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    EvilAdolin

    If you take a gemstone from Roshar to Taldain, would it be charged with Autonomy's Light on Dayside?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It could capture it; I'm not sure if it would happen automatically. You could definitely get some Dor. I don't know that it's gonna naturally pick up Autonomous Light; it might though. That one's iffy for me, I'll have to think about it.

    I'm gonna say yes to that one, but it's not going to infuse very deeply. You're gonna get something in it, but it's going to vanish soon after, to the point that gemstones—they would have noticed on Taldain if gemstones just naturally picked this up. So, you're going to get just a little, little bit of a charge, but it's going to be almost imperceptible to someone without the right instruments. 

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    LewsTherinTelescope

    You have said AonDor comes from something analogous to a Nahel bond. What is an Elantrian specifically bonded to? The Cognitive aspect of Arelon? The Dor overall? Etc.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's not exactly that, but that's the right way to be thinking.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    How accurate would it be to say that Allomancy is granted by a Nahel bond to Preservation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Different kind of bond⁠. Different mechanics.

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    SoarWay

    The Sleepless let Rysn carry a Dawnshard around and continue to live her life as relatively normal. Could we assume that someone like Hoid would be able to interact with her without noticing she holds a Dawnshard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends. You could not necessarily assume that.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just hope I can write Nightblood someday. I need to be up to date on things. Because that's a six month write right there, easily. I have been spoiled by doing three month books for a while on [Mistborn] Era 2 and on the Skyward books. I alternate those and eighteen month books like Stormlight. [Mistborn] Era 3 are all going to be six month writes probably because I'm going to shoot from 200,000-250,000 on those. And that's what Nightblood would be when and if I can get around to it.

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    EAgamezz

    What did The Lord Ruler do all day? He was totally bored right? What would he have done to get his hands on some Cadmium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was bored, but he was also—he was not mentally all completely... sane? I guess? That's a wrong way to say it. He was having trouble simply continuing to exist because of pressures and forces upon him in a cosmere sort of way. Much as the same sort of thing is happening to the Heralds and has happened to the Fused. He was not, let's say, in a stable sort of immortality like Hoid has found. Or I should say, his is unlike what Hoid has found. 

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    CODA_451

    If you could have a Lego set from your books, what would it be?

    Adam Horne

    I know what I would pick.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What would you pick?

    Adam Horne

    A chasmfiend, for sure. A really detailed Lego Technic chasmfiend would be awesome. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, okay, you might have persuaded me. Mine went to the person who did all the cool Lego on Facebook. I just like the whole dioramas that they made, like, "here's this scene," and I thought those were very cool. Chasmfiend's a good choice. I would be curious to see how they would do Lego Shardplate though. How do you fit a little minifig in a Shardplate? I guess they have the, y'know...

    Adam Horne

    Paint?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it can't just be paint! It's got to be more like how they did the Hulkbuster Armor or something like that.

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    LewsTherinTelescope

    When Venli attempts to swear her Ideal and it gets denied, she hears "a femalen voice, so very far away—but thrumming with the pure rhythm of Roshar". Is the fact that it says "the pure rhythm of Roshar" instead of "a pure rhythm of Roshar" significant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah, no.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    Was that rhythm set to the tone/tones of the Shard or Shards, and if so, which?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. I want you to be theorizing on that one LewsTherin.

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    Leo H

    Is Brandon publishing his book on writing in English or is it a Spanish only kind of thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So right now⁠—Oh, I didn't know this was out. What's happened here is (since rumors are apparently flying, or maybe it's been talked⁠ about), the Spanish publisher came to me and said, "Hey, it's hard for a lot of the Spanish fans to watch your lectures because they're in English," and was wondering can we transcribe these, translate them to Spanish, and actually turn them into prose rather than just monologue, and see if we can turn them into a writing book⁠. And I gave my blessing to this project. We'll see how it goes and see if my lectures turned into prose form actually work. I'm going to want to probably have them do it into English and then translate it into Spanish so I can see how the prose of the lectures works, but that is what's happening. I am not sitting down and writing a writing manual, not yet. I don't know if I ever will. It is a cool idea that the Spanish publisher came up with. I like that they came up with this idea and I hope that it turns out to be something really cool.

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    No_Doughnut8618

    Do you have a plan for Whimsy's planet already, like with a developed magic system and maybe a story to go along with it? Or is it kind of a wild card?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have plans, but that doesn't prevent wild cards. Let's just say I have plans, that doesn't prevent me from changing it as things develop. The only two planets that I'm unlikely to change are Yolen and the Aether planet at this point. Those most likely need to remain canonized for reasons that they are being worked into the narratives. Everything else can be flexible.

