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The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson—creator of the smash-hit science fiction and fantasy series Skyward, The Stormlight Archive, and Mistborn—comes a new science fiction adventure.

A man awakens in a clearing in what appears to be medieval England with no memory of who he is, where he came from, or why he is there. Chased by a group from his own time, his sole hope for survival lies in regaining his missing memories, making allies among the locals, and perhaps even trusting in their superstitious boasts. His only help from the "real world" should have been a guidebook entitled The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England, except his copy exploded during transit. The few fragments he managed to save provide clues to his situation, but can he figure them out in time to survive?

Note from

Sometimes an idea just won't let go of you for years. The initial seed of this novel was the title that eventually turned into The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England. At first there was no story go to with that title, but I wrote it down and kept coming back to it, wondering what that book could possibly be about. Something else I thought about off and on for years was the classic concept of a man waking up in another time and another place, with no idea how he got there. It was when those two ideas came together, and I placed a book with that title into that man's hands, that this novel was born. I hope you'll have as much fun with it as I did!

372 pages, ebook

First published April 11, 2023

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About the author

Brandon Sanderson

399 books203k followers
Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s Soul, Mistborn: Secret History, and a brand-new Stormlight Archive novella, Edgedancer.

Earlier this year he released Calamity, the finale of the #1 New York Times bestselling Reckoners trilogy that began with Steelheart .

Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light, in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series have been released in new editions by Starscape, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor’s Soul, were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brought two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.

The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.

Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,689 reviews
Profile Image for Petrik.
675 reviews43k followers
April 8, 2023
3.5/5 stars

Sanderson’s experimental and bizarre comedic sci-fi novel with the theme of redemption will be a big hit or miss.

Your life isn’t unremarkable. You are merely living in the wrong time. Find your Perfect Dimension ™. Embrace your destiny— whether it be to bring Promethean light or exert relentless domination— and travel the dimensions. Become a wizard.

I will try my best to make this review as spoiler-free as possible. But if you are reading or viewing this on Goodreads, I will assume you are okay with knowing the title of this novel already. I am someone who is sensitive to spoilers, and I personally don’t mind this. I do not understand why a title of a book, in this time and day, can be considered a spoiler. Plus, the title of the four secret projects has been circulating the internet for months. Anyway, speaking of months, time really flies like an arrow. It feels like we are still talking and praising Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson, the first secret project novel, and then, suddenly, three months have passed. The second secret project novel, The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson, is here. In my review of Tress of the Emerald Sea and some of my videos for the past few months, I have mentioned that the second secret project is my least anticipated book of the four secret project novels due to two reasons. One, it is not a part of the Cosmere. And second, from the premise and the title, I knew this one would be the odd one and the most experimental out of all the four secret projects. Unfortunately, so far anyway, I was proven right. Unlike Tress of the Emerald Sea, which pleasantly surprised me, I must say I have mixed feelings regarding The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England. Yeah, that is one heck of a long title. There were some parts I really enjoyed, and some elements did not work for me.

In the early 1960s, science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke formalized what would become his most famous truism: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. This can be further extrapolated to Bagsworth’s Law ™: Any sufficiently trained modern person can become a god to those from previous eras. You may be mediocre by today’s standards. But in grade school you were taught a fundamental understanding of science, nature, and medicine— power that can establish dynasties, save millions of lives, and fundamentally change the world. And there are enough dimensions that each and every one of us can have our own.

A man awakes in a clearing in what appears to be medieval England with no memory of who he is, where he came from, or why he is there. His sole hope for survival lies in regaining his missing memories, making allies among the locals, and perhaps even trusting in their superstitious boasts. His only help from the “real world” should have been a guidebook entitled The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England, but his copy exploded during transit. He needs to reclaim his memories and quickly figure out his current situation with the few clues he has left to survive. This book has been advertised as a mix of Jason Bourne and epic fantasy, and I have to disagree with this pitch. The novel belongs in the sci-fi genre rather than epic fantasy. Maybe portal fantasy or isekai can be used to categorize the concept, but the book definitely feels and read like a sci-fi novel. With time travel, technologies, Earth setting, and multiple dimensions, it is hard to call this an epic fantasy novel. And genre classifications aside, do not expect the narrative here to be in tone with Jason Bourne’s story. The story did turn into something more serious and relatively tense by the last 30% of the book, but most of the time, this is largely a comedic novel. And that’s precisely one of the main issues I had with The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England.

“No, my lord,” Sefawynn said, tugging on my sleeve. “That is too cruel, even for them.” “Silence, thrael!” I bellowed at her. “Or I shall Nintendo you!”

Generally speaking, comedic SFF novels rarely gel with me. When it comes to Sanderson's novels, whether they are in the Cosmere or not, I think readers often agree or disagree about the quality of Sanderson's jokes in his books. From my perspective, I am mostly okay with the comedy Sanderson included in the Cosmere novels. For example, in the case of Wayne, Wit, Lopen, and Lightsong, I highly enjoyed reading their jokes in their respective series. But Lift? That one was a complete miss for me. It is sad to say that, for me, the jokes here (and there were many of them) did not land on me. At all. This will be a completely subjective experience, like any book we read. And to be fair, the jokes successfully set the fun and maybe even whimsical tone nicely, but for me, they make the narrative feel too oriented for younger readers. This was especially true in the first half of the novel. If you think Wayne's jokes were bad, wait until you read the main character's here. I actually got secondhand embarrassment from many of his jokes. It is well known that Sanderson is a huge fan of Terry Pratchett's books and Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, and it seems like he might be channeling a bit too much of his love for these books into the storytelling and writing here. Sanderson's love for Pratchett's books shines nicely in Tress of the Emerald Sea, in my opinion, but not in this book.

“The way we respond to bad turns is the only thing we have control over.”

However, despite the disconnection with the jokes and comedy, I have to say the character had a well-written gradual character development. This notion did not happen quickly (for me) because I did not feel invested in the main character until I reached the second half. One of the things I loved most about the novel is how the theme of redemption, overcoming challenges, and destroying negative mindsets are implemented into the narrative. We witness more of this as the main character's past is gradually revealed; a little pebble can start an avalanche. Negative thoughts can be insidious. And when you are clouded by the snowball effect of its compounding, it is not easy to get out of it. This is discussed often in The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England. And it played a big part in increasing my enjoyment of the book. As I said, I felt fully invested in the main character’s story arc near the end. But that situation is specifically reserved for the main character and narrator. The supporting characters are a different matter. This is my second main issue with the book. The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England is a relatively small book. And with only 400 pages and 80,000 words long, containing many superb illustrations (more on this later), the relatively short length of the novel did not provide enough space and room in the story for developing the supporting characters and maximizing the world-building. In return, the supporting characters felt underdeveloped and forgettable. I did not plan this, but I was on a first-person POV book binge lately. And in these magnificent books, like Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown or The Will of the Many by James Islington, the authors succeeded in making me care deeply about the supporting characters even though their stories were told solely through the first-person perspective of one main character. Sad to say, I did not get that in this book.

“Killing is desperation, not strength. To live without killing… that is a strong society. If the reverse were true, my lands would not be withering away, like crops long without water…” Damn, that guy could be profound. And depressing. Five stars. Should be narrating documentaries about disasters like Chernobyl. Or my love life.

