Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson portrait image to appear alongside the Brandon Sanderson biography.

Brandon Sanderson was born in December of 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested for him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This all changed in 8th grade when an astute teacher, Mrs. Reader, gave Brandon Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly. Brandon thoroughly enjoyed this book, and went in search of anything similar. He discovered such authors as David Eddings, Melanie Rawn, Robert Jordan, Anne McCaffrey, and Orson Scott Card. Brandon continued to be an avid reader through junior high and high school. He liked epic fantasy so much that he even tried his hand at writing some. His first attempts, he says, were dreadful.


In 1994 Brandon enrolled at Brigham Young University as a Biochemistry major. From 1995-1997 he took time away from his studies to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Brandon often says that it was during this time in Seoul, Korea that he realized that he didn't miss chemistry one bit, but he did miss writing. Upon his return to BYU Brandon became an English major, much to the dismay of his mother, who had always hoped he would become a doctor.


Brandon began writing in earnest, taking a job as the night desk clerk at a hotel because they allowed him to write while at work. During this era he went to school full time during the day, worked nights to pay for his schooling, and wrote as much as he could. He says it made for a rather dismal social life, but he finished seven novels during his undergraduate years. Brandon submitted many manuscripts for publication . . . and accumulated quite a pile of rejection letters. In spite of this he continued to be a dedicated writer.


Volunteering for The Leading Edge, BYU's Sci Fi/Fantasy magazine, was a wonderful experience for Brandon. He read lots of submissions, formed some lifelong friendships, and even served as Editor in Chief during his senior year.


Brandon learned much about the business side of being a writer by taking a class from David Farland, author of the popular Runelords series. One piece of advice Dave gave Brandon was to attend conventions, such as WorldCon and World Fantasy, in order to connect with industry professionals. Brandon and a small group of friends who were also aspiring writers began to do so. He eventually met both his current agent and one of his editors at conventions.


It was in 2003, while Brandon was in the middle of a graduate program at BYU, that he got a call from an editor at Tor who wanted to buy one of Brandon's books. Brandon had submitted the manuscript a year and a half earlier, and had almost given up on hearing anything, so he was surprised and delighted to receive the offer. In May of 2005 Brandon held his first published novel, Elantris, in his hands. Tor also published Brandon's Mistborn trilogy, and has plans to release other Sanderson titles in the future.


In 2004 after graduating with his Master's degree in creative writing from Brigham Young University, Brandon was asked to teach the class he had taken as an undergraduate student from Dave Farland. In spite of his busy schedule, Brandon continues to teach this one section of creative writing focused on science fiction and fantasy because he enjoys helping aspiring writers. It also gets him out of the house, he says.


In July of 2006 Brandon married Emily Bushman. Emily and Brandon ran in many of the same circles at BYU during their student days, since Emily majored in English as well. They never met, however, until a mutual friend set them up on a date in 2005. Emily had spent seven years as a teacher, but chose to quit with the birth of their son Joel in October of 2007. Emily now works from home part time as Brandon's business manager.


Brandon's repertoire expanded into the children's market when Scholastic published Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, a middle-grade novel, in October of 2007. Nancy Pearl gave this book a very favorable review on National Public Radio, which pleased Sanderson fans. Since the release of Alcatraz Brandon has enjoyed visiting schools and interacting with younger readers.


In December of 2007 Brandon was chosen by Harriet Rigney to complete A Memory of Light, book twelve in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Brandon is now hard at work on this epic project.

Brandon Sanderson books reviewed

Brandon Sanderson bibliography

Elantris series

  • Elantris (2005)
  • Warbreaker (2009)
  • The Emperor's Soul (2012)

Rithmatist series

  • The Rithmatist (2013)
  • The Aztlanian (2016)

Infinity Blade series

  • Infinity Blade: Awakening (2011)
  • Infinity Blade: Redemption (2013) 

Alcatraz

  • Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (2007)
  • Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones (2008)
  • Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia (2009)
  • Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens (2010)
  • Alcatraz Versus the Dark Talent (2016)

Mistborn

  • The Final Empire (2006)
  • The Well of Ascension (2007)
  • The Hero of Ages (2008)

Wax and Wayne series (Mistborn)

  • The Alloy of Law (2011)
  • Shadows of Self (2015)
    Waxillium Ladrian has returned to the capital city of Elendel from the far flung roughs. Elendel is crisscrossed by canals and railways and towers reach for the sky but this is still a city of dangers and of magic; Allomancy and Feruchemy can still change the world. Wax faces many more adventures.
  • Bands of Mourning (2016)
  • The Lost Metal

The Wheel of Time

  • The Gathering Storm (2009)
  • Towers of Midnight (2010)
  • A Memory of Light (2011)

The Stormlight Archive

  • The Way of Kings (2010)
    According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed... They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won. Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself - and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne. On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn't understand and doesn't really want to fight. What happened deep in mankind's past? Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?
  • Words of Radiance (2014)
    Return to a planet swept by apocalyptic storms, a world tipping into war as aristocratic families move to control the shard blades and shard plates, ancient artifacts from a past civilisation that can win wars. As the world tips into a war for control of the mythical artifacts of power made from Shard, characters are swept up into new dangers which will threaten their integrity and their lives.
  • Oathbringer (2016)

A Reckoners Novel

  • Steelheart (2013)
    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning - and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.
  • Mitosis (2014)
    A short story set in the world of Reckoners.
  • Firefight (2015)
    They told David it was impossible - that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart - invincible, immortal, unconquerable - is dead. And he died by David's hand. Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realise he has questions. Big ones. And there's no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs. Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David's willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic - Firefight. And he's willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.
  • Calamity (2016)

Warbreaker series

  • Warbreaker (2009)
  • Nightblood

Legion series

  • Legion (2012)
  • Legion: Skin Deep (2014)
    Leeds is a genius; his mind contains too much information. And to cope it has split his skills off into individual personalities. They crowd his head, and he lives with them in a vast, empty mansion. While he can call on any one of them to solve a problem, he also walks a line across an all-consuming madness.