    And you assume that there's one planet for Whimsy, and that it is a planet, don't make assumptions.

    No_Doughnut8618

    If you've got a plan can we get any little detail about any of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah; making assumptions.

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    Anton Nielsen

    Could you create a proto-human using Awakening, steak, and Hemalurgy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, yes. That would work. I mean, you could go for the full triumvirate and have Soulcasting in there too. You don't need need a steak you need... Go with Soulcasting. Soulcasting—get some Awakening, staple on a soul. This is actually—of the weird things that the fans come up with, this is one of the most reasonable that could be pulled off. You could do that with minimal knowledge of all three magics, I should say. 

    Sucette

    Is it a better proto human if the steak is well done or medium rare?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think the more rare the better, but I think Soulcasting is the way to go.

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    Adam Horne

    Can you please explain what RAFO means?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, yes! For those you don't know, I inherited from Robert Jordan a phrase that he used with fans when they asked a question that he didn't want to answer. It means read and find out. He would not answer for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes it's too much a spoiler. Sometimes he... Well, I'll just answer for myself, since I am not Robert Jordan. Sometimes I don't want to answer because it's too much a spoiler. That's probably the number one reason, is I am planning perhaps—not a promise but perhaps—to address this in the books. Sometimes I don't answer because I don't want to canonize this yet. Sometimes I don't answer because I like the fandom theorizing along a direction because it acts as a nice red herring for what I'm actually planning to do. I will do all of these things, and sometimes it will just be I don't feel like answering that right now.

    When I picked up the Wheel of Time and I went to Harriet and Robert Jordans' house for the first time in December of 2007⁠, she handed me some things. One was of course the big pile of the ending of the Wheel of Time. This is what Robert Jordan had written plus all of his notes for the last book—which was about 200 pages worth of material. Then she also gave me a couple of things. One was one of his pens, which I signed most books on when I was on tour for those books was the pen that she had given me, obviously with ink cartridges that we refilled frequently, but one of his pens—his favorite kind of pen. Then she also handed me a little charm bracelet that said RAFO that a fan had given to Robert Jordan, and she said, "This is yours now," kind of bequeathing the RAFO to me.

    Which is kind of funny, that it was bequeathed to me as a physical object, almost. Basically, the ability to be in control of how much information was displayed and basically this was her saying, "The fandom—it's your job now kid to deal with this." I still have the RAFO charm bracelet, my bequeathed RAFO. I started using it judiciously when fans would ask questions and it just started to become a thing that I did with my own fandom as well because it's a very useful tool.

    So there you are. I'll have to put that in a shrine and bequeath it to someone else before I pass away and be like, "THE RAFO IS YOURS NOW!"

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    stargeak

    In Mistborn 5, Shadows of Self, Wax chases Bleeder into the mist after the party where she was speaking in his mind to taunt him. As Wax jumps into the mist to follow, he has an internal monologue thinking about Vin. He says he can see her vaguely within the mist.

    "Slight of frame, short hair splayed out as she moved, mistcloak fluttering behind her. It was a fancy, wasn't it?"

    Has the mist become a self aware Splinter of Harmony similar to how the Stormfather operated with Honor? Also, since the mist "tuned" Vin to be able to take the Shard of Preservation, does the mist remember Vin in some form? And is it still connected to her similar to how a Returned is connected to their former self?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're making some excellent theories here; I'm not sure if I want to stamp any of them out. I like where you're going on this. I will say that this is related to where, if you read in Words of Radiance, you will see odd things sometimes happen with Investiture. There is a scene (that I don't think a lot of people pick up on) where Syl is responding to Connection threads being built and is looking different than she should look and things like this. We're looking more at the Spiritual Realm and Spirit Webs and Connections and things like that. Not to stamp out any of your theories, but also to kind of direct you—often times when I'm writing pure Investiture or beings of Investiture, they respond to echoes in the Spiritual Realm. And like I said, you'll see this in Syl sometimes.

    I'll leave it there. Continue theorizing but go that direction.

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    Amber Burningham

    What Ajah would Jasnah be in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think she would be pulled toward Brown. The personalities of the Browns don't often fit her, so I bet she'd end up in Blue. It could be Blue—it could be Brown though. I could see Jasnah ending up in Brown. I mean, she's a historian. That's her "occupation" so to speak, but she's a historian who is trying very hard to save the world from something that she sees coming that most people don't anticipate, and that's a very Blue thing, this "I am one woman against the world" sort of thing. 

