Children of the Nameless
Since the day she was born, Tacenda has been both blessed and cursed. When her protective spell fails in the night and her Kessig village is attacked, she seeks revenge against whom she believes responsible: the demon-consorting Lord of the Manor.

Children of the Nameless Details

TitleChildren of the Nameless
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 12th, 2018
PublisherWizards of the Coast
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Novella, Horror, Short Stories, Magic, Mystery, Epic Fantasy, Adult

Children of the Nameless Review

  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    After 60 years, I will be sitting with my grandsons and I will tell them how one day I wrote a review for a Brandon Sanderson book and that it was the top review -even if for a short time-!!**************************************************************This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription “That was the first rule of demonology: make certain the demon’s incentives align with your own.” 🌟 I have been in the mood for a Sanderson story lately for an unknown r After 60 years, I will be sitting with my grandsons and I will tell them how one day I wrote a review for a Brandon Sanderson book and that it was the top review -even if for a short time-!!**************************************************************This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription “That was the first rule of demonology: make certain the demon’s incentives align with your own.” 🌟 I have been in the mood for a Sanderson story lately for an unknown reason! I didn’t want to continue the second Mistborn trilogy yet so I was going to discover his other works as Elantris and Warbreaker. When I saw this Gift from Brandon, I thought it was a sign, it was also the perfect time to read this. This is a short story so that was also a good thing because his other books are huge.🌟 The first thing I touched upon starting this is unsurprisingly the World building which Brandon is a master of. I have never played Magic: The Gathering but you don’t need to before going into this. I believe there will be things that I missed but it was a good experience nonetheless.🌟 The writing is good but I know this is not Sanderson at his best and I guess authors as him are better in writing longer stories because it shows their potential and intellectual potential.🌟 The plot was very expected for me from the first few pages and I don’t know if this is due to reading many Sanderson books or if it was obvious, guess I will never know!🌟 Summary: I don’t have much to say about this book, guess because of its short length. It had an OK writing, good pacing but was kind of expect able. This is definitely not a new favorite but it does not change the fact that Sanderson is still a fav author of mine! I ended up giving it 3 out of 5 stars!🌟 Prescription: For fans of Magic: The Gathering game and for those who wants to discover Sanderson style by reading something light.
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  • Gianfranco Mancini
    January 1, 1970
    Brandon Sanderson wrote a free-download Magic the Gathering novella for the 25th birthday of the worldwide known fantasy trading cards game so, having played MtG lots of years ago, it seemed to me this early xmas present timing was just perfect to start reading something of this author.Loved the Sanderson's style, the storyline, the characters and the setting: Innistrad with its curses, werewolf-hunters and other red eyed creatures with too long claws prowling the woods, reminded me a lot Dungeo Brandon Sanderson wrote a free-download Magic the Gathering novella for the 25th birthday of the worldwide known fantasy trading cards game so, having played MtG lots of years ago, it seemed to me this early xmas present timing was just perfect to start reading something of this author.Loved the Sanderson's style, the storyline, the characters and the setting: Innistrad with its curses, werewolf-hunters and other red eyed creatures with too long claws prowling the woods, reminded me a lot Dungeons and Dragons' Ravenloft and the Man of the Manor Deckard Cain Davriel Cane (with his delicious set of black/blue mana-fueled Planeswalker's skills) and demonic Miss Highwater were a great couple of characters making me smile a lot.No need at all of knowing MtG to fully appreciate this tale, but being a novella some parts seemed rushed to me and characters in need of a few more fleshing.Liked a lot my first Sanderson's read and I'll read more of him in the future.
