Steelheart (#1)

Next: Mitosis

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary people extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

Epics are no friends of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man, you must crush his will.

Now, in what was once Chicago, an astonishingly powerful Epic named Steelheart has installed himself as emperor. Steelheart possesses the strength of ten men and can control the elements. It is said that no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, and no fire can burn him. He is invincible. Nobody fights back . . . nobody but the Reckoners.

A shadowy group of ordinary humans, the Reckoners spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in.

When Steelheart came to Chicago, he killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David has been studying, and planning, and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He has seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.


“Snappy dialogue, bizarre plot twists, high intensity action, and a touch of mystery and romance; it’s a formula that sucks readers into the prologue, slings them through one tension-filled encounter after the other, and then, at the strange and marginally hopeful conclusion, leaves them panting for the sequel, FIREFIGHT, due in 2014.”

Booklist, Starred Review

“A non-stop thrill ride […] there’s violence and gore in profusion, cool gear, hot wheels, awesome feats, inner conflicts on both sides.”


“The near-constant action, Sanderson’s whiz-bang imaginings, and a fully realized sense of danger (the brutal opening scene alone will hook many) make this an absolute page-turner.”

Publishers Weekly

“The veteran fantasy author’s world-building expertise is on full display here, making his horrifying vision of Chicago all the more chilling and exciting for readers of all ages to explore. “

A.V. Club

“Sanderson hit this one out of the park, right up until the final pay off […] Sanderson is a master worldbuilder and his worlds always come with unique forms of magic.”

Bibliosanctum, 5/5 stars

“This enjoyable read […] is perfect for genre fans who love exciting adventure stories with surprising plot twists.”

School Library Journal

“Whenever Brandon Sanderson puts his head down to write something, the resulting story is usually an incredible one that any reader will enjoy. The man is talented; it’s as simple as that […] Whether you’re a kid, or an adult who’s a kid at heart, you’ll love STEELHEART.”

Book Banter

“I can sum up this book in one word and that’s phenomenal! I flew through this and loved every single word. This book right here is why I love reading, it grabs you and takes you on a journey. It’s rare that you find a book that will blow your mind and make you love reading all over again. This is such a book, its not just a book, it’s a masterpiece! […] it’s a riveting, fun and enjoyable story. Brandon Sanderson is a master story teller and I highly highly recommend this book! […] Brilliant.”

Book Lover’s Life

“This was a phenomenal read […] with this books unique plot and Sanderson’s supreme writing, I found myself entranced.”

Escaping One Book at a Time

“So, politics, morality and human nature. Doesn’t sound like super fun time really, does it? But it is! It so is. It’s not heavy going, it’s not sentimental, nothing slows this book down. It’s as action packed as every superhero movie I’ve ever seen […] Star rating: 5/5. Fantastical, wonderful, all the good words.”

Gollancz Geeks

“STEELHEART is a fast-paced, suspenseful page-turner. With cliffhangers at the end of every chapter, it will be hard to put this book down long enough to eat and sleep, never mind doing responsible things like going to work or school.”


“Brandon Sanderson incorporates differing attitudes about pre- and post-Epic rule, the implications of a world with superheroes, the ethics of surviving dictatorship, and other similarly weighty topics while maintaining a fast pace and a plain fun read.”

Fantasy Book Critic

“Brandon Sanderson has somehow managed to create a fresh superhero story. STEELHEART is captivating.”


“Never before has the post-apocalyptic struggle for human survival been so riveting or uplifting. Sanderson has an unparalleled gift for fantastic world-building and the creation of complex, believable characters.”

Boswell Book Company

“I enjoy a good superhero story and this new series is one for the ages. It breaks new ground in superpower fiction […] should take its place among the new classics.”


“If you like super-hero fiction and comic books, or are a fan of Brandon Sanderson, or even if you’re just a fan of science-fiction and speculative fiction, then STEELHEART should certainly entertain. It’s a quick read, but an enjoyable one.”

Civilian Reader

“Brandon Sanderson’s STEELHEART has all the features of a great science fiction book: creative world-building, an enthralling plot, well-developed characters, and thoughtful discussions of morality. However, its most striking characteristic may be the writing itself. STEELHEART is so intricately and solidly constructed, from the phrasing of individual sentences to arrangement of the plot, that my English major’s heart was swooning […] a breathtaking book, fast-paced and unpredictable.”

Pages Unbound

“Sanderson is one of the most solid writers out there – extremely consistent, always entertaining, always good for a solid, fantastic magic system […] it has every single ingredient required for the perfect superpower story.”

The Lost Entwife

“He is a master of the craft and STEELHEART is a very good example of the mastery. Pick up STEELHEART for a book that is exciting, suspenseful and surprising.”

