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Pocatello signing ()
#101 Copy

LairdDuncan (paraphrased)

You mention the phases of the moon fairly often in [The Way of Kings]--is this significant or something that we should be paying attention to?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

After working with the Wheel of Time community and dealing a lot with fans wanting to know when certain events happened in regards to some other event, Brandon added in [details about the moons] in order to give dedicated fans a way of determining the chronology of the events of the Stormlight Archive.

Footnote: When initially reported Peter questioned the accuracy of this exchange as "the way the moons are used in Words of Radiance really has nothing to do with phases", LairdDuncan then explained that Brandon didn't actually use the word "phase" but did indicate the moons could be used to determine chronology.
General Reddit 2018 ()
#102 Copy


I think it's probably the remnants of the first agreement between the singers and humans. They were allowed to terraform Shinovar, and rule that area, but anywhere else, they were forbidden from. Eventually, it morphed into the "soil lands are for humans, everywhere else is for singers." Then, over the millennia, it became a religious teaching, "don't walk on stones."

Peter Ahlstrom

Brandon wrote a ton of worldbuilding down before starting to write the first book, and this particular thing is definitely something he planned from the start. He does keep a lot of stuff in his head, but sometimes that shifts over time. Part of our job is to make sure what's in his head now doesn't conflict with what has previously been published.

If the outline doesn't work for something, Brandon will change it while writing. As long as it doesn't conflict with published canon, it's always more awesome than his earlier plans.

Orem signing ()
#104 Copy


So I think you dropped like, so many cosmere bombs in Oathbringer. And I'm just low-key worried that there's not going to be much more to reveal. I hope that that's not the case and I just want a small confirmation.

Brandon Sanderson

There is still plenty to reveal. Remember it's two five book arcs


So we're okay?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I've still got a few bombs to drop.

WorldCon 76 ()
#106 Copy


How much longer will that Oathbringer series...

Brandon Sanderson

So, it's two arcs of five. So, we've got three books out right now. Book Four and Book Five will be about two, two-and-a-half year things, maybe as much as three between. They are big books. I write them as a trilogy, so they take about three years. Each volume is a trilogy with three books put in together as one. That arc shouldn't take me too much longer, though; I'm starting on Book Four in January, and it is-- I will write until that one is done. Then, there's gonna be a second five-book arc. So, if you're waiting, wait until Book Five is out. My editor says I have to finish it before he retires, and he's in his sixties. Moshe, yeah. We'll see if I can manage that, but that's what he wants.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#107 Copy


What made you decide to split Stormlight into two arcs?

Brandon Sanderson

A bunch of things. I'd say the primary one is that when I tried to write the Way of Kings in 2002, the first version of it, the book failed. I finished the whole book, but it failed and the primary reason for that was because I had too many viewpoints doing too man things in too many places and the reader wasn't able to follow it and it didn't give a satisfying arc to anybody because there was like a little piece of a story instead of a complete story, so I spent many years trying to figure out why it wasn't working and one of the things i came up with that i should take some of the characters and tell their stories and then take some of the others and tell their stories later.

That natural division became very obvious to me when I was re-outlining the series using this idea. That I could do a Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan type thing and then save the Herald's viewpoints for the second half, does that makes sense. So that will... it should feel very natural. It should be some changes that indicate separate series but same... anyways, I'm please with how the outline looks.

Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
#109 Copy


Can I ask you real quick: Where Warbreaker falls in Stormlight Achive?

Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker is before Stormlight Archive. Vasher, before Warbreaker, had been to Roshar.


Okay, that's what I needed to know. Nightblood.

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood was patterned off of things that Vasher and the others saw on Roshar.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#111 Copy


There was the poem at the end of Way of Kings. How long did that take?

Brandon Sanderson

It took an embarrassingly long amount of time. I am not a poet, so mixing poetry with a really rigid form... Yes, the keteks take a long time. Both of them.


Are you going to do that in every book?

Brandon Sanderson

A ketek? Yes, I probably will do that.

General Reddit 2012 ()
#112 Copy


I just finished The Way of Kings and have been told it will be a 10 book series which makes me worry when it's done I'll feel like I do about AMoL right now.

Brandon Sanderson

If it helps, it's two five book arcs. The first five will draw to a natural conclusion. (Kind of how Mistborn one comes to its own conclusion, then two and three are in another arc.)