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  • Phrynne
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you very much Mr Sanderson for spinning us this little tale as a Christmas freebie. I really hope you plan to take these characters further especially as you have introduced some of the best demons ever, especially Miss Highwater.Davriel definitely deserves many more pages - I always love these laid back characters who have to be spurred into action. Davriel would always prefer to take a nap but when pushed he can take on any thing. This is a great novella - not anywhere near long enough o Thank you very much Mr Sanderson for spinning us this little tale as a Christmas freebie. I really hope you plan to take these characters further especially as you have introduced some of the best demons ever, especially Miss Highwater.Davriel definitely deserves many more pages - I always love these laid back characters who have to be spurred into action. Davriel would always prefer to take a nap but when pushed he can take on any thing. This is a great novella - not anywhere near long enough of course but then even your longest books are never long enough. (you may have guessed I am a fan).P.S. When you get a spare moment - Mistborn#7 please, please, please :)
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  • André Oliveira
    January 1, 1970
    OMG, free book!! I know nothing about Magic, but if Brandon Sanderson writes a story, I am going to read it!Brandon Sanderson's note
  • Divine
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating is 3.50. You can view my full review of this here! ALSO, THIS IS MY FIRST PUBLISHED BOOK REVIEW IN MY BLOG SO DOUBLE YAY! "They were all so certain that secretly he was some kind of unnatural monster–rather than just a man, the most natural monster of them all." I’m at that point in my life where I’d gobble up any written work of art Sanderson publishes. Apparently, I tend to gravitate more with his novellas rather than his epic fantasies. (I haven’t read the Mistborn series yet Actual rating is 3.50. You can view my full review of this here! ALSO, THIS IS MY FIRST PUBLISHED BOOK REVIEW IN MY BLOG SO DOUBLE YAY! "They were all so certain that secretly he was some kind of unnatural monster–rather than just a man, the most natural monster of them all." I’m at that point in my life where I’d gobble up any written work of art Sanderson publishes. Apparently, I tend to gravitate more with his novellas rather than his epic fantasies. (I haven’t read the Mistborn series yet btw! So we’ll see if this would change next year hmmmm)Children of the Nameless is Sanderson’s own tale set in Innistrad, one of the planes in the game Magic: The Gathering. And nope, you don’t need to play the game or to know any of the references in this novella to enjoy it. Like the complete Sanderson whore that I am, I automatically ignored all my current reads and prioritized this one. However, this turned out to be my least favorite Brandon Sanderson novella, and I think this had more to do with the fact that I've read quite a lot of his books and other fantasy ones that generate familiar plot devices and sequences. THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT THIS IS UNORIGNAL NOR IS IT PREDICTABLE. It was rather anticlimactic for me but I'm sure this could still be enjoyed by some readers, especially those that want a quick introduction to fantasy! ALSO, IT'S FREE! THIS IS BRANDON SANDERSON'S CHRISTMAS GIFT TO ALL OF US. To know more about where to download it just go here-------------------------------------------------------12/19/2018It's Brandon Sanderson's birthday today!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE LLAMA HAHAHHA. Which is why I finally decided to read this free Christmas gift he gave to us; albeit it was rather anticlimactic and probably one of my least favorite novella of his, I still fairly enjoyed this one. Full RTC this evening!-------------------------------------------------------12/13/2018HI. HELLO. LOOK AT THAT COVER! AND A NEW SANDERSON NOVELLA???? HAHAHAHHAHAHLERD. I saw this on twitter and welp I just have to add it immediately. I'm excited to read this because apparently, I love Sanderson's novellas more than his novels. (I haven't read Mistborn yet so yup HHAHAHA) AND IT'S FREE
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  • Logan
    January 1, 1970
    Fun, intriguing quick read with a central mystery centered around the magic. I enjoyed the two main characters different perspectives and the humor that kept it light.
  • Josh
    January 1, 1970
    Gothic horror infused fantasy, accessible to both readers familiar with the characters and planes (Avacyn and Innistrad feature respectively) of Magic the Gathering and those new to the table-top gaming lore. Introducing new characters (those not previously featured in Magic the Gather lore in card/other formats), Tacenda and Davriel gives author Brandon Sanderson an established but new playground to explore and expand upon and he does it in a captivating and entertaining way.Using the shorter l Gothic horror infused fantasy, accessible to both readers familiar with the characters and planes (Avacyn and Innistrad feature respectively) of Magic the Gathering and those new to the table-top gaming lore. Introducing new characters (those not previously featured in Magic the Gather lore in card/other formats), Tacenda and Davriel gives author Brandon Sanderson an established but new playground to explore and expand upon and he does it in a captivating and entertaining way.Using the shorter length prose of a novella ensures each chapter progresses the story, be it character development, backstory, or pure action (of which there is plenty). My rating: 5/5 stars. This was the first time I'd read anything by Brandon Sanderson and it certainty won't be the last.
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  • Deborah Obida
    January 1, 1970
    I love it! Brandon Sanderson did it again.RTC.
  • Rita
    January 1, 1970
    You know, I'm pretty sure that if Brandon Sanderson decided to write a story based on a cooking recipe it would still be epic and the characters compelling, because I have no evidence that he can do anything but that \_(ツ)_/I know nothing of Magic, but I enjoyed this story! The characters were so compelling and intriguing (and veryyyy humorous!), the story, although really short, kept me always interested and intrigued aaaaand the magic system had also a very Brandon Sanderson touch in my opin You know, I'm pretty sure that if Brandon Sanderson decided to write a story based on a cooking recipe it would still be epic and the characters compelling, because I have no evidence that he can do anything but that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯I know nothing of Magic, but I enjoyed this story! The characters were so compelling and intriguing (and veryyyy humorous!), the story, although really short, kept me always interested and intrigued aaaaand the magic system had also a very Brandon Sanderson touch in my opinion (again, knowing nothing of Magic).
