Of Dawnshard

In which I read and enjoy Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson.

I finished reading Dawnshard, the Stormlight Archive novella that is set between the third and fourth books in the series by Brandon Sanderson. Read the cover synopsis on Goodreads. No spoilers below but I’ll assume anyone reading this has read The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and Oathbringer.

The point of view characters are (mostly) Rysn and the Lopen. I enjoyed Rysn as a point of view character in the interludes of the first three Stormlight Archive books and I loved reading this treatment. Sanderson’s careful work to portray a character coping with paraplegia is evident in Rysn’s relationship to space and mobility as well as enduring others peoples’ relationship to The Chair. While navigating disability, Rysn assumes a leadership role on her ship, the Wandersail. As a master merchant, she learns how to lead others by first learning how to lead herself. Rysn is extremely observant and thoughtful and I enjoyed watching her use those strengths to influence outcomes.

Seeing more of the Herdazian bridgemen was a treat. Reading Lopen’s point of view scenes was, well, all I’d expected it to be. Huio’s character is fleshed out in greater complexity. I was surprised by the appearance of Cord (Rock’s daughter). Cord has plans, y’all. I can’t wait to see what she gets up to. Sanderson included a cameo featuring another Bridgeman, no doubt to tease the further adventures of Kaladin Stormblessed, middle manager.

Thematically, this novella was about how people and situations appear on the surface and the more complicated and nuanced stories lurking in the depths of personal, cultural, and world histories. In essence, this is the stuff of good storytelling.

The novella is well-paced and I was pleased to find a significant reveal about the broader Cosmere at the end. I have so many questions but none that I can share and keep this spoiler-free.

Rating: 4 out of 5.