World-building is one of Sanderson's best strengths as a storyteller. Even those who disliked his books often agree that his world-building is impressive and imaginative. The same notion and praises can be applied here. However, the high concept of multiple dimensions that offers many possibilities for more books in the universe or series would've been better if this book was not a one-off standalone novel. The world-building would've worked more if this secret novel was the first book in a series or a universe of standalone stories. Just imagine this, in this novel, the story deals with one story in one dimension. This multiple dimension can become Sanderson's new playground to write more standalone sci-fi novels. Who knows, this might happen in the future; I don't recommend that because there are still so many stories in the Cosmere to tell. But if it does come to that, meaning we have more books in the same universe, I will most likely go back to this review and edit my wording. Right now, though, the world-building here remains a cool underdeveloped premise that needs more exposure or books to reach its maximum potential. And the relatively low page count doesn't do it justice. Even if the Sanderlanche did provide a satisfying and engaging reading experience, as expected of Sanderson's storytelling.

“The more I’ve studied history, the more I’ve realized that grand achievements aren’t so much about aptitude as about timing. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, history will fill important roles with the people it has available.”

As you can probably tell, it's not easy for me to review this book. Sanderson is one of my favorite authors of all time. His accessible prose, characterizations, world-building, actions, and storytelling suits me superbly. Except for Elantris, I never rated any of Sanderson's novels below a 4 out of 5 stars. But if I have to judge this book solely from the story and text, I would rate it a 3 out of 5 stars. Fortunately, my overall rating is not only based on my experience with reading the text. The immense production value needs to be put into account as well. And Steve Argyle, the artist behind the second secret project, went above and beyond with his contributions. I am not joking. If you think Tress of the Emerald Sea already has an abundance of stunning artwork, wait until you read this one. In total, Steve Argyle provided more than 100 unique artworks. Every chapter header here is distinctive; no repetition. And there are more than 30 chapters! These are on top of 5 fully colored interior illustrations, two-toned front and rear endpapers, and 17 two-toned interior illustrations. AND many small comic strips as well. The magnificent illustrations and production value elevated the overall package of the novel to 3.5 stars or a 4 out of 5 stars rating. Tress of the Emerald Sea came in green, and The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England is produced in blue. If you are familiar with The Way of Kings Dragonsteel leatherbound edition, the two-toned interior illustration is similar to the blue two-toned interior art in The Way of Kings. And yes, Steve Argyle provided some two-toned interior illustrations there, too.

“We get the word “wizard” itself from the same root as “wisdom.” While modern pop culture has co-opted the term to evoke the image of long beards, pointy hats, and the occasional bescarred boy with a wand, in ancient times it wasn’t so much the magic that identified these individuals. It was knowledge. Yes, this knowledge is often attached to the arcane or unseen in the stories— but what is magic but a science not yet discovered? In the life you now live, you might think yourself unaccomplished, stuck in a rut. You might mourn at how little you’ve accomplished. But in the scope of the history of humankind, you are a god. The knowledge you hold from a simple high school education is vast compared to the comprehensive knowledge of some of the weightiest minds in history. You carry technological marvels that could literally topple kingdoms in your pocket, or perhaps embedded in your own body.

After putting the story and the production value into the equation, I will rate this book with a 3.5 stars rating. That's the same rating I gave Elantris. I haven't read many of the non-Cosmere books by Brandon Sanderson yet, such as The Reckoners, The Rithmatist, Alcatraz, and Skyward series. But excluding short stories, novellas, and graphic novels, and although still a good book overall, this rating makes the second secret project novel my least favorite Sanderson book that I've read so far. I am not disappointed, though. The ebook I read was already super beautiful, and I cannot wait to see how much better the physical book will be. My instinct says the physical book will have different cover art for the secret surprise effect. But we shall see. I look forward to reading the third and fourth secret novels (my most anticipated Sanderson's secret projects) in July and October.

“Do not be ashamed of your joy… Regardless of what aelv Ryan says. This is not a thing of shame. It is why I fight. It is why my sons bled. Never be ashamed of joy.”

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions | I also have a Booktube channel

Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!

My Patrons: Alfred, Aliysa, Anastasia, Andrew, Andrew W, Annabeth, Arliss, Barbara, Brad, Cade, Casey, Chris, Diana, Dylan, Edward, Elias, Ellen, Gary, Hamad, Helen, Jenn, Jesse, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Kristina, Luis, Lufi, Melinda, Meryl, Michael, Michael, Miracle, Nicholas, Radiah, Samuel, Sarah, Sarah, Scott, Shawn, Teri, Tori, Tracy, Wendy, Wick, Xero, Yuri, Zoe.
Profile Image for Anna [Bran. San. Stan].
262 reviews83 followers
May 1, 2023
April 1, 2023: Let’s do this! I’m psyched! Later that day: All the stars. I couldn't put it down. As the title already promises, this magical sci fi was hilarious! It’s Jason Bourne interdimensionally traveling from an advanced world to a medieval one. “Californication … bromance, vlog, podcast.” You’ll get it once you get there…. “Or I shall Nintendo you!”

It’s not just the humorous tone that drives this, it’s also the mystery. Who is our first-person narrator? Why has he decided to travel? What has he experienced that he wants to escape? What has gone wrong with his travel? Why does he review everything, including the hiding quality of trees?(“Three stars. Uncomfortable root network. Not for an inexperienced hider. See my other reviews of trees in the area for more options.”)

I can’t go into any of this without spoiling, but let’s just say Sanderson created yet another lovable, round character whom we accompany on his literal and figurative journey – of both self-discovery and of discovery of an unknown magical world. Much like a medieval knight, he goes on several quests to help its people – from a mystical storyteller to an adventurous grandmother. And at some point goes by the name of Runian VonInternet of Cascadia.

My favorite part of The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England, however, was probably the actual “handbook” to interdimensional travel – samples of which you will find throughout the book. These excerpts, which our narrator has access to, were full of clever and hilarious FAQs and footnotes, displaying a rather tongue-in-cheek marketing strategy. You want to investigate the “unique Celtic True Matriarchy™ dimension“? Or maybe you’re more adventurous and want to toss the dice with the Wizard Wildcard™? Rest assured that whichever dimension you choose won’t be suffering a global pandemic.(4) Unless, of course, that is your express desire.(5)

(4) Legal note: Our Plague-free Guarantee™ is void for all customers who refuse personal medial nannites. Enter your dimension at your own risk. Maybe bring a prefitted casket.

(5) Are you a kind soul or a medical buff who wants to purchase a dimension that IS undergoing a massive global pandemic? Ever wish to single-handedly cure the Black Death? See our fantastic Packages section for more info on how you can! See page 191. Pandemic dimensions are available at a steeply reduced price, depending on the severity of the pandemic. Warning: These dimensions have limited lifespans.


Now enough of that silliness. Let’s get to the worldbuilding as it’s quite extensive. For one thing, the juxtaposition of a futuristic world to a medieval setting is really entertaining, but it also means familiarizing yourself with two different sets of worlds/time periods which took me a bit to get used to. But I guess that’s par for the course for this blend of genres – and for Sanderson. Maybe that’s just me.

