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Recommended Reading by Professionals…with Brandon Sanderson!

In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve.

Today’s recommendations are by Brandon Sanderson!

Best known as the man who finished Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, Sanderson has written a number of books including Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy, The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker and The Way of Kings. He’s also written several books for younger readers, including his newest novels, The Rithmatist and the forthcoming Steelheart. Along with several other authors he hosts the Parsec Award winning and Hugo Award nominated podcast, Writing Excuses.

[Note: this message was transcribed from a recording by Mr. Sanderson specifically for this post.]

People often ask me to recommend books I feel deserve more attention than they’re getting. This is hard to do for two reasons. First, I have trouble deciding whether I should recommend the old standbys I’ve been recommending forever, or if I should recommend the new voices. And two, I just don’t know which books the everyday readers are chatting about. Before I was a writer, I was more in tune with what my friends would talk about. Nowadays, most of my friends are industry professionals, so I know what the industry professionals are talking about, but not what the average fan is reading.

With that preamble in mind, here are a few book recommendations, though perhaps people are talking about these books, and I just don’t realize it.

  1. I really do feel that Guy Gavriel Kay — his new work and his old — still doesn’t get enough recognition. He’s one of the great writers of the genre, and he’s amazing. His writing is beautiful, interesting, fun and exciting, but also lyrical. He has a series out right now. The first one is called Under Heaven, and the second one, River of Stars, just came out. If you’ve never read Guy Gavriel Kay, his classic Tigana is one I often recommend.
  2. I think N.K. Jemisin is doing some very fascinating things in fantasy right now. She’s a great storyteller. I do know that people in industry are talking about her a lot. I don’t know if your everyday fans are noticing her books enough, but certainly if you haven’t heard of her, look up The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. It is a fantastic novel. I will put a slight content warning on both Tigana and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, for those who are concerned about those sorts of issues.
  3. And one more recommendation. For a long time, my standby was Daniel Abraham, but I think everybody’s reading him now because he’s got these cool series coming out that everyone loves, so I’d like to point out a new author, Brian McClellan. He’s a former student of mine, who just had the first in a series come out with Orbit. The book’s called Promise of Blood, and it’s quite good. It’s a flintlock fantasy, where people are using magic mixed with gunpowder in really cool ways.

Stay tuned for the next post where we learn which authors Jim C. Hines thinks we should be reading more books by!

About Jessica Strider (102 Articles)
Jessica Strider worked at the World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto for 10 years before it closed in 2014. Now she's got more time to read books, so check out her <a href="//">blog</a> for SF/F book reviews, movie reviews, posts about the middle ages, and more.

5 Comments on Recommended Reading by Professionals…with Brandon Sanderson!

  1. Brandon Sanderson recommended Tigana during a Reddit AMA. I got the audiobook and thought is was great. Very surprised by the quantity of blindsiding plot twists. Whatever Master Sanderson recommends you can count me in.

  2. b1gBLACK // August 9, 2013 at 7:34 am //

    Tigana: Read it and think it’s one of the best stand alone novels I’ve read.
    Ten Thousand Kingdoms: Reading it a loving it. It’s very imaginative.
    Promise of Blood: Never heard of him, but Brandon’s never let me down so I just bought it!

  3. Well, if Sanderson recommends it, I’ll take a look. This man can do no wrong.

  4. If you enjoy Brandon’s magic systems – You may be interested in the Runelords series by David Farland. Overall, I would definitely say that I enjoy Mistborn & the rest more than Farland’s books, but this series is epic, interesting, and Brandon recommended it to me because of the very realist, vivid, and consequence based ideas in the magic.

  5. I have been reading Guy Kay since his first book came out (book two of the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy — his debut — was the first book I ever bought in hardcover for myself). Tigana is still my favorite of his books, although Ysabel (a sort of sequel to the Fionavar trilogy) and Under Heaven are close seconds.

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