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Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#1 Copy

PyroSkink

Is each book in this series a focus on a particular character? Did I read that somewhere?

Brandon Sanderson

Each one has a flashback sequence dedicated to a certain character, and a plot that has something to do with the flashback sequence. I do this to help differentiate them, and we sometimes call it "their" book--but that's a little of a misnomer, as the main plot may not revolve around the flashback sequence. It will simply relate to it.

PyroSkink

Ah right. It was Kaladin then Shallan, next is Dalinar? Or is it Szeth?

Brandon Sanderson

This one is Dalinar most likely. Then (probably) Eshonai, then Szeth. Unless I swap those two.

Back five are Lift, Renarin, Ash, Taln, Jasnah. Not necessarily in that order. (Though that is the planned order right now.)

I do have to give my standard disclaimer. Someone getting a flashback sequence does not indicate they survive until that book. I'm fully willing to flashback to a character who died in an earlier volume. So that isn't as much of a spoiler as it seems.

And Taln is defined as "The man who thinks of himself as the Herald Taln, and whose viewpoint we got briefly in Words of Radiance."

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

For those who don't know it is Dalinar's book. Each story, each novel in The Stormlight Archive delves into one of the main characters' backstories and catches you up how they got to their first chapters in the first book. So the first book was Kaladin, second book's Shallan, third book's Dalinar. Right now, fourth book is Eshonai, fifth book is Szeth. I could end up switching those two. But that's kind of how that works. And then, for those who don't know, The Stormlight Archive-- at the end of book five there will come to a conclusion, though it's not the main conclusion, it's the end of the arc. We will leave Roshar for a while while I write a few more books, and when we come back Roshar in-world will have passed about fifteen years. And then we will do the back five characters as I call them-- their backstories. So that's Lift, Jasnah, Taln, Renarin, and Ash-- yeah, Ash. There's two Heralds among that group, so you can kind of guess what those flashbacks will deal with, in the back five. The main characters of the first five, who survive, will still be a big part of those back five. So it's not a separate series, but I do consider it two separate arcs. We need to pass some time for some various reasons.

Stormlight Three Update #2 ()
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HellaSober

(Until the second five books, where our primary characters will shuffle. So you Renarin fans will have to be patient.)

Do you worry that assuring us that a character will likely survive the first arc of the series removes some of the tension in their scenes?

(While you've discussed the idea that a main character can have a book about them while they are dead when Dalinar was expected to be central to book 5, this seems different)

Brandon Sanderson

I have said many times before that Renarin and Lift are main characters for the next five, but--as you point out--I've also said that I have no problem having a main character who is actually dead, and their story told through flashbacks and the stories of the other characters. Renarin is not safe, but you will see a lot more from him in the future, even if he does die.

To say more would be to give too many spoilers about the nature of the back five books.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

The second set of Stormlight books, [six] through ten, will that *inaudible* be more focused on the Heralds' point of view, is that the idea?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, so Taln and Ash, who are both Heralds, are going to be main characters, and they'll each get books dedicated to them. The characters who survive the first five will still be main characters as well, but it's gonna turn more on what happened with the Heralds and things like that. The first five are turning more on what happened with the Knights Radiant and then the last five are  more what happened with the Heralds. 'Cause we'll get flashbacks to the time of the Dawnsingers and things like that.

Stormlight Three Update #1 ()
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the-kings-wit

One thing that I'm slightly confused about is who the primary POVs will be for the second set of 5 books in the 10-book series. I've heard a bunch of names being floated around on various online forums--such as Jasnah, Renarin, and Taravangian to name a few--but are any of these confirmed? Any word of Brandon as of yet?

Brandon Sanderson

It's possible this will change. But the back five have been planned as Jasnah, Renarin, Lift, Taln, and Ash. Though, once again, this isn't a promise that these people survive. You'll likely see at least one flashback set in the series from a character who has died in a previous book, and then you get to see something they experienced through flashbacks before their death.

faragorn

I'm having trouble locating Ash. No direct matches on coppermind.net, 17th shard forums or google.

Do you mean Ashir from one of the WoK interludes? Or perhaps someone we haven't met yet (at least by name).

Brandon Sanderson

There are a lot of weird things going on with Ash, so what's up with her will be something you'll have to wait on for a long while.

Enasor

But how about the characters we currently love? Are they all gone in the second half??? This is terrible :-(

Brandon Sanderson

No, they will be around. (Well, if they survive.) But the second series will be taking place years later, and their roles may have changed.

Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

So do you know quite a bit about what the end of the <Stormlight series> is going to be?

Brandon Sanderson

I do.  I do indeed.  I've actually written the epilogue of Book 5.  

Questioner

Oh yeah?

Brandon Sanderson

Just to get into my head.  I wrote it out.  Peter, my assistant, sent an explanation point after he saw that appear in the Wiki and stuff.  So yes.  And actually the ending of the entire series of the ten books is somewhere in those two books, just like with Mistborn it was in the first page.  It's not on the first page but it is in those two books.  

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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keleks_breath

1) In their place of torture, are the Heralds able to communicate with each other or with other people/spren outside of that place? E.g. how is Ishar able to maintain his threat of severing the Nahel bond if he is being tortured for hundreds of years? 2)When the Heralds return to Roshar, do they appear like Schwarzenegger in Terminator (nude) or do they appear with the clothing they wore when they signed up for the Oathpact? 3)Are the Honorblades involved in the torture of the Heralds? Again, thank you for taking the time to interact with us fans and readers.

Brandon Sanderson

I have to RAFO questions along the lines of what you're asking. These are things that are relevant to books 6-10, which probably won't even be written for a decade. Talking about them too much now would be counter-productive, I feel. Sorry. :(

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

Who is the Willshaper?

Brandon Sanderson

Ok, of the group of the ten...

Questioner

Have we met the Willshaper?

Brandon Sanderson

You have met the Willshaper. 

Questioner

Is it Moash?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO.

Questioner

Ok. But it was a good guess?

Brandon Sanderson

Do you want me to write RAFO in this? You got RAFO'd.

Questioner

Thanks.

Brandon Sanderson

People are really interested in the Willshapers. Has this been a topic of conversation?

Other person

*inaudible*...17th Shard. *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, right. The Dustbringer is harder to figure out, I feel like the Willshaper will be a little more obvious once it happens. The Dustbringer is going to be hard.

Stormlight Three Update #2 ()
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momanie

Question about the second half of the 10 books what did you mean by having the primary characters shuffle and are the 2 arcs separate in time line or something else?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there are two arcs. Small separation in time. Not as much as Mistborn. Many same characters will appear, but some will be less prominent.

momanie

Will there be different main character PoV's or no?

Brandon Sanderson

There will be a completely new set of characters with flashback sequences, but some of the characters from the first five will appear quite a lot, and will provide a "through line" of people with arcs that cross ten books--making it one series, not two.

/r/fantasy AMA WorldCon 2013 ()
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Gandemort

You've mentioned that The Stormlight Archive is broken down into two sets of five books. Is the story arc of the second set of books going to be completely different than the story in the first 5 books?

Brandon Sanderson

It will focus mostly on different characters, with some appearances by characters from the first five. I wouldn't call it a different story, more a sequel.