Regardless, the futuristic world (sometime after 2103) from where our narrator hails not only offers interdimensional travel (not time travel), but also provides people with nannites that heal them from wounds/diseases and with other augments, such as platings under the skin to protect from, say, sharp objects. The medieval world, meanwhile, comes with an intricate mythology that, while fascinating, was somewhat info-dumpey at times.

Moreover, these medieval dimensions, though as old as our reality, are about half a millennium behind in technology and social development, giving the dimensional traveler an Earth-lite™ experience, a “semi-accurate experience reminiscent of medieval England” – and Sanderson the creative license and freedom for anachronisms and new additions, such as speaking modern English or mythical beings called aelfs (elfs) or landswights. In a nutshell, interdimensional travel is time travel in disguise, without having to deal with altering history and its complex consequences – and adding tourism is a wonderful twist to it.

I’m gonna finish this and do it like Runian: Five stars. Amazing experience. Total immersion. Bonus points for making me laugh out loud. See my other reviews on Sanderson for other brilliant options.

“Can I have a dimension full of talking bananas?”


March 11, 2022:
Brilliant title? Check.
Exciting premise? Check.
Whimsical tone? Check.

In case you are wondering what to expect from this non-Cosmere novel, Sanderson explained that three different seeds came together here:
- inter-dimensional time travel tourism
- Jason Bourne (character piecing together who they are) trapped in the past
- a little bit of Hitchhiker‘s Guide to the Galaxy (hence the title: The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England

I immensely enjoyed Sanderson’s reading of the first 6 chapters and I kind of wish he would just narrate the audiobooks himself. Boy, am I excited for 2023 and the release of all these secret Kickstarter books!

You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kLr1...
Profile Image for Overhaul.
273 reviews610 followers
April 26, 2023
La fascinante aventura de un mago amnésico enfrentado a las diabluras de un viaje en el tiempo.

Un hombre despierta en el claro de un bosque de lo que parece ser la Inglaterra medieval, sin ningún recuerdo sobre quién es, de dónde procede ni por qué está allí. Perseguido por un grupo llegado de su propia época, su única posibilidad de sobrevivir pasa por recuperar la memoria perdida, conseguir aliados entre la gente del lugar y quizás incluso confiar en sus supersticiosos alardes.

Bla, bla, bla, bla...

Su única ayuda del «mundo real» debería haber sido un manual titulado La guía del mago frugal para sobrevivir en la Inglaterra del Medievo, pero el ejemplar que tenía explotó en el traslado.

Bla, bla, bla, bla..

Los escasos fragmentos que logró rescatar le proporcionan pistas sobre su situación, pero ¿logrará atar cabos a tiempo de sobrevivir?

Bla, bla, bla, bla...

Leído en inglés, animado y con ganas, previo a su publicación en unos días (jueves 27) por la editorial Nova.

El hacha está en posición, dulce, brillante y mortal..🪓

Comencemos, eso de "fascinante" que anuncian no lo vi por ningún lado. Ni con una lupa, ni con el mejor microscopio fabricado por el ser humano.

Dicen que tiene algunas similitudes con "Guía del autoestopista galáctica".

Ni lo sé, ni me importa. No le pondré final a esta historia pues su trama y sus personajes no me han gustado lo más mínimo. Nefasto.

El resultado es el que es. Mi abandono por un aburrimiento innecesario de soportar.

Abandonado al 69%. Bastante aguante..😮‍💨

Me deja bastante alucinado que, esto, lo haya escrito Sanderson. Algo he oído por ahí que ni a los editores les gustó o les convencía. Pero bueno también hay lectores que lo ponen bien.

Normalmente me ciño a la cita de mi estimado Xabi. Que para gustos, los colores, los culos y las flores. Pero en este caso con toda honestidad, no sé qué leches le ven.

No pude más y bastante aguante así que aquí lo dejo, decepcionante, muy decepcionante. Es un libro que se deja leer pero como si no estuvieras leyendo nada y perdiendo el tiempo, no es gran cosa. Para mi ni de lejos. Si pones Sanderson en la portada, apaga y vámonos..

No me ha gustado nada, pero NADA el intento y digo intento de Brandon Sanderson de escribir con humor. No lo encontré para nada divertido y parece que se esfuerza demasiado, tanto que se nota de una manera que hasta da corte, por ser ingenioso. Fuerza tanto las cosas.

Se intenta marcar un Pratchett que.. puff.. que hostiazo se ha pegado.. 🫣

No me gustó la ejecución del libro, ni su trama. La cual no me llamo en ningún momento.

El personaje principal no es ni simpático, ni me gustó. De hecho a medida que se revelava más sobre su vida me gustaba cada vez menos.

Todos los personajes del libro son tan planos como el cartón. La trama me importaba una mierda, y sí, tiene buenas ideas, qué hizo con ellas, ni puñetera idea. Dejé el libro al 69% que no es poco, y ni puñetera idea de qué hizo. El resultado es el que es..

Por lo que he leído, para algunos, el final se queda en satisfactorio encajando mal.

Para ser un Sanderson es bastante nefasto. Es tan nefasto que normalmente aunque saque el hacha, muestro cierto respeto que se debe. Pero este libro me ha parecido una de las mayores pérdidas de tiempo desde que empecé a leer.

Mi única queja con el Archivo de las Tormentas es la vasta longitud de cada libro, demasiado, el anterior libro de "Trenza Esmeralda" estuvo bien, me recordó a ese Sanderson de "Elantris" o "Aliento".

Este es tan terrible como horrible. No deja de ser mi criterio. Aún así, advertidos quedáis. Es infumable y terriblemente decepcionante..

Se va de cabeza al olvido más absoluto y eterno en el más oscuro, recóndito y lejano agujero de este universo..✍️🎩
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,172 reviews98.2k followers
April 23, 2023
this is a story about a man who wakes up in medieval england with no memory, but a deep feeling of great loss, and a physical handbook to guide in this new adventure. we get to learn about this world that is like ours, but with the technology to travel to multiple dimensions, while also having augments to strengthen your human body. but ultimately, this story made me realize that from this point on, i think i will only read sanderson's cosmere stories.

this was truly such a disappointment. i get what sanderson was trying to do, and trying to critique, but it is so surface level that it just ends up feeling extra bad and extra hollow (especially when cops and law enforcement are involved throughout). there are constant "jokes" and "funny" star ratings throughout this story as well, and they truly constantly made me feel like i was cringing out of my skin. on top of it all, our main character is so damn unlikeable, and i think he is meant to be, but he extra made this book so insufferable to read for 400 pages.

i am giving this two stars because steve argyle's art is so beautiful and was truly the shining star of this entire work.

trigger + content warnings: memory loss, battle, death, murder, violence, loss of a loved one in past, grief depiction, depression depiction, pandemic mention, brief mentions of loss of a child, kidnapping, self harm for proof of medical abilities, talk of colonization, gun violence, mention of cheating, suicide ideation

blog | instagram | youtube | kofi | spotify | amazon

Tress of the Emerald Sea ★★★★★
Profile Image for Elle.
587 reviews1,317 followers
Want to read
April 5, 2022
As a reader I’m stoked, but I know every author that saw Brandon Sanderson wrote 5 *additional* books during the pandemic was just like

Profile Image for Lamaleluna.
287 reviews1,141 followers
May 20, 2023
Tremendo!! Que joyita te mandaste Brandon!