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  • Anton
    January 1, 1970
    Was thrilled to discover it, enjoyed Sanderson prose but ultimately ended up disappointed 😞 ‘Armored Saint’ is the closest comparison, based on the mood and style. But plotting (in both cases) I did not find to my liking :/
  • Cameron Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Perfect. As a big fan of both Brandon Sanderson and MtG—and Innistrad being my favourite plane—I almost feel as if this book was written just for me.Davriel Cane has quickly become my favourite planeswalker. The day his card is released I intend on obtaining a complete playset as fast as possible! I predict he’ll be U/B and exiles the top card of the opponents deck to play for yourself, and possibly even the ability to steal abilities from other planeswalkers. And what of Tacenda? A G/W origins Perfect. As a big fan of both Brandon Sanderson and MtG—and Innistrad being my favourite plane—I almost feel as if this book was written just for me.Davriel Cane has quickly become my favourite planeswalker. The day his card is released I intend on obtaining a complete playset as fast as possible! I predict he’ll be U/B and exiles the top card of the opponents deck to play for yourself, and possibly even the ability to steal abilities from other planeswalkers. And what of Tacenda? A G/W origins style flip-planeswalker? Very excited.Alright, enough geeking out over predictions for printed cardboard; this is a review for a book, after all. I must admit, I didn’t really enjoy the first couple of chapters. They moved by quite fast—especially for a Sanderson story—however once Tacenda reached Davriel’s manor, I quickly fell in love with the story. The characters shined brightly and that Sanderson charm spilled over Innistrad.Tacenda is a twin to Willia, they are cursed with Blindness. Tacenda during the day, Willia at night. Along with their curse, they each have special powers. Tacenda can sing a special ward to protect the town. Willia has exceptional warrior strength.The bloke on the cover, Davriel, doesn’t perceive himself as all that powerful. His only magical ability is to steal spells from others, and his ability to planeswalk is the only thing that allows him to remain confident through conflict. He also has claimed an ‘entity’, which resides inside his head and wills him on to ‘use it’. The full extent of this entity is unknown—Possibly linked to the origin of Eldrazi or even something greater from the Multiverse?—however, he claimed it by killing someone, and is pursued by others because of it. One could assume those after him to be Nicol Bolas, his henchmen, or other planeswalkers. Remaining hidden from these pursuers is a big part of his motivation.This book should also receive the award for Most Charming Demons. I absolutely loved Crunchgnar and Miss Highwater. Basically, before the events of this book, there was a time where most demons—along with Avacyn—were imprisoned away in the ‘Helvault’. During the last visit to Innistrad, Lilliana Vess destroyed the Helvault, releasing the demons and Avacyn.  Another planeswalker, Nahiri from Zendikar, also was released. She was mad at Sorin (Avacyn’s creator) for not protecting her home realm. Hence, she wanted to destroy Innistrad the same way Zendikar had been. She did this by pulling Emrakul (a giant Eldritch-like entity called an Eldrazi). Avacyn went mad by its near presence, Sorin killed Avacyn, and then the whole plane got all messed up by Emrakul infecting its soil. If you aren’t a MtG fan, go look at some artwork for the ‘Eldritch Moon’ set. Bit of a tangent there, but that explains why the angels went mad.Back to the demons, after being released, we can assume they were eager to ‘form contracts’ to consume souls. Davriel took advantage of this, promising his soul to several demons if they fulfilled contracts; contracts they would be unable to complete. This adds quite a bit of humour to the story, and I loved the way he and his demons bickered with each other. The plot focuses on a small Kessig town, called Verlasen, and how one day everyone, bar Tacenda, dies. She sets out to exact revenge upon Davriel. Tacenda's failed assassination inconveniences Davriel. But not as much as all his peasants disappearing. Or the fact he is out of dustwillow tea. Davriel sets out to find the answers to the problems, with Tacenda tagging along. Also, Davriel is hunting for hidden reserves of tea. Surely those peasants had some stashed somewhere?At first they assume the work of a necromancer had claimed the lives of Verlasen. Davriel knows the bog is far too powerful for a mere mortal to go up against. He wonders if it was the bog itself who claimed the souls. After all, most the townsfolk worship the bog and sacrifice their souls to it when they die. They believe it protects them from the horrors of Innistrad. And it has. Until everyone died. The Church of the Nameless Angel is his other suspect.  They had been slowly converting the people of the town. But what would that force the bog to do?The story is full of mystery, action, and great interactions between humans and demons. Pacing is everything you’d expect from a Sanderson book. I absolutely loved it. Other than the start, if I was going to complain about anything else, it would be the length. I want more!Ending: (view spoiler)[It turns out that it had been Willia all along. As Davriel suspected, the bog was another entity, like what was in his head. After finding the Nameless Angel (I am curious, is this the unnamed sister of Sigarda, Bruna, Gisela? Just an angel that went mad? I guess we’ll find out later!), with her throat slit in the bowls of the priory. Its lingering soul helps Tacenda humm a special tune that calms Willia and the army of geists she controls. Tacenda destroys her sister, taking the entity for herself. Davriel has the chance to claim it, however he chooses not to. This upsets the entity in his own mind. Tacenda seems far more pure and in control of the entity, her spark ignites, and she leaves the plane of Innistrad for an unknown destination. (hide spoiler)]Would love to see a sequel to this, or the continuation of these characters in the MtG Multiverse.