JordanCon 2014 ()
#114 Copy


Are we going to see any chapters that are expressly Hoid now that he is becoming more and more important?

Brandon Sanderson

You have seen two. Are you going to see more? Yes. I would say that if you look at the structure of the first two Stormlight books, you will find several themes and those themes are likely to be repeated in future books. And Hoid does like having the last word. *laughter*

/r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
#115 Copy


There isn't anything story specific I'd want to ask, I wish to discover by reading. I was wondering if Stormlight Archive books are going to get a special edition limited prints from Subterranean Press, like some of your other work?

Brandon Sanderson

Our plan is to do tenth anniversary books of all of the cosmere novels, though right now I plan to put the four Wax and Wayne books into two volumes. (So, sell them as two-in-one.) Likewise, it's possible that the Stormlight books will be better as two volumes each, sold in a slip case together, so that you don't risk ruining bindings by reading them.

SF Book Review interview ()
#116 Copy


The Stormlight Archive already has that feeling of an "epic" tale, not just in the size of the novels and the rich world building but the story too. Do you have any idea how long the book series might go on for?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I conceived The Stormlight Archive as a series dealing with ten characters, where each book took one of the characters and delved deeply into their past and their psychology. Granted, the other characters will appear, as Kaladin is a big part of Words of Radiance even though this volume could be described as Shallan's book. Since I have those ten characters, and there are ten orders of Knights Radiant, I built a ten-book series with two five-book arcs: five books and then a break, followed by another five books.

Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
#119 Copy


When we all finish reading book 10 in maybe 30 years from now, how much hidden secrets will we be able to discover from re reading books 1 and 2?

Brandon Sanderson

There will certainly be a lot of these--but at the same time, the way I plan and execute foreshadowing, I feel that most of them should have been figured out before Book Ten. I don't want to be obtuse just to be obtuse.

Words of Radiance Dayton signing ()
#120 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

I was wondering if any of the characters from interludes will end up with their own books.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, they will. Lift, specifically, is one of the characters in the back five. I think she might be the only one who has had a view point so far. That’s, um, no … There are others. So, yes, interlude characters will end up with their own books later on. Right now they’re side characters.

Words of Radiance Dayton signing ()
#121 Copy

darkanimereal1 (paraphrased)

I basically asked how long he thinks it will take him to write future Stormlight books, since [The Way of Kings] took 6 months to write and [Words of Radiance] took 18 months to write.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

My anticipation is that Stormlight should take about 12 months to write. It went in six months the first time because I had written the book already once. And so being able to start over from scratch, I had done it all once, so it was really like, even though I really wrote every word new, it was like doing a second draft. Words of Radiance took so long because I had to lurch out of the Wheel of Time mindset. I hadn’t written this book before, I had written the other one, and I was so steeped in the Wheel of Time doing two books that it took a lot more to pull me out. And I would start on it and would end up getting distracted by some other project like one of the novellas or I'd start on it and then I'd go back and do a revision on Steelheart and then I'd start on it. Eventually I managed to start on it and stay in it, but it took that extra six months of spinning my heels before I really dug into the book. And so, I would say that I'm hoping 12 months. I might be able to do them faster, maybe nine months. I don't know. They are big complicated books to write, and you can't really do these on the speed that you can do other things. It doesn't scale. If I can write a novella that's 20k words and I can write that oftentimes in a week, that doesn't mean that when I'm working on Words of Radiance I can do twenty thousand words a week, because it's just a lot harder to get everything connected. The longer you go, the longer it winds up taking per word.

Stormlight Three Update #2 ()
#122 Copy


Something I've been wondering: are you intentionally alternating between male and female main characters through the whole series? Because I believe I remember reading that Eshonai will be book 4 and Szeth will be book 5.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I'm alternating intentionally. It's a pattern I don't feel slavish toward, so if the next book doesn't work for Eshonai but works for Szeth, I'll break the pattern. But the originally outline alternated through all ten.


What happens if you write the next book for one, but then Book 5 doesn't work with the person you have left? Will you change the book so the flashbacks suit it or will you change the flashbacks to suit the book?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll deal with that when (if) it happens. I suspect either is possible, though I could also just decide to do a different character, if I feel it makes the story work the best.