La guía del mago frugal para sobrevivir en la Inglaterra del medioevo es el segundo proyecto secreto de Brandon Sanderson, los libros que escribió durante la pandemia y decidió publicar todos juntos dos años después.

Este libro no forma parte del Cosmere (universo literario del autor), es decir, puede leerse de manera independiente. Si bien es de mis libros favoritos No Cosmere no lo recomiendo como libro para comenzar a leer a Brandon, tiene un estilo muy único, nuevo y bastante poco convencional.

La guía del mago nos presenta a un protagonista que despierta en una dimensión alternativa sin recordar nada de su pasado, de quién es y de cómo llegó ahí. Poco a poco irá atando cabos y conociendo la Inglaterra medieval a la que terminó viajando, todo gracias a unas páginas de una guía del mago frugal.

El libro se presenta a si mismo como una sátira, para mayor disfrute debes adentrarte en el tono irónico y humorístico que te plantea el autor. Una vez que entras en ritmo es pura risa. (me llevó unas buenas 100 páginas, pero a partir de ahí no pare de disfrutar cada línea)

Los fragmentos de guía que intercalan las páginas son super divertidos de leer y ayudan al lector a entender el contexto del protagonista. Amé cada sección. No, no podés viajar a una dimensión con bananas parlantes, perdón. 🍌

Y ya para cerrar esta increíble reseña, tengo que destacar el DRAMA y la TELENOVELA que se mandó Brandon para el final. Llena de revelaciones y chisme sobre el pasado del protagonista.
Los personajes secundarios también fueron un disfrute, divertidos, románticos y los malos bien malos malos. 😎
Dan ganas de amar, odiar y reír.

Súper recomedado! Una novela ligera y divertida!

Yo leyendo La guía del mago frugal para sobrevivir en la Inglaterra del medioevo: 😎😳🤩🤪🥲
Profile Image for Drew McCaffrey.
90 reviews24 followers
May 12, 2023
Beta read. Wonderfully unexpected, in multiple ways!
Profile Image for Jeraviz.
915 reviews408 followers
June 5, 2023
Pues es una tontería bien grande.

Y no me refiero a la idea. La idea me parece interesante. Un hombre despierta amnésico en la Inglaterra medieval con un manual que le explica lo justo y necesario para saber lo que le ha pasado.

Lo que no me ha convencido es todo lo demás. Por un lado, Sanderson aplica un humor a toda la novela que no funciona. Mete chistes con calzador y a veces me ha parecido oir hasta unos platillos de fondo esperando las risas. No me ha convencido.
El protagonista no me ha enganchado y conforme se iba conociendo más su vida me iba cayendo peor.
Y luego la trama se deja leer sin más. Desaprovecha las posibilidades de la idea inicial.

Si lo hubiera leído en papel seguramente lo hubiera abandonado pero en audiolibro aguanto un poco más. Por lo tanto, no lo recomiendo y si lo lees no esperes el nivel de Trenza del mar esmeralda.
Profile Image for ElwoodRadley.
174 reviews15 followers
April 4, 2023
DNF @ 38%. Just can’t do it. I am not a fan of Sanderson’s attempt at humorous writing. I don’t find any of it funny and it feels like he tries way too hard to be witty. Such a shame, this is the third Sanderson book I’ve DNF’d. Alloy of law (much for the same reasons of being forcefully witty) and Elantris (I just thought it was terrible).

Mistborn era 1 and Stormlight are some of my favorite books ever, but the rest of his that I’ve read were very “childish” I guess? Idk, but I’m disappointed.
Profile Image for Shaghayegh.
298 reviews79 followers
April 4, 2023
خب، واقعا چیزی نبود که انتظارشو داشتم، اما دروغه که بگم ازش لذت نبردم، مثل بقیه‌ی کارای سندرسون نبود، اما از جالب بودن کارش کم نمی‌کنه.
داستان مربوط به بُعدای دیگه‌ست، دنیا به جایی رسیده که می‌تونی یه بعد بخری و صاحب اون سیاره بشی، اما تجربه‌ای که توی اون بعد و سیاره‌ی جدید داری با تجربه‌ی زمینی یکی نیست و کمی فرق داره.
ماجرا وقتی شروع می‌شه که یه مرد وسط یه مزرعه از خواب بیدار می‌شه اما چیزی یادش نمیاد، نه اسمش، نه گذشته‌ش. به مرور زمان و با گذروندن اتفاقات مختلف کم‌کم تکه‌هایی از خاطراتش برمی‌گرده و می‌فهمه که کی بوده و چیکارا کرده، و حالا که بین فردی که در حال خاضر هست، و فردی که قبلا بوده فرقایی می‌بینه باید انتخاب کنه که کدومشونه!
داستان به سه قسمت تقسیم شده، یکی ماجرای اصلی که مربوط به سفر این فرد در یک بعد دیگه به انگلستان قرون وسطاست.
یکی صفحات سوالات متداول کتابچه‌ی راهنمای جادوگر مقتصد.
و یکی خاطرات اولین فردی که سفر به بُعدهای دیگه داشته.
آرت کتاب جالب و متفاوت بود مخصوصا قسمتای مارجینالیا 🥺
یه چیزی که در مورد این کتاب برام جالب بود قضیه‌ی انحراف از واقعیت زمین بود.
توضیح می‌داد که هر بعد کمی با نسخه‌ی زمینی فرق داره و از واقعیت منحرف شده. مثلا ممکنه شاه ریچارد دوم رو نبینی، ولی یه تام دوم وجود داره که می‌تونی به عنوان خراج‌گذار بپذیری.
توی نسخه‌ای که ما هستیم فردی وجود داشت که مبلغ مذهبی بود، و اهورا مزدا!!!! رو تبلیغ می‌کرد.
وقتی شخصیت اصلی ازش می‌پرسه پس مسیح چی شد؟ اون فرد می‌گه اوه مسیح رو یه جورایی پسرعموی پیامبر ماست، وقتی داشتن به صلیب می‌کشیدنش اهورا مزدا نجاتش داد 😂
کلا بازی که سندرسون توی کتاباش با مذهب می‌کنه همیشه برای من جالب بوده.
نکته‌ی دیگه میشه به بازی با کلماتش اشاره کرد.
از اول کتاب یه سری کلمه بود که تکرار میشد و من تا آخرای کتاب تو کفش بودم که این چیه، و آخرش وقتی فهمیدم پخش زمین شدم 😂
در کل کتاب فانی بود.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,608 reviews1,481 followers
April 30, 2023
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

3.5 hearts

During the pandemic, some writers couldn't write a book, others delivered like nothing was going on, some changed drastically what they were writing. But, Brandon Sanderson was/is a little different than everyone else out there and he not only delivered on his promised contracts but also wrote not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 non-contracted books.  He then had the biggest Kickstarter of all time and now we are here with the second of those books The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England.

