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The cosmere is a distinct universe totally separate from our own,[1] in which several of Brandon Sanderson's epic fantasy books take place.


There are ten "core" Shardworlds, meaning worlds with "significant Shardic influence", that feature in the over-arching story of the cosmere.[2] There are also several minor Shardworlds.

Once there was the mysterious power Adonalsium, whose true characteristic is still unknown. Due to unrevealed happenings in the cosmere the Shattering took place, which splintered Adonalsium in - suggested[3] - sixteen Shards, each one of them holding a part of the original power of Adonalsium. They then inhabited the ten Shardworlds across the Cosmere inter alia being responsible for the several magic systems on each planet.

In addition to the ten core worlds, there are also untold number of other inhabited worlds in the cosmere, with either no Shardic Influence, or only a Splinter of a Shard. While the cosmere has the same structure as our universe, with galaxies, solar systems, and the like, all of the Shards and Shardworlds are located within the same compact dwarf galaxy, so there are much fewer stars and solar systems than in our own.[4]

Time flows the same on all Shardworlds unless it is being manipulated by an external force such as bendalloy or cadmium.[5]

Note that there is no need to know anything of the cosmere to enjoy the cosmere books and series separately, since its story is told in background.

Other Relations[edit]

The structure of the Cosmere is explained by the Realmatic Theory.

The character Hoid and the organization Seventeenth Shard are speculated to be integral part of the cosmere's narrative beside the story of the Shards and Shardholders.


There are currently ten known Shardworlds. Two of these, Threnody and First of the Sun, are minor Shardworlds.

World Shards Books
Ashyn None The Silence Divine
Braize Odium The Stormlight Archive
Nalthis Endowment Warbreaker, Nightblood
Roshar Honor, Cultivation The Stormlight Archive
Scadrial Preservation, Ruin, Harmony* Mistborn
Sel Devotion, Dominion Elantris & sequels, The Emperor's Soul
Taldain Unnamed Shard held by Bavadin White Sand
Yolen Unknown Dragonsteel
Threnody None Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell
First of the Sun None Sixth of the Dusk

* Harmony being the combination of two shards held by Sazed, rather than one of the sixteen original pieces of Adonalsium.

Bibliography of the Cosmere[edit]

Publication Title Series
2005 Elantris Stand-Alone
2006 The Hope of Elantris Short Work
Mistborn: The Final Empire Mistborn Era 1
2007 The Well of Ascension Mistborn Era 1
2008 The Hero of Ages Mistborn Era 1
2009 Warbreaker Stand-Alone
2010 The Way of Kings The Stormlight Archive
2011 The Alloy of Law Mistborn Era 2
2012 The Emperor's Soul Short Work
2013 Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell Dangerous Women Anthology
2014 Words of Radiance The Stormlight Archive
Sixth of the Dusk Shadows Beneath Anthology
2015 (forthcoming) White Sand Graphic Novel
Shadows of Self Mistborn Era 2
2016 (forthcoming) Bands of Mourning Mistborn Era 2
Stones Unhallowed (working title) The Stormlight Archive
Forthcoming The Lost Metal Mistborn Era 2
The Silence Divine Stand-Alone
Nightblood Warbreaker sequel

Books in Chronological Order[edit]

This is a very rough ordering of each of the books relation to each other on an in-universe timeline.

Years Books Notes
 ? Elantris & The Hope of Elantris Far earlier than Hero of Ages but not thousands of years.[6]
~30 The Emperor's Soul Possibly 30 years after Elantris[Citation needed]
 ? The Final Empire hundreds of years
1 The Well of Ascension
1 The Hero of Ages
 ? Warbreaker
341 The Way of Kings
The Alloy of Law
after The Hero of Ages[Citation needed]


  1. Are you going to cameo in the cosmere?
    — Twitter - 2011-01-04
  2. Tell me something new about the cosmere
    Theoryland - 2011-11-24
  3. The Way of Kings chapter 11 epigraph
  4. Physical structure of cosmere
    17th Shard forums - 2012-09-28
  5. YA fantasy livestream
    — Livestream - 2013-11-16- min 55:33
  6. When does Elantris take place?
    Theoryland - Sep 22nd, 2012
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