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The Stormlight Archive is an epic fantasy series by Brandon Sanderson. The series is expected to be composed of ten books, in keeping with the series' symmetrical focus in combinations of ten. However, those ten books will be divided into two groups of five.[1]

Each novel is going to cover a flashback sequence for one of the characters and each one will focus on a different order of the Knights Radiant.[2]

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.

–Brandon Sanderson[3]

Books in the Series[]


Symbol for The Stormlight Archive
Artwork by Isaac Stewart

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. An autumn 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 Brandon was asked if he really wanted a large fantasy novel titled as such. He 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.[4] The separate book also includes the interlude from Words of Radiance.[5] 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.[6]


Symbol for The Stormlight Archive
Artwork by Isaac Stewart[1]

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.[7] However, the third book in the series is now focused on Dalinar, and is titled Oathbringer.

While also not a full novel, but a novella similar to Edgedancer, Dawnshard is focused primarily on Rysn, but also on Lopen. It was released on November 5, 2020 as an ebook by Dragonsteel Entertainment.[8]

Originally, it was tweeted that the fourth book might focus on Eshonai, though that focus at the time remained unconfirmed[9] until the following update here. The book is titled Rhythm of War and it was released in hardcover and ebook on November 17, 2020.

The fifth book, therefore, will focus on Szeth, with the previously referenced working title for Szeth intact ... until or unless it - likely - changes.[10] The title for this book is now Knights of Wind and Truth and is scheduled to be released in November 2024.[11]

# Title Pages Chapters Words 1st Edition Notes
1. The Way of Kings 1008 75 383,265 August 31, 2010 Focus on Kaladin.
2. Words of Radiance 1087 89 399,280 March 4, 2014 Focus on Shallan.
2.5. Edgedancer 272 20 39,000 October 17, 2017 Focus on Lift.
3. Oathbringer 1233 122 454,495 November 14, 2017 Focus on Dalinar.
3.5 Dawnshard 262 19 November 5, 2020 Focus on Rysn (and Lopen).
4. Rhythm of War 1230 118 457,326 November 17, 2020 Focus on Venli (and Eshonai).
4.5. The Sunlit Man 2023[12] Focus on Sigzil.
5. Wind and Truth December 6, 2024.[13] Focus on Szeth.
6. Untitled Focus on Lift.[14]
7. Untitled Focus on Renarin.[15]
8. Untitled Focus on Shalash.[16]
9. Untitled Focus on Taln.[17]
10. Untitled Focus on Jasnah.[18]

Major Characters[]

Brandon has revealed that each of the 10 books in the series will have a focal character who gets flashbacks.[19] Brandon listed the 10 major viewpoint characters for the series to be:[20][21]

  • Kaladin, featured in The Way of Kings
  • Shallan, featured in Words of Radiance
  • Dalinar, featured in Oathbringer
  • Venli (and Eshonai), featured in Rhythm of War
  • Szeth, featured in Knights of Wind and Truth (now Wind and Truth)[22]
  • Lift
  • Renarin
  • Shalash
  • Taln
  • Jasnah

Stormlight 77chen

Fan art by 77chen[2]


Given that Brandon tweeted that Eshonai might be the focal character in book four, this list of major characters has changed since first comprised.[23]


According to Brandon, he considers the cosmere sequence to be his life's work, of which The Stormlight Archive is a major part, but not the only part.[24]


The glyphs on the cover of the [US hardcover Stormlight] books represent the order of Knights Radiant that is being investigated in that book, as is the color of the book. If readers look, it represents the color of them in their, sort of, periodic table of Surgebindings in the first book's front endpages.[25]

The passages on the back covers of The Stormlight Archive novels are written by the Sleepless, who are Aimians.[26]

Q&A with Brandon[]

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.[27]

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.