This is the only book of the 4 written that isn't set in the Cosmere and while it does have at least one character from the Evil Librarians series in it, this is really just an exercise in fun.  Welcome to the multiverse where you can purchase your own dimension to own.  This dimension will be similar to the earth you know but set back in Mediaeval times along a different historical path.  You being from a technically advanced dimension will seem like a Wizard to the dimension you have landed in.

Johnny wakes up with no memory of who he, where he is or how he got there.  All he has is battered pages of a handbook for his dimensional jump to a new dimension in Medieval England.  As he goes on quests to help some of the people he meets initially more of his memories return.  We learn it is quite freeing to forget who you are, as you can reinvent yourself into a new person without the history of who you used to be.

This is supposed to be a lite story with some adventure, some silliness, some magic and some redemption.  Overall I had a good time in the story.  I like Johnny and his discovery of the man he used to be.  For me some of the best parts of the story were the handbook itself.  Can I have a dimension with talking bananas, Plague dimensions at a super discounted price if you want to try and save a world.  There are many trademark and legal subscripts to the handbook for the company selling them to be safe.  Always read the fine print

(4) Legal note: Our Plague-free Guarantee™ is void for all customers who refuse personal medial nannites. Enter your dimension at your own risk. Maybe bring a prefitted casket.   

Overall it's not my favorite Sanderson story.  There is the cheeky humor, the scifi aspect, the rediscovery of self and a new dimension with magic on it.  But the overall flow was a little off for me and it took me awhile to warm to the world and the magic in it.  Specifically how "boasting" worked to win battles.  The story is unique and interesting as always.  Sanderson does have a great imagination and has given us another look into just how packed full of stories his mind is

I think this would be great for those who really like gaming quests and are more in the YA realm.  The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England is more of a Middle Grade to YA book.  Which makes total sense since Sanderson wrote this story as a gift for his son.

Just a note for readers of the ebook and hardbacks.  There are great illustrations throughout the story for the reader.  I had both and while I listened to this book, I did go through the ebook to see all the great artwork as it was a lot of fun to see it in the context of the story.

Michael Kramer and Kate Reading are beyond pros in the narration world.  They are a dynamic duo that always do a superb job and really I can't say enough about how well they narrate EVERYTHING they do together.  I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.

Listen to a clip HERE
Profile Image for Cami L. González.
1,116 reviews350 followers
May 25, 2023

Esta novela no está dentro del Cosmere del autor, así que es una historia que pueden leer sin preocuparse de sus conexiones con otros libros, además, tiene un tono que se acercó mucho más a lo que hizo con la saga de Alcatraz que a sus novelas de fantasía o ciencia ficción.

Un hombre despierta en medio de un claro, con jeans y una capa. No recuerda cómo llegó ahí, quién es, su nombre ni nada sobre sí mismo. Sin embargo, no tarda en entender que está en una dimensión alterna que replica el Medioevo y que hay unas personas buscándolo.

"La vida no es una partida de dados, en la que a cada tirada tienes la misma probabilidaad de ganar que la anterior. En la vida real, cuando pierdes un poco, empiezas a preguntarte si es que mereces perder. Te pones nervioso, cometes errores, sobrecompensas. Eso hace que pierdas más, y se va acumulando."

Como dije el tono de este libro es mucho más parecido a la saga middle-grade de Sanderson, Alcatraz versus los Bibliotecarios Malvados, que cualquier otro libro adulto o juvenil que hubiera sacado en el último tiempo. Ya que se sostuvo por la narración en primera persona de protagonista y su forma de hacerlo, las bromas que hacía, los pensamientos que tenía y ese humor de autoburla, muy Alcatraz.

La lógica detrás del libro era bastante entretenida y a lo largo de varios capítulos cortos tuvimos acceso a la verdadera guía del mago Frugal para sobrevivir en la Inglaterra del Medioevo. Me gustó que Sanderson intercalara la historia con el libro que el mismo protagonista tenía para orientarse en ese mundo. Además, el libro estaba escrito con ese tono satírico de burla hacia las guías, las estrategias de marketing y los asuntos legales, así que esos pequeños capítulos resultaban muy divertidos de leer.

"Eran quienes construían, no quienes tomaban, la gente que cambiaba el mundo."

La historia del libro era bastante sencilla y lineal, no hubo flashbacks, el protagonista solo nos contó lo importante que fue recordando de su pasado. Tampoco hubo grandes descripciones o explicaciones del mundo, por lo que la historia era muy directa y se centraba en la acción y en el viaje del protagonista de entender quién era y qué hacía. Por eso disfruté el libro, pero tampoco mucho más, me pareció una historia entretenida y sencilla para pasar el rato. Bien armada, personajes memorables, mundo interesante, pero que se quedó solo en ser divertida. Además, me jugó en contra que estoy con Brujerías de Pratchett y ese libro me ha sacado hasta carcajadas.

A pesar de lo anterior, me pareció que tenía unos puntos muy buenos. Por ejemplo, la discusión que se formó sobre el rol de los dioses y su participación en la vida humana. Es un tema recurrente en Sanderson, la deidad y la religión y aquí volvió a tocar el tema, claro que lo hizo con un tono de broma, pero el trasfondo me pareció profundo. Por otro lado, el arco del personaje me pareció lo mejor del libro (la media estrella es solo por eso), me encantó el proceso de intentar descubrir quién era, para luego intentar descubrir quién quería ser. Los mensajes relacionados a la dignidad, al luchar por lo que se quiere, a no huir y todo eso me parecieron muy bellos. De verdad que solo por el protagonista disfruté este libro.

"Resulta que la dignidad no puede quitártela nadie. Tienes que renunciar tú a ella."

La guía del mago frugal para sobrevivir en la Inglaterra del Medioevo es una novela que se escapa un poco de lo último que sacó el autor, más cercana a la ciencia ficción que a la fantasía que no tiene conexión con el Cosmere. Una historia sencilla y divertida con un protagonista que no recuerda quien es y debe descubrirlo.
Profile Image for Laura Fantasyliterature.
326 reviews417 followers
May 11, 2023
Con lo que yo amo a Sanderson… esto ha sido, sinceramente, una decepción. Le sigo amando igual, y no es que esté mal escrito o sea malo realmente, es que la estructura y trama de la novela es tan sumamente diferente a lo que sus fans esperamos de él, que a mi honestamente no me ha gustado, es más, me ha resultado tedioso. Esperaba magia pero solo ha habido personajes aburridos intentando ser graciosos. Finalmente no ha sido para mí… y me da mucha pena.
El principio ha sido original y muy novedoso, de veras me estaba divirtiendo un montón y viviéndolo a tope... pero... luego se convirtió en una novela estilo western que no va para nada conmigo :(
Profile Image for Bibliotecario De Arbelon.
250 reviews110 followers
May 4, 2023
Había visto opiniones muy dispares sobre este libro, así que lo empecé con un poco de miedo sobre lo que me iba a encontrar. Al final, ni tan bien ni tan mal. Entretenido, sin más.