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    TheBurningDusk

    Mistborn era 3 is chronologically after the back half of Stormlight, but will be written first. With the ever-increasing cosmere connections, how will you keep era 3 from spoiling Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a challenge. I mean, technically era 2 is post-Stormlight 5, so I have been juggling that so far, it's not long after Stormlight 5 but it is post-Stormlight 5. Karen has to, when I force her to lock down certain parts of the timeline various places but there's certain things we haven't locked down, for instance, I still haven't decided how long the time jumps are going to be until I write the various series. Let's just say, I've managed to write Sixth of the Dusk I hope without spoiling too much, and it's not the only future era Cosmere thing that is perhaps coming through the pipeline eventually, before we get through with Stormlight 5, so I will just juggle this and balance this very well, I hope. I will try. I will do my best to keep this all balanced without spoiling too much. 

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    Fakjbf

    When Sazed ascended into Harmony, he recreated many extinct plants and animals based on the fragments of knowledge he learned about from various religions. Many ancient and medieval texts in the real world had pictures of animals with wildly inaccurate features and proportions. Were the texts that Sazed drew on fairly accurate, or are there herds of monstrosities roaming Scadrial now like on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fortunately, Sazed was able to work with something that you wouldn't be able to here. Which is—remember that Realmatic Theory is based on the theory of the forms by Plato. This is where I got it. I've been very open with that idea, that the first glimmers of that occurred when I was taking my philosophy classes in college. I liked the idea of there being this perfect version of something somewhere in another realm. Now, the thing I've done in the Cosmere is that that perfect thing can change and be shaped over time, but the remnants of those things were still there. He could latch onto something, something that knew what these things were supposed to look like, because he had this deific power.

    So the answer is no, there are not versions of very very weird lions as drawn in illuminated manuscripts. I love where your brain went on this one. We were actually talking about, I can't remember the name of it, the wolf that they thought was killing all the people in France in the seventeen or eighteen hundreds, that they had these drawings of this monstrous wolf—where it was probably just a pack of wolves that were particularly hungry because their normal food source was being impacted by human expansion or something. But for a period of like five to ten years, perhaps hundreds of people got killed by this wolf, and all the depictions of it are these giant werewolfy sort of scary things.

    I love seeing the pictures of all of those things, the pictures of giraffes on illuminated manuscripts that have just been described thirdhand to someone. Your brain is going cool places. You can make monstrosities like that with Hemalurgy, but fortunately Sazed did not run into that problem. 

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    Rexozord

    Was Glys a deadeye before being Enlightened by Sja-anat?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, good question. You may have to wait for a while to get answers to some of those questions, sorry. And I'm not even promising that I'll answer them.

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    Raddatatta

    If Thaidakar / Kelsier could get access to one non Scadrian power / set of abilities, regardless of how difficult that would be to obtain, what would he be most interested in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a pretty big RAFO. I mean, Bondsmithing is really dangerous, so Kelsier would be attracted to it, let's point that out.

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    EogelAorist

    Denth and Shashara, and Arsteel and Yesteel, are referred to and refer to themselves as siblings, despite being Returned. Does that mean they have knowledge of who they were while alive, and Vasher is the only Scholar who doesn't?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oooh, what a wonderful question. What a wonderful question! Guess what! RAFO. You are supposed to be noticing and asking that. You're supposed to be asking some of these questions about them and about the scholars and about poor Vasher and how this all plays together.

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    SnooPeanuts464

    Now that Kaladin has Radiant Shardplate, could he trap others, particularly other Surgebinders in the Plate and neutralize their powers like the end of Iron Man 3?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, but with a "I don't think this works the way you think it works."

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    SomeAnonymous

    How was spren society impacted by Nale (legally) murdering wannabe proto-Radiants in the years before the Everstorm? Were they aware of what he was doing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, most spren thought that anyone who was trying to bond a human was--let's just say most of them responded as the other inkspren did to Ivory during his desires or Syl during her desires, and so if your foolish spren cousin goes to try to bond humans, they get what is coming to them is how most of them would probably regard it. It's not gonna be too bad for the spren, they're not going to be "killed" by what Nale was doing to the people. It's much worse for the people in that instance. But still, not a fun experience for a spren.

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    asmodeus

    If the only variable we change, during the creation of Nightblood, is to use a different Allomantically-viable metal (say, iron or bronze instead of steel), but keep everything else constant (the same Breaths, same people doing the same visualization, and whatever other factors were involved), would it have manifested different powers/capabilities?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Most likely.

