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Skyward US Hardcover.jpg
by Charlie Bowater
Skyward (series)
Precedes Starsight
Released 6 November 2018
Publisher Delacorte Press
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This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.
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Skyward is the first young adult novel in a four-part series. It is currently the only published book in the series. It is set in the same universe as the novella Defending Elysium[1], taking place centuries afterwards.[2]

Brandon says the premise for this story is "How to Train Your Dragon but instead it's a girl who finds a spaceship and goes to Top Gun school. It's like a mashup between Top Gun and Ender's Game and How to Train Your Dragon with an old broken-down spaceship with a really weird personality."[3]

The book was released on November 6, 2018.[4]

Cover Synopsis[edit]

Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what's left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa's dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father's- a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight School might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.



A young Spensa journeys with her father through the caverns. Her father is alerted of a Krell attack, and rushes off to the DFF to defend the people. He leaves his tools and Fligther's Pin with Spensa.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5



Spensa Nightshade
Spensa is the daughter of Zeen Nightshade, supposedly a cowardly DDF pilot who abandoned a battle (his callsign: Chaser). Spensa struggles to be accepted into flight school, finds an ancient ship, and with the help and guidance from her friend Rodge attempts to rebuild it. Her callsign is Spin.
Captain Cobb
Cobb is Spensa's flight instructor and was the wingmate of her father. His callsign is Mongrel.
Rodge McCaffery
Rodge, often called Rig, is one of Spensa's childhood friends. He grew up with Spensa. After dropping out of DDF flight school, he returns to Igneous Cavern and becomes a ship mechanic. He "borrows" parts from the workshop to repair the old ship Spensa finds. His callsign is Rigmarole.
Jorgen Weight
Jorgen is the flightleader of Spensa's flight, Skyward. His callsign, chosen mostly by Spensa, is Jerkface. He is the son of a First Citizen that fought in the same battle as Spensa's father.
Judy 'Ironsides' Ivans
is the Admiral of the DDF. She tries to deny entry to Flight School to Spensa, fearing that she will be like her father.
an athletic girl from Igneous Cavern who is a member of Spensa's flight. Her callsign is Hurl.
an enthusiastic girl from Bountiful Cavern and a member of Spensa's flight. Her callsign is Quirk.
the AI of the stealth ship that Spensa discovers. His memory has been disrupted, so all he remembers is his former master's last orders: "lay low and don't get into any fights." M-Bot determines that he was sent to gather data from the planet like mushrooms. Determined to obey, he refuses to fight and is obsessed with gathering fungal life from the planet.
Spensa's grandmother was aboard the Defiant and worked with her mother in the engine room. She provided Spensa stories of ancient heroes that inspired Spensa's personality.

Writing Process[edit]

Brandon wrote Skyward in approximately three months, most of that while he was on tour for Oathbringer or on holiday.


  1. Skyward Denver signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-15#
  2. Skyward Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-16#
  3. Brandon Sanderson Reads From Skyward
    — 17th Shard YouTube Channel - Nov 14, 2017#
  4. Officially Announcing Skyward
    Brandon's website - Dec 18, 2017#
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