I want to know if I can listen to the Rhythm of War Audiobook, because it's up on Brandon Sanderson's youtube, before I read the rest of The Stormlight Archive. I know there's alot of books in the Cosmere, and I want to get into it, but I don't know if I have to read it in order to understand it all.

P.S. my dad has the Mistborn books already, so if not I can get into those first.


I think you're conflating two separate things here. Rhythm of War is the fourth book in the Stormlight Archive, and I suspect you'll be very lost if you read it before any of the others of that series.

But the Archive is in turn part of the greater Cosmere universe, along with the Mistborn series and a few others; there is no need to have read all of those. Sanderson has stated that the inter-relationships between the series in the Cosmere are "hidden".

  • They are "hidden" in the sense that you definitely aren't required to understand the plot of any given series, but the connections between them are becoming more explicit with characters from one series having dialogue in other series. It's like not watching Doctor Strange, but then watching Thor Ragnarok. You can do it, but you might not know who that weird wizard guy is. – Alarion Nov 27 '20 at 23:05
  • My personal opinion is rather that it will only do you good as a reader if you don't make any connection between the various cosmere worlds. Trying to tie together already written and diverse books with some artificial post-construction has been tried before by other authors - it has never ended well and this case is no exception either. My advise is to forget that you ever heard "cosmere" and then read each series stand-alone. Most are good books, but like food, mixing two good dishes together doesn't necessary result in a great dish. – Amarth Dec 4 '20 at 16:04
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    @Amarth " tie together already written and diverse books with some artificial post-construction" - cosmere isn't any more artificial then MCU. It's worlds being in one universe was an idea earlier then any of the books. – Mithoron Dec 13 '20 at 14:48
  • @Amarth especially as of Rhythm of War, it's not an "artificial post construction". Reading Warbreaker and Elantris give a lot more info about what is coming. I expect a certain character from another series to be pretty prominent in book 5 as well after being introduced in RoW. – kuhl Dec 14 '20 at 19:54

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