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    evi_kholin

    Evi was shown to have very strong moral convictions in Dalinar's Oathbringer flashbacks, do you think she could have become a Knight Radiant alongside the majority of the Kholin family had she lived long enough? If so, which Order would she fit best?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that she would've definitely had a good shot at that. Where would Evi go? Like a lot of people usually there's... most people I know who took the test and talked to them there's often two or three they bounce between. I could definitely see Evi as an Edgedancer in the way that she liked to pay attention to people that sometimes weren't being paid attention to, but I don't think that's where she would land. I don't think that's the strongest one. I would probably put her in Truthwatcher myself, but I would perhaps prefer to sit and think on it. This is one of those things that when I actually sat down to build the outline I'd have to really dig into it, but those are my gut reactions right there. Not a Bondsmith, not a Windrunner, neither of those fit Evi really well, but there you go, there's two she could've been.

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    ncmagic97

    In The Way of Kings, when Shallan first goes to Shadesmar, she says something grabbed her ankle and was pulling her into the ocean of spheres. Was Testament the one doing said grabbing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO! I wondered if people were ever gonna pick up on that one, I haven't been asked that yet.

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    Reinhartmax1

    What happens if a Radiant is ready to swear an Ideal above the one they can't swear (i.e. a Windrunner who can swear the Fourth Ideal but not the Third)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would have to wait until they can swear the Third.

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    graciemoo

    Which Invested Art does Khriss find the most interesting to study? (or is it one we haven't seen yet)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think Khriss is really fascinated by aspects of all of them, but lately she's been most into the weirdness of Allomancy, for instance things like how speed bubbles work and how weight manipulation works and how that interacts with mass, and the weird, weird, weird science of all of that that drives the arcanists mad.

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    Isaac Stewart

    11/30 - 3359 words (51,584 final for November)

    My biggest worry is that I'm not quite halfway done with the story being told. And here I thought I'd be able to finish in 60k words! I'll keep moving through this, though, with the hope to get around 1500-2000 words a day till it's finished.

    The TV Guide description of the book: An adventurous woman with erratic magical powers travels with an expedition to an island to find a legendary book with the power to raise an undead army.

    This has been a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone for letting me be along for the ride!

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    Brandon Sanderson

    So, today I think I’ll post part of a proposal I’m working on for Tor. I’m going to send this to them, so that Tom Doherty can read about my plans and goals for the future before he and I meet in New York next week.

    Enjoy.

    Introduction

    Writing is art, but publishing is business.

    I’ve always believed that in order to succeed in this field, I would need two things. First, I’d need an excellent work ethic. Second, I’d need an eye toward my eventual goal of becoming a professional writer. When I started writing in earnest seven years ago, I realized that the chances of any one book getting published were slim, even if it was a superior manuscript. Therefore, I didn’t let myself stop writing–I figured that the more books I had to send out, the sooner I would get published. When Moshe finally called to purchase ELANTRIS, I was working on my thirteenth novel.

    This background gives me an advantage, I think, over other first-time authors. I understand my writing style far better than a writer sold the first book he wrote. I know what I do well, I know what people enjoy from my books, and I have had time to hone and practice my craft. I also have a great wealth of intellectual property in the books I’ve already written. I don’t want to publish any of those books themselves–readers deserve to get books that represent my best and most current skill level. However, the ideas and settings I developed in those previous works can provide models for what to do in the future.

    My foremost distinguishing attribute as a writer is my ability to create interesting settings and unique magic systems. I don’t use the standard fantasy setting–nor do I even use an iteration of it. I strive to push this genre to its full potential, giving my readers something new with each book. Another of my strengths is my ability to push my books’ plots toward dramatic climaxes with well-foreshadowed surprises and twists. I also think that I have a flair for witty side-characters and powerfully-motivated viewpoint characters.

    My weaknesses are offshoots from these strengths. My books build slowly sometimes, and so the first quarter or so of a given novel tends to be the slowest. My books also have very steep ‘learning curves,’ meaning that because they have original settings and magic systems, it can be difficult for readers to grow accustomed to all of the new elements. Finally, I’m not a brilliant prose craftsman, though I think I’m getting stronger in this area. One of the things I’ve learned during my years practicing is how to focus my books around my strengths as a writer, while at the same time minimizing the effect of my weaknesses.

    I’m at an interesting point in my career. My original goal, that of getting published, has been met–indeed, I’ve succeeded beyond what I dared dream was possible. I’ve been picked up by the most prestigious publishing house in fantasy, and am releasing a book in hardback.

