Legion by Brandon Sanderson
Stephen Leeds, AKA "Legion," is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the story begins, Leeds and his "aspects" are drawn into the search for the missing Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera whose astonishing properties could alter our understanding of human history and change the very structure of society.
The action ranges from the familiar environs of America to the ancient, divided city of Jerusalem. Along the way, Sanderson touches on a formidable assortment of complex questions: the nature of time, the mysteries of the human mind, the potential uses of technology, and the volatile connection between politics and faith.
Yep, Brandon Sanderson is at it again. This time we get Legion, a novella length story about a schizophrenic man named Stephen Leeds who can summon hallucinations, or aspects, with very specific skillsets - languages, military tactics, theology, interrogation, etc. This is a reasonably short read, especially by Sanderson's standards, and in the end I think the ideas Sanderson is playing with are just too big for a novella length story to do justice. It's still an excellent read, as most things from Sanderson seem to be, but it was just missing the little something that would have taken this book to the next level.
Leeds is a man for hire, and he charges large sums of money to solve special cases through the combined efforts of his aspects. These aspects take on life in Leeds' mind, and even though nobody else can see them, he must accommodate for each of them as if they were real people just to keep his sanity - things like living in a mansion with enough bedrooms for everyone, and buying extra seats on a plane for each aspect travelling with him.
The reason I'm going on so much about these aspects is that the relationship between Leeds and his aspects is the heart and soul of this story. Yeah, there is a plot about some sort of special camera, but the interesting parts of this story are the interplay between the aspects (one also suffers from schizophrenia, while another two are in a whirlwind relationship), and limitations of using aspects, and the way Leeds is forced to fend for himself during times when his aspects cannot help him. Watching Leeds become a more capable person is scary though - what will happen to the aspects he loves if he no longer has need of them.
This is an awesome concept with awesome characters and that familiar Sanderson style of writing. I feel like with all this awesomeness around the place, the plot never gets a chance to shine through and become a meaningful aspect of the story (see what I did there... yeah I'm probably going to the special Hell they reserve for book reviewers). This would be perfect as an episodic TV Series, and Sanderson has confirmed that he has signed a deal to try and make this happen. An excellent Saturday morning read.
Ryan Lawler, 8.2/10
“My name is Stephen Leeds, and I am perfectly sane. My hallucinations, however, are all quite mad.”
It’s an opening line to catch the attention of any type of reader no matter their previous predilection. Given that the subsequent story is novella-length, I challenge you to not finish and thoroughly enjoy ‘Legion’ by Brandon Sanderson.
Unquestionably one of the fantasy genre’s most adept talents, Brandon Sanderson has managed to weave a story that is utterly brilliant from the get-go and doesn’t stop until you’re sitting looking at the last page, hoping for more.
In that regard, it does tend towards the “let’s write a story that I can write more about in the future” type of short-story, as it is most certainly not wholly contained. Nevertheless, the thrill ride and metaphysical questions raised amidst one of the most intelligently written short-stories I’ve read makes this a must have.
It’s a whodunit, without much of the mystery of a regular whodunit. It wasn’t the butler, and it wasn’t really anyone at all. But the ride along with the various hallucinations, the mechanics behind Stephen Leeds’ mind, and what it all really means for him, is arguably unique.
Definitely worth the half an hour necessary to read this fantastic story.
Joshua S Hill, 9/10
All reviews for Brandon Sanderson's Legion series
Legion series #1
This is an awesome concept with awesome characters and that familiar Sanderson style of writing. I feel like with all this awesomeness around the place, the plot never gets...
Legion: Skin Deep
Legion series #2
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 the...
Legion: Lies of the Beholder
Legion series #3
Stephen Leeds, also known as 'Legion', has a unique mental condition. He can become an expert on any subject in hours... and with every new area of expertise a new ...
Have you read Legion?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Legion reader reviews
Paul from Wales
‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’, succinctly sums up the central character/idea in this short entertaining novelette. I loved the interplay between the lead character’s ‘aspects’ which are so much more entertaining than even the plot of this book - a photographic time machine of sorts. The short length of this book also leads to its joy that is ...how can it resolve itself in such a short amount of print. It does so, just, enticing one to the next novel in the series. Well worth a few hours of one’s time. Enjoy.
Ruth from United States
I am absolutely entranced with your characters. Your narrator captured the characters reality to the point that I would believe they are real. I have purchased everyone of your books and truly enjoy the world both you and your narrator weaves. I can't wait for another episode.
8.9/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a reader review for Legion by Brandon Sanderson; it really helps other readers find that perfect next read. Kindly enter your name, country and review below and click the 'Submit your review' button to send.
More recommended reading in this genre
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.Meet Dodger, his twin. Numb...
On a remote jungle island, genetic engineers have created a dinosaur game park. An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now on...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...
The Sixth World of Men
Walter E Mark
On the surface, the sixth world of men is a glorious world. It is a world of great technological advancement. It is a world that has been at peace for a hundred years. Whil...
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi...
The Chronicles of Fate and Choice
This is where it all began. Everything. Love, hate, good, evil, us and them. Before the Gods by KS Turner successfully breaks the genre rules to produce something unique, c...
A combination of previously unseen stories, favourites from Interzone and contributions to numerous anthologies, IMAGINED SLIGHTS showcases one of the most versatile and el...
A Scanner Darkly
Philip K Dick
Substance D is not known as Death for nothing. It is the most toxic drug ever to find its way on to the streets of LA. It destroys the links between the brain's two hem...
Beauty and Sadness
The successful writer Oki has reached middle age and is filled with regrets. He returns to Kyoto to find Otoko, a young woman with whom he had a terrible affair many years ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: