Friday, January 28, 2022

How to get into the Cosmere (and what's the Cosmere)

Sometimes people make the mistake of asking about my favorite books. Granted, as someone with a commute to work, most of my “reading” has moved to audiobooks, but still. 

If I don’t see panic and terror in their eyes, my explanation of the Cosmere looks something like this:

“There’s this one book where some people have powers, and they have to ingest metals to use those powers. Each metal gives a different power, but if someone has the ability (it’s rare), they only have the ability to burn one metal. Even more rare are people who can burn all the metals, and they’re called Mistborn.

“The book starts with a team trying to take down their ruler who has been alive for 1,000 years, and nobody knows why. He claims to be God, but he’s definitely evil.

“Now, that all happens on one planet. He has 7+ books on that planet alone, and we later discover that this is only one planet in a Universe of planets called the Cosmere.”

*This is where I slide my little drawing over to them and pause to see if they’re still listening or if they’re looking for a quick exit. If they’re still engaged, I keep going.*

“My favorite books are The Stormlight Archive, but they’re long. Don’t start there. It’s a bit overwhelming. In this book they have swords that can cut through a man’s arm and it doesn’t hurt the flesh. Instead, it severs the soul. The arm won’t work any more. Cool, right?

“On that planet people bond little creatures and get different powers..”

*Seriously, I don’t know how they’re still listening, but I love every second of it.*

“Also, maybe at one point or another I’ve had to stop reading because some of the challenges they face are a little too close to home. I mean sure, they have big cool battles, but there’s really a big emphasis on mental health in this book. I’ve definitely talked about these books more than once in therapy.”

“Anyway, somehow characters from one book series start showing up in other series, on other planets, and you realize they have ways to travel between planets and that there’s this overarching story happening behind the scenes the whole time. It’s incredible.”

*Catches breath and hopes they ask where to start.*

“Start with Mistborn. Book 1 is called The Final Empire. After that, we’ll talk.”


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