    However, getting published was always just a step. My real goal is to build a career as a writer. You don’t do that by publishing one great book–you do that by publishing a great book, then publishing an even better one the next year, then an even better one the year after that.

    I can do this. However, I realize the need for a plan. Therefore, I’ve begun to look at the various books and series that I’ve written recently (within the last year) or am planning to write very soon. I’ve never published before, so I’m not sure which direction to take my career. Therefore, I developed this list of my most promising new and upcoming works so that I could get your advice on what plan I should use during my next five to ten years of writing.

    Summaries of five series I’ve been developing follow. At the end, I’ll give a summary of my thoughts regarding my future.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Here’s the second segment of the proposal I turned in to Tor before visiting the offices. If you want to read a little more about my visit, hop over to the Time Waster’s Guide (www.timewastersguide.com).

    This section focuses on sequel opportunities in the ELANTRIS world. We’ll see whatever comes of this–whether or not I ever do another book in this world will depend on several factors.

    ELANTRIS SERIES

    Elantris is an excellent book that does a good job of introducing people to what I do well as an author. It has a unique, interesting setting with a clever, rule-based magic system. One of the main characters, Hrathen, is a very good example of the type of character I like to write–a person with deep personal demons related to the setting, magic, and theme of the book. People who come out of Elantris wanting more of my work will not be disappointed, as many of my other works have a similar feel.

    However, Elantris itself doesn’t provide as good a launchboard to a series as some of my other projects. By the end of the book, I’ve resolve most of my conflicts–both plot and character related. In the grander picture, the characters were developed in a kind of ‘superhero’ mold. They were designed to be extremely competent, then thrown into extreme situations to provide conflict. It would be difficult to provide a challenge for them in further books.

    None of these things would necessarily prevent a sequel–indeed, I left plenty of plotting room at the end of the book to expand the series. However, I believe that an Elantris sequel would have to be episodic in nature, taking place a decade after the first book and dealing with different characters. I think continuing characters provide more of a draw for a series, and this is why I haven’t pushed very hard for an Elantris sequel. I think Moshe has sensed the same thing, since we’ve only spoken marginally of future books in this series.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, here’s another little segment from my Tor proposal. This was the section that got the most attention, which is good, since I delivered a finished copy of MISTBORN to my editor that day. The way things are going, this will be the book that comes out after ELANTRIS.

    MISTBORN SERIES

    Mistborn, Book One: The Final Empire is my most recent work. I wrote it this year, and it’s the first book I wrote completely knowing that I was now a ‘published’ writer. I wrote the book knowing that my audience would probably have read Elantris, and I wanted to craft a book that would impress them even beyond what they had experienced before. I was worried that The Way of Kings (discussed below) was too different from Elantris, and might disappoint readers.

    I pitch Mistborn as a combination between Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice, my own Elantris, and George Clooney’s Ocean’s Eleven. Mistborn is the story of a typical fantasy world: One where a young peasant hero came along, fought an evil dark force—only he failed. A thousand years later, the world is dominated by the Lord Ruler, a dark, god-like tyrant. The people have been enslaved, ash and soot rain from the sky, and plants grow wilted and brown.

    In this setting, a group of daring thieves determine to overthrow the Final Empire. However, they’re going to do it like thieves: They plan to steal the Lord Ruler’s fortune while at the same time undermining his financial base of rule, hoping to cause the collapse of his empire. Using a mixture of magical skills, the team begins their bold plan—but ends up getting themselves involved in something more daunting than even they imagined.

    Mistborn has one of the most unique, interesting magic systems I’ve ever created. In addition, it has a marvelous setting. Plagued by a smoky red sun by the day, cloaked by an aura of mist at night, the visual setting of this world is unique and interesting. MISTBORN shows off what I do well as a writer. It has an original setting, a clever, rule-based magic system, witty side-characters, and an interesting growth character at the center of the story. The ending is full of twists and surprises, and it launches the story quite nicely into a larger plot while at the same time giving a strong resolution to the first book.

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    Questioner

    In Rhythm of War, Nightblood broke off a piece of an Honorblade. Could you technically pulverize an Honorblade to the point it wouldn't exist? If so, what would happen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You could pulverize an Honorblade to the point that it wouldn't exist. You would basically need to repair it with Investiture, and if you didn't, it would happen, the same thing that happened to Shardplate. You would be making... basically it's changing form. Either you would end up with a bunch of dust made of a God Metal, which you could do stuff with, or you add Investiture and reconstitute it, or you get it to change back into its other states. Those are all possibilities.