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  • Shree143
    January 1, 1970
    Neat, a little bit Complex but PreciseJust like a favorite gift, wrapped with deliberate loose ends on a Christmas morning
  • Michael McCain
    January 1, 1970
    Quick read with some enjoyable MTG easter eggs if you're even passingly familiar with the game.Davriel is a hoot of a character. All his interactions are golden. (Or rather, Blue/Black)
  • Elin (Tickmicks bokblogg)
    January 1, 1970
    3,5 stars.
  • Taylor Ramirez
    January 1, 1970
    The beginning of this story felt too rushed. Brandon tends to open up his stories with something dark but since he only had a 124 pages to work with he had to get the tragic backstory out quick. So it was hard to relate to Tacenda. However the story really god started when the best character of them all showed up:“‘Miss Highwater!” the Man called over his shoulder. ‘There is a peasant girl in my washroom!’‘What does she want?’ a feminine voice called from the other room.‘She has stabbed me with The beginning of this story felt too rushed. Brandon tends to open up his stories with something dark but since he only had a 124 pages to work with he had to get the tragic backstory out quick. So it was hard to relate to Tacenda. However the story really god started when the best character of them all showed up:“‘Miss Highwater!” the Man called over his shoulder. ‘There is a peasant girl in my washroom!’‘What does she want?’ a feminine voice called from the other room.‘She has stabbed me with what appears to be an ice pick!’ The man shoved Tacenda back into the washroom, then yanked the pick out. The length glistened with his blood. ‘A rusty ice pick!’‘Nice!’ the voice called. ‘Ask her how much I owe her!’”—Page 13I relate to this character on a spiritual level. He and his relationship to his demons are the best part about this book. He made this story and was clearly the character that Sanderson really cared about.I kind of rushed through the ending because it was getting weird but it was a pretty cool story. Sorry, Brandon you didn’t get me into MTG but this was a cool story. YOU BETTER NOT DO ANY MORE SECRET PROJECTS OR SO HELP ME!
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  • Sean McCann
    January 1, 1970
    Such a quick and fun read from Sanderson here! I've started playing MtG recently, so I had even more incentive to try this out past it being written by my favorite author. Only a ~120 page pdf, this thing flew by but mostly everything was enjoyable. I think it really got good once our main character, Tacenda, was introduced to Davriel Cane and his mansion of demons; both were a joy to read. Davriel especially was super charismatic and hilarious. I think his character is best summed up in his quo Such a quick and fun read from Sanderson here! I've started playing MtG recently, so I had even more incentive to try this out past it being written by my favorite author. Only a ~120 page pdf, this thing flew by but mostly everything was enjoyable. I think it really got good once our main character, Tacenda, was introduced to Davriel Cane and his mansion of demons; both were a joy to read. Davriel especially was super charismatic and hilarious. I think his character is best summed up in his quote: "This land is not ready for a version of me who cares for anything other than his next nap". But past that, he was an introspective character often musing over the concept of 'fate', and he ended up having solid character development and a clear arc in such a short time. Tacenda's purpose in the story was more interesting, but her herself was less so. The plot had a great mix of being spooky, suspenseful and action packed, so I was enthralled the whole time. I definitely recommend taking a couple hours to read this solid story.
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  • Sydney Chapters
    January 1, 1970
    So... uhm... do I have to read 60+ Magic books in order to read this one?
  • Liz Thiele
    January 1, 1970
    I know nothing of Magic: The Gathering, but I'm a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson's writing! Children of the Nameless was an entertaining story that had me hooked from the beginning. Only problem was that it was way too short! The story and characters were awesome! Fun read and highly recommend for fans of Brandon Sanderson!
