Edgedancer: From the Stormlight Archive

By Brandon Sanderson

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tereza
This is my fourth audiobook and I absolutely love it! The narrator is perfect, even though I sped up the reading by 1.25x. I was leery about listening to a Sanderson novel. I reread his work for clues, hints, and to get names correctly, but I never felt the need to run to the book and check anything. Ths audiobook was perfect for my long trip to visit family and I honestly might listen to it again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jovan
This gives you more insight into Lift, the young thief we met briefly before. And sneakily works in some other embellishments on what I believe will be major plot items.

Only problem I had is the resolution of the major conflict seemed a little easy. Though, as Sanderson noted in the postscript, that seems like it will just set more up later.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
caroline cunniffe
If I thought this was your first Sanderson book I'd write a review full of praise. But I just have a snarky comment to make. So for new readers of this guy, you have lots of happy reading ahead. Go for it.

Brandon's Edgedancer makes me think of the old PG movies or PG-13 to day. There are no more G movies. With my kids I had to be more alert through the years. Snarky comment? He's put more 'genital jokes' and cutting sarcasm in this volume than I recall.
Tree of Ages (The Tree of Ages Series Book 1) :: The Wolf of the North: Wolf of the North Book 1 :: A LitRPG Saga (Chaos Seeds Book 2) - The Land :: The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy) :: Unfettered
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dita
As much as I really like Sanderson's work this novella still blew me away. Fun character, lots of action, and one of the quickest reads in a long time because the story was so engaging.

Unless you've read the first few books of the Stormlight Archive though, it's highly doubtful you'll understand what is going on in this story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
eduardo luiz
I didn't realize this was just a novella that doesn't really move the story forward significantly or promise to. In fact, it's just a bit confusing without reading it in sequence to the main story which remains unfinished.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karen gomez
Lift is also one of my favorite characters. I loved the story and love the character development. There is much more to her than you realize from the other books. I hope he continues to make her a big part of the story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amanda miao
The Stormlight Archive series has been a favorite of mine for a while as Brandon's world-building is second-to-none and completely engaging. Edgedancer fits perfectly in this world and is extremely entertaining, humorous and uplifting.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
horhat george
Great book, the only thing is that I wish the book was the same size as the other hard copy books in the series. It is much smaller, and looks pretty crappy on my bookshelf next to “Words of Radiance.” But the content in the book makes it all worth it.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ajay gopinathan
I found Lift to be an annoying character in her brief stint in Words of Radiance but decided to read Edgedancer anyway to avoid missing anything significant in the series. What I would have missed can be summed up in a brief paragraph.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shirley
Looks awesome cant wait to read it. Some people are complaining about the size of the book not being the same as other hardcovers in the series. But in the product description it tells you the exact dimensions.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
judson
My review is based on the physical book, and not the story, since this story has been previously published in Arcanum Unbound.
When I received the book today, I was shocked by how tiny the book is! Although I understand this is a novella, I expected the book to be of standard size. This book is not only slender, but very petite. As a person who likes to keep all of a series together on her bookshelf, I really hate the size discrepancy between this book, and the other books in The Stormlight Archive. I wish that Mr. Sanderson had chosen to follow Patrick Rothfuss' example, and added some illustrations, to make the book a bit more special and justify it being printed in a standard size volume.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sueann
WARNING: This novella has already been published in the collection "Arcanum Unbounded," so don't buy if you already own that book.

One of the most interesting characters in the Stormlight Archive series is Lift, a girl who is exactly what you wouldn't expect in a powerful knight -- a quirky teenage urchin who eschews shoes, eats a lot and is accompanied everywhere by a talking vine. But she's exactly the kind of character that you'd expect Brandon Sanderson to devote an entire novella to, which is why we got "Edgedancer," a little spinoff novel that follows Lift on her own side-adventure.

Much to Wyndle's dismay, Lift is feeling stifled by palace life and decides to run away before she's changed too much by the experience. So she heads to Yeddaw, a strange city with "really awesome pancakes"... and Darkness, the Shardbearer who has already tried to kill her. Of course, being Lift, she causes quite a bit of mayhem in this new city as she defies the guards and clashes with the twiggy owner of an orphanage, all in the hopes of attracting her enemy's attention. She's deduced that Darkness is after someone else with powers in Yeddaw.

And she turns out to be right, as she overhears that Darkness and his cronies are planning to kill another Radiant somewhere in the city -- someone with superhuman powers -- and Darkness is planning to dispose of Lift himself. Her only plan for saving the other Radiant is to try to find something weird that can be tracked down to a particular person. But as an Everstorm approaches and the assassins close in on the Radiant, it may be difficult to save them