Brandon Sanderson showed up on my radar screen in 2014 and has very quickly become one of my favorite authors. Since I went through his Mistborn trilogy, I have been working my way through all of his stuff. He has a unique vision for his fantasy works that is interesting, compelling, and just plain good story telling. Recently I got my hands on three of his novellas (each available for free download on the author's web page) and spent a couple of hours putting myself in his capable hands and just letting go.
The Hope of Elantris: A side story that was part of his initial draft for Elantris that was removed to streamline the narrative. It tells the story of the Elantrian mutants defending their city against a final scourging attack from the outside just before they undergo their final metamorphosis. Touching and poignant. Who are truly the heroes and who are the villains?
Defending Elysium: An interesting take about an agent responsible for keeping the peace between humanity and the various alien races that interact with Earth. A man with unique psionic powers who has long since settled into his own view of the universe and the relationships of the different sentient species. It takes a very unsettling event to find out that the so-called peaceful and evolved species that he interacts with may not be what he has come to believe.
Firstborn: A hero of the human race, the perfect commander to help bring order to the empire, a man whose cunning, strategy, and bravery have led him to victory in every battle that he has engaged in. Slowly it becomes apparent to the emperor and his nobles that the hero has become a rogue agent seeking to consolidate power in his own name. They then work to train his brother in the ways of warfare and command to face his brother and preserve the empire. Yet this younger brother is apparently not skilled in any of the ways his older brother is, yet the emperor firmly believes that he is the only way to save the empire.