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Orem Signing ()
#2 Copy


Okay, A larkin and an aviar. Could you tell us how they're related - are they a bit similar? Other than that they both fly.

Brandon Sanderson

I would not call them terribly similar. A larkin is a specific type of creature that feeds off of Investiture. And there are some other things like that in the Cosmere. But aviar don't do that. Aviar have a symbiosis with an Invested entity. Aviar are more like, they're kind of weird because they fulfill both the role of a spren, but also the person that's bonding the spren. They're an intermediary.


Okay. And larkins don't have feathers, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Larkins do not have feathers. They look like little... They look like wasps.


Like wasps? That little?

Brandon Sanderson

No, not that size, but that's the look of them. They're in the picture in the front of Way of Kings, the magic map. If we have Way of Kings here... We can grab it for you. If you go to my website for the art for Way of Kings, look up "Way of Kings art archive" on my website. It's not the cover, it's on the magic, the double eye symbol of the Knights Radiant in the inside cover flap. There's a pair of larkin there.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#3 Copy


Could Aluminum be used to protect a Surgebinder from a larkin?

Brandon Sanderson



Would a larkin be able to steal Stormlight from a surgebinder wearing Shardplate? Any comments on whether Shardplate or aluminium would be more effective protection?

Brandon Sanderson

Getting through both would be relatively equal--with the problem being that Shardplate is powered by investiture, which the larkin could feed on. So aluminum is better in that specific case.

Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
#8 Copy


It seemed like from the story there is a strong connection between the larkin and the ancient lanceryn. Would you be willing to answer whether these are the same species by two names or if there is some evolutionary step between them?

Brandon Sanderson

I was a tad vague on purpose, but you're looking at it the right way. It's KIND OF the same species.


Like a pokemon evolution? Most Larkin are charmanders, Chiri-Chiri is a charmeleon, lanceryn are charizard?

Brandon Sanderson

Have to RAFO it from here out. I'll get into it eventually, don't worry.

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#9 Copy


[...] For the picture of all the Radiants and their surges, in the background there’s two dragons. Are those just--

Brandon Sanderson

Those are not dragons. Those are little beasties from the world. You’ve seen them before.



Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. But you can call them "dragon bugs" if you want, that’s what Isaac called them when I described them.


So are they just from the world, or do they have any over-reaching signif--

Brandon Sanderson

Well they have a certain ability that you may have seen in-world, which is pretty distinctive and different, and so they have a lot of mythological import. They are not widely known by most cultures right now.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#10 Copy


Are there types of Investiture that the larkin can't consume?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I would say that there are, but it's going to depend on the state they're in. Pure Investiture, a larkin is always going to probably be able to grab, but lots of people can get pure Investiture. Kinetic Investiture they're are gonna have a good chance at being able to grab, but they can't get everything.

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
#12 Copy

William Anderson

Why are do the Windrunners, Elsecallers, Stonewards, and Dustbringers have an extra connection on the Surgebinding diagram? Why do the Edgedancer, Skybreaker, Lightweaver, Willshaper's have a broken connection on the diagram? What are the dragon type things in the back of the diagram?

Brandon Sanderson

The dragon type things are a certain animal you've seen several places in the story so far.

These connections will be explained eventually, but remember it's not the orders being connected, but instead their elemental representations. This diagram is very metaphysical, and some of the elements of it are cultural.

Hal-Con 2012 ()
#17 Copy

Lance Alvein (paraphrased)

The creatures on the inside cover of Way of Kings - we've had various discussion about what they actually are, and some people are calling them Crabwasps and other Dragonwasps. Can you tell me anything else about them, and can you pick one of the two for us to use?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The decision for that image was made near the last minute to have Isaac make the image. It is an important symbol, and will be mentioned in detail in later books. While neither name is correct, they both could work until the official name is revealed (Brandon wouldn't pick one over the other).

General Reddit 2020 ()
#19 Copy

Ben McSweeney

It's a Larkin [on the back of the Stormlight-themed playing cards]. It's based on a design we worked up for the icon in the book and on the cover of the novella, but I worked out the anatomy the same as I do for all the other critters. Bear in mind, any artwork you're seeing at this time remains subject to change.

It's sorta like a wasp, but the wing profile and the flight dynamics (such as they be) are more like that of a hummingbird.

DragonCon 2016 ()
#20 Copy


He's asking if a larkin is capable of pushing Stormlight into someone as well as drawing it out.

Brandon Sanderson

Ahhh, that's an excellent question. They actually feed on Investiture. Like some other people and things that you've seen. *laughter*


So is that a yes or no?

Brandon Sanderson

That is more of a no than a yes. *laughter*


So that's highly unlikely that that's how Szeth was resurrected.

Brandon Sanderson

That is correct... You did see how Szeth came back foreshadowed earlier in the books. So if you watch for it, the means by which that happens is in there.


How early? *laughter*

Footnote: Szeth is resurrected by of a fabrial manipulating Progression, which can be seen in one of Dalinar's visions in The Way of Kings.