Dragonsteel refers to an unpublished series set on Yolen that has been called the prequel to the Cosmere. It takes place first chronologically and will feature the Shattering, Hoid's backstory, and dragons. One reason Brandon has not prioritized this series, though, is that he doesn't want readers to feel that they have to read his other books in order to understand what is happening, and he probably won't publish Hoid's story until it becomes relevant.
While not considered canon, there have been multiple attempts at writing the Dragonsteel story arc. One of the earliest examples is Dragonsteel Prime, which was written as part of Brandon Sanderson's Masters Thesis and has influenced some of his later work, including The Way of Kings. In 2007 he revisited this series and attempted to reboot it and prepare it for publishing. In the process, he rearranged some of the events and plotted out The Liar of Partinel and The Lightweaver of Rens as the first two books in the series, with other events happening centuries afterwards. However, his focus shifted when the opportunity came to finish Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time Series, which led to Brandon revisiting The Way of Kings instead, which he would publish in 2010.
Brandon has stated that the Dragonsteel Prime draft of this story was not his best work and that it will not appear in the same form when it is published, though some of the ideas will stay the same. Of his 2007 attempt, Brandon has said that "every chapter was a chore to write." He also felt that the characters did not quite work and does not share this book with fans because it will give them a wrong impression of certain characters.
”Dragonsteel is an unpublished series set on the Shardworld Yolen. The first two books form a duology, with Hoid as a major character. They are preliminarily titled "The Liar of Partinel" and "The Lightweaver of Rens". The first one, and perhaps the second one as well are set before the Shattering of Adonalsium. Brandon will not show anyone these books, and I don't think he's even written them both. There are five more books that occur hundreds of years later, so not "directly" a series, but still the same world. These five are the core Dragonsteel sequence, the first of which Brandon wrote for his master's thesis at BYU. It is still in the library there. Many things have changed since then, so this book is no longer canon.
- Where in the universe does Dragonsteel take place?
— Theoryland - 2014-9-4
- When will we see a Hoid book?
— Theoryland - Nov 8, 2011
- We have yet to see a dragon from you
— Theoryland - 2014-3-29
- Briefly mentioned Dragonsteel
— Theoryland - 2009-6-20
- Rewriting Dragonsteel
— Theoryland - Nov 8, 2011
- Liar may be rewritten as a first-person narrative
— Theoryland - May 14th, 2013
- Challenges writing characters
— Theoryland - Dec 15th, 2011
- Another Long and Rambling Post™ on Future Books
— Brandon's website - 2010-10-12
- Windrunner's post
— 17th Shard forums - 2013-01-20
|Shards||Ambition · Autonomy · Cultivation · Devotion · Dominion · Endowment · Honor · Odium · Preservation · Ruin · Survival Shard|
|Planets||Ashyn · Braize · First of the Sun · Nalthis · Roshar · Scadrial · Sel · Taldain · Threnody · Vax · Yolen|
|Terms||Adonalsium · Sliver · Splinter · Realmatic Theory · Intent · Focus · Investiture · Shardpool · Spiritweb|
|Other||Hoid · Seventeenth Shard · Shattering · Worldhopping · Letters · Silverlight|