Es cierto que siempre que Sanderson saca un libro las expectativas estan por las nubes y más con la publicación de los Proyectos Secretos. La Guía del Mago Frugal es el segundo de estos proyectos y el único no ambientado en el Cosmere.

El protagonista aparece en un lugar medieval sin recordar quien es ni que hace allí. A partir de esa premisa, iremos descubriendo más del lugar, del protagonista y de como ha llegado ahí.

Una trama senzilla, entretenida y divertida, con unos personajes funcionales y con un humor particular (que a mí me ha gustado). No os acerquéis a este libro pensando que vais a descubrir la mejor novela de Sanderson, porque no es así. Mi recomendación es leer La Guía del Mago Frugal sin pretensiones, dejandose llevar y disfrutando de la historia.

Un libro perfecto para desconectar, para echarse una risas y disfrutar de una lectura amena. Justo lo que necesitaba en este momento y me ha sentado como agua de mayo (nunca mejor dicho).

P.D.: Siempre es interesante ver que el señor Bagsworth sigue publicando libros. ;)
Profile Image for Rodger’s Reads.
169 reviews87 followers
April 4, 2023
3.5 ⭐️ rounded up for now. The more time that goes by the less impact this book has left. It is totally absolutely fine. And fun enough for what it is.

This book was truly not what I expected, but by the end I didn’t even care because it was a lot of fun. It is much more Sci fi than fantasy, but there may or may not be a few fantastical elements tucked away. A full video review is available on my YouTube (https://youtu.be/7nYoOl4QPik)
Profile Image for Librukie.
517 reviews288 followers
May 2, 2023
(Creo que esta es una de las veces en las que más dudé a la hora de redondear la nota de un libro, porque es un 3.5 CLAVADO. Así que, quedaos con esa idea.)

Con sus recuerdos tocados y un manual de instrucciones al que le faltan la mitad de las páginas, un hombre despierta en lo que parece ser la Inglaterra medieval. En una divertida novela llena de humor que mezcla la ciencia ficción con la fantasía, acompañaremos a nuestro protagonista en una aventura a la vez que intenta aclarar quién es y qué hace allí.

Llegué a esta novela un poco preocupada por las reseñas que había leído, ya que la mayoría no la ponían en muy buen lugar. A las expectativas por los suelos se le unió que ya de por sí era la novela secreta que menos me llamaba por no formar parte del Cosmere. Y al igual que muchas veces las expectativas nos la juegan para mal... Esta vez pude experimentar lo contrario, ya que me encontré con una novela simple pero muy divertida, que me hizo reir unas cuantas veces y con la que me lo pasé muy bien.
Sí, es cierto que no está al nivel de otras novelas de Sanderson, pero no creo que ninguna de estas novelas secretas lo pretenda. Al fin y al cabo son un extra, historias ágiles y menos profundas para leer entre sus obras más densas. ¿Quiere decir eso que solo por esto las voy a juzgar diferente? Pues tampoco es eso, pero lo que sí es cierto es que espero un poco menos de ellas, y por tanto es más difícil que me decepcionen.

Creo que gran parte del peso de que te guste (o no) esta novela recae en su particular sentido del humor. Si te gusta, lo tienes hecho. Si no te convence... No creo que te resulte demasiado entretenida. Al fin y al cabo el humor es algo super personal y subjetivo, y no a todos nos hacen reir las mismas cosas. A mi personalmente me gustó, y por eso la disfruté tanto a pesar de una trama más flojita, una narración mucho más simple, y una magia (porque sí, algo de magia hay) mucho menos desarrollada de lo que Sanderson nos tiene acostumbrados.

Si esperáis grandes cosas de esta novela quizá os decepcione. Si como yo veníais a pasar un buen rato y a que os saque una sonrisa, quizá os sorprenda si consigue llegaros con ese sentido del humor.
A mi personalmente al final me ha ganado a pesar de mi desconfianza.
Profile Image for Linh.
210 reviews8 followers
April 15, 2023

There I was, slipping down a reading slump where I was feeling disconnected and apathetic about the things I read. Then I decided to read a chapter of The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England (is this too long of a name? Yeah I think it is 😂). It was so funny!?!? Then I read another chapter. Then another. Then another! Before I knew it, I got to experience one of my favorite feelings as a reader; when you find something that just clicks so well that the story and the character just absorb you. ❤️❤️

Is The Frugal Wizard's Handbook a romantic story? Yeah, it is; but it's more than that. Is it a time-travel sci-fi book? Yeah, it is; but it's more than that. Is it a novel about self-discovery and redemption? Absolutely! But it is more than that.

Whatever it is, I can say that I laughed a lot, and cried a little. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Ali Book World.
319 reviews175 followers
April 27, 2023
ایده‌ش ناب بود، جدید بود و از همه مهم‌تر اینه که داستانش متنوع بود.
از خوندنش لذت بردم. عالی نیست اما قشنگه !
داستان در مورد مَردیه که یهو خودشو وسط یک مزرعه می‌بینه و همه چی براش جدیده، هیچ خاطره‌ای نداره و کلا هیچی یادش نمیاد...

پ.ن: سندرسون دیگه داره مرزهای شوخی با افراد مهم تاریخ رو جابجا میکنه😂 از انیشتین و برادران رایت گرفته تا عیسی مسیح و اهورامزدا 😂🤝
Profile Image for Shreyas.
487 reviews11 followers
April 14, 2023
"The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England" (Secret Project #2) by Brandon Sanderson.
[Illustrations by Steve Argyle]

Status: First Read.
Dates Read: 1st April to 6th April 2023.

Rating: 4.5/5.

In the life you now live, you might think yourself unaccomplished, stuck in a rut. You might mourn at how little you’ve accomplished. But in the scope of the history of humankind, you are a god. The knowledge you hold from a simple high school education is vast compared to the comprehensive knowledge of some of the weightiest minds in history. You carry technological marvels that could literally topple kingdoms in your pocket, or perhaps embedded in your own body.

Disclaimer: The following review contains minor spoilers for this book. Do tread with caution.

When the pandemic hit the world in the year 2020, Brandon Sanderson, like the prolific author he is, sat down and wrote 5 additional novels apart from his usual writing commitments. Most of these "Secret Projects" (as they came to be called) were written exclusively for his wife and kids, and it was only at his wife's behest, that he decided to release these stories to the entire world. And that's how one of the world's biggest fantasy Kickstarter projects came into existence.

First of all, before I get all serious about the review, let me just get this out of my system: Storms, the book's name is far too long. I have often ended up saying its name wrong while discussing this book with my friends – mostly switching the 'Handbook' part with 'Guide'. Instead of typing its colossal name often in the review, I'll be shortening it simply to "The Frugal Wizard's Handbook" wherever required. It is a cool name though, and the name resonates with the premise of the book.

Over the last few days, I have seen some unfavorable reviews of this book, and although, as a Sanderson fan, I'm disheartened looking at these reviews, I'm not surprised. Had I read this book a few years ago, I too might have had a similar reaction to it. This book contains all of the elements that used to put me off reading back then – first-person perspective, a bit of young adult-ish appeal, the sci-fi genre, a character-driven plot, and a mostly unreliable narrator. But now that I have read a lot of books comprising of these story elements and all those catering to the different subgenres, I'm quite comfortable with reading books like this – and I do truly appreciate what Brandon has done with the story. This might not be the best Sanderson has to offer, but this is definitely not one of his worst works that some reviews are making it out to be.

