Tress of the Emerald Sea

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Tress of the Emerald Sea
Tress US Cover.jpg
Setting Lumar, Cosmere
Released January 1st, 2023[1]
Publisher Dragonsteel Entertainment
Page Count 479
Word Count 107,227

Tress of the Emerald Sea is a stand alone cosmere novel, told as an in-world story by Hoid. It chronicles the journey of Tress as she travels the world of Lumar to rescue her beloved, Charlie, after he is kidnapped by the Sorceress. Unlike other Hoid stories which tend towards more fanciful, Tress' adventures reflect real-world cosmere events that occurred, though the tale still includes artistic liberties added by Hoid as part of his storytelling style.[2]

Tress of the Emerald Sea was the first of the secret projects released in 2023. It was released in January of that year as part of a Kickstarter Campaign.[1] This was followed by a standard publishing release on April 4, 2023.[3] It is a cosmere novel set on a new world, with the "craziest worldbuilding" of the four secret projects.[4]

On March 3, 2022, Brandon released the first five chapters along with some brief commentary, which can be read on his website and listened to on his YouTube channel. He also did a full spoiler Q&A about these preview chapters, which can be listened to on his YouTube channel.


The only life Tress has known on her island home in an emerald-green ocean has been a simple one, with the simple pleasures of collecting cups brought by sailors from faraway lands and listening to stories told by her friend Charlie. But when his father takes him on a voyage to find a bride and disaster strikes, Tress must stow away on a ship and seek the Sorceress of the deadly Midnight Sea. Amid the spore oceans where pirates abound, can Tress leave her simple life behind and make her own place sailing a sea where a single drop of water can mean instant death?

—Tor blurb[3]


The story follows Tress, a girl living on an island in the middle of an ocean of green pollen, one of twelve covering her home planet. A window-washer and an avid collector of cups, Tress is friends with Charlie, who pretends to be the groundskeeper for the duke that rules the island while in actuality being his son. Over time, Tress and Charlie realize they have feelings for each other and confess. Unfortunately, the duke sees this, and shortly after takes Charlie with him to other islands to marry him off to a princess.[5]

Before his departure, Charlie promises to fend off all the suitors and send Tress letters and cups. She receives four of them before Charlie falls silent, so when his ship returns, she ventures out to see what became of him. However, the duke brings back a different heir, while Charlie appears to have disappeared completely. Tress investigates this and discovers that Charlie was sent off to marry the sorceress of the Midnight Sea, and was subsequently captured. Despite the sorceress sending a ransom note, no-one is interested in paying. Realizing that everyone but her has put Charlie out of their minds, Tress decides to set out and rescue him herself.[5]

Main Characters[edit]


A world where people sail upon powder or dust, instead of water. A way to start introducing the aethers to people as a cosmere magic. And the basic premise: What if Buttercup were more proactive?


Along with the other secret projects, Brandon wrote Tress of the Emerald Sea in secret, telling no one except his wife, for whom it was a gift. Since he wasn't doing any touring in 2020, he had more writing time, and so Tress was created along with four other books. He surprised his team with them all in late 2021.[1]

The story was directly inspired by The Princess Bride, more specifically a watch party of it that Brandon had with his wife and kids. During the movie, Emily was dissatisfied with Princess Buttercup's passive attitude, eventually asking why she sat and did nothing when her love was kidnapped by pirates. This gave Brandon the idea of writing a story similar in premise and tone to Princess Bride, but one in which the girl does set out to rescue her love.[2]

The setting of Lumar was a combination of two factors: Brandon's desire to properly introduce aethers into the cosmere, and his fascination with fluidization, the process by which granular matter such as sand -- or, in this case, spores -- begins to behave like a liquid under the right circumstances.[2] The characters of Charlie and Tress, while not direct self-inserts, have some personality traits taken from Brandon and Emily.[6]

Cover Gallery[edit]

Interior Art[edit]


Statistical Analysis[edit]

Tress of the Emerald Sea consists of sixty-four chapters and one epilogue. It has a total word count of 107,227.

Word Count 107,227 Excluding postscript.
Page Count 479 Dragonsteel edition
Chapter Count 65 Including epilogue.


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