Series: The Stormlight Archive, #2.5
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Rating: ☕☕☕☕ (4.5/5)
Three years ago, Lift asked a goddess to stop her from growing older–a wish she believed was granted. Now, in Edgedancer, the barely teenage nascent Knight Radiant finds that time stands still for no one. Although the young Azish emperor granted her safe haven from an executioner she knows only as Darkness, court life is suffocating the free-spirited Lift, who can’t help heading to Yeddaw when she hears the relentless Darkness is there hunting people like her with budding powers. The downtrodden in Yeddaw have no champion, and Lift knows she must seize this awesome responsibility. (via Goodreads)
“I want control,” she said, opening her eyes. “Not like a king or anything. I just want to be able to control it, a little. My life. I don’t want to get shoved around, by people or by fate or whatever. I just… I want it to be me who chooses.”
Edgedancer is a short but incredible offering from Brandon Sanderson. This novella, which bridges the gap between Words of Radiance and Oathbringer, follows Lift (a fan favorite from WoR, even if she only appeared in one Interlude chapter in the book). I have to admit that some mystery surrounds Lift, particularly about her past and her dealings with the Nightwatcher. This somehow made her a viable candidate as a Knights Radiant, and after Wyndle was chosen to bond with a human, Lift found herself bonded with a cultivationspren (Voidbringer, as she put it) as an Edgedancer.
What’s really interesting I guess is how Lift speaks and deals with things. With an abandon and carefree-ness distinct to being a child on the street, she goes into this ridiculous way of thinking about and doing things, leading to her always surprising (and often too funny) actions. Wyndle, her spren, is on the prim-and-proper side and their interactions are something that I really enjoy reading about. It’s so funny reading the scenes where Wyndle was exasperated all the time. Also, Lift has a way of turning food into Stormlight (?) to power her surges and I think this is a thing unique only to her.
With barely just around 130 pages, the world-building that Brandon Sanderson is known for is still of note in this story. This started a bit too slow. And the same with Wyndle, I didn’t really understand Lift’s intention at first but when it became clear, there’s no doubt that Lift really is worthy of being a Knight Radiant. Plus, she has some of the most beautiful Words spoken out of all the other orders:
“I will remember those who have been forgotten.”
“I will listen to those who have been ignored.”
By the second half all through the end, it gradually picked up steam and I was kinda surprised that there was even a mini “Sanderlanche” right by the very end. This is characteristic of Sanderson, I know, but I was just surprised that he would go all out in a novella. For some reason, when I was reading Edgedancer, my head was treating it like an interlude chapter in a TSA book. Edgedancer definitely surpassed my expectation. That scene at the end with Lift and Nale (Darkness) was so heartbreaking and I’m curious as to how it would affect the events in Oathbringer (which I am currently starting right now).
Anyway, this is a necessary read for any fan currently going through The Stormlight Archive, particularly a mandatory read before Oathbringer – as there are some key character developments that happened in this story that Sanderson wanted to specifically address before the events of Book 3. A great and quick read, indeed. I can’t wait for Lift to join the main gang in the next book.
“You couldn’t live your life getting up and seeing the same things every day. You had to keep moving, otherwise people started to know who you were, and then they started to expect things from you. It was one step from there to being gobbled up.”
* You can also read it through Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection by Brandon Sanderson.
About the Author
The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.
Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University