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 - 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.
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.
The structure of the Cosmere is explained by the Realmatic Theory.
There are currently ten known Shardworlds. Two of these, Threnody and First of the Sun, are minor Shardworlds.
|Ashyn||None||The Silence Divine|
|Braize||Odium||The Stormlight Archive|
|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|
|Threnody||None||Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell|
|First of the Sun||None||Sixth of the Dusk|
Bibliography of the Cosmere
|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|
|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|
Books in Chronological Order
This is a very rough ordering of each of the books relation to each other on an in-universe timeline.
|?||Elantris & The Hope of Elantris||Far earlier than Hero of Ages but not thousands of years.|
|~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|
|341|| The Way of Kings
The Alloy of Law
|after The Hero of Ages[Citation needed]|
- Are you going to cameo in the cosmere?
— Twitter - 2011-01-04
- Tell me something new about the cosmere
— Theoryland - 2011-11-24
- The Way of Kings chapter 11 epigraph
- Physical structure of cosmere
— 17th Shard forums - 2012-09-28
- YA fantasy livestream
— Livestream - 2013-11-16- min 55:33
- When does Elantris take place?
— Theoryland - Sep 22nd, 2012
|Shards||Cultivation · Devotion · Dominion · Endowment · Honor · Odium · Preservation · Ruin · Bavadin's Shard · Survival Shard|
|Shardworlds||Ashyn · Braize · Nalthis · Roshar · Scadrial · Sel · Taldain · Threnody · Yolen|
|Terms||Adonalsium · Sliver · Splinter · Realmatic Theory · Intent · Focus · Investiture · Shardpool · Spiritweb|
|Other||Hoid · Seventeenth Shard · Chronology · Shattering · Worldhopping · Letters|