Some big Cosmere news dropped this week as author Brandon Sanderson simultaneously announced a new novella – Dawnshard – is coming. This news coincided with the announcement that Sanderson has also completed the fourth book of his epic Stormlight Archive. The book – The Rhythm of War – will be out in November. Let’s take a look at what we know about the new novella Dawnshard from Brandon Sanderson.
Dawnshard Will Be A Reward For The Kickstarter Campaign
Earlier this year, Brandon Sanderson set up a new Kickstarter campaign. He is raising money to publish special 10th anniversary leather-bound editions of The Way of Kings – the first book of The Stormlight Archive. The lowest tier of rewards for backing this campaign includes copies of the new Cosmere novella. According to the Kickstarter, this reward will be delivered in December 2020. So it seems likely that is when Dawnshard will be available to the public.
An update on the Kickstarter from Dragonsteel art director Isaac Stewart tells us that “Dawnshard follows the story of Rysn, the Thaylen merchant whom we’ve seen before in the Interludes of the first three books of the Stormlight Archive series.” That means that this new novella ties directly into The Stormlight Archive. It could also indicate that Rysn has a larger role to play in The Rhythm of War.
This is not the first time that Sanderson has released a novella in conjunction with the publication of a major book in The Stormlight Archive. The third book in the series – Oathbringer – was preceded by the Edgedancer novella. This story followed a new character named Lift, who ended up becoming a major character in Oathbringer. It is possible that Dawnshard will fill a similar role in The Stormlight Archive, answering questions about a newly important character.
Sanderson has written many novellas and short stories in the world of the Cosmere. There is already a collection of them in the book Arcanum Unbounded. A must-read for any fans of the Cosmere. With more novellas and short stories being released in the world, it seems likely that there will be another collection in the future that will contain Dawnshard.
The Rhythm of War Is Officially Complete
Brandon Sanderson is not only one of the most prolific fantasy authors working today, he is also one of the most punctual. On his website, Sanderson has progress bars that track the status of each novel and/or series that he is working on. He consistently updates fans either via his newsletter, or by posting on Reddit. This week the progress bar for the fourth book of The Stormlight Archive hit 100% completion. Sanderson also revealed that The Rhythm of War comes in around “roughly 460k” words. The novel will have 112 chapters, and differently numbered interludes, prologue, and epilogue.
And…done! As I wrap up my work tonight, I have finished the final draft of Rhythm of War, Book Four of the Stormlight Archive. Looking great! I'm excited to share it all with you. Book release is in November, but we will be doing preview chapters soon. Enjoy your weekend!
— Brandon Sanderson (@BrandSanderson) July 12, 2020
Sanderson Teases Big Moments In The Next Book of The Stormlight Archive
The Rhythm of War is the fourth book of a planned ten books in The Stormlight Archive. Sanderson feels that the number ten is ‘mythically important.’ Sanderson has also spoken about how he plotted out the series in cycles. The fifth book will be the ‘end’ of the current cycle of The Stormlight Archive, and The Rhythm of War is building up to that climax.
There is also a moment in The Rhythm of War that Sanderson has been waiting to write for years. He says that “there is a character moment that was one of the pillars of my outline from the very beginning. This scene that I was working on. There were only two or three scenes that were core pillars. My beta readers feel like it landed. There won’t be a moment like this again until Book 7 or 8.”
UK Cover of The Rhythm Of War
The Rhythm Of War Synopsis
An official synopsis from Tor tells us the following about The Rhythm of War.
After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage.
Now, as new technological discoveries begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.
The Rhythm of War will be out on November 17, 2020. Sanderson will publish preview chapters of the book on his website leading up to the release. We don’t know yet when the new Sanderson novella Dawnshard will be out, but odds are good that it will be available in December 2020.
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.