|“||The Stormlight series has a very odd structure. Each novel is outlined as a trilogy plus a short story collection (the interludes) and is the length of four regular books. This lets me play with narrative in some interesting ways—but it also makes each volume a beast to write. The other superstructure to the series is the spotlight on the ten orders of Radiants, with each book highlighting one of them while also having a flashback sequences for a character tied to one of those orders. If that weren’t complicated enough, the series is organized in two major five-book arcs.||”|
Books in the SeriesEdit
The series is estimated to require 10 books to complete, in two 5-book arcs. The first book in the series, The Way of Kings, was published in 2010. A Fall 2013 release was planned for its sequel, but was then postponed to March 4, 2014 due to Brandon's completion of The Wheel of Time epic fantasy series.
The second book was initially titled Highprince of War (referring to Highprince Dalinar), but the title was changed after Brandon decided to change the book's focus to Shallan. The working title was then The Book of Endless Pages, but that title was later changed after Sanderson was asked if he really wanted a large fantasy novel titled as such. Sanderson then changed it to Words of Radiance, which became the novel's actual title.
While not a full novel, Brandon also wrote a novella focusing on Lift, who previously appeared in a Words of Radiance interlude. Brandon first included the story within Arcanum Unbounded, an anthology of cosmere short stories, but later published the novella as its own book. The separate book also includes the interlude from Words of Radiance. The novella is titled Edgedancer, and Brandon has recommended on many occasions to read Edgedancer before reading the third book in The Stormlight Archive (i.e., Oathbringer), as it contains an important plot point and adds a new dimension to the next story.
The third book was originally to focus on Szeth and was tentatively titled, Stones Unhallowed, previously thought - though incorrectly - to have been changed to Skybreaker. However, the third book in the series is now focused on Dalinar, and is titled Oathbringer.
The fifth book, therefore, will focus on Szeth, with the previously referenced working title for Szeth intact ... until or unless it - likely - changes.
|1.||The Way of Kings||1008||75||389,544||August 31, 2010||Focus on Kaladin.|
|2.||Words of Radiance||1087||89||398,238||March 4, 2014||Focus on Shallan.|
|2.5.||Edgedancer||272||20||39,000||October 17, 2017||Focus on Lift.|
|3.||Oathbringer||1233||122||454,440||November 14, 2017||Focus on Dalinar.|
|4.||Rhythm of War||November 17, 2020||Focus on Eshonai (and Venli)|
|5.||Stones Unhallowed||Focus on Szeth.|
|6.||Untitled||Focus on Renarin; unconfirmed.|
|7.||Untitled||Focus on Lift; unconfirmed.|
|8.||Untitled||Focus on Jasnah; unconfirmed.|
|9.||Untitled||Focus on Shalash; unconfirmed.|
|10.||Untitled||Focus on Taln|
- Kaladin, featured in The Way of Kings
- Shallan, featured in Words of Radiance
- Dalinar, featured in Oathbringer
- Eshonai, featured in Rhythm of War
- Szeth, featured in Stones Unhallowed
Given that Brandon 'tweeted' that Eshonai might be the focal character in book four, this list of major characters has changed since first comprised.
Q&A with BrandonEdit
Q: One thing I've noticed around the release of Words of Radiance was you pointing out that The Stormlight Archive is really two series of 5 books each. Was that something you wanted to make clear so as not to be daunting to perspective readers or just more about how the story has developed since you began?
A: It's a mixture of both, honestly. I do want to be wary of not being too daunting to readers who are jumping into this thing and have been reading The Wheel of Time. They might think, "The Wheel of Time was 'promised' to be six books and it ended up at fourteen. If you promise six, how long is this one going to be?"
But it's also because I want to start preparing readers for the break that's going to happen at book five. I'm going to stop writing the series for a few years, and then the "back five" (as I'm calling it) will focus on some different characters than the front five. So I have a lot of good reasons to be preparing people for what's going to happen there. Our expectations are a very big part of our enjoyment of all different kinds of entertainment mediums.
Q: Concerning everything on Roshar, is it safe to say The Stormlight Archive will become the backbone series of the story of the cosmere?
A: There are three backbone series: Dragonsteel, Mistborn, and The Stormlight Archive. And Mistborn is past, present, future ... Stormlight is the center, and Dragonsteel is the beginning. So really it goes: Dragonsteel, Mistborn, Stormlight, Mistborn, Stormlight, Mistborn.
Q: Is "Stormlight Archive" reference to any in-world or in-cosmere place or item?
A: No, it's just an archive of ten books which all have titles based on in-world books, but no Archive or something like that on world.