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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  7,259 ratings  ·  470 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-
ebook, 32 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by Tor Books (first published December 17th 2008)
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,259 ratings  ·  470 reviews

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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☽
This Brandon Sanderson novelette is free on, thus combining two of my favorite SF things, a Tor freebie and Sanderson. Firstborn is a space opera tale, stuffed 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 moved like some ancient
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This packs a wallop, and again Sanderson’s mastery of world and character development is, in what is essentially a 50-page book, outstanding.
Paul O'Neill
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sanderson can do nothing wrong!!

In 41 pages he manages to suck you into a world, care for the main character and route for him and teach you a life lesson along the way.

Bravo Mr Sanderson, bravo!
Meret Punk
3.5 stars (:
The reason I started reading this book is because I wanted to prove to myself that books about space is just not my thing xD..
But I actually liked this book, imagine my surprise xD..
Eventhough this book is so short, its so enjoyable :D..
A really fun read :)
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That freaking Brandon Sanderson, he couldn't just be awesome at writing fantasy, he had to do sci-fi as well, huh :D
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it
3,5*, but I won't round it to 4, because... well, because I do have an undieable (is that a word or I just came up with it?) love for Sanderson, but I just can't compare this one to Mistborn or Stormlight Archives. Sorry. I really like it though.

Apparently there is a side of Sanderson that I don't know. A side that can write short (!) sci-fi (!!) novels that are incredibly good (nothing new here, right). I was surprised in a good way.

The beginning and the end were okay-ish, but I really love the
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jarek "the Mistborn" Dąbrowski
Very nice quick and easy read with a lot of potential for a full sized novel or series. Sanderson has yet to dissapoint me. One thing on the down side is that maybe it was a bit too short. Once i got into it, it was already over and left me wanting more. 4 stars
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
C.P. Cabaniss
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this little novelette. While Sanderson's greatest talent lies in longer, epic works, his characterization is always stunning. And this was no exception.

I enjoyed the space battles, the world that was developed, and the overall flow of the story. I think Dennison's story could have been a full novel, but this story was a lot of fun.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2018
This was a fast paced, quick and enjoyably Sci-fi themed work by Brandon Sanderson. I would definitely recommend it!

4 stars
Peter Tillman
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sanderson fans
Space battles in a galactic empire! But pretty simplistic, and none of the characters really come to life, for me anyway. Well, the Emperor, and the clone-officer's mentor come pretty close. An early story, and it shows.

If you want a real review, see Tadiana's:
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Story but I was extremely disappointed with the conclusion.
Nope, a battle between some spaceships doesn't mean sci-fi. Nope.
My last try in reading BS' sci-fi experiments. I'll just stick to Stormlight.
Divine Anas
All my life, I didn't give a single fck about space operas or any intergalactic shtstorm. Everything I know about it are all thanks to movies like Ender's Game, Star Trek, and Star Wars which I was just forced to watch. BUT THIS BOOK MADE ME INTO A TOTAL CONVERT. BRANDON SANDERSON IT'S ALL THANKS TO YOU THAT I'M NOW A FCKING BELIEVER.

They say that in reading, you find one little thing you like and try to find that little thing again with other works until YOU'RE AN OFFICIAL FANGIRL. That little
Reminds me of Ender's Game, and I didn't quite buy the finale, but for a short story it packs a good punch and has a remarkable MC. Brandon Sanderson can definitely write science fiction. Looking forward to Skyward.
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 .
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
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2014-reads
I'd love to see Sanderson write more sci-fi! Is there anything he can't write?
”Better to be the failure who nobly strived than the success who never really had to.”

This was amazing!

The first paragraphs confused me a little though; it was such an abrupt beginning with all the science-y stuff that would be hard to understand even if it were described in my native language, but Dennison’s character and his thoughts have convinced me to soldier on, and I am so glad I did.

At the very roots of the story we had a little brother, who had always been trying his best to live up t
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
Sep 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
This was decent and fun to read!
This short story proves that Brandon Sanderson is the king of character development. In 47 pages he managed to create characters I wanted to know. Is there a genre this man can't write in?
This was my first acquaintance with Brandon Sanderson's writing, even though the Mistborn Trilogy Boxed Set has been waiting for a few years now to be read. I'll get to it eventually.

But as Firstborn is a short story (for free at and such stories are always convenient when you don't have much time to read or just want something quick in-between... why not, right?

The story is set in space, it's SF-themed, though there's not much science involved. There's a war going on. Two brothers were
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reaallly-gooood
This man never disappoints!! *cough*CalamitySucked*cough* It's definitely not his best work but still a better sci-fi story than some actual full length novels I've read. The ending felt abrupt but if I give it some thought, it does line up with the character portrayal and makes for a satisfying read nonetheless. 3.5 stars!
This was a fantastic short story. He built a world, a relatable character you're rooting for, and wrapped it up with a moral lesson. It felt sometimes like a writing exercise, but it fits right in with other sci-fi short stories.
Rhett Bruno
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For what is only a novelette, this story certainly packed a punch. I’m not too familiar with Sanderson, but it seems that one of his few forays into science fiction was a success. Everything here worked, from the characters to the universe which is given just enough description to make it seem real.

Dennison is the protagonist, and he’s a failing military officer living in the shadow of his brother Varion. Where he can’t even win a simulated battle, Varion has all but defeated every enemy of the
4 stars. For some reason, the fact that Firstborn is only 47 pages in length gave me the ridiculous idea that I shouldn't expect too much out of it? Which is completely insane because Brandon. Sanderson. *cries* how could I have doubted.

47 pages long, but the plot? Crazy intense and altogether, surprising. The characters? They packed just enough emotional baggage to make the reading journey personal and honestly, relatable. I loved "the disappointment" vs. "Father's pride and joy" dynami
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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
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“Better to be the failure who nobly strived than the success who never really had to.” 139 likes
“One could enjoy a grand painting without being able to replicate its brush-strokes. Art was valuable for the very reason that it could be appreciated by those of lesser skill.” 2 likes
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