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  • Aidan
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent standalone epic fantasy novella with a ton of magic, action, and interesting characters. If you're a fan of Magic: the Gathering, that's just gravy on top--no knowledge of the game is necessary (no interest in playing it, either.) Very satisfying.
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  • Lloyd Mackenzie
    January 1, 1970
    Magic: The Gathering is way more than just a card game. The lore is rich and deep, with an dedicated international community that spans more than two decades. Any writer picking up this project would need to do copious amounts of homework before delving into the card game’s Multiverse.Luckily for the fans, Brandon Sanderson is more than just a brilliant author - he is an an avid fan of the trading card game and is well versed in the rich history of Magic’s worlds.For his story, Sanderson has cho Magic: The Gathering is way more than just a card game. The lore is rich and deep, with an dedicated international community that spans more than two decades. Any writer picking up this project would need to do copious amounts of homework before delving into the card game’s Multiverse.Luckily for the fans, Brandon Sanderson is more than just a brilliant author - he is an an avid fan of the trading card game and is well versed in the rich history of Magic’s worlds.For his story, Sanderson has chosen the world of Innistrad and is set years after the events players experienced in the card game. He has meticulously crafted two standout characters in the free Novella, Tacenda, a Bog-cursed teenager and Davriel Cane, the Man of the Manor and Planeswalker.Tacenda and her twin sister are cursed. For their townsfolk, this is also a blessing. Each with their own discernible abilities, their power keeps the constant dangers at bay.Each night, Tacenda regains her vision and uses her musical abilities to halt evil in its tracks, keeping her friends and loved ones safe. Until one evening, her power fails her and the horrors of the woods pour in and lay waste to her village.Davriel is a powerful magician and has taken up residence and ownership of the nearby town. Followed by an entourage of demons, it is clear from early on in the novella that he is a man of many secrets.Without going into too much detail, the paths of the two main characters entwine as they embark on a quest to unravel the mystery.The two characters play off well against each other as Tacenda is naive and daring while Davriel is self-obsessed and unmoved by the suffering going on around him. This combination creates quite interesting dialogue that is filled with gallows humour.Even though it is a standalone novella, it is definitely building up, fingers crossed, to something more. It is an easy, quick and enjoyable read that can be ready by fans and newcomers to the Magic: the Gathering franchise.
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  • Benny Hinrichs
    January 1, 1970
    What can I say? More good Sanderson. Wish it was longer, but it was tight as was.I did guess that (view spoiler)[Willia would be the one behind the attacks, but I didn't guess that Devriel wouldn't take the power. I was somewhat confused at his desires. He wants to be a god, but he doesn't want to use the Entity? I guess I just don't know that much about the universe to know how this works otherwise. It would be interesting to see how he deals with the Entity in the future, and how Tacenda deals What can I say? More good Sanderson. Wish it was longer, but it was tight as was.I did guess that (view spoiler)[Willia would be the one behind the attacks, but I didn't guess that Devriel wouldn't take the power. I was somewhat confused at his desires. He wants to be a god, but he doesn't want to use the Entity? I guess I just don't know that much about the universe to know how this works otherwise. It would be interesting to see how he deals with the Entity in the future, and how Tacenda deals with hers.I wanted to know more about the Angel! Her spirit's there and.....? Tacenda just sort of blinks out and never addresses it again. I felt like she would investigate more. (hide spoiler)]I did like the almost glib way it treated magic. Just like everyone knew it was a part of life. The Lord of the Manor has demon slaves, that just how these things go. I stabbed that dude in the chest and he healed, dang should have expected that.
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  • Stefano G.
    January 1, 1970
    4/5 Stars, cool MTG novella and it's free!!!https://magic.wizards.com/en/storyI've never read anything in the MTG world or played the game, but the story was easy to follow! It's remarkable how easy to read Brandon's books are! The not-so-short novella of over 120 pages is set in a dark world, with interesting magic, and funny characters especially the Demons and Davriel (Front cover character)! There is substantial world-building, which Brandon excels to bring to life, but maybe required even 4/5 Stars, cool MTG novella and it's free!!!https://magic.wizards.com/en/storyI've never read anything in the MTG world or played the game, but the story was easy to follow! It's remarkable how easy to read Brandon's books are! The not-so-short novella of over 120 pages is set in a dark world, with interesting magic, and funny characters especially the Demons and Davriel (Front cover character)! There is substantial world-building, which Brandon excels to bring to life, but maybe required even more time to really fully work (hence the 4stars) but the last quarter of the story is really the climax and super-exciting with some unexpected twists! Recommended to all Brandon Fans!!!