Words of Radiance Dayton signing ()
#125 Copy

CorwinofAmber (paraphrased)

So one of the things I really like about this is that in the Ars Arcanum and the blurb on the back of the dust jacket, they're not just Brandon Sanderson explaining the magic system, or Brandon Sanderson summarizing the book for casual perusing, they're written in world by characters in the world, and I was wondering if you could tell us or give us a hint as to who wrote the dust jacket.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I can tell you it's not the same person as who’s writing the Ars Arcanum, and neither of those are Hoid. How about that? That gives you something. I had to fight to get in world text on the back cover. I personally really don't like summary blurbs. Those summary blurbs are either bland or they spoil too much, and they really get on my nerves. They're marketing copy, not author copy. And so I fought and I fought and I fought. I won with Elantris, getting the prologue on the back of the hard cover, but then they didn't do that for the paperback. But for the hardcovers of these I won, so I'm glad you appreciate that—I intend to keep doing that. But yes, they're being written in world by a group of people on Roshar.

Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
#127 Copy


Can you tell me how long it was from the Shattering of Adonalsium to the prelude of The Way of Kings when the Heralds abandoned the Oathpact?

Brandon Sanderson

Current timeline, which I have NOT canonized, is around 6,000 years... I have not finished with my outline document yet.


'Cause I've looked at the current chronology and it's very, very spotty...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it is... the real trick is... making sure that I fit in, for instance, White Sand and things with the proper amount... because I haven't released that book series yet, I have to make sure while we're doing the graphic novel, that it fits the chronology, which is why I can't quite canonize things yet.


That one takes place before Way of Kings doesn't it?

Brandon Sanderson



'Cause I know one of the worldhoppers from there shows up in Way of Kings...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, White Sand is one of the very earliest.

Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
#129 Copy


Are we gonna get more hints or insight about Harmony's involvement (the dudes he sent) or other non-Roshar shards involvement in the next book ?

Brandon Sanderson

There will continue to be hints in the books.


Ah thanks ! I wasn't expecting for you to reply . Good to know, i always found it interesting how many world hoppers are there in Stormlight so i figured there might be shards like at least watching Roshar events.

Might i ask if there are one or more non-Roshar shards that would be poking around?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to have to RAFO this. Watch and see what you find! :)

London signing ()
#130 Copy

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

For the first 5 SA books he's heavily outlined them. For the last 5 SA books he has outlines for the main climax scenes. For the flashback characters for the last 5 books he's not settled on which ones or order but current plan is for Taln, Ash (aka Shalash), Lift, Jasnah and Renarin.

He also specifically stated that for one of the flashback characters that they would be already dead (sounded like definitely dead not maybe dead).

Oathbringer Portland signing ()
#131 Copy

Questioner 1

The drawers with the infused gemstones. Is that the Stormlight Archive?

Brandon Sanderson

No. That is not the Stormlight Archive.

Questioner 2

Is there a Stormlight Archive?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. But... it means the books. The archive of books that are all named after in-world books. The Archive is a pun on archived collection of books.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#134 Copy


In a recent (May 2009) interview you stated the following:

I found this on a blog posted July 2008. Does it have any relationship to reality?

Q: What do you have planned after you finish Wheel of Time? A: My next series will be The Way of Kings, which is the start of a big epic for me. I've plotted it as ten books. Fantasy writers, we get into this business because we love the big epics. We grow up reading Brooks and Jordan, and we get to the point where we say, "I want to do this myself."

This should tie you up for a good ten years after you finish The Wheel of Time. Does it mean that you are not going to write anymore one- or three-volume epic fantasy novels?

Can you give us some hints as to what The Way of Kings will be about?

Brandon Sanderson

I've told Tor that I want to release Kings on a schedule of two books, followed by one book in another setting, then two more Kings. The series of Kings has been named The Stormlight Archive. (The Way of Kings is the name of the first volume.)

So I should be doing plenty of shorter series in between. We'll see how busy this all keeps me. I think I'd go crazy if I weren't allowed to do new worlds every now and again.

But, then, Kings turned out very, very well. (The first book is complete as of yesterday.) What is it about? Well...I'm struggling to find words to explain it. I could easily give a one or two line pitch on my previous books, but the scope of what I'm trying with this novel is such that it defies my attempts to pin it down.

