Let's start off with what the Cosmere actually is. The Cosmere is the overarching universe in which most of Brandon Sanderson's books are set. It's also the name of the Brandon Sanderson fandom.
So this is not how to navigate a series, but multiple series'. Here is the order I (Eve) recommend reading them in.
A nice, comparatively simple stand alone novel, Elantris is the best place to start your journey into the Cosmere. As Sanderson's first published novel, Elantris is a bit different from some of his other works, less detailed and complex, but still a very worthwhile read.
Another stand alone, Warbreaker is a good next step. It has a different magic system and world to Elantris, yet it is written in a similar style, in that the story line is easy to grasp without a detailed knowledge of the magic system.
Time for your first series! Well, actually two trilogies, with a third coming. Mistborn is yet again a different world and different magic system. To read our review on the Mistborn Series, click here.
Here is the order of the books:
- The Final Emperor
- The Well of Ascension
- The Hero of Ages
- The Alloy of Law
- Shadows of Self
- Bands of Mourning
- Mistborn: Secret History
This is a trilogy of graphic novels, with an exciting magic system based off of... you guessed it, sand! With, world building, creativity and excellent characters, if you are looking for a light read, I highly recommend!
The Stormlight Archive
If have managed to get this far, you might think, "Ah, now I'm a Brandon Sanderson fan!" Nope. You are not a Cosmerian until you have read this final series.
The Stormlight Archive is Brandon Sanderson's worldbuilding masterpiece. Think along the lines of Dune or Lord of the Rings. This is not going to be a nice relaxing series to skim read while sipping tea. You will need to apply all your brain power to grasp the complex, yet systematic magic system, to follow the stories of many different characters, and watch them merge into one tale. Good luck, this is your final task!
- The Way of Kings
- Words of Radiance
- The Rhythm of War
- Edge Dancer (in between books 2 & 3)
- Dawnshard (in between books 3 & 4)
This is a collection of short stories all set in different worlds in the cosmere. Do not read until you have read the first Mistborn trilogy! Contains spoilers!