A few years ago, I wrote an article listing out the best Cosmere reading order, and it’s been one of my most popular articles to date. But if the launch of Brandon Sanderson’s Secret Project kickstarter, new readers are discovering Brandon, so I thought I’d do another article listing all the Brandon Sanderson books in order.
“What’s the difference?” you ask.
The Cosmere is only one of Brandon Sanderson’s many works. It’s by far his most prolific, and a large majority of the books he writes do end up in the Cosmere, including 3 out of 4 of the secret projects in the Kickstarter.
But what about the rest of his books? What about the Reckoners? What about the Cytoverse or one offs like The Rithmatist?
That’s what we’re going to cover in this article. So let’s dive in to our full list of Brandon Sanderson books in order.
Brandon Sanderson Books in Order – Cosmere
We’ll start our list of Brandon Sanderson books in order with the Cosmere on the off chance you find this article instead of my other one.
The list below will only include the Cosmere reading order by Series. Meaning that I’ve lumped them together how you should read them to avoid hopping around between series.
But this is only 1 of the 4 different ways you can read the Cosmere. The other options are Publication order, Chronological order, and Brandon’s own recommended reading path. You can learn more in my Cosmere reading order article.
1. The Final Empire
2. The Well of Ascension
3. Hero of Ages
4. The Alloy of Law
– The Eleventh Metal (Short Story)
5. Shadows of Self
6. The Bands of Mourning
– Mistborn: Secret History (Novella)
7. The Lost Metal
Kickstarter Secret Projects
1. Tress of the Emerald Sea (2023)
2. The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England (Expected: April 11, 2023) (Not Cosmere)
3. Yumi and the Nightmare Painter (Expected: July 11, 2023)
4. The Sunlit Man (Expected: October 10, 2023)
It’s worth mentioning that the Cosmere is not complete. Not anywhere close to it.
Brandon is currently working on The Stormlight Archives #5 which, when complete, will usher in the mid-way point of the Cosmere. So everything you see above is still before the HALFWAY point of his plan for the Cosmere.
There will be a total of 10 Stormlight Archive books and several more Mistborn’s to come, plus anything else he writes over the next 15 years it will likely take to finish the Cosmere.
Brandon Sanderson Books in Order – Cytoverse
The Cytoverse is Brandon Sanderson’s other big project, and it’s relatively new. But it’s important enough for Brandon to separate out the Cytoverse on his website, so there must be big plans ahead for the series.
The series is a YA Sci-Fi and opens in the distant future with humanity stranded on another planet under constant bombardment from alien forces.
Here’s all the currently available Brandon Sanderson books in order within the Cytoverse. It is recommended that newcomers read in publication order.
Cytoverse Books in Publication Order
- Skyward (2018)
- Starsight (2019)
Sunreach (2021) (Novella)
ReDawn (2021) (Novella)
- Cytonic (2021)
Defending Elysium (2021) (Novella)
Evershore (2021) (Novella)
- Defiant (Expected: November 21, 2023)
Cytoverse Books in Chronological Order
- Defending Elysium (Novella)
- Sunreach (Novella)
- ReDawn (Novella)
- Evershore (Novella) (Takes place at the same time as Cytonic)
- Defiant (Expected: November 21, 2023)
The only noticeable difference here is that Defending Elysium is before Skyward. It’s several hundred years in the past, and would not make a very good introduction to the series, so it’s only recommended for those doing a reread and wanting to spice things up a bit.
Cytonic and Evershore Reading Order
It’s also worth mentioning that Evershore technically takes place at the same time as Cytonic, but I’d still recommend reading it after.
I’ve seen some very strong opinions for reading Evershore first. The problem is that both Evershore and Cytonic end in the same place. So by reading Cytonic first, you in a sense ruin the ending of Evershore. But the same could be said the other way around, and I’d rather not spoil the full length novel.
After all, Janci Patterson wrote the Skyward Flight novellas with some oversight by Brandon Sanderson, while Brandon himself wrote the main novels.
If you absolutely must do a Cytonic and Evershore Tandem Read, read everything in Cytonic except the Epilogue, then read Evershore in its entirety, then go back and finish Cytonic’s epilogue.
Brandon Sanderson Books in Order – Other
The rest of the Brandon Sanderson books in order aren’t connected to one of his two big universes. We’ll list them out by series to keep things organized as best as possible.