It happens in a world where hurricane-like storms crash over the land every few days. All of plant life and animal life has had to evolve to deal with this. Plants, for instance, have shells they can withdraw into before a storm. Even trees pull in their leaves and branches. There is no soil, just endless fields of rock.

According to the mythology of the world, mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. Well, a group of evil spirits known as the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms, but the Voidbringers chased them there, trying to push them off of Roshar and into Damnation.

The voidbringers came against man a hundred by a hundred times, trying to destroy them or push them away. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, men resisted the Voidbringers ten thousand times, finally winning and finding peace.

Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world, essentially, is at war with itself—and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne.

That's the backstory. Probably too much of it. (Sorry.) The book follows a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn't understand and doesn't really want to fight. It will deal with the truth of what happened deep in mankind's past. Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?

I've been working on this book for ten years now. Rather than making it easier to describe and explain, that has made it more daunting. I'm sure I'll get better at it as I revise and as people ask me more often. ;)

WorldCon 76 ()
#137 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I will say that one thing that I did after doing a lot of this research was I just decided early on I needed some natural antibiotics. I just did. Because I'm telling a story about a bunch of people who are slaves in a warfare situation whose lives are not cared for, and there's one guy with some medical training who ends up among them, and he considers it his job to keep these guys alive. And I learned very [early] on I needed some natural antibiotics. I just needed-- And that's the thing you can do in an epic fantasy, is you can decide, "You know what? I'm going to make this call, I'm going to build into my setting this way around it," because there were certain stories I wanted to tell, and if he couldn't save anybody, then this story doesn't work. 

Sasquan 2015 ()
#140 Copy


So I know you talk a lot about the length of the Stormlight books before and how Tor has had some interesting worries there.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah. They were more worried about it-- They would like me to write shorter, but they were much more worried before they became the explosive smash hit that they are. *laughter* Now they're just like-- They've learned. "Do what you want Brandon" *laughter*


How do you balance, you know, wanting to extend a scene or wanting to do more flashbacks, or do more characters, while still making sure you get the plot and turn out an incredible book?

Brandon Sanderson

Right, right. So epic fantasy does have this issue of spending so much time dallying with side stories that you lose, sometimes, focus of the main plot. So I've tried to do this thing with the Stormlight books where I consciously made two decisions. One was I would do a flashback sequence in each book that kind of focused on one character that hopefully gave a kind of soul to that book that allowed you to remember "Oh whose flashbacks was that book. Oh that was this one." and that one lead you to understanding the theme of that entire book. Hopefully that will help keep that. The other is that I try to confine my time to the side characters to the interludes, which are slice-of-life glimpses of Roshar. And if I can confine myself to little stories there, then I have a set amount of room-- It's like giving yourself this ground to play in that is bounded, so you finish when you're done with that. I get three interludes between each part, so I can write a bunch of little short stories to explore side characters. But I have to be very careful, you know, "I don't want to do this character yet because I've got this new character" I've got to balance that. And those two things together, hopefully, will help me. Now the issue is most books that-- the series that have had trouble with this in the past don't have it until books 3 or 4, so we won't know if I'll be successful until we get through books 3 or 4, where it starts to appear. So watch me for the next couple years and we'll see if it manifests.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#141 Copy


The second set of The Stormlight Archive. Is that the same characters? Or different ones, like you did with Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

They are same characters, but we're gonna see a few main characters fade to being secondary characters. The ones that survive. And we're gonna see a few minor characters fade to be-- The structure of The Stormlight Archive is: one flashback sequence per book, and a focus on one of the Orders of Knights Radiant per book, and I've already announced who these all are, though I have secrets that pertain to them. Our next two books are Eshonai and Szeth. But, of course, Eshonai is dead. We're gonna see flashbacks from her viewpoint that inform our "now," but I haven't promised that these characters all live. Does that makes sense?

But our back five are Lift, when she's grown up. It'll be about ten years later. I haven't gotten the exact date yet.


Is she alive, or a grown-up ghost?