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  • Matt Davenport
    January 1, 1970
    I don't personally play "Magic", which is the world this story takes place in, but I'm obviously a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and couldn't turn down the chance to read a new novella by him. All the same great Sanderson motifs were present: fantastic characters, slow reveal of plot and mystery, engaging and mysterious magic. However, this was also definitely the darkest book Sanderson has written so far. Would highly recommend it as I do all of his other works, if you play "Magic" it's mandato I don't personally play "Magic", which is the world this story takes place in, but I'm obviously a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and couldn't turn down the chance to read a new novella by him. All the same great Sanderson motifs were present: fantastic characters, slow reveal of plot and mystery, engaging and mysterious magic. However, this was also definitely the darkest book Sanderson has written so far. Would highly recommend it as I do all of his other works, if you play "Magic" it's mandatory reading.
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  • Andrew Mulnix
    January 1, 1970
    Parts of this novella were "4" and other clever parts were "5". I would read more MAGIC fiction from Sanderson.
  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    AND HE DOES IT AGAIN
  • Ashes
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Santa Sanderson, for this wonderful Christmas gift.What's not to love about it? Tea, naps, sass (lots of sass), demons, angels, and songs. Oh, and Davriel and Miss Highwater? They own my heart.
  • Jordan Short
    January 1, 1970
    Children of the Nameless is a novella set on the plane of Innistrad, in the Magic: the Gathering multiverse, and written by the legendary Brandon Sanderson. In it, Tacenda, a young girl with a strange curse, finds herself caught up in a horror-themed mystery as the inhabitants of her village are massacred by spirits and she alone is left to unravel the truth and save the plane from a rampaging horde of ghosts. Her path soon crosses Davriel Cane’s, a wisecracking Diabolist and planeswalker, who l Children of the Nameless is a novella set on the plane of Innistrad, in the Magic: the Gathering multiverse, and written by the legendary Brandon Sanderson. In it, Tacenda, a young girl with a strange curse, finds herself caught up in a horror-themed mystery as the inhabitants of her village are massacred by spirits and she alone is left to unravel the truth and save the plane from a rampaging horde of ghosts. Her path soon crosses Davriel Cane’s, a wisecracking Diabolist and planeswalker, who lazily rules the hinterlands where the story is set.Compared to most official Magic: the Gathering fiction, Children of the Nameless is pretty good, but it doesn’t quite stack up to the larger body of Sanderson’s work. The characters are competently constructed, the setting is immersive, and the plot is professional if not inspired. But if you’ve seen the heights of Sanderson’s prose you can’t help but be a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I never considered abandoning the book, I never got irritated by plot holes, or disbelieved a character’s motivations. It was fine. Everything was just ok.The intro felt a little rushed to me, like an info dump of Tacenda’s origin story. The editing had some issues; a few typos, a couple of [] left in by the editor to indicate word choice repetition that were never corrected, a single stilted sentence that left me baffled as to its meaning, a blank page. Not major issues, but not super polished. My biggest concern was the demonic characters. Davriel Cane’s devilish servants were humanized, and given lines of light-hearted banter, amusing quirks, and hints of genuine affection. It didn’t work. While they brought out Davriel Cane’s foppish, blasé character, the flippant tone of moral relativity clashes badly with the gothic horror setting of the benighted plane of Innnistrad. The central conceit of the milieu is that the things that go bump in the night are terrifying, incomprehensible, and genuinely dark. Having them as punchlines, whose antics we are expected to delight in, and whose deaths we are expected to mourn really undermines the horror elements. Which is a shame, because Sanderson does manage to hit upon a few one liners and gags, that while not hilarious, may elicit a chuckle or two. Ultimately, I think it is a lack of familiarity with the source material. Also…there are entirely too many quips about tea. We get it.Magic is all about well…magic. So let’s talk about the magic of Davriel Cane. First what works: his diabolism. The planeswalker’s clever dealings with devils and his manipulation of spirits was quite interesting to me, despite the aforementioned trouble with humanizing the demons. There is a particularly cool scene with a severed head which I think most will enjoy. However, the rest of the magic has aspects that were less appealing to me. Davriel steals magic from other casters by reaching into their heads and plucking out spells that he can then temporarily use. In theory, it’s interesting. In practice, Sanderson has to explain the provenance of the spell every time Davriel casts one, which get a little eye-rolly by the end. Tacenda’s magic is all about music and channeling the supernatural sources around her. Without going into things that might spoil too much of the story, suffice it to say, it was not particularly compelling. Again, it was fine. Just ok. And again, I think it is a lack of familiarity with the source material and understanding some of the preconceptions of what fans want from a spellcasting protagonist.In general, I think that people who play Magic and are familiar with the lore, and people who are reading the story with fresh eyes may have very different perspectives on Children of the Nameless. Having a long history with the game and its corresponding flavor, it is more important to me than it may be to many readers to get the continuity right.All in all, Children of the Nameless is not a bad novella. It’s just hard not to judge it in light of Brandon Sanderson’s other truly stellar works of fantasy fiction. Seriously, if you are reading this because of your interest in Magic, and you haven’t read the Mistborn series or Stormlight Archive, do yourself a favor and get on it. Despite the flaws of Children of the Nameless, Sanderson really is a master, and pulls off a competent and mostly well-written story that is a quick read. The characters are memorable, the mystery plot is solid, and the prose is above average. It’s a bit of a catch-22. If you are a fan of Magic, some of that “flavor” will just miss, but the caliber of writing is higher than what you are used to. If you are a fan of Brandon Sanderson, this is not his best work…but the subtle departures from canon will not tickle the hair on the back of your neck. In either case, it is a fine and quick read, but don’t expect it to blow your mind.
