Firstborn by Brandon Sanderson is only available in eBook format and is a short story/novella of only 47 pages. Many of you will know that Brandon Sanderson is one of my favourite authors so I couldn’t resist a short eBook for £0.62!
This novella follows Dennison Crestmar. As the son of a High Duke of the interstellar Empire which means not only is he of noble birth but is expected to do great things and be a prodigy when it comes to war – just like his much older brother. Unfortunately Dennison has no talent whatsoever for battles he fails all his test battles, makes a mockery of simulation battles and the sad thing is – he really is trying.
And yet the empire won’t let him quit, won’t give up on him even when he begs and pleads with them. And then he meets his older brother who has been at war for the very first time and he learns a few things.
The writing is great as you would expect, and as much as possible is provided given the shortness of the book. There isn’t a whole lot of character development but what can you expect in 47 pages? You know what you need to know however to set the scene in your head and keep the story interesting.
Because of the central character’s position and the setting of the story (war) there is a fair bit of battle strategy, this was fine for me but I can imagine if your new to that sort of thing or even your interest in it is zero you may not enjoy this book so much. It’s nothing overly complicated to understand but as Dennison is working on his skills a lot throughout it just may not be your cup of tea.
Sci-Fi and Sanderson is a new combination to me and he does write it well, but I’m torn between the fact that it lacks the pull, the “just one more page” pull of his actual full length novels and making allowances for the fact that this is only 47 pages (maybe that’s why I keep mentioning how short it is?).
Measuring this against other short stories I’ve read – it’s right up there, it’s a great, quick read with lots of action. Would I recommend it? Yes I think I would.