Oathbringer, book 3 of Brandon Sanderson’s popular fantasy series, The Stormlight Archive is in sight! Our tireless writing-robot Mr. Sanderson is deep into writing his next title, which is currently marked as being 52% complete on his personal site. While we’ve been impatiently waiting, the Sandman has had no problem confirming or denying fan theories and answering fans questions. While he says he never wants to give away anything that could be considered a spoiler of any sort, there’s a lot we can learn about the upcoming entry.
Heavy spoilers for the first two Stormlight Archive books (as well as some minor spoilers for other Cosmere books) to follow!
So what can we expect of the third Stormlight book? Sanderson has described it as “crazy” and the teasers we’ve received so far have left those elements hidden. We DO have the Everstorm on the loose, the massive counter current nimbus of doom that’s bringing the Voidbringers back to Roshar. In the first snippet we received of the book, we follow Kaladin as he arrives back in Hearthstone after the Everstorm tore through it. Although we don’t learn much in that first preview it does confirm the Everstorm is very much on the rampage, and with it, the Voidbringers. If we look at the transformation of the Pashendi at the end of Book 2 we can assume this is a rapid process, it’s hard not to imagine that Roshar will be embroiled in a one sided war with Odium’s forces. Quite the trial by fire for our new Radiants.
The primary character backstory we’ll follow in this book will belong to Dalinar. The second excerpt we received was the first chapter of this backstory and showcased Dalinar as the Blackthorn, the fearsome warrior of days past we’ve heard only legends about. In the excerpt, Dalinar recruits an archer who was sent to assassinate him, interestingly this man has a blue tattoo on the side of his face, the symbol of the Oldbloods. So far we’ve only met one other man from this ancient order of lords, Teleb, Dalinar’s trusted officer and Shardbearer who unfortunately met his end in the last book. Most likely they’re the same man. Could we be learning more about this secretive group through Dalinar’s flashbacks?
Dalinar will also have a very interesting role in the present day story now that he’s a Bondsmith, an Order of Radiants we don’t know that much about. Brandon has said that there has been only three known Bondsmiths, and we know of three Shards on Roshar, Honor, Cultivation, and Odium. Coincidence? Probably not. Sanderson has said that Dalinar now has a direct way to communicate with the Stormfather, Honor’s cognitive shadow. He also said that as a result of this we’ll get an explanation as to the Stormfather’s relationship to the Highstorms and more.
The first working title for the book was Stones Unhallowed, and then Skybreaker. We also know that the backstory was originally supposed to be Szeth. Stones Unhallowed refers to the Shin, in case you don’t remember, and the Skybreakers are the Order of Radiants whose Herald, Nalan, resurrects Szeth at the end of the last book. When this occurred, Szeth had also lost Jezrien’s Honorblade (the reason he had Windrunner powers in the first place) and was then presented with Nightblood, the sentient crazy sword from Warbreaker. Interestingly in the recently released Stormlight Archive Pocket Companion Szeth is listed as a Skybreaker! Somehow, Sezth will gain the powers of a Skybreaker, possibly from wielding Nightblood. This order fits in well with his personality, an Order that puts law above anything else, similar to how Szeth obeys any order given him without question. Funny enough, the Order has historically had problems with the Windrunners, so we’ll likely get to see that rivalry between Kaladin and Szeth continue to play out.
Other things we know:
- We’re going to learn what’s up with the Nightwatcher (likely the cognitive shadow of Cultivation for reasons). We’ll also get a physical description of the Nightwatcher, maybe even an illustration, as Sanderson said that he hopes someone will do a cosplay of the character.
- The Stormlight novella will focus on Lift (Seen in book two and a major character in the final five books). This novella will be released with the upcoming Cosmere collection, titled Arcanum Unbounded, arriving later this year.
- The novel will not feature the Ghostbloods as heavily as the last one.
- Possibly less of a focus on the Cosmere, as Sanderson has since expressed worry that the series would be overshadowed by greater Cosmere happenings. So don’t expect Sazed to show up.
- Adolin fans need not despair, Sanderson has said his actions at the end of the last book very much fall in line with how a few Radiant Orders would’ve acted in the same situation. Adolin, while dark, is still on the side of the good guys. As far as we know.