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  • Brandon
    January 1, 1970
    Free link for download can be found here: https://media.wizards.com/2018/downlo...This was great. The best of his short works in my opinion. Just to get this out of the way, you do not need to have played the game or know the lore to understand this book. It acts well as a standalone or introdcution to magic lore. But I will give a brief summary of some helpful info. The world of magic the gather is a multiverse of multiple planes, with different races, cultures, and environments. There are peop Free link for download can be found here: https://media.wizards.com/2018/downlo...This was great. The best of his short works in my opinion. Just to get this out of the way, you do not need to have played the game or know the lore to understand this book. It acts well as a standalone or introdcution to magic lore. But I will give a brief summary of some helpful info. The world of magic the gather is a multiverse of multiple planes, with different races, cultures, and environments. There are people who can travel between these planes: powerful beings called planeswalkers. One of the most popular of these planes is called Innistrad, the gothic horror themed plane that this novella is set on. Innistrad is a place where horrors and monsters roam the night, and humans cower in towns, and are defended by angels. A religion has formed around these angels, but some old ways still exist. In the last set in Innistrad, the angels went mad and started attacking humans, forcing many humans to question their religion. This takes place several years after this event.The story takes place in a "backwater part of a backwater plane" in the village of Verlasen, and follows a girl named Tacenda who has the power to ward away monsters with the power of her voice. One night, a group of geists comes and kills her village and she is powerless to stop them. The obvious candidate is the mysterious "Man of the Manor", a planeswalker named Davriel, a man known to consort with demons. Davriel, however, was framed for the crime, and sets out with Tacenda to find the true culprit, which forms the backbone of the story. Out of the two main characters, Davriel is by far the most interesting one. He is a local lord who is lazy and spends his days napping while the demons who have contracts with him carry out his lordly duties. There is also a mysterious entity that possessed him and is contantly giving him tempting offers of power at a great cost. We never learn much about Davriel's past, but we do learn that he is not from Innistrad, and that he is in hiding. Tacenda, however, is kind of a throwaway character for the most part. She does not have as much personality, and is mostly there to start get the story moving. Towards the end of the book, she has a much bigger role, which only shows what unrealized potential this character had. I recognize that due to the short nature of this, only one character could be realistically focused on, but it's a disappointment nonetheless. I am interested to see where her story goes because something very interesting happens to her at the end of the book. Davriel's powers are so awesome though. He can steal spells from people's minds. This is where Sanderson's ability to create magic systems shines. The spells he steals are limited in strength and can only be used for short periods of time. This makes for some fascinating action scenes where Davriel is forced to adapt to what abilities his opponents have and use them against them. Overall the pacing is well done. It starts out slow, but you are drawn into the mystery of what really happened to the village. There are a few sparse action scenes, but they are well written and exciting, especially with Davriel's unique abilities. The ending is not a traditional Sanderson avalanche, but it is highstakes and exciting. Overall, this is a quick and fun read for both old and new fans of Magic alike. Grade 3.5/5
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  • Lila
    January 1, 1970
    3,5*I am one of the "I read it because it's written by Sanderson" crowd, but honestly, I started reading it and it sounded approachable and it picked my curiosity right away which is exactly what I want when I have shorter work in front of me. So, if you are not sure whether to pick it because:-you have no idea what MTG is, have no worries. As the man himself explained, it was a project imagined to be both a further exploration of lore and introductory piece for newbies. It's just a a fun story 3,5*I am one of the "I read it because it's written by Sanderson" crowd, but honestly, I started reading it and it sounded approachable and it picked my curiosity right away which is exactly what I want when I have shorter work in front of me. So, if you are not sure whether to pick it because:-you have no idea what MTG is, have no worries. As the man himself explained, it was a project imagined to be both a further exploration of lore and introductory piece for newbies. It's just a a fun story inside an imagined world which seems immensely vast and rich. But the story gives you enough for it be easy to follow and not feel lost. + it's free!