Get to know authors like Brandon Sanderson for your next sci-fi and fantasy tale. Discover fascinating narratives and expert world-builders through our guide.
Authors like Brandon Sanderson transport their readers to the amusing realm of science fiction and fantasy. In this genre, you step into worlds created by others, the pages becoming doors to newfound territories.
For Brandon Sanderson fans, the Cosmere Universe (Elantris, The Final Empire, Warbreaker) offers just the right blend of magic and world-building. This is nothing new, though, not when the man is famous for his interconnected tales and standalone novels. Other notable manuscripts of Sanderson are The Stormlight Archive, Mistborn, and The Way of Kings.
In total, Sanderson has blessed the literary world with 71 books as of 2023. Moreover, he was chosen to co-author the three final books of The Wheel of Time Series.
Borrowing from one of Sanderson’s books, he writes, “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” So read on as we ponder the queries other novelists propose in the following sections. Interested in the sci-fi genre? Check out the best sci-fi books of all time!
- Best Authors Like Brandon Sanderson Ranked
- 1. N.K. Jemisin, 1972 –
- 2. Robin Hobb, 1952 –
- 3. Scott Lynch, 1978 –
- 4. Brent Weeks, 1977 –
- 5. Robert Jordan, 1948 – 2007
- 6. Patrick Rothfuss, 1973 –
- 7. George R.R. Martin, 1948 –
- 8. Jim Butcher, 1971 –
- 9. Michael J. Sullivan, 1961 –
- 10. Joe Abercrombie, 1974 –
- 11. J.R.R. Tolkien, 1892 – 1973
- 12. Terry Pratchett, 1948 – 2015
Best Authors Like Brandon Sanderson Ranked
1. N.K. Jemisin, 1972 –
N.K. Jemisin is not just a New York Times bestselling author. She’s also the first Afro-American author to win three consecutive Best Novel Hugos. Thus, she is dubbed by the New York Times as “The Most Celebrated Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer of her Generation.” With her many awards and recognition, it’s no wonder Jemisin has a significant impact on the fantasy genre. Her ability to create epic fantasy and intricate storylines, with a side of romance and thrill, continues to captivate her readers.
Jemisin has published 15 novels, novellas, collections, and non-fiction. This, along with 28 short stories. With these expansive literary works, Jemisin is bound to have many notable works. Some are The Fifth Season, Broken Earth, and The Stone Sky.
“For all those that have to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.”N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season
2. Robin Hobb, 1952 –
Robin Hobb is a speculative fiction writer who urges readers to imagine fantastical nuances outside our known universe. Her works explore social tolerance as magic systems with women who defy stereotypical expectations. Sprinkled on her books are ecological beings, colonialism, and the cultural honor system in the secondary world. Intriguing, right?
Hobb is best known for her Realm of Elderlings, an otherworldly set with four trilogies and a chronicle. This earned her the 2021 World Fantasy Award. Her most notable works are from her Farseer Trilogy (Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin’s Quest.)
“Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there anymore.”Robin Hobb, Assassin’s Apprentice
3. Scott Lynch, 1978 –
Scott Lynch, a bestselling fantasy author, had various non-writing jobs until he accidentally sold his acclaimed first novel, Lies of Locke Lamora. It was even listed as a finalist in the World Fantasy Award and became one of his remarkable works. Lynch is also a multi-awarded author on the bestselling list of the New York Times, USA Today, and Times of London.
Lynch’s three famous books are under his ongoing seven-book series, Gentleman Bastard Sequence (includes Red Seas Under Red Skies, The Republic of Thieves, etc.) This universe is set on a mysterious island where a group of thieves goes on heists and steals from the rich. However, the place holds mysterious weapons, monopolized magic, and technologies controlled by alchemy. Lynch has published four novels under his series, three novellas and one omnibus edition, for his fans to discover more of the different worlds within Lynch’s stories.
“If reassurances could dull pain, nobody would ever go to the trouble of pressing grapes.”Scott Lynch, Lies of Locke Lamora
4. Brent Weeks, 1977 –
Influenced by classic novels and authors, Brent Weeks is now an acclaimed author of many fantasy novels. All this after he didn’t achieve immediate recognition for his first pursuit in his literary journey. This is just a testament to how one’s tenacity in writing is worth it.
Putting in his time and full dedication, he eventually received multiple awards and nominations. This includes the Gemmell Legend and Reddit Stabby Award. He has been recognized in the industry since his debut in 2009.
Weeks’ debut novel and the first book of the Night Angel Series, The Way of Shadows, became his most famous work and a New York Times bestseller. Aside from this series, his five-novel book, the Lightbringer Series, earned a distinction as a New York Times Bestselling Series.
“You might want to think twice before you try to use a man’s conscience against him. It may turn out he doesn’t have one.”Brent Weeks, The Black Prism
5. Robert Jordan, 1948 – 2007
Robert Jordan may have had a relatively short life, but he surely impacted many readers, writers, and the media. As an epic fantasy author, his work, The Wheel of Time Series, is closely related to Brandon Sanderson. Why? When Jordan’s health was declining, he told the rest of the series’ storyline to his wife. Upon his death, Jordan’s wife picked Sanderson to continue the long-running narrative of her late husband’s legacy. The series reached its end with 14 books written in over 22 years.
His works are nothing short of amazing, as they were even optioned for TV adaptation. Teresa Patterson, his editor, has published an encyclopedia of the series titled The World of Roberts Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, dedicated to fans to explore the world Jordan curated. Jordan’s most famous work is his first book, The Eye of the World.
