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 Edgedancer, 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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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:
- The Way of Kings – Kaladin Stormblessed (2010)
- Words of Radiance – Shallan Davar(2014)
- Oathbringer – Dalinar Kholin (2017)
- Rhythm of War – Venli (2020)
- Knights of Wind and Truth – Szeth-son-Neturo(Planned for 2024)
As well as three novellas:
- Edgedancer – Lift (2016)
- Dawnshard – Rysn Ftori (2020)
- Horneater – Rock (Planned Release Data 2024)
From Brandon Sanderson comes a short novel of the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive (previously published in Arcanum Unbounded).
Three years ago, Lift asked a goddess to stop her from growing older—a wish she believed was granted. Now, in Edgedancer, the barely teenage nascent Knight Radiant finds that time stands still for no one. Although the young Azish emperor granted her safe haven from an executioner she knows only as Darkness, court life is suffocating the free-spirited Lift, who can’t help heading to Yeddaw when she hears the relentless Darkness is there hunting people like her with budding powers. The downtrodden in Yeddaw have no champion, and Lift knows she must seize this awesome responsibility.
The story begins with Lift sneaking into the manor of a nobleman in the city of Yeddaw. However, she finds herself pursued by two strange individuals called Darkness and Geranid. They are members of an enigmatic organization known as the Skybreakers. Lift manages to evade them using her unique abilities and wit.
Lift’s primary goal in Yeddaw is to steal a large stash of gems called “Babatharnam,” rumored to be hidden in the city. During her exploration, she encounters Wyndle, a mysterious spren who claims to be her assigned “truthwatcher.” Lift is initially annoyed by Wyndle’s presence, but they gradually form an unexpected bond. This relationship makes for some funny and endearing moments.
As Lift continues her adventures, she comes across a chaotic and lawless place called the “Beggar’s Feast.” There, she observes a troubling scene where numerous malnourished children are being cared for by an old woman.
Through her encounters in the Beggar’s Feast, Lift learns about a corrupt businessman named Nale, who is responsible for exploiting the vulnerable population for his personal gain. As she delves deeper into Yeddaw, she discovers a group of individuals with special abilities who aim to protect the city.
Intrigued by the mysteries surrounding Nale and the Tersheen, Lift decides to confront the powerful Skybreaker and learn more about their motivations. She manages to make her way into Nale’s lair, but finds herself captured.
During her captivity, Lift learns about a mysterious plant called “Lophiir,” which is associated with the ancient Knights Radiant. With the help of Wyndle and her newfound understanding of her powers, Lift escapes from Nale’s clutches and heads to the Yeddaw’s Temple of the Sky, where she believes the Lophiir is located.
Lift then confronts Darkness and Geranid once again, this time in a dangerous showdown at the temple. Utilizing her skills and the potential power of the Lophiir, Lift manages to outsmart her pursuers and defeats them.
In the aftermath, Lift has a heart-to-heart conversation with Yanagawn, the old woman from the Beggar’s Feast. She reflects on her past and begins to embrace her destiny as a member of the Knights Radiant. Lift learns that her unique abilities can help others and make a difference in the world.
With her newfound purpose, Lift sets off on a journey to explore the wider world of Roshar, seeking to do good and find her place among the legendary Radiants who will play an important role in the fate of the world.
Brandon Sanderson, once again, proves his mastery in creating rich and immersive worlds filled with complex characters and intriguing lore.
At the heart of this novella is Lift, a mischievous and street-smart young girl with a unique ability known as Awakening. Lift’s character is an absolute delight to follow; her witty banter, resourcefulness, and fierce independence make her stand out. Throughout the story, we go through a roller-coaster of emotions as Lift confronts her past, discovers her destiny, and begins to understand the true potential of her powers.
The plot is fast-paced and action-packed. You can tell, even without knowing the size of the book, that it is a novella. There are a lot more action scenes and a lot less tension-building than that which is present in the main books of the series.
Sanderson has this skill of effortlessly weaving personal struggles and challenges into stories without it feeling overbearing. Lift’s internal struggles and growth throughout the story were subtle enough to not feel like the focal point of the book, but important enough that by the end her change was palpable.
In addition to the captivating plot and strong character development, Edgedancer provides essential world-building elements that expand the scope of The Stormlight Archive series. Sanderson introduces intriguing concepts like the Lophiir and the ancient Knights Radiant, enriching the overall lore of Roshar.
However, as a novella, Edgedancer is relatively short, which might leave some fans craving for a more substantial narrative. While it fits neatly into the series, it could be seen as a brief interlude between the main novels. Nonetheless, the novella accomplishes what it sets out to do—fleshing out Lift’s character and her role in the grand tapestry of the series. We would even suggest that this may be a good entry point for the series, as the main books may be quite daunting in their length.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does Edgedancer fit in?
Edgedancer is a novella featuring Lift originally published in Arcanum Unbounded. In the chronology, it largely takes place between Words of Radiance and Oathbringer.
Should I read Edgedancer?
Whilst Edgedancer adds more lore to the world, it also makes some of Oathbringer’s interludes make a more sense. However, that being said, it is not essential reading for those who want to stick to the main books.
Will there be a 5th Stormlight Archive book?
Yes! A fifth novel is expected to be released in November 2024. Currently, the working title is known to be Knights of Wind and Truth. Keep your eye out for our review!