Thursday, March 12, 2015


Firstborn was Brandon Sanderson's first published work. It lacks some of the storytelling craft he has mastered over time, yet it is still a quick, entertaining read. The exposition seems to consume most of the story, with the "action" only happening at the end.

We follow the exploits of the "second born" son of a grand Duke. His older brother is a great military leader who has had success after success in bringing rebellious sectors under control. The second son, however, can't seem to do anything right. He is sent off to study his older brother's battles to attempt to learn from them. However, even in simulations, he loses more often than wins.

He later discovers that he is not just the little brother, but an actual clone of his older brother. So much for genes being everything. He was cloned due to concerns that his brother might get too much power. Alas, those concerns were justified, as the brother ends up coming and killing his father and indicating that he wants to take over the empire for himself. However, he spares his "clone" because he wants an opponent worthy of his challenge. Eventually, however, the younger brother does manage to foil the older brother's plans - just not in the ways the older brother was anticipating.

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