Dawnshard: From the Stormlight Archive Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B08MXXWYT7
- Publisher : Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (November 10, 2020)
- Publication date : November 10, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 5204 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 208 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,633 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I was very excited for Dawnshard. I loved Edgedancer, the previous novella, and I have always found Rysn to be an excellent character. The Lopen is the Stormlight Archive's resident goofball, but I was convinced there was more than meets the eye underneath his shell of humor. So I was ready to like this one from the very first page. It still exceeded my expectations.
It's really, really cool how Sanderson is crafting these novellas. Not only are they written in such a way that you don't have to read them prior to the main novels, they are also connected enough that it makes it very rewarding for readers who do indulge in the novellas. I'm impressed.
And I think this one was even more rewarding than any of us maybe realized before starting it. There are tons of little worldbuilding nuggets dropped that make this a worthwhile read even beyond the excellent story (which is absolutely there). I mean deep cuts for Cosmere nerds. Deep. For the casual Sanderson fan this is a very fun side story. But for the Cosmere nerd this is required reading. Don't miss it.
Keeping that in mind, there are a few nitpicks I'd like to make. First, very little is kept from the reader in this book. It feels as though a mystery is established in one chapter and then resolved in the next, for the reader if not for the protagonist. This isn't a bad thing necessarily, but it can make it feel a little light even in comparison to other short cosmere works like sixth of dusk.
Often, I felt like simple themes were being expressed in the same way to the same characters every few chapters. It's not done poorly, but it does feel repetitive and a bit simplistic.
The story itself, as I mentioned earlier, lacked a good amount of conflict. Conflict does exist, but it's so small and mostly overcome so quickly that it's hard to be invested in it.
But, as I said, this isn't meant to be a thrilling tale with well developed plot twists and complex themes. It doesn't have the page count. It's short, succinct, and well paced if a bit flat. The prose is great as always with maybe a hiccup or two.
Overall, I don't think this is a necessary read for the casual Sanderson fan. Not even really for the casual Stormlight fan. This book is mostly for fans of the cosmere as a whole or people who just want to see more of Rysn. It develops several of the more overlooked characters and starts to peel back the curtain on some cosmere wide mysteries that are always interesting to see, but there's not too much there to enjoy in a vacuum without those other tie ins.
And I haven't yet read Rhythm of War, so I can't comment directly on how the events in this story impact that book or beyond, but I suppose I should have known better than to doubt Sanderson at this point. It turns out Dawnshard is a pretty momentous account for both the world of Roshar and the wider cosmere setting, in a way that will be exciting to die-hard fans without alienating a more casual audience. (And I'm honestly somewhere between those camps myself -- I do like The Stormlight Archive, but I find the long novels overly dense at times and I occasionally need to look details up online when a name from the past resurfaces. Yet I've genuinely grinned at a few of the reveals here.)
This is a fun high-seas adventure in its own right too, making good use of its distinctive protagonists, one of whom is paralyzed from the waist down and the other of whom had formerly lost an arm (which has since been magically regrown in a previous title). In his introduction, the writer specifically thanks the experts who gave early draft feedback on issues of accessibility and paraplegia, and the treatment of these topics rings with authenticity as well as registering as a clear rarity in the fantasy genre. There's also a very minor gesture at trans representation, in the person of a king who's used the power of stormlight to transition, although the description is so subtle that it could easily go unnoticed and I have to cynically wonder if that was an intentional choice to not anger conservative readers.
On balance, though, this is another strong entry that is worth checking out.
Top reviews from other countries
As such the novel has several typical aspects of a naval adventure story with the ruins of lost civilisations, giant sea monsters and bad omens. Of course, the return of the Radiants and Voidbringers influences all this and three Radiants accompany the crew of the Wandersail on their mission.
Like ‘Edgedancer’, the previous ‘Stormlight’ novella which took place between the second and third volumes of the saga, the primary character is taken from the various ‘interludes’ that appear in ‘The Stormlight Archive’ novels. ‘Dawnshard’ is more serious in tone than ‘Edgedancer’. This is primarily because the lead character of ‘Edgedancer’ was Lift, with her unique outlook upon life and her fixation with food.
‘Dawnshard’ focusses on the more serious character of Rysn. Although a relatively minor character, she appeared in several of the ‘interludes’ throughout the first three volumes of ‘The Stormlight Archive’. It was during one of these that she lost the use of her legs. As such, a fair proportion of this novella is concerned with her coming to terms with this, adjusting to it and regaining her independence alongside her fulfilling her new role as a shipowner and attempting to win over the crew.
As well as Rysn, the story also comes from the perspective of Lopen, one of the members of Bridge Four and followers of Kaladin. With his boundless optimism, flamboyant humour and having recently regrown his lost arm through his newfound Radiant powers, he works well as a contrast to Rysn.
Although the story comes from just the two perspectives, several other characters such as Cord, Huio and Rusho also feature and significantly develop.
Not being an entirely independent, it is advisable to read the previous Stormlight novels for this to make sense as there is a substantial amount of world building behind it. The three previous ‘interludes’ in those books concerned with Rysn also provide her background to this story. There are also more Cosmere connections but picking up on these is not essential to enjoying this novella.
To say the least it has surprised me, the minor characters from the main series have been fleshed out and actually have become a lot more interesting than I would have believed possible.
Another great read from Brandon, hopefully many more to come in the future.
Plus The Lopen. Can't go wrong with him, nor Rua it seems!