How to Read Brandon Sanderson’s Books in Order

Where does the Cosmere begin?

by Noah Nelson
Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Brandon Sanderson has a lot of books and if you want to begin reading his work, it can be very confusing knowing where to start. Much like how to start watching One Piece, the logical place to start is the beginning, but what is the beginning? Fear not — with this guide, you’ll know the order of Brandon Sanderson’s books.

What Brandon Sanderson Books Are Cosmere?

To understand which book to start with, you need to understand what the Cosmere is. Basically, the Cosmere is Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy MCU. There are several planets in the Cosmere, each with its own magic systems, and they’re tied together to form a bigger picture.

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Each book or series in the Cosmere can be filled with easter eggs and needed information from other planets which means the order in which you read Brandon Sanderson’s books is extra important.

What is the Best Order to Read Brandon Sanderson’s Books?

There are numerous starting places you can take in reading Brandon Sanderson’s books. Here are the four best places to begin reading Brandon Sanderson’s books:

Where to Begin Reading Brandon Sanderson’s Books

The Final Empire (Mistborn Era 1)

The Final Empire is the first book in the Mistborn Era 1 trilogy. This book takes place on Scadrial and will have four different stories that take place at different time periods, with Era 1 and Era 2 being finished. If you want to sink your teeth into a fantastic story with political conflict, ancient magics, and a gang’s heist to overthrow a god, start here.

Mistborn Era 1 is finished which means you can read them in this order: The Final Empire, The Eleventh Metal (which is an optional novella), The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages. Mistborn Era 2 is also done and the order is The Alloy of Law, Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania (which is an optional novella), Shadows of Self, The Bands of Mourning, and The Lost Metal.

The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive)

The Way of Kings is the first book in the Stormlight Archive series and it takes place on Roshar. The Stormlight Archive is considered the biggest Cosmere series, so if you want to dive right into a series that is still being written and are okay with putting down this series to explore others, The Way of Kings is an excellent introduction to Brandon Sanderson.

The Stormlight Archive is said to have ten books in it and there are currently four novels and two novellas. The correct order so far in reading the Stormlight Archive is The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, Edgedancer (which is a novella), Oathbringer, Dawnshard (which is a novella), and Rhythm of War.


Warbreaker is an excellent starter book for anyone who wants to get into Brandon Sanderson. The magic system of Nalthis is interesting, the story itself is excellent, it doesn’t contain any other Cosmere spoilers, and it is currently a standalone novel. Warbreaker features romance, action, and mystery. It’s amazing.


Elantris takes place on Sel and is currently a standalone novel with two added novellas. This was one of Brandon Sanderson’s first books, so if you want to start at the beginning of Brandon Sanderson and read how he has grown as a storyteller, this is a great spot. The reading order is Elantris, The Hope of Elantris, and The Emperor’s Soul.

What is the Perfect Reading Order for Brandon Sanderson’s Books?

The best way to read Brandon Sanderson’s books is up for debate. In our opinion, you should follow this reading format:

  1. The Way of Kings
  2. Warbreaker
  3. Words of Radiance
  4. Edgedancer
  5. Elantris
  6. The Final Empire
  7. The Well of Ascension
  8. The Hero of Ages
  9. Mistborn: Secret History
  10. Oathbringer
  11. Dawnshard
  12. Rhythm of War
  13. The Alloy of Law
  14. Shadows of Self
  15. The Bands of Mourning
  16. The Lost Metal

Other Cosmere books you’ll want to look out for and throw into your reading schedule are Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell, Sixth of the Dusk, White Sand, and the four secret novels he is releasing which starts with Tress and the Emerald Sea.

- This article was updated on March 27th, 2023

About The Author

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From his early days of blog-style music, movie, and game reviews to working as the Esports Writer at Coastline Community College, Noah Nelson has found a home with Gamurs Group. He has been helping gamers everywhere with Destiny 2 god rolls, Warzone 2 DMZ missions, and collectibles in any indie game on Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion for a year and a half. He has a Bachelor's Degree (with a Magna Cum Laude) in English Rhetoric and Composition with a minor in Journalism from CSULB. His fondest gaming memory is playing Sly Cooper 2 after begging his mom (for hours) to play it before his birthday and he still cries myself to sleep remembering the time he accidentally saved over his 99% completion save file in Kingdom Hearts 2.