Children of the Nameless? I remember when I first heard that Brandon Sanderson was writing a story for Magic the Gathering. It was during the height of my Brandon Sanderson hysteria. I was working as a custodian for two elementary schools nightly and looking for audio book entertainment that was lengthy to help kill time. Chris might have even mentioned Sanderson as one of his favorite fantasy authors.
I remember reading the beginning of the first Stormlight book. It didn’t grab my attention at the time. However, it went on sale on Audible. I had just listened to The Stand for the second time (after having read it multiple times as a teenager and young adult), so I was looking for something else to read. I listened to it. And, I loved it. I devoured the other book at the time. Desperate for more, I also listened to The Reckoners trilogy. It wasn’t as sharp because it was YA fiction, but I still loved the books.
Then, came book 3 in Stormlight. I liked that one so much, I bought Chris a hard copy for his birthday. And, finally, the Magic the Gathering story. I didn’t read it when it released for the first time, free if I remember correctly. Apparently WotC got wind that Sanderson could have sold the book, so they pulled the free version. I won’t say how I got a free copy, because it might be one of those questionably legal activities I get caught up in, but it rhymes with forgettit.
Too Short – This is going to feel like a cop out. And, honestly, it is. But, it’s also true. I thought that 220 pages was going to be too long. Probably just my attention span affected by weeks of not being mentally stimulated. However, once I started reading, it went quickly and I wished for more by the end.
Cursed Twins – This is an old trope. However, Sanderson, because he is a great writer, breathes a bit of new life into the old trope. The twins are afflicted with an “opposite blind” curse, meaning that one is blind during the day and one is blind during the night. (Spoiler Alert: Relax, the book is like 2 years old and this is revealed quite early in the book.) There are other new touches, but I won’t reveal them because they might actually be spoilers.
Davriel – One of the selling points of the story was that a new Planeswalker was going to be introduced. I didn’t know much (read: anything) about Davriel going into the story, but this was a nice introduction. It doesn’t make me want to play his terrible card, but the story was fun to read.
Good Horror – Brandon Sanderson is a hell of a writer. He’s shown, to me at least, that he can write fantasy, super hero fiction, and now horror. This isn’t the best horror that I’ve ever read, but it is certainly passable and has a good creep factor.
Innistrad – I’m not a huge fan of vampire fiction. I did enjoy Interview and Dracula as a teenager. There was also a time (probably the same time) that I played Ravenloft exclusively as my D&D setting. So, I’m not averse to the blood suckers. I’m just not one of these people who defines myself based on vampire fandom. I did like Innistrad, though.
Brandon Sanderson – At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the reason this is any good is because of him. I’m not saying that there aren’t other good writers out there right now. I’m sure there are. I’ve just been inundated with crap like “50 Shades of Grey” for the last few years, that I cling to whatever good writing I can find. As mentioned earlier, he has shown range in what he can write, too.
The Verdict (Children of the Nameless is a great story)
Even though I’ve been reviewing comics for a few months (maybe a couple of years), this is my first book review. It isn’t for lack of books on gaming topics. Especially recently, there seems to have been an explosion of those books. Once again, I missed the boat. Nevertheless, Children of the Nameless was a good read. I highly recommend it to MtG, Brandon Sanderson, or general fantasy/horror fans.