Edgedancer (novella)

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Edgedancer Cover.jpg
The Stormlight Archive
Follows Words of Radiance
Precedes Oathbringer
Setting Roshar, Cosmere
Released November 22, 2016
Publisher Tor Books
ISBN 978-1-250-16654-8
Page Count 272
Word Count 40,660

Edgedancer is a novella featuring Lift originally published in Arcanum Unbounded. In the chronology, it largely takes place between Words of Radiance and Oathbringer.


Three years ago, Lift asked a goddess to stop her from growing older–a wish she believed was granted. Now, in Edgedancer, the barely teenage nascent Knight Radiant finds that time stands still for no one. Although the young Azish emperor granted her safe haven from an executioner she knows only as Darkness, court life is suffocating the free-spirited Lift, who can’t help heading to Yeddaw when she hears the relentless Darkness is there hunting people like her with budding powers. The downtrodden in Yeddaw have no champion, and Lift knows she must seize this awesome responsibility.[1]


Lift travels with her spren Wyndle to Yeddaw in Tashikk from Azimir where her friend Gawx had recently been crowned emperor. Upon arriving at the city, she makes sure to display her Edgedancer powers to the guards so that she can find Darkness. She hopes to find and protect another Radiant that she knows he's hunting in the city. She also has the goal of eating all ten varieties of pancakes that they make during the Weeping.

She finds an orphanage in order to get some food. It's run by an old lady referred to as the Stump and haunted by a strange old philosopher. The Stump is cranky and cynical because many children come to her who have some sort of mental illness, and after they have been with her for a while, they are healed. She feels like she's constantly being scammed.

Lift finds the city guard from earlier and follows her to her abode, hoping that Darkness will show up. He does the next day, and after she makes her report about the slippery, glowing girl, Lift follows Darkness to his home and spies on him and his initiates. They plan to execute the other Radiant that very night. Darkness vows to take care of Lift himself.

Lift figures the best way to find the other Radiant first is to find someone doing something "strange" in the city, so she goes to the Grand Indicium, the repository for all writings in the city, and demands an investigation. At first the scribes are dismissive of her demands, but Gawx vouches for her via spanreed and commands them to do what she says. After a long day of fruitless research, an emergency is declared because of the coming Everstorm. Lift finds Darkness' minions in the Indicium and tries to tail them, but they fly away. Szeth has stayed behind and describes where they're going: it's obviously the orphanage. She thinks the old philosopher is the one they're after, so she hurries off to try to stop them.

When she arrives, the two minions are dead and the "old man" is actually an Dysian Aimian, whose body is made up of specially shaped cremlings. Lift realizes that the Stump is the Radiant because she's been healing the children. She rushes into the orphanage and barely avoids being killed by Darkness, but he does mortally wound the Stump, tempting Lift to come heal her like she did for Gawx. Instead she goes to the roof and shows Darkness the Everstorm, convincing him that the Desolation has come. He flies off and Lift rushes back to heal the Stump.

Lift starts her journey back to Azir. She feels like she will be needed there.


Lift is one of Brandon's favorite characters in the Stormlight Archive and will have a larger role in the series in future books. This novella accomplishes two things: 1) shows the progression of Lift through her oaths, and 2) shows how Nale changes his mind about killing off the Radiants.

The fact that Lift still thinks she is ten years old, even though she has lived for thirteen years, is more than just a joke.


The first draft of Edgedancer was written during May 2016.[2]

Cover Gallery[edit]

Statistical Analysis[edit]

Edgedancer consists of nineteen chapters from the PoV of Lift and one from the PoV of Hauka, reaching a total 40,660 word count. The standalone version also includes Lift's interlude from Words of Radiance.

Word Count 40,660 Excluding Words of Radiance interlude I-9.
Page Count 272 Tor standalone hardback
Chapter Count 20 Excluding Words of Radiance interlude I-9.
PoV Characters 2 Excluding Words of Radiance interlude I-9.
PoV Count 20 Excluding Words of Radiance interlude I-9.


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