-you love MTG, but have a bad experience with novelizations and companion works for games, I feel you (AC pains). As Sanderson said, he decided to use one of the MTG settings, but make completely new story with new characters. I honestly feel like books like these most of the time suck because they are too confined by storylines and characters arc in a medium they are enhancing, so this was a great choice, considering it's such a big and complex world anyway. +it's free!-you love MTG, but have no idea who this guy Sanderson is. Well, he is just one of the best fantasy authors working today with a huge following. He also has a good record of writing in world somebody else created as he finished the Wheel of Time series by the late Robert Jordan and he did with all the respect and love fans wanted. So, fear not, this is one of the best genre has to offer. + It's free!So, my first take on this was that with that initial introduction from Tacenda's pov, where she talks about her curse/gift and a great misfortune the Approaches, her village went through, I had a feeling it's a story fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale would like. But, with the introduction of Man of the Manor, Davriel Cane and figuring out that his only motivation for action and reason to address this thing is tea, it became a fun story that only kept adding on the action and suspense. Sanderson made the world very approachable for newbies and even if you are not interested at all in MTG while you read or after, Davriel's bickering with his demons was still worth my time because it was funny considering the themes and the reveal behind the villain and some subtly weaved complexities of religion and conflicting views on it. Hence I would say that the novella would appeal to someone who liked Netflix's Castlevania adaptations. I am kind of hard to like novellas, because I either think it's too rushed because of the format or I just need more... but this was in a word, wholesome.Fantasy in small bites, dark, but funny, full of action pieces and some detailed magic explanation as it befits Sanderson book. I enjoyed it a great deal.
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  • Jayda
    January 1, 1970
    Beginning is rocky Mid to end is great NO ROMANCE with heroine Interesting antagonistsQuirky side characters Demons Angels Pagans? and Magic! Lightly sardonic, not unemotional but not dramaticHappy Ending for the heroine herself not so much for her family :(Anatagonists are punished and probably forced to see the stupidity of their actions and beliefs Funny dialogueLighthearted storyTwist and detective-ish mysterySetting is bland, couldn’t picture the landscape at allTacenda is a super inspiring Beginning is rocky Mid to end is great NO ROMANCE with heroine Interesting antagonistsQuirky side characters Demons Angels Pagans? and Magic! Lightly sardonic, not unemotional but not dramaticHappy Ending for the heroine herself not so much for her family :(Anatagonists are punished and probably forced to see the stupidity of their actions and beliefs Funny dialogueLighthearted storyTwist and detective-ish mysterySetting is bland, couldn’t picture the landscape at allTacenda is a super inspiring heroine, she starts off seeming like a coward and a doormat probably less interesting than her warrior sister. But by the end it seems more like she is just a deep thinker, someone selfless and a budding protector of the helpless... afterall she’s 15. From the start she has always been someone who would face her fears to do her duty, willing to work with her flaws, able to be grateful for her gifts but that didn’t become noticeable to me until the last scenes with her. I kept reading desperately hoping she would be the hero Davriel certainly wasn’t and that she would escape Davriel’s nasty clutches. There were many great scenes where she is unsure how to help, makes a stab in the general direction until the last satisfying scene where she gets it right. More subtle and more ‘softly fierce’ but just as good as some of the best YA female characters. Davriel (what a stupid name) is almost like an antagonist to Tacenda who makes her stand out to be more of a hero because of how thoroughly unheroic he is. I liked how the story made me wonder if he’d ever become a hero. He is a thoughtlessly overstepping irritating pathetic ‘Man’ who NEARLY DESECRATES TACENDA’S MIND TWICE, constantly relying on others and is too stupid to use his power for good. It isn’t his arrogance, sassiness or magic that bothers me. Aelin Galathynius has all of those qualities. It is his selfishness, his lack of purpose and duty and his elderly narrow minded unclever attitude. He’s 49 and childish. Still he makes a funny entertaining character. If I had to pick, this story would be just as good keeping Tacenda and replacing Davriel with any other version of a lowlife scumbag. I almost think that the book cover must be a joke. Anyways Tacenda and her foil? make a good combination.The Emperor’s Soul was written better, it sucked me in to one character’s perspective more, but Children of the Nameless gives the characters vulnerabilities and - imperfections - **that are overcome** and the shitty people who don’t overcome their flaws get the fate that they deserve.
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