Review: Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson

November 20, 2017
Review: Edgedancer by Brandon SandersonEdgedancer by Brandon Sanderson
Series: The Stormlight Archive #2.5
Also by this author: Steelheart
Published by Tor Books on October 17th 2017
Pages: 272
Also in this series: Words of Radiance

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, a special gift edition of Edgedancer, a short novel of the Stormlight Archive (previously published in Arcanum Unbounded).

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.

Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson

The Cosmere

The Stormlight ArchiveThe Way of KingsWords of RadianceEdgedancer (Novella)Oathbringer (forthcoming)

The Mistborn sagaMistborn: The Final EmpireThe Well of AscensionThe Hero of AgesAlloy of LawShadows of SelfBands of Mourning

CollectionArcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere TitlesElantrisWarbreaker

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians seriesAlcatraz vs. the Evil LibrariansThe Scrivener's BonesThe Knights of CrystalliaThe Shattered LensThe Dark Talent

RithmatistThe Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson

The ReckonersSteelheartFirefightCalamity

This is one book that I feel like I would have done better with in print rather than audio. It could have been borderline for me and the narration exacerbated the qualities that I, quite frankly, just found irksome. If I had read it in print, I could tone it down a bit by how I read the inflection. However, the narrator went the other direction, emphasizing all the things that made me cringe.

The main reason this did not work better for me is that the main character, Lift, got on my nerves with all of her “awesomeness”. There’s not other way for me to say it. She is very childlike and the word awesome was used a truly awe inspiring number of times. And not in a good way. She is a character that some people will like. I know there are things out there that annoy me that others love (as well as the reverse). But for me, it was overload.

She’s awesome, she’s slippery, she wants pancakes. Bleh. I get it. I don’t need it to be pounded into my skull repeatedely. I may have done better with the interludes in Words of Radiance, but honestly, even then, I didn’t love her. She is supposed to become a more integral character as the series progresses, and I just have to hold out hope that either she loses some of the more immature qualities that bothered me or that she is not featured for 100+ pages straight again. This was way too large of a dose of her character for me to take it all in one straight shot.

All that said, this is still worth the read as parts of it are supposed to be useful for Oathbringer. Sanderson talks about this in both an afterword in Edgedancer as well as a preface in Oathbringer. Hard to argue with that.

So did I love this one? Nope. Definitely not. Am I glad I read it? Yes, because I am excited about Oathbringer, and while maybe I didn’t enjoy this as much as I would have liked, I can say its all because of my inability to really enjoy the main character. Its hard to enjoy a book when it revolves around someone that annoys you.



  • Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum November 20, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Oh man, I can’t even imagine what Lift’s dialogue would have sounded like in audio, must have been damn annoying!

  • sjhigbee November 20, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Great review, Lisa:). I have several Sanderson books languishing on my TBR pile – I really need to get back to them as I’m fascinated by Oathbringer… Are you planning to read it?

  • Atom November 21, 2017 at 12:28 am

    And think the obvious reason is that you listened to the audiobook. I love Lift and I could see myself being annoyed by a narrator reading out her childish inner thoughts. But keep in mind, she’s a 13 year old (who was under the impression she was 10), and also doesn’t have much of an education.

    And I find I appreciate the childish moments because when Lift engages in solemn introspection, it emphasizes those quiet moments of contemplation, confirming she’s growing as a character and that she’s a depth to her which promises to be explored further.

    Reading it, Lift is much more of a sympathetic character. The reader often shares the form of the oft exasperated Wyndle, being pulled in random directions by Lift as she interacts with the world. A lot of the time, we simply don’t get why she does what she does. But of course, as Wyndle realizes and the reader should eventually realize, Lift has a big heart and she (in my opinion) rightfully fulfills the two known ideals for an Edgedancer which are;

    “I will remember those who have been forgotten. ā€

    ā€œI will listen to those who have been ignored.”

    The nahel bonds featured in this series (Kal/Syl, and Shallan/Pattern) remain some of my favourite aspects of this series. Each bond is unique with it’s own unique dynamic. The Lift/Wyndle bond is another great one to add to the list, and the final scene of acceptance and goofy friendship between them was endearing to see.

    While you may be different, I’m quite eager to see more of Lift and Wyndle!

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) November 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      I have a 12 and 14 year old and have to say I dont find them as childish as Lift (though they do have more of an education, and every person is different). But I am glad others find her more endearing than annoying. And I agree, the audio was a poor choice for me with this one.

      • Atom November 23, 2017 at 2:19 pm

        I’m not sure if it’s just Sanderson, but it seems quite a large portion of his fans listen to his books via audiobooks. I personally have no idea how you guys do it. How many hours would it take to finish Way of Kings for example.

  • Melliane November 21, 2017 at 5:28 am

    Oh it’s too bad that it wasn’t more, I love this author but haven’t read this one yet

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) November 22, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      some people have really enjoyed it. And I the other books in this series have worked for me, this one (character) is just an anomaly I think.