Sanderson states that the connection between his works is most notable in this collection, but the stories still stand on their own. And that’s mostly true, and a relief. Even if an epic of epics wouldn’t be too much in itself, I don’t and won’t care for some of his works and don’t want to need to read them to not feel lost when reading the others. I’ll just mention that the solar systems look rather implausible though.
The Emperor’s Soul, Mistborn: Secret History and Edgedancer would deserve their own reviews, but I won’t write them. So, very briefly, The Emperor’s Soul is an awesome piece, I’d say the best in the collection, showing understanding of people and art, making me care, read in one sitting and want more when I was done. Mistborn: Secret History explains much about the original Mistborn trilogy and is a good piece in itself, but will confuse anyone not familiar with that trilogy and also has more to do with those connections. And I didn’t expect Edgedancer to be about Lift, but it fills in some Stormlight Archive blanks while being both humorous and, mainly towards the end, deep, though the switch, and the change in Lift, may be too sudden.
The Hope of Elantris is much weaker, simpler and without much depth, though I guess it does the intended job. And that also goes for The Eleventh Metal, which is basically an introduction to the Mistborn magic system, with a bit of backstory thrown in. I’d say that Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania is just comic relief, the notes being indeed funny. I don’t care for graphic novels and had no use for that White Sands excerpt when the draft it’s based on was also included, and said draft was a more typical, somewhat rudimentary, short story. Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell was good enough for a short story but, lacking context, didn’t have much impact. Sixth of the Dusk was quite infuriating, more modern than the rest and containing more of what I call human filth.