The Reckoners Series
The Reckoners is one of my favorite Brandon Sanderson series. If you enjoy YA super hero tales, then this is for you. I recommend listening to the audiobooks as they’re phenomenal.
- Lux (Only available in Audio)
Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians
This is a Middle Grade series and may not be to the liking of the majority of Sanderson fans that are used to his Cosmere books.
- Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians
- The Scrivener’s Bones
- The Knights of Crystallia
- The Shattered Lens
- The Dark Talent
- Bastille vs. The Evil Librarians (Expected: September 20, 2022)
The Wheel of Time
Brandon Sanderson only wrote the last three novels in the Wheel of Time after Robert Jordan’s untimely passing before the completion of the series.
You’ll need to have read the previous books to enjoy these, but a list of Brandon Sanderson books in order would not be complete without mentioning them.
- The Gathering Storm
- Towers of Midnight
- A Memory of Light
- Unfettered (Anthology)
- Unfettered 2 (Anthology)
- Unfettered 3 (Anthology)
Infinity Blade is a set of novellas that Brandon Sanderson wrote in conjunction with the iOS game of the same name that peaked in popularity around 2011-2012.
To best enjoy the novellas, play the games (if they still exist, and that’s a big *if*) in this order:
- Infinity Blade (Game 1)
- Infinity Blade: Awakening (Novella 1)
- Infinity Blade II (Game 2)
- Infinity Blade: Redemption (Novella 2)
- Infinity Blade III (Game 3)
To date, there’s only one book that Brandon Sanderson has written that can be considered a complete stand-alone without any tie-ins to any other series. That may change as we learn more about his Secret Projects.
The stories in this list of Brandon Sanderson books in order cover everything else he’s written. They’re mostly short stories or short story collections.
- Legion (3-Story Collection)
- First Born (Short Story)
- Perfect State (Novella)
- Snapshot (Novella)
- Dreamer (Short Story)
- Children of the Nameless (Magic the Gathering)
Summary of Brandon Sanderson Books in Order
Now that we’ve listed out all the Brandon Sanderson books in order, let’s take a closer look at some of the more important non-Cosmere books.
Below you can find full synopsis for each Cytoverse and Reckoners book.
Skyward (Skyward #1)
Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s–a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending flight school at slim to none.
No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.
Starsight (Skyward #2)
All her life, Spensa’s dreamed of becoming a pilot and proving herself a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned there were crushing. The rumors of her father’s cowardice are true–he deserted his Flight during battle against the Krell. Worse, though, he turned against his team and attacked them.
Spensa is sure that there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that whatever happened to her father that day could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars–and what they revealed to her was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.
Humankind has always celebrated heroes, but who defines what a hero is? Could humanity be the evil the galaxy needs to be protected from? Spensa is determined to find out, but each answer she discovers reveals a dozen new questions: about the war, about her enemies, and even, perhaps, about Spensa herself.
But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself–and she’ll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to.
Sunreach (Skyward Flight #1)
When a planet-destroying Delver suddenly appears in the sky of Detritus and vanishes just as suddenly, FM knows that the last free human society got lucky. Her Skyward Flight companion, Spensa, figured out how to draw this Delver away, but it won’t be so easy next time.
The forces of the Galactic Superiority will be back—and if the Defiant Defense Force can’t figure out a way to escape the planet, humanity’s destruction is only a matter of time.
Spensa’s mission to infiltrate the Superiority unveiled the secret to their hyperdrives—a cytonic slug species called the Taynix. Now FM’s flightleader, Jorgen, has found a large group of Taynix hiding in the caverns far below Detritus’s surface.
FM and Jorgen must work together with the engineer Rig to awaken the mysterious alien Alanik and unlock the powers of the Taynix, or humanity will be trapped.
With Spensa’s friend Minister Cuna of the Superiority stranded at the outpost of Sunreach, they need to figure out how to rescue them—or the Superiority government will be in the sole clutches of those who want to wipe out Detritus once and for all.
ReDawn (Skyward Flight #2)
“Don’t trust their lies. Don’t trust their false peace.” That is the warning that Alanik of the planet ReDawn gave the human pilot Spensa after Alanik’s ship crash-landed on Detritus.
While accepting an invitation to meet with her people’s enemy, the Galactic Superiority, Alanik heard Spensa’s cry for help across the vastness of space, and she used her cytonic powers to hyperjump her ship to the source of that cry. What she found there was a shock—a whole planet of free humans fighting against the Superiority. Were they the allies her people desperately needed?
