Why You Should Read The Stormlight Archive - The Fantasy Review

Why You Should Read The Stormlight Archive

The Fantasy Review’s 4 main reasons why you should read The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson.

I have talked about Brandon Sanderson’s cosmere books a lot at The Fantasy Review. The Stormlight Archive is the big, epic fantasy series that I think anyone who loves the genre should at least try. So, here is a list of 4 reasons to read The Stormlight Archive.

You can find out more about this series and Sanderson’s other work in our Beginner’s Guide to the Cosmere.

Why You Should Read The Stormlight Archive

Explore a Sprawling World 

There is nothing better in fantasy than following characters as they move through a sprawling world. Roshar is a huge planet full of different cultures, creatures and flora. In Mistborn we mostly find ourselves in one city or another and as you go through the trilogy the world becomes larger and larger, but nothing on this scale. 

From the very beginning of The Way of Kings, book 1 in The Stormlight Archive, we can already tell that there is going to be a lot to learn. The world is a complex mosaic of cultures and landscapes. We struggle to learn much about the lore at the start but as the series progresses we find out much more. 

Sanderson is brilliant at creating mysteries we didn’t even know were there and I love it. If you need reasons to read The Stormlight Archive, worldbuilding should definitely be number 1 on the list. 

Follow Fantastic Characters 

I won’t get into spoilers so I will attempt not to make this too vague! The books in this fantasy series follow a lot of characters in a similar way to The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan or the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. 

Sanderson makes this easy to follow, however. Each book follows the main plot of one of the primary characters. So, The Way of Kings follows Kaladin, Words of Radiance follows Shallan, etc. The other characters get plenty of chapters too!

In my reviews for these books, I go into more detail about why the characters are so amazing. One point I will bring up here, though, is Sanderson’s way of making them feel real and believable. His handling of mental health is fantastic and the motivations always drive the plot rather than the setting doing all the work. 

Learn More About Sanderson’s Cosmere 

One of the reasons to read The Stormlight Archive is that it explores and includes more elements of the wider mythos of cosmere than any other series. There are links to Warbreaker and more in these books and it’s fantastic!

If you don’t want any spoilers, read the Reading Order for Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere and you should be fine! There are no rules, however, and if you did read The Stormlight Archive first, you won’t be spoiled for much of the series. 

The cosmere is one of the greatest fantasy worlds ever created. Its sheer size and complexity is fantastic. It is not as in-depth as what we begin to see in Gardens of the Moon (book 1 in Steven Erikson’s epic Malazan series) but it is huge! This is not a series you want to miss out on. 

Experience an Exciting Magic System

Many of us reviewers and readers go on and on about Sanderson’s magic systems so I will keep this short! If you love hard magic systems then you will love this series. I personally prefer the magic in The Final Empire and the other Mistborn books, but that does not mean I think this system is bad at all!

The magic is fantastic! It is full of secrets and mysteries that you will absolutely love to follow along with and learn more about.

Related to: Why You Should Read The Stormlight Archive

Owner and Editor of The Fantasy Review. Loves all fantasy and science fiction books, graphic novels, TV and Films. Having completed a BA and MA in English Literature and Creative writing, they would like to go on to do a PhD. Favourite authors are Trudi Canavan, Steven Erikson, George R. R. Martin and Brandon Sanderson.


  1. The Way of Kings is the first book I ever threw in the trash rather than recycle to a friend to read. It was so dull, so boring, so lacking in anything, I couldn’t bring myself to inflict it on anyone else. I know I am in a minority, but just know it’s okay to not like this crap.

  2. Exactly, for example – All Anthomas calls it crap and I actually bought Way of Kings and read it in less than two days. I couldn’t stop, and am now just starting Rhythm of War a few weeks later.

    Any fantasy fan who prioritizes world building and character depth, and doesn’t mind a slow yet satisfying burn, will likely love it.

  3. Amazing! So glad you’re enjoying the series. Two days is impressive – I think it took me just over a week!

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