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Summary:The Stormlight Archive

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This page contains a brief summary of each of the books in The Stormlight Archive. We hope this summary will make it easier to find specific areas of the series, as well as providing a quick plot refresher for anyone who doesn't want to take the time to reread the entire series.



Kalak, one of the ten Heralds, wanders through a torn landscape littered with dead humans, thunderclasts, and other beasts. He is traveling to the Heralds' preordained meeting place (a rocky spire) for those who survived the Desolation.

Upon arrival, he finds only their leader, Jezrien, waiting for him. At first, Kalak assumes that the other eight must have died, for the battle was "furious". However, he notices that seven Honorblades had been driven point-first into the ground at the base of spire. Jezrien then informs Kalak that the other Heralds have departed, abandoing the Oathpact. Kalak then admits to Jezrien that he can't return to "the place of nightmares", the waiting place of the Heralds between Desolations. Jezrien then tells Kalak to relinquish his blade as well, for " is time for the Oathpact to end." This effectively leaves Talenel (Taln), the only Herald who was killed in the battle, alone to uphold the Oathpact and the sole sufferer of the pain and torture in the waiting realm.

Kalak is horrified and disturbed that both Jezrien and himself have been broken by the cycle of Desolations and that they are too weak to face their suffering. They plan to lie and tell the people that they finally won against the "enemy", and hopes that it might even turn out to be true. Their abandonment of mankind is somewhat diluted by the fact that Ishar, another Herald, believes that " long as there is one of us still bound to the Oathpact (Talenel), it may be enough. There is a chance we might end the cycle of Desolations." Jezrien points out that mankind also has the Radiants.

Finally, both Jezrien and Kalak summon their Blades and slam them into the ground along with the other seven. They depart following opposite directions along the barren lanscape, vowing to go their own ways and to not seek one another, or any other of the Heralds. As Kalak is leaving the ring of swords, he looks back and notices a single open spot, "The place where the tenth sword should have gone." Kalak feels a deep sorrow and shame for Taln's exclusion and thinks, "Forgive us...", then leaves.

Points of View
Kalak, Heralds, Thunderclast, Desolation, Jezrien, Oathpact, Talenel, Radiants.

The Way of Kings[edit]

Szeth's PoV through the assassination of Gavilar Kholin.

Kaladin is a slave in Sadeas warcamp, and is charged with carrying the heavy troop bridges around the Shattered Plains so that Sadeas's army can field against the Parshendi in the War of Reckoning.

Meanwhile Shallan Davar travels to Kharbranth to train as Jasnah Kholin's ward and as a scholar. She secretly aims to steal Jasnah's soulcaster to stop her family from being destroyed by debt.

Back on the Shattered Plains, Dalinar and Adolin Kholin are also engaged in the War of Reckoning, though Dalinar is beginning to doubt the success of the war in avenging his brother's death. He is also experiencing strange visions during Highstorms leading to Adolin doubting his sanity and ability to lead their family and army.

Kaladin eventually begins rebelling against the slavery, training his fellow members of Bridge Four, and attempting to improve their survivability, against the wishes of the army's leadership.

Dalinar attempts to unite and coordinate the other warcamps by teaming up with Torol Sadeas for a skirmish at the Tower, who then betrays him and falls back leaving Dalinar trapped on the plateau. Bridge Four returns to help Dalinar's army escape, and Kaladin becomes a Surgebinder and rescues Dalinar from Eshonai.

After returning to the warcamps, Dalinar confronts Sadeas and trades his Shardblade for all of the bridgemen.

Points of View
Kaladin, Dalinar Kholin, Shallan Davar, Adolin Kholin.
Kaladin's childhood, and his recruitment into Meridas Amaram's army, leading to his being a slave at the start of the book.
Szeth (I-3, I-6, I-9), Ishikk (I-1), Balat Davar (I-2), Rysn (I-4), Axies (I-5), Baxil (I-7), Geranid (I-8).
Wit observes the arrival of Taln at the gates of Kholinar, who heralds the beginning of a Desolation.

Words of Radiance[edit]

Jasnah Kholin's PoV through her father's assassination.
Points of View
Kaladin, Dalinar Kholin, Shallan Davar, Adolin Kholin.
Shallan's childhood, between the murder of her mother to the murder of her father.
Eshonai (I-1, I-4, I-5, I-8, I-13), Ym (I-2), Rysn (I-3), Zahel (I-6), Taln (I-7), Lift (I-9), Szeth (I-10), Lhan (I-12), Taravangian (I-14).