When she recovered from her injuries and met the friendly humans Jorgen and FM of Skyward Flight, she found that her warning to Spensa had gone unheeded by the government of Detritus, and they were considering a peace overture from the Superiority. Now having returned to ReDawn, Alanik is dismayed to learn that her own people are falling into the exact same trap.
The faction in ReDawn’s government that wants to appease the Superiority has gained the upper hand. With Alanik’s mentor, Renakin captured, she has no one to turn to but Jorgen, FM, and their friend Rig. An ancient technology may have the power to save both of their planets from disaster, but can they discover its secrets before it’s too late?
Cytonic (Skyward #3)
Spensa’s life as a Defiant Defense Force pilot has been far from ordinary. She proved herself one of the best starfighters in the human enclave of Detritus and she saved her people from extermination at the hands of the Krell—the enigmatic alien species that has been holding them captive for decades.
What’s more, she traveled light-years from home as an undercover spy to infiltrate the Superiority, where she learned of the galaxy beyond her small, desolate planet home.
Now, the Superiority—the governing galactic alliance bent on dominating all human life—has started a galaxy-wide war. And Spensa’s seen the weapons they plan to use to end it: the Delvers. Ancient, mysterious alien forces that can wipe out entire planetary systems in an instant. Spensa knows that no matter how many pilots the DDF has, there is no defeating this predator.
Except that Spensa is Cytonic. She faced down a Delver and saw something eerily familiar about it. And maybe, if she’s able to figure out what she is, she could be more than just another pilot in this unfolding war. She could save the galaxy.
The only way she can discover what she really is, though, is to leave behind all she knows and enter the Nowhere. A place from which few ever return.
To have courage means facing fear. And this mission is terrifying.
Evershore (Skyward Flight #3)
With the government of Detritus in disarray because of Superiority treachery, and with Spensa still away on her mission in the Nowhere, Jorgen must work together with the alien Alanik to pick up the pieces.
They intercept a strange transmission from the planet Evershore and its Kitsen inhabitants, who say they have some of Jorgen’s people and want to return them—but can the Kitsen be trusted? And can Jorgen learn to master his increasingly erratic cytonic powers before they spiral out of control and destroy all hope of forming an alliance against the Superiority?
Steelheart (The Reckoners #1)
How far would you go for revenge if someone killed your father? If someone destroyed your city? If everything you ever loved was taken from you?
David Charleston will go to any lengths to stop Steelheart. But to exact revenge in Steelheart’s world, David will need the Reckoners—a shadowy group of rebels bent on maintaining justice.
And it turns out that the Reckoners might just need David too.
Firefight (The Reckoners #2)
Newcago is free.
They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart–invincible, immortal, unconquerable–is dead. And he died by David’s hand.
Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers.
Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic Regalia, Babylon Restored is flooded and miserable, but David is sure it’s the path that will lead him to what he needs to find. Entering a city oppressed by a High Epic despot is risky, but David’s willing to take the gamble.
Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic–Firefight. And now he will go on a quest darker and even more dangerous than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.
Calamity (The Reckoners #3)
When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.
David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners’ leader, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back. . . .
But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.
Lux (Texas Reckoners #1)
When the great red star Calamity appeared in the sky, some believed the end had come. They were right.
Calamity created the Epics: humans with incredible powers they didn’t deserve.
They could have saved mankind. They could have lifted us into harmony and prosperity. Instead they burned. They slaughtered. They conquered. And then they ruled.
Jax has learned all of this the hard way. Orphaned at an early age, he’s spent most of his childhood training to be a Reckoner – determined to find the Epics’ weaknesses, unlock their secrets, and protect those of us who are still left.
But now, the mysterious High Epic Lifeforce has arrived with his flying city, Lux, to plunder what’s left of Texas. So Jax and his ragtag team – the few who remain of the once-mighty Texas Reckoners – must take their battle to this floating fortress of riches – and defeat the invincible.
To avenge what has been lost. And rise anew.
Final Thoughts on Brandon Sanderson Books in Order
Now that we’ve listed out all the Brandon Sanderson books in order, which ones are your favorite? I’ve read nearly every Brandon Sanderson book besides the Middle Grade ones.
My personal favorites are The Reckoners, followed by Stormlight Archives.
Brandon Sanderson is such a prolific writer, he will always be an auto-buy author for me.
Looking for more books in order?
Check out my list of The Wheel of Time books in order.