Mixed Book Bag

“Sanderson proves once again that he is a master at creating fascinating characters and weaving complex plots. Fast-paced and action-packed, STEELHEART is a solid first installment in a new, science fiction YA trilogy.”

SciFi Chick

“Sanderson has managed to weave comedy and wit throughout the entire book […] Sanderson has a way of pulling you into the fantastic worlds that he creates and making you instantly comfortable.”


“An awesome book that provides great entertainment and a lot of fun […] a treat for fans of not only fantasy and science fiction, but also fans of comics […] STEELHEART surely is a winning combination.”

The Founding Fields

“While completely accessible to the intended audience, it has more than enough depth for adult readers […]it’ll make you think while entertaining readers with an interesting plot and some fantastic fight scenes […] it’s as close to perfect as I’ve seen.”


“[Sanderson] takes traditional high fantasy and gives it a modern twist and his style easily flows into this young adult dystopian. Like his other work, the pacing is quick, the plot is layered and the action jumps off the pages.”

Vampire Book Club

“This novel was exceptionally well imagined and unique […] The world in the book […] was so vivid and detailed that I felt like I was right there alongside David and the Reckoners. The writing was fast paced with lots of action and awesome fighting.”

A Dream Within A Dream

“Sanderson hits it out of the park. Again […] Sanderson is also stellar at writing action sequences. He can do interesting characters, and tightly woven plots, but a large part of this book’s entertainment value comes from its quick pace and its exciting, cinematically-described fight scenes. Pretty spectacular.”

Fyrefly Books Review

“Brandon Sanderson is a top notch fantasy author.”


“STEELHEART does not disappoint. The book is full of action and plot twists, as well as the types of creative inventions that Sanderson is known for.”

Iowa Association of School Librarians

“A quick, fast-paced read that will leave the reader waiting for the next book in the series.”

Woodridge Library Book Talk

“Sanderson is sharp as ever with his ability to construct such a vivid, fun and entertaining world […] brilliantly told. The amount of twists and turns STEELHEART takes is risky; but, as his previous works have proven, Sanderson is a master of risks […] It’s epic in scale and in writing, and as much as it is unbelievable in our world, the short experience this novel brings is truthfully, believably extraordinary […] a Sanderson Epic.”

Miss Bookaholic Review

“How do you describe a book with an incredible world, amazing characters, and a brilliant plot full of mind-blowing twists? The only word that comes to mind is epic. Despite it’s conotation within the story, that’s what STEELHEART is […] EPIC! […] Everything is so lusciously described in incredible deatail and the world of these heroes or Epics is incredibly unique and well-developed […] It was a fantastic and interesting story with an amazing world, mindblowing plot, likable characters, and deeper themes about humanity.”

My Thoughts…Literally

“Sanderson has created a totally believable world that pays homage to comic books and great adventure tales with its amazing weaponry, sneering villains and rag-tag heroes. It also contains some very enjoyable twists.”

Guys Lit Wire

“Unfortunately for my ego, STEELHEART is another win for Sanderson, proving that he’s not a brilliant writer of epic fantasy, he’s simply a brilliant writer. Period. Simply said. Great book. Tight writing. Nice take on superheroes. Nice world creation. Absolutely worth your time.”

Patrick Rothfuss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wise Man’s Fear

“A tense, fast-paced adventure. Brandon Sanderson is one of the best fantasy, sci-fi writers working today.”

Christopher Paolini, #1 USA Today bestselling author of Eragon

“Fantastic! The suspense is relentless and the climax explosive, with a resolution that I’ll be thinking about for a long time.”

James Dashner, The New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series

“Packed with action, with cool powers, and effortless exposition, it’s just plain fun to read.”

Brent Weeks, author of the Lightbringer Series

“It’s one of those books that, as an author, makes me wonder why I even bother. But it also makes me strive to improve my writing. It’s action packed, humorous, and a serious page turner.”

Jill Williamson

Awards & Accolades


Winner Whitney Award: 2013 “Best Youth Novel” and “Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction”


2014 Scholastic Book Fair pick


Audible: “Best Audiobook of 2013”


Georgia Peach Book Award Honor Pick: “Teen Readers”


Florida Teens Read Award Nominee


Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award Nominee


2015-2016 Missouri Association of School Librarians Readers Award Nominee


A.V.: “Favorite Books of the Year”


Autumn 2013 Kids Indie Next Pick


Hudson Booksellers: “Best of 2013 YA”


Indie Next: “Top Pick – December 2014”


2013 GoodReads Choice Awards Semifinalist: “Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction”


2014 Tayshas Reading List pick