“Run when you have to, fight when you must, rest when you can.”Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World
6. Patrick Rothfuss, 1973 –
Before Patrick Rothfuss became known for his ongoing series, The Kingkiller Chronicle, he started bagging achievements via his debut novel, The Name of the Wind. It earned multiple awards, including the Quill Award under the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror categories. It also took home the Alex Award the following year. The sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear, is no different. It topped the New York Times Hardback Fiction Bestseller List.
As a talented author, Rothfuss tried an unconventional approach to literature when he penned The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle. When describing this specific work, he called it a “seriously-not-for-chidren-children’s book.” In reality, it’s an adult story with dark humor.
“You have to be a bit of a liar to tell a story the right way.”Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind
7. George R.R. Martin, 1948 –
You’ve probably heard of George R.R. Martin via HBO’s A Game of Thrones — arguably one of the most famous shows in modern years that stretched for eight seasons. It was inspired by his epic fantasy series, A Game of Thrones.
If you’re searching for a series to spend a good amount of time with, this is something you’ll want to put on our TBR list. It has four books, including four prequels, four companion books, and three chapter sets. What’s more, it’s an ongoing series. The TV show might have ended, but the novels, not quite so.
Readers can trust that his other books are just as thrilling and intriguing. After all, Martin has a long list of awards and recognitions for more than three decades.
“Words are wind, and the wind that blows exiles across the narrow sea seldom blows them back.”George R.R. Martin, The Winds of Winter
8. Jim Butcher, 1971 –
If you’re an aspiring writer doubting yourself, Jim Butcher has an inspiring story. In his bio, he shared that it took him at least five novels before crafting a working story. Imagine the time and the effort. But also, imagine the results.
For Butcher, this was his way of practicing to overcome what he referred to as his “lack of inborn talent.” A skill that he encourages others to do as well: to always try despite rejection. His patience and devotion eventually paid off, with him earning nominations for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and Best Graphic Story and the Locus Award for Best Collection.
Butcher has a vast literature collection in fantasy, speculative fiction, and science fiction genres. His most famous series, The Dresden Files, started well. Butcher’s Storm Front, his first novel, bagged the #1 New York Times bestselling spot. Currently, the series has 17 published novels, along with nine omnibus and 34 short stories.
“There is no truer gauge of a man’s character than the way in which he employs his strength, his power.”Jim Butcher, Storm Front
9. Michael J. Sullivan, 1961 –
Much like many authors, Michael J. Sullivan had a rough start and even quit his dream as an author. However, he decided to return and earned a well-deserved title as a New York Bestselling writer. His achievements also include two New York Times bestsellers, three books on the USA Today bestseller list, and seven books that received the Goodreads Choice Awards.
If you want to cuddle up to a good, long-running tale, take Sullivan’s The Legends of the First Empire Series. Its first installment, Age of Myth, will give you an excellent overview of the high fantasy world he created. Today, he has more than 85 novels.
“Fools believe silence is a void needing to be filled; the wise understand there’s no such thing as silence.”Michael J. Sullivan, Age of Myth
10. Joe Abercrombie, 1974 –
Joe Abercrombie is a fantasy writer of 12 novels and 13 short series. He also dabbles as a freelance editor. Being busy doesn’t deter him, though. Not when he has created two fantasy worlds, The First Law and Shattered Sea trilogy. Notably, The Blade Itself and Half A King are the most famous books in the series. Evidently so, as Half A King earned the Locus Award in the Best Young Adult Book category.
His First Law Series catapulted him to the mainstream. It’s set in an epic fantasy world where magic is fading, a dysfunctional government takes over, and dumb luck is an asset as all things planned turn to misfortune.
“The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. Still, the struggle itself is worthwhile. Knowledge is the root of power, after all.”Joe Abercrombie, The Blade Itself
11. J.R.R. Tolkien, 1892 – 1973
Perhaps one of the most known figures in recent history is the late J.R.R. Tolkien, the author behind the high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series. Tolkien is both an English Writer and a philologist, which adds more layers to his tales.
His extensive work has continuously succeeded, earning him numerous awards, including a Gandalf Grand Master Award, Hugo Awards in two categories, Locus Award for Best Fantasy, and many more. His works, even after his passing, have been released and published by his son, Christopher. Today, they are an important part of the history of the language and film industry.
Tolkien has a long list of literary works. Though some of them, only a few people knew. Such as in the case of Tolkien translating Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics for ten years. A poem recognized by many following scholars as a powerful piece of dramatic poetry.
“A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust and longs for friendship.”J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
12. Terry Pratchett, 1948 – 2015
Terry Pratchett is most known as a comic fantasy novelist. His famous brainchild, the Discworld Series, is set on a flat, disc-shaped planet that rests on top of an elephant… which in turn is on top of a giant turtle. Discworld has 41 novels, with Book 1, The Colour of Magic, being his most famous yet.
Pratchett also writes apocalyptic comedy with his co-author, Neil Gaiman. Their work, this time, is set on the coming of the ends of the earth, as well as the birth of Satan’s sons.
Pratchett is a distinct author as he is also referred to as a humorist and a satirist. His writing style is more in the comedic-satire and parody fantasy genre, where he often utilizes unconventional dialogues without quotations. Moreover, his books rarely have chapters as he prefers a story that interweaves into all the other stories with easy-to-bend narratives.
“People couldn’t become truly holy… unless they also had the opportunity to be definitively wicked.”Terry Pratchett, Good Omens
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