Steelheart (Reckoners -1) by Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Reckoners series aka Steelheart series— by Brandon Sanderson

Latest Release: Firelight — January 6, 2015

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy / Young Adult / Futuristic, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic

Series Description or Overview Edit

The Reckoners is a young adult fantasy series written by American author Brandon Sanderson. Three books are planned in the series: Steelheart (published September 2013), Firefight (published Jan 2015), and Calamity (forthcoming). In the post-world of The Reckoners, random people have gained superpowers. The actions of these new super powered individuals, known as "Epics" have caused the collapse of traditional governments. ~ Wikipedia

✮ ✮ ✮

There are no heroes.

Every single person who manifested powers—we call them Epics—turned out to be evil.

Here, in the city once known as Chicago, an extraordinarily powerful Epic declared himself Emperor. Steelheart has the strength of ten men and can control the elements. It is said no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, no explosion can burn him. He is invincible.

It has been ten years. We live our lives as best we can. Nobody fights back . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans who spend their lives studying powerful Epics, finding their weaknesses, then assassinating them.

My name is David Charleston. I’m not one of the Reckoners, but I intend to join them. I have something they need. Something precious, something incredible. Not an object, but an experience. I know his secret.

I’ve seen Steelheart bleed. ~ Steelheart Introduction ~ Sanderson

Lead's Species Edit

  • Human

Primary Supe Edit

  • Super-Villians

What Sets it ApartEdit

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • First person narrative told by David Charleston.

Books in Series Edit

Reckoners series:

  1. Steelheart (2013)
  2. Firefight (2015)
  3. Calamity (2016)

Shorts, Novellas, Anthologies and Guides Edit

  • 1.5. Mitosis (2013)

Other UF Series by Author onsite Edit

Themes Edit

Power corrupts

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

Futuristic and Dystopian Chicago--called Newcago


  • Babilar: name given to New York City after its streets are flooded by the Epic Regalia, its current ruler

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Super-powered humans, 

✥ Powers: Edit

  • Super Strength: all of them

Steelheart: (Steelheart team)

  • Wind Manipulation: has the ability to fly and pick up objects using the air around him
  • Steel Transfersion: When angry, Steelheart spontaneously transforms non-living matter around him to solid steel
  • Energy Beams: Steelheart can project energy beams from his hands that can vaporize people and melt steel
  • Eidetic Memory: Steelheart claims to remember everything perfectly—may be boasting

Nightwielder: (Steelheart team)

  • Incorporeality: can pass through matter and no weapon can harm him while in this form
  • Darkness: keeps the entire city of Newcago dark
  • Dark mist: exudes a dark mist that pools around him—can be controlled and given corporeal form like a spear

Fortuity: (Steelheart team)

  • Precognition: can sense the future and danger

Faultline: (Steelheart team)

  • Geomancer: power to move the earth—1. moving softer earth, 2. turning earth and stone into sand

Conflux (Steelheart inner circle)

  • Energy Charging: can power any electrical device
  • Transference: can give others his ability by touch, or recall the power at will, does not work on other epics


  • Illusionist: can change appearance
  • Essokinesis: Reality warping or changing
  • Reincarnation: return to life after killed


  • Water Manipulation: control massive amounts of water
  • Self-Projection: project images of herself anywhere she wishes. She is able to see and interact through these images
  • Divination: ability to look into water to see glimpses of the future

Glossary: Edit

  • Calamity: a catastrophic event in which the sky lit up red and left behind villainous some super humans who take over control.
  • Epics: After Calamity--some/Epics received extraordinary powers; they are not friends to man--they are corrupt
  • Tensors: glove-like item—power to tunnel through inanimate matter, namely steel; Reckoners have them;
  • The Great Transfersion: Epic transformed most of Newcago, including buildings, part of Lake Michigan, and several miles underground to solid steel

Groups & Organizations:Edit

  • Reckoners: A top secret, well equipped resistance group, comprised of humans bent on killing Epics in order to remove mankind from under the Epic's yoke. The story opens in a Futuristic and Dystopian Chicago--called Newcago
  • The Coven: group of six Epics ruling the south of the Fractured States.
  • Faithful: term to describe those that thought good Epics exist—think that there will eventually be superheroes that will stop the evil Epics. David's father & Abraham are Faithful.

World Edit

Ten years ago, the United States, and possibly other parts of the world, were changed when a burst in the sky known as Calamity gave normal people super-human powers. These people came to be known as Epics.