Comparisons with 'Tress of the Emerald Sea' might be unfair since it is a different kind of book that belongs to a different genre and might appeal more to a younger age group. However, if comparisons are to be made, this book might just fall short of your expectations. Deterred by the unfavorable reviews, I went in expecting the absolute worst from Sanderson, but by the time I finished the book, I was completely blown away by how good this story was. So, fellow Sanderfans, here's some advice from someone who eventually became a fan of this book: Keep aside all your bias against Sanderson's non-Cosmere books that cater to a younger genre, go in with lower expectations and keep an open mind, and perhaps you might end up liking this book as much as I did.

The story, retrospectively, feels more character-driven than plot-driven. This doesn't imply that the book lacks a solid plot, but merely that it takes a backseat when compared to the main protagonist's character arc. This book is, basically, the protagonist's (I shall refrain from revealing his name since it gets revealed sometime around the midway mark of the book, and hence might be considered as a major spoiler) journey of self-discovery – his eventual discovery that he is not a worthless failure but someone, like all of us, who has a potential to make a positive impact on his surroundings. It is a journey of a broken man and his redemption – in his own eyes, the thing that matters most to him as he is often troubled with doubts over his self-worth. And, above everything else, it is a wonderful tale of two individuals – both from vastly different periods and different worlds – who fall in love amidst cataclysmic events.

While Sanderson is notoriously known for his ability to incorporate a good romance in his books, he seems to have been improving in that field lately. And while I won't say he has perfected writing romance in this book, I ended up enjoying what he had to offer. The book is short, but the budding romance doesn't feel abrupt – there's some initial banter and bickering among the two individuals that make you want to "ship" them. It grows organically, and on top of it, doesn't even divert the focus away from the main story. Perhaps I simply liked it because I'm a sucker for stories with broken individuals ultimately finding happiness and getting their well-deserved happy endings. There were a lot of things towards the back end of the book that worked well for the story that elevated its overall rating in my eyes.

Although "The Frugal Wizard's Handbook" is a considerably shorter book by Sanderson's standards, that doesn't limit Sanderson's worldbuilding prowess. The worldbuilding, as one comes to expect from Sanderson, is exceptional. Concepts such as many-worlds interpretation, parallel dimensions, quantum physics, and the multiverse are seamlessly incorporated into the story – in a way that all of it isn't too overwhelming to one who isn't well versed with all of this scientific mumbo-jumbo. Having recently read "Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch, I greatly appreciated Brandon's take on a similar subject. Similarly, the white-room beginning (a story that begins with the protagonist suffering from amnesia) reminded me of "The Original" (an audio-exclusive story that Brandon co-wrote with Mary Robinette Kowal) and "Project Hail Mary". Brandon also draws in certain elements from the Nordic myths and modifies them to suit the many-worlds interpretation. It's not an absolute necessity, but I think that one might benefit from knowing about the Nordic myths before reading this book. I read Neil Gaiman's "Norse Mythology" book a few months back, and that helped me understand certain references in this book a bit better.

Sanderson's prose and humor have been a point of contention even among his hardcore fans. While I do agree with some of the valid criticisms of his prose in this novel, I think it works well as a whole, considering its target audience is mostly a younger age group. I greatly enjoyed the humor in this book, but there were certain parts where the jokes failed to pack a punch. The rating gag was funny at first, but it grew stale with its overuse throughout the book. However, to Sanderson's benefit, he wonderfully tied in the rating joke to the protagonist's personality (as eventually revealed in the second half of the story) and his character arc. Once I understood its relevance to his character journey, I wasn't as bothered by it as I was earlier and eventually ended up liking this narrative element.

Twists and turns run abound throughout the story. Some of these might be easily predictable, but I was gullible enough to be surprised by most of them. This minor thing, perhaps, factored in with my enjoyment of this book. The secondary characters, too, were a great addition to the story – Sefawynn, Ealstan, and Thokk were some of my favorite ones. Ealstan has a badass moment at the end of the book (with an awesome illustration depicting that awesome scene) that instantly made him one of my favorite secondary characters, and in turn, made me a great fan of this book.

Scattered throughout the book are some FAQ pages from the in-world "Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England". Apart from these being funny and informative, this is Brandon's way of satirizing corporate greed. The FAQs are written from the Frugal Wizard corporation's perspective, so they end up justifying everything associated with their venture and casually dismissing all the unethical elements. What Brandon does here is showing us the greedy and unethical aspects of capitalism and make us ponder and question morality and ethics. It's scary to think that despite all the moral and ethical rules and regulations if the rich and greedy were to get their hands over powerful technology (like time travel and dimensional hopping, or even something that is within the realm of possibility) they would end up exploiting it by finding the appropriate loopholes. As someone who wrote these lines “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon”, Brandon seems to be hitting the right mark.

While the writing aspect of the book is highly entertaining, it would be remiss of me not to extend my appreciation to all of Steve Argyle's wonderful illustrations. The chapter headings each depict a runestone that has embedded within it a unique artwork that subtly hints towards an important event that's bound to happen in the respective chapter. It took me a while to figure out that the random symbol above the runestone indicates the chapter number – the total number of lines in that symbol corresponds to that chapter number. It's so brilliantly done! And then there's the Marginalia Artwork (better appreciated in the physical copies and the PDF file as the epub file simply has it collected at the end of the respective 'Parts'). The adorable illustrations that make up the Marginalia section combine to form a complete story of its own from the start to the end – and are somewhat reminiscent of certain elements from the Rincewind arc of the Discworld series.

The main conflict introduced in the story is resolved by the end of the book, but the book still leaves doors open for a sequel – in case Sanderson comes up with more ideas for these characters. A very minor reference connects this book to Sanderson's "Alcatraz" book series (Cecil G. Bagsworth III, the in-world author of "Frugal Wizard's Handbook", is also the in-world editor of the Alcatraz series), and it seems Sanderson has more plans for this fictional character. I'm interested in what Sanderson intends to do with him and whether he would end up connecting some of his non-Cosmere and non-Cytoverse books using this particular character and the multiverse theory.

Storms, this seems to be one of my longest reviews in terms of word count. If you have persisted this far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping up with my mad ramblings. You all do get the gist: I went in with low expectations and ended up loving this book. Perhaps I enjoyed it more than expected because I was already acquainted with certain elements that Brandon introduced in this book, or perhaps it was merely because I read the book at the right time with the right frame of mind. Whatever the reason might have been, it helped me appreciate the story to a great extent. A re-read is definitely on the cards once I get my hands on the exquisite physical edition of this book. I do hope you all end up liking this book as much as I did, but if you didn't, let's hope for the best with the remaining two "Secret Projects".

“Life is awful sometimes,” I said instead. “So you cope.”
“Others cope without grifting,” she said. “Ealstan does it by helping people survive.”
“And those Hordamen do it by ripping people apart,” I said. “Burning down villages. On that scale, you’re not doing so bad.”
She stretched, then stood, brushing off her dress. “Thanks,” she said. “For not judging.”
Profile Image for Scratch.
937 reviews35 followers
April 17, 2023
Not part of the Cosmere. Not quite as good as some other Sanderson works, but I'm just barely giving it 5 stars anyway.

