His Words of Brilliance

Why Brandon Sanderson is a Genius of Creation


Kassidy Wilkinson

From his first published novel, “Elantris,” to his epic fantasy series “The Stormlight Archive,” Brandon Sanderson displays his amazing skills of creation and storytelling through a complex series of events that have been my family’s dinner discussion on multiple occasions. He is by far my favorite author and one of my many influences in writing.

Kassidy Wilkinson, Reporter

He’s not invincible, but his mind is kryptonite. He doesn’t sit high and mighty as the head of Stark Industries, but is instead a peasant living in the dirt. He doesn’t have riches or wealth or the Wayne’s Manor, but is rather poor with only a small pile of dull spheres. He’s not confident and calm like young Steve Rogers, but comes face to face with depression when he looks back on the past and imagines the future. He wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider, but was instead created by a normal man. He’s not Thor or Wonder Woman or The Flash or The Hulk or Wolverine, but he is a superhero. He is Kaladin Stormblessed, a Knight Radiant.

Brandon Sanderson is nothing short of a superhero himself. With fifteen books receiving the New York Times best-seller title, the man is legendary. From his first published novel, “Elantris,” to his epic fantasy series, “The Stormlight Archive,” he displays his amazing skills of creation and storytelling through a complex series of events that have been the center of my family’s dinner discussions on multiple occasions. He is by far my favorite author and one of my many influences in writing.

As noted in history, Leonardo da Vinci designed the helicopter, Johanne Gutenberg invented the printing press, Archimedes founded the principle of buoyancy, and Sanderson created the Cosmere, each man the smartest of their time. Connected by a single creation myth, the Cosmere is the universe in which most of Sanderson’s books take place in. In terms of creation, Brandon Sanderson fits right along with people like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. The worlds he creates in his books are so detailed and thought-out that they make the complicated matrix of the telephone seem simple, as the details in its creation are so insignificant to that of the Cosmere. 

Where most writers, like J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, and Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, added to a pre-existing world, Sanderson created whole new ones inside of the Cosmere. For each of his books, he has invented his own social customs, own economic system and own magic abilities. For example, in one book, it’s obscene for a female’s left hand to be seen uncovered, in another they mutter “Merciful Domi” under their breath as their way of cursing, and in yet another they draw power from different types of metals. Sanderson writes in a structure so unique and original, it’s rare to read something with the same level of creativity.

Unlike the famous Luke Skywalker and Bella Swan, Sanderson’s book characters have detailed personalities and face realities of living in a world where your anti-fans just seem to pile up alongside past regrets. His characters have serious weaknesses, they don’t always come out as the winner, and they all suffer from real-life mental illnesses. By reading his books, a person can  better understand what people who suffer from depression, imposter syndrome and post traumatic disorders are going through. It’s eye-opening to read about problems in our world and see how they are affecting the mental health of characters in Sanderson’s fictional stories.

My favorite character of his is Kaladin Stormblessed, a main character in the book “The Way of Kings.” When you first meet Kaladin, he is a soldier who has seen countless people, whom he worked very hard to protect, die. The gravity of the thoughts he carries with him from his past are enough to take him to the edge of a deep chasm, but he doesn’t jump, and instead he decides to turn around and change the lives of the pessimistic who had already given up on life. His example of leadership and attitude is inspiring to me. His story tells readers that you shouldn’t give up, even when your life has hit rock bottom; it’s important to find strength in weakness, and one must first take the journey to reach the destination. Kaladin teaches that one must always value life, no matter how close death may seem. These are essential principles that everyone, every age, every gender, in every part of the world should know, and are principles that Sanderson’s books offer readers.

Another rare ability Sanderson possesses is his ability to twist plots in a way that makes it practically impossible to guess what’s going to happen. By dropping small hints that foreshadow what’s to come, fans can easily find themselves engaged in long discussions about different theories and ideas of the next steps his characters will take.

My dad is someone who has found himself partaking in these long discussions. There are two phrases my dad can say that will make all eight of my family members groan. The first is pickleball (which he will go on and on about), and the second is Brandon Sanderson (which he will go on and on about for even longer). My dad has the two things you need when discussing these books: a good memory and a fascination for all things Sanderson. If we let him, he could talk for hours on end about the Cosmere, Elantis and shardblades. There have been many times when I’d just succeeded in pulling my dad away from a never-ending chat between him and another person,  only for him to get roped into another conversation because someone mentioned Kaladin. It’s uncommon to find a book that one can talk about for so long without discussing the same things, the same plot twists and the same big events. 

I really can’t blame my dad for talking about Brandon Sanderson so much, because the man is amazing. Through his eye opening characters, fascinating plots and important life lessons, Sanderson’s books have truly inspired me and will continue to do so as I read more of his works. His books might look lengthy and they might take quite a long time to finish reading them, but it’s all worth it in the end. Every second, every minute, every hour you spend reading will be another day where your mind has grown and your imagination has climbed one step higher towards the sky.