✥ This is a world full of superheroes who are called Epics. Or actually, supervillains. They took over the world with their powers and rule cities like Newcago, where ordinary people try to survive. One such supervillain is Steelheart, an Epic with invincible powers, who killed the father of an average teenager named David. But every Epic has his own weakness, and it's David's goal to find Steelheart's weakness and take revenge for the murder of his father. But in order to succeed he must join the Reckoners, a group of citizens that banded together to assassinate Epics. David has something valuable to offer; not a weapon but an experience. He has seen Steelheart bleed. ~ Wikipedia

Epics have amazing powers whom defy physics such as one epic able to fire a gun and never being out of bullets. So, anything is possible. However, the key thing here is that each epic has a weakness. So, finding out his/her weakness is the key to be able to beat them and kill them. However, in the same way that the powers aren't limited to the realm of physics, the weakenesses can be anything, and many times finding out can be an almost impossible task. — Some control the weather, some can stop bullets, some can fly... ~ Various GR Readers

Protagonist Edit

David Charleston: At age eight, David watched as his father was killed by an Epic, a human with superhuman powers. For years, David has been studying, and planning to take down epics. With the help of the reckoners-the only other people who are trying to kill epics, he plans on killing the epic that murder his father ten years ago.

✥ He witnessed Steelheart murder his father and saw Steelheart bleed; then became an avid researcher of the Epics so he could destroy them. Desperately wants to join the Reckoners.

Sidekick Edit

  • Name: / What: / Sidekick-to: / About: / Book First Seen:

Characters Chart Edit

Resource: Category:The Reckoners - The Coppermind (Sanderson Wiki)

Characters What About
David Charleston Human He witnessed Steelheart murder his father; researched the Epics so he could destroy them; wants to join the Reckoners;
Megan Tarash Reckoner, information gatherer newest recruit, spunky, attractive; David falls for her quickly;
"Prof", Jonathan Phaedrus Founder of the Reckoners he is their leader but acts more like a middle manager. Invented their many cool gadgets.
Steelheart Epic Took over Chicago calling it newcago; killed David's dad;
Tia Reckoner, team's researcher former rocket scientist for NASA, and used to date Prof;
Abraham Reckoner, tech guy fondness for large guns, requires gravatonics; skilled user of Tensors; a Believer;
Cody Reckoner, does odd jobs; former policeman in Nashville;
Valentine Reckoner based in Babilar
Mizzy Reckoner based in Babilar; maybe seventeen;
Exel Reckoner based in Babilar;
Regalia Epic, the Hydromancer rules over the city of Babylon Restored; African-American woman in her seventies;
Nightwielder High Epic part of Steelheart's inner council; responsible for Newcago's constant darkness
Faultline Epic worked for Steelheart but later rebelled against him;

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table or Column (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column.

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson — Author (Photo by Nazrilof)

Author Edit

Brandon Sanderson

  • WebsiteBrandon Sanderson
  • Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Children's

Bio: 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. ~ Goodreads

Contributors Edit

Cover ArtistsEdit



Other Contributors:Edit

  • Audio Book Narrator: — Source:
  • Editor: — Source:

Publishing InformationEdit

  1. Steelheart (2013)
  2. Firefight (2015)
  3. Calamity (2016)

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE—Steelheart (2013): Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart-the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning-and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge. ~ Goodreads | Steelheart (Reckoners, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

BOOK TWO—Firefight (2015): From the #1 "New York Times" bestselling author of Words of Radiance coauthor of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, and creator of the internationally bestselling Mistborn Trilogy, Brandon Sanderson presents the second book in the Reckoners series: Firefight, the sequel to the #1 bestseller Steelheart. They told David it was impossible--that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart--invincible, immortal, unconquerable--is dead. And he died by David's hand. Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And there's no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs. Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David's willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic--Firefight. And he's willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers. ~ Goodreads | Firefight (Reckoners, #2) by Brandon Sanderson

BOOK THREE—Calamity (2016):  ~ Goodreads | Calamity (Reckoners, #3) by Brandon Sanderson

First Sentences Edit

  1. Steelheart (2013) — Prologue: I've seen Steelheart bleed. / Chapter 1: I skidded down a stairwell and crunched against steel gravel at the bottom.
  2. Firefight (2015) — Prologue: I watched Calamity Rise. / Chapter 1: "David?" The voice came from my earpiece.
  3. Calamity (2016) — 

Quotes Edit

“Where there are villains, there will be heroes...Just wait. They will come.” — David's father, Steelheart
“People rarely want to kill, David...It's not basic to the makeup of the healthy human mind. In most situations they will go to great lengths to avoid killing. Remember that and it will help you.” — Abraham, Steelheart
“You've got passion to kill, but you need to find passion to live. At least that's what I think.” — Cody, Steelheart
“This time, when she’d pointed it at me, she’d flicked the safety on. If that wasn’t true love, I don’t know what was.” ― Brandon Sanderson, Firefight

Trivia Edit


Awards Edit

Read Alikes (suggestions) Edit

— Series or books with similar supe elements, sub-genres, tone, themes:

Notes Edit

See Also Edit

External References Edit


Freebies & Excerpts:

  • Library ~ Author: shorts, sample chapters


World, Characters, etc:


Interviews, Guest Posts, Author Commentary:




Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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