So, it helps if you can relate to the protagonist as something of an antihero. He starts out as a blank slate, dumped into an alternate reality medieval England, with no memory of who he is or how he got there. His thoughts seem to be pretty modern, as he references ideas like checking his phone. But, he's in a time period that predates electricity.

The protagonist is something of a cyborg, which is a little unusual for Sanderson. At first, it seems the only "powers" he has are his medical nanites. (Admittedly, once we invent such a thing in the real world, probably everyone really will have those swimming around in their blood stream.) As the story progresses, our protagonist gains more of his memories. He also gains a little bit more "power," so to speak.

The premise of this universe is that technology has reached the point where businesses can purchase blocks of alternate realities, a certain set of which are comparable to our reality's medieval England, and sell them to private individuals. Supposedly, customers "own" their own pocket dimension this way, though the human beings living in this world probably don't think of themselves as property. The business that made this arrangement encourages customers to style themselves as wizards, bringing to the backwards medieval people modern understandings of science and medicine. It is implied that Merlin, from our own history, was one such traveler who passed off his advanced science as "magic."

However, this particular universe our protagonist finds himself in leaves open the possibility that maybe there might be REAL magic. Maybe.

I wasn't as interested in either the faux magic, or the --possibly-- real magic. I was more intrigued by the protagonist himself, as we learned that he was an idealist with problems. The story raises questions about how much of being a "hero" comes down to simple luck.

This appeals to me.
Profile Image for Kevin.
685 reviews59 followers
April 4, 2023
Eagerly awaited its release at 2pm in my country and spent the rest of the day reading it.

The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England is a lot of fun, and it’s definitely got its charm. It’s certainly not what I was expecting out of Brandon Sanderson. I’d say it’s closest to his Alcatraz series in terms of tone and is more science fiction than fantasy.

The book follows a man who wakes up in a medieval England-like place with no memories and just a nearly destroyed copy of the titular book. He is, in fact, an interdimensional traveller with some body augmentations and has to figure out why he is there. So he styles himself a wizard to the locals while he tracks down/is chased after by people from his own time as his memories slowly start returning.

I really liked the protagonist (unnamed coz spoilers) as he tried to remember who he is, latching on to every morsel of memory he figures out about himself. He is earnest, charming, funny and a bit conflicted. I did know there was more to it than he initially thought, but I do like myself a noble redemption arc.

I actually just needed the book to be maybe a third longer, with a more teased out story. I thought this was just a bit too fast paced and far more casual than I prefer my books.

The handbook was actually pretty interesting, but I don’t think it played into the plot as much as it could have. And the illustrations and doodles were also nice additions, but I’m not sure what they were in aid of (and since these were only available as an ebook initially, they weren’t incorporated in the text).

As it is, the book delivers a fun and funny adventure with a likable protagonist you can’t help but root for.
Profile Image for Celeste.
908 reviews2,342 followers
April 9, 2023
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

This is the Secret Project book I had the lowest expectations for, and I’m glad I went in with those expectations tempered. This is the only non-Cosmere novel in the bunch, so I didn’t know what exactly to expect. I found a cheeky science-fantasy that feels like time travel but could more accurately be described as dimension hopping. The Douglas Adams/Terry Pratchett vibes are strong with this one.

Those last couple of sentences in the above paragraph are going to be incredibly exciting for some readers. I could tell while reading this story that it’s going to bring smiles to a lot of faces, and that it’s going to be a hug-it-at-the-end kind of book for some readers. And I’m so happy for them! But alas, I am not among them. This isn’t Sanderson’s fault; it was still a very well-written story with a compelling premise, interesting world building, and likable characters. Unfortunately for me, I’m simply never clicked with comedic speculative fiction.

I’ve tried multiple times, but I’ve never read a Pratchett novel in its entirety with the exception of Good Omens, which I read because I’m a Gaiman completionist. And the only reason I was able to finish the first of Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide books is that I swapped over to the audio narrated by Stephen Fry, who I could happily listen to recite a phone book. I can appreciate these writers, and respect their work, but it’s not a storytelling style that brings me any kind of pleasure. (Yet. I hope this changes with age, because I want to like it; I just haven’t yet succeeded on that front.)

So to say that I struggled with this book, which is a lovely stylistic ode to the comedic speculative fiction so beloved by so many, would be an understatement. Even though this is a book by my favorite author ever, I still found myself dreading picking it up and struggling to read more than a few pages at a time. Thankfully, but about the halfway point, Sanderson’s patented brilliance with world building and character development had begun to win me over, and I was able to fly through the back half of the book in a single day.

Even if I didn’t resonate with the story, I was absolutely delighted by the art. Steve Argyle not only did some truly exquisite full page art pieces for this story, he also contributed a bounty of marginalia that made flipping through the pages a delight. I have no doubt that this is going to be a treasure in physical form and, even if this wasn’t my favorite story to ever slide from Sanderson’s pen to the printed page, I’m excited that it will have a home on my shelf.
Profile Image for Nadine.
1,157 reviews222 followers
April 23, 2023
As much as it pains me to rate a Brandon Sanderson novel three stars, I have to do it. The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England was not my cup of tea. It’s a humorous sci/fantasy that leans more into the sci-fi elements.

The main character wakes up with no memory and is forced to piece together his surroundings, motivations, and how to get out of his current situation.

I enjoyed the story as a whole, however the humor wasn’t for me. The humor felt forced most of the time and the main character was annoying.

Throughout the novel, there are excerpts from the in-world The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England. These excerpts were my favourite aspect of the novel. They were insightful, interesting, and funny. I would love to read a novel about the plans the handbook offers to its customers.

Overall, The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England was okay at best, however the excerpts and Steve Argyle’s illustrations were incredible and were responsible for most of my enjoyment of the novel.
Profile Image for Marina.
598 reviews121 followers
April 9, 2023

Sí Tress era uno de los libros más preciosos de Sanderson, este es su antítesis. Es una historia con poca gràcia en general y con unos personajes que exceptuando en algunos momentos no me recuerdan a nada a Sanderson. Aún así tiene cosas que me han gustado e ideas chulas, pero el libro no acaba de cuajar del todo.
Profile Image for Henrique.
21 reviews3 followers
April 10, 2023
The Frugal Wizard's

The Frugal Wizard's é o segundo projeto secreto do Brandon Sanderson que ele escreveu durante a pandemia e diferente o projeto secreto 1 Tress esse livro não se passa na Cosmere universo compartilhado do autor mas esse livro é sensacional sendo independente eu gostei demais dessa experiência principalmente pelo Brandon brincar com alguns conceitos de videogame já me ganhou aí visto que eu gosto muito de videogames kkkk mas eu gostei de tudo do livro dos personagens da história do sistema de magia do vilão achei que o Brandon surpreendeu muito escrevendo algo um pouco diferente do que ele tá acostumado mas ele mandou muito bem uma das minhas melhores leituras esse ano até agora recomendo a todos.
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