Brandon Sanderson

...If she survives! *laughter* It will be Lift, Renarin, Taln, Ash, and Jasnah. So, yes, your main characters-- some of them are main characters. People who aren't on that list will still-- some of them will have big chunks of the stories. Just like you will notice that there's a big chunk of Kaladin in Book 4, even though it's Eshonai's book. So, that will happen. But I'm not making any promises about who survives and who doesn't.

What I really also wanna do is, like-- The big epic fantasy series. I have an advantage over Robert Jordan in that I've read Robert Jordan. And I can see the structure of this, and say, "What can I do to create the structure of a big epic that will have a lot of the things I love about a big epic but avoid some of the potential pitfalls." And I feel that one of those is beginnings, middles, and ends are really hard the longer you go in a series. And if I bring it to five, and then I take a break. And those five tell a story. And then I certainly am gonna leave some things that we start up in the next one, and do the second sequence of five. It's just kind of how the structure of The Stormlight Archive works for me.

A given book, I usually plot as three novels. And I will do this outline of three novels, and this becomes one volume of The Stormlight Archive. Well, each of those novels has Act One, Act Two, Act Three. And then all of those combine into the thick ones that you get, and then five of those combine into an arc. And then the two books of five combine into their own arc. So, hopefully it'll all work out. When I first pitched this to my editor back in 2003, his response was, "Wow, you're ambitious!" And he was a little frightened when I gave him Stormlight. And then, in 2004, I pitched the whole 9-book Mistborn thing that is somehow now... 13. But, yeah, so. We'll see.

Skyward Atlanta signing ()
#143 Copy


With the ten Silver Kingdoms, what were actually their roles and what kingdoms did they correspond to? Can you say that, or-?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, what do you mean by correspond?


Did the ten Silver Kingdoms each have a job like Alethela was the kingdom of War?

Brandon Sanderson

They would all consider themselves specialized but it wasn't official like that. It was more like their own philosophy and how they view themselves. And I wouldn't align them straight up with orders of Knights Radiant or anything like that.


I wasn't saying that, I was saying, maybe different job or it was like--

Brandon Sanderson

They all did kind of have different roles but its not like they had any-- you know, Thaylenah is your navy, right? Its not necessarily that it's-- if that makes sense, but Alethela has like the view of itself, it had a very distinctive view of itself.


Okay, so it wasn't like each one actually had a different role?

Brandon Sanderson

No, they were not quite, quite, organized enough for that.

Words of Radiance Portland signing ()
#144 Copy


We have a lot of Renarin questions just because he is a character we both care a lot about, just another what could you-- give us a tidbit about Renarin's relationship with Bridge Four?

Brandon Sanderson

I can tell you this, here's a good tidbit. You know the books are about ten characters. Renarin's one of them. But Renarin, you know the first five, he's not one of. So Renarin is one of the main characters for the back five, which are focused more on the Heralds, and he is one of the characters with the flashbacks there. So Renarin, you are not going to get everything you want about him until the back five books. So just keep that in mind.


I can live with that.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#146 Copy


Were you intending to kill Eshonai off from the beginning of the series, or is that a decision you made later on?

Brandon Sanderson

That was a decision I made later in the outlining process. It was not begun that way, but it became obvious I needed to do it fairly early on. Why?


I was just wondering, because as I was reading Way of Kings, a lot of people thought she was going to be a continuing character, maybe even be one of the good guys later on.

Brandon Sanderson

Right. The decision I came to, and it was probably-- Trying to remember exactly when it was. When I came to the decision that Venli was more interesting as a perspective, viewpoint character than her sister was, because we already had characters in the series whose attribute was paragon of their-- This kind of paragon soldier who's trying to do the right thing is well covered in The Stormlight Archive. She was intended originally, but pretty early in the revision process, I decided it needed to go the other direction, 'cause Venli just worked way better as a viewpoint character.


Is Eshonai still getting a flashback book?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, she's still getting a flashback book. I didn't change any of that. In fact, before I even began the series, I knew there were some characters who would not make it to their flashback book, and I wanted to make sure that I made clear that that could happen.


You said that before, I was like, I want to hear it.

Brandon Sanderson

Eshonai was intended to continue through, but I changed that pretty quickly, when I realized-- like I said.

The Way of Kings Annotations ()
#149 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Six

Bridge Four

I've spoken before on my creative process. I build books out of good ideas, often developed in isolation until I find the right place for them. (Allomancy and Feruchemy were originally developed separately, for separate books.) When a book doesn't work, the ideas get broken apart and bounce around in my head some more until I find another place to try them out.

