Unraveling the Hidden Depths: Stormlight Archive’s Dawnshard

Dawnshard is the second short novel in the Stormlight Archive series. If you haven’t already, check out the first novel; The Way of Kings.

In the realm of epic fantasy, where sweeping landscapes and intricate worlds collide with complex characters and enthralling narratives, few series can match the grandeur and ambition of The Stormlight Archive. At the heart of this extraordinary literary tapestry lies Dawnshard, the first short novel in Brandon Sanderson’s monumental saga. Published in 2020, this novel continues with the beautiful world of Roshar.

Do you think you’re ready to jump back into a work of legends, knights, battle, and war?

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About the Stormlight Archive Series

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The Stormlight Archive is an epic fantasy series penned by acclaimed author Brandon Sanderson. Set in the richly imagined world of Roshar, the series follows a grand narrative filled with political intrigue, magical systems, and larger-than-life characters. With its meticulously constructed world-building, complex plotlines, and intricate magic systems, The Stormlight Archive has captivated readers with its sweeping scope and masterful storytelling.

The series explores the Knights Radiant, legendary warriors who possess magical abilities known as Surgebinding. As the ancient order then resurfaces, their return brings hope and fear in equal measure. These Radiants, along with other key figures, are burdened with the responsibility of unraveling the mysteries of Roshar’s past and finding a way to save humanity from an impending cataclysm.

Each instalment of the series follows a different character, which we have included below!

The series currently contains 5 books:

  1. The Way of KingsKaladin Stormblessed (2010)
  2. Words of RadianceShallan Davar(2014)
  3. OathbringerDalinar Kholin (2017)
  4. Rhythm of WarVenli (2020)
  5. Knights of Wind and TruthSzeth-son-Neturo(Planned for 2024)

As well as three novellas:

  1. EdgedancerLift (2016)
  2. Dawnshard – Rysn Ftori (2020)
  3. Horneater – Rock (Planned Release Date 2024)

Official Description

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From Brandon Sanderson—author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive and its fourth massive installment, Rhythm of War—comes a new hefty novella, Dawnshard. Taking place between Oathbringer and Rhythm of War, this tale (like Edgedancer before it) gives often-overshadowed characters their own chance to shine.

When a ghost ship is discovered, its crew presumed dead after trying to reach the storm-shrouded island Akinah, Navani Kholin must send an expedition to make sure the island hasn’t fallen into enemy hands. Knights Radiant who fly too near find their Stormlight suddenly drained, so the voyage must be by sea.

Shipowner Rysn Ftori lost the use of her legs but gained the companionship of Chiri-Chiri, a Stormlight-ingesting winged larkin, a species once thought extinct. Now Rysn’s pet is ill, and any hope for Chiri-Chiri’s recovery can be found only at the ancestral home of the larkin: Akinah. With the help of Lopen, the formerly one-armed Windrunner, Rysn must accept Navani’s quest and sail into the perilous storm from which no one has returned alive. If the crew cannot uncover the secrets of the hidden island city before the wrath of its ancient guardians falls upon them, the fate of Roshar and the entire Cosmere hangs in the balance.

Unraveling the Hidden Depths: A Review of Brandon Sanderson’s Novella ‘Dawnshard

Our Overview

Dawnshard is a novella written by Brandon Sanderson, set in the expansive world of the Stormlight Archive series. This novella focuses on the character of Rysn, a merchant from Thaylenah who played a minor role in the earlier books of the series. Dawnshard follows her journey to the mysterious island of Akinah, where she becomes entangled in a perilous quest that holds the fate of Roshar in the balance.

The novella begins with Rysn receiving a dangerous task from her employer, Vstim, to travel to the distant island of Akinah and retrieve a Dawnshard, an ancient and powerful relic of unknown capabilities. Although Rysn is paralyzed from the waist down due to a prior accident, she is determined to prove herself capable and embarks on this treacherous mission.

Accompanied by her loyal Larkin, Chiri-Chiri, a unique bird-like creature capable of absorbing Stormlight, Rysn sets sail to Akinah on the ship Wandersail, led by the enigmatic Cord. However, before they reach their destination, the ship is trapped in a mysterious storm that brings terrible visions and hints at a dark force at play.

Upon arriving at Akinah, Rysn and the crew discover that the island is riddled with dangerous traps and mysterious markings. As they navigate the treacherous landscape, they encounter other explorers from different factions, each seeking the powerful Dawnshard for their own ends. Among them is the Fused, ancient beings serving the Odium, the destructive force threatening Roshar.

As Rysn and her companions delve deeper into the mysteries of Akinah, they uncover the truth about the island’s past, the nature of the Dawnshard, and its potential catastrophic consequences if misused. Rysn also faces personal challenges, overcoming her fears and insecurities to prove her worth as a leader and adventurer.

Our Review

In Dawnshard, Brandon Sanderson once again proves himself a master of storytelling, delivering an exhilarating and character-driven novella set in the beloved world of the Stormlight Archive series. With its compelling narrative, rich world-building, and complex characters, Dawnshard is a captivating addition to the epic fantasy saga that leaves readers hungry for more.

The novella focuses on Rysn, a previously minor character in the series. She takes center stage on a perilous mission to the mysterious island of Akinah. Sanderson expertly weaves together multiple plot threads. Intertwining Rysn’s personal journey with the wider conflict on Roshar, where dark forces threaten to plunge the world into chaos. We were so happy to have Rysn as the focal point of the story, as we didn’t see too much of her in the main novels.

As a protagonist with a disability—paralyzed from the waist down—she navigates physical and emotional challenges, displaying determination, strength, and vulnerability in equal measure. We were drawn to Rysn’s courage as she seeks to prove herself as a capable leader. This inner strength is truly inspirational to be a part of.

Moreover, the novella does not shy away from exploring deeper themes. Rysn’s encounters with other factions and the ominous Fused forces her to confront ethical dilemmas and the nature of power. Thus highlighting the complexity of human motivations and the consequences of choices.

Although Dawnshard is a novella, its impact on the overall Stormlight Archive series is significant. Sanderson masterfully weaves the events of this tale into the broader narrative. This then enriches the understanding of the world and its characters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dawnshard a standalone book, or do I need to read the rest of the Stormlight Archive series before diving into it?

Dawnshard is a novella set in the world of the Stormlight Archive series. It can be enjoyed as a standalone story. However, readers who are familiar with the series will have a deeper appreciation for the novella.

Is Dawnshard suitable for young adult readers?

Dawnshard is generally considered appropriate for young adult readers and older audiences. However, as with any epic fantasy novel, it contains elements of violence and intense situations, so parental discretion is advised.

How does “Dawnshard” fit into the overall storyline of the Stormlight Archive series?

“Dawnshard” is a side story that takes place between the events of “Oathbringer” (Book 3) and “Rhythm of War” (Book 4) in the Stormlight Archive. It is not essential to the main plot. But it offers valuable insights into the world and certain characters that contribute to the broader narrative.

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