Dawnshard (novella)

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Dawnshard cover.jpg
The Stormlight Archive
Follows Oathbringer
Precedes Rhythm of War
Setting Roshar, Cosmere
Released November 5, 2020 (ebook), February 15, 2022 (print)
Publisher Dragonsteel Entertainment, Tor Books
ISBN 978-1-250850-55-3
Page Count 269
Word Count 55,096

Dawnshard is a novella featuring Rysn and the crew of the ship Wandersail travelling to Aimia.[1][2] Part of The Stormlight Archive series, it is set between Oathbringer and Rhythm of War,[3] and takes place three months after the end of Oathbringer.[4][5] The ebook was released on November 5th, 2020 for backers of the Kickstarter for The Way of Kings leatherbound and on November 10th to the general public. A print edition was released on February 15th, 2022 and an audio version was released on August 16th, 2022.


When a ghost ship is discovered, its crew presumed dead after trying to reach the storm-shrouded island Akinah, Navani Kholin must send an expedition to make sure the island hasn’t fallen into enemy hands. Knights Radiant who fly too near find their Stormlight suddenly drained, so the voyage must be by sea.

Shipowner Rysn Ftori lost the use of her legs but gained the companionship of Chiri-Chiri, a Stormlight-ingesting winged larkin, a species once thought extinct. Now Rysn’s pet is ill, and any hope for Chiri-Chiri’s recovery can be found only at the ancestral home of the larkin: Akinah. With the help of Lopen, the formerly one-armed Windrunner, Rysn must accept Navani’s quest and sail into the perilous storm from which no one has returned alive. If the crew cannot uncover the secrets of the hidden island city before the wrath of its ancient guardians falls upon them, the fate of Roshar and the entire Cosmere hangs in the balance.[6]


Yalb serves aboard a Thaylen ship at sea as it discovers the First Dreams returning from Aimia without its crew.

Rysn decides to travel to Urithiru with her porter Nikli to meet with Navani to discuss the terms of an expedition to Aimia - she seeks a cure for Chiri-Chiri who has taken ill, Queen Fen seeks an answer to the disappearance of the First Dreams crew, and Navani seeks information about the Oathgate on Akinah. Agreeable terms are met, including the addition of Lopen, Huio, and Rushu to the expedition and the Wandersail departs.

During the voyage, several "omens" manifest which unnerve the crew and threaten Rysn's position as rebsk. She manages to take charge and keep the mission afloat. During downtime, Huio stumbles upon a discovery regarding the behavior of fabrials in the presence of aluminum, which leads Rushu to create a fabrial assisted mobility device for Rysn.

The omens are revealed to have been caused by Nikli, one of the Sleepless, in an attempt to keep humanity from discovering the secrets of Akinah. Nikli is removed from the ship by Lopen and Huio, and the Wandersail breaches a strange storm around Akinah to make landfall. Once ashore, Lopen and Rushu set off to find the Oathgate while the crew goes ashore to collect a hoard of gemhearts that have seemingly been left on the shore by dying greatshells.

The Sleepless's final trap is realized by Lopen and Rushu, but they are too late to stop Nikli from reappearing aboard and a large hordeling from appearing to attack the crew. Cord and Rysn jump overboard and find their way to caves beneath Akinah. In the cave is a number of soulcasters, a set of shardplate, and a mural depicting the shattering of Adonalsium. The mural contains a Dawnshard, which leaves to bond with Rysn as Nikli appears with two other Sleepless.

Negotiations in the cave commence while Huio and Lopen fight the hordeling above. Huio swears the Third Ideal to protect Lopen when the latter's stormlight is drained by another hordeling. Rysn bargains for the crew's lives and safe passage home in exchange for a promise to keep the secret of Aimia's treasure of soulcasters and shardplate. Nikli reveals that Rysn has become a Dawnshard, and the trade talks take a turn. The Sleepless permit the Wandersail to leave and Rysn to remain bonded to the Dawnshard. In exchange, an elaborate cover story is created to mask the true contents of the Aimia cave and the Dawnshard's location, while the Sleepless get to stay at Rysn's side as protectors of the Dawnshard.

As the Wandersail returns to Thaylenah, Rysn begins to notice the passive effects of the Dawnshard's power and Lopen swears his own Third Ideal.


Brandon originally intended to call the novella Wandersail after the ship that Vstim had given Rysn and upon which she would be sailing. However, he decided to change it to prevent confusion with the Wandersail that Wit told a story about,[7] and to reserve Wandersail as a title for a potential picture book.[8]

Brandon decided to write and publish Dawnshard prior to the release of Rhythm of War because Aimia has relevance to the story and Rysn was the character best able to go there, presumably because of her newly acquired ship.[1]

Brandon had planned to use Lopen as a secondary viewpoint character.[8] Lopen and Huio will both have character arcs in the novella.[9]

Cover Gallery[edit]

Interior Art[edit]


  • The cover of the novella depicts the exoskeleton of a larkin.[10]
  • The prologue from the first draft was sent in Brandon's newsletter on August 6, 2020.

Statistical Analysis[edit]

Dawnshard consists of nineteen chapters, a prologue and epilogue. Across these, there are 17 sections from Rysn's point of view, 10 from Lopen's, 1 from Nikli's, and 1 from Yalb's with a total of 55,096 words. Unlike Edgedancer, each chapter may have more than one character's point of view.

Word Count 55,096 e-book PDF release
Page Count 277 Dragonsteel mini hardcover
Chapter Count 21 Including Prologue and Epilogue
PoV Characters 4
PoV Count 29


This meta article is complete, but has yet to be reviewed.