Bridge Four—and the plateau runs—were originally part of Dragonsteel. Dalinar was too, so that's not all that surprising, I guess. However, Bridge Four is unique here in that when I decided to move them from Dragonsteel to The Way of Kings, I had already completed both books and felt pretty good about them. They are both important sequences in the Adonalsium Saga, and lifting Bridge Four from Dragonsteel meant taking away its most dynamic, powerful plot structure.

That decision was not easy to make. The problem is, both books were fundamentally flawed. Oh, they were both good, they just weren't great—and I felt I needed to be doing great in this point of my career. (Hopefully during every point of it.) The Way of Kings had an awesome setting and some great characters, but no focal plot sequence that really punched someone in the gut. Dragonsteel had wonderful ideas, but they never really came together.

In the end, I took the best part of the book that otherwise didn't work and put it into the book that needed a little extra oomph. The moment of decision came when Ben McSweeney, who was doing concept art on the book, sent me a concept he'd done that looked shockingly like the Shattered Plains. (Which, remember, were not even on that planet at that point.) I realized that they would fit the worldbuilding of The Way of Kings better than they ever did Dragonsteel, and that I could put greatshell monsters in them.

So, I ripped apart a book I love to make a (hopefully) better book. Rock came along to Roshar for the ride (he was an original member of Bridge Four in Dragonsteel). I added Teft, who had been left languishing for a decade or so after Mythwalker became Warbreaker and he didn't make the jump. Bridge Four seemed like a great home for him.

[Assistant Peter's note: Teft is mostly the same character as Hine from Mythwalker, but also has a character aspect from Voko in that book.]

Brandon's Blog 2004 ()
#150 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

The next segment from my Tor proposal talks about a book some of you may have heard of: THE WAY OF KINGS. Originally, this was going to be the second book I published, but I’ve decided to put it off in favor of MISTBORN. The reasons are explained below.

This decision was met with a great deal of disappointment by some of the manuscript’s fans, but I really think it’s best for my career right now to delay KINGS. It’s a magnificent story, but it needs some more time before it’s ready for the general public.


THE WAY OF KINGS (Book one of the Oathshards Series.)

KINGS was the book I was working on when Moshe first called me to buy ELANTRIS. While we were in contract negotiations, he asked to read a bit of my current work. I sent him KINGS, and he decided he wanted to purchase it as well. I don’t think, however, that he knew what he was getting into.

The OATHSHARDS is a massive war epic centering around ten angelic beings who have been driven insane—each in a slightly different way—by millennia spent protecting, fighting for, and dying for mankind. The first book, THE WAY OF KINGS, follows six separate viewpoint characters (one of them an immortal) during a time when the three peninsulas are thrown into a massive war. It is an intensive character piece coming in at over 300,000 words, and can be quite brutal with its characters.

It still does the things I do well—it has several original magic systems (though magic isn’t a focus in the first book.) It has a very interesting setting (which is one of its strong points) and has an array of interesting characters from all walks of life. (One a young peasant soldier, one a middle-aged sister to the king, one a battle-hardened nobleman general, one an honor-bound assassin serving an evil master, one a young lady-in-waiting, and the final one being an immortal protector of mankind who is slowly breaking beneath the pressure of his station.) The central theme of the book is that of leadership, and each of the six viewpoint characters are defined in one way or another by how they lead others.

KINGS has a lot going for it. It’s the kind of story that people remember—it has a grand scope, meaningful characters, and an expansive plot that would have to cover at least five books. However, I don’t know that it’s the best thing for my career right now. The book needs a lot of work before it could be published—at its current length, it would have to be cut into two pieces or slashed by a third in order to work. I also have to do some serious revisions to the plot. I like how all of the characters work, but I worry that the book is too slow (even for me) at the beginning as I establish six viewpoints and six separate plots. I need to find a way to combine some of the plotting so that several viewpoints can work on the same problems.

I think this series could really make an impact on the genre. However, it would take far more work than MISTBORN to get to a publishable level. Perhaps it would be best for me to publish a few books like MISTBORN or ELANTRIS before I do something this ambitious.