop. I underestimated the pull that Sanderson's worlds have on me.

As for Edgedancer, it was the perfect story to finish
Zitong Ren
This was really interesting in that I was able to explore a lot of the Cosmere including places that i haven’t read about yet, as well as going to back familiar planets and systems. I also really liked the artwork and the way it features illustrations of all the systems which I just found to be cool because I’m a nerd like that. It wasn’t quite a five star as some of these short stories were weaker than others(there were several that I loved as well) and due to that, I think a four star rating i ...more
Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
A new Stormlight Archives novella. An entire book with the Cosmere as focus. Fantastic stories.
Well deserved 5 stars.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Sometimes I make bad decisions... like putting off a so-called short story collection by Sanderson for YEARS after it was published because I'm more of a fan of his big novels rather than in-between stuff.

What I should have remembered is Sanderson's penchant for writing... and writing... and writing. His short stuff is usually nothing like short stuff. There are two short NOVELS in this "collection". Good ones, too. Like the secret history of Mistborn that ties up all the events of the fi
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sanderson
4 1/2 Stars

This is a 'must-read' collection of short stories, or 'novellas' that Sanderson has bestowed upon us! For the true Sanderson fans that read through some of the more engaging worlds of the 'Cosmere' universe, like 'Mistborn' or 'Stormlight' series, this will feel very familiar and a welcoming body of works. Some novellas work better than others, and the culmination of the entire book lies on the newly written 'Edgedancer', involving 'Lift', a major recurrent character in the "Stormligh
Apr 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 4-stars, 2021
4 Stars

Arcannum unbounded is a collection of stories set in different planetary systems of the Cosmere. While none of the stories felt bad, there are some stories that are brilliant, and some that felt insignificant (to Cosmere). But overall, it is the brilliant ones that stood out for me and thus, making this a very enjoyable read.

The Hope of Elantris ★★★
The Emperor's Soul ★★★★
The Eleventh Metal ★★½
Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania ★★½
Mistborn: Secret History ★★★★½
Shadows for Silence in th
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See top shelves…
Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s S

Other books in the series

The Cosmere (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Elantris (Elantris, #1)
  • Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)
  • The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)
  • The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)
  • Warbreaker (Warbreaker, #1)
  • The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)
  • The Alloy of Law (Mistborn Saga, #4)
  • Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)
  • Shadows of Self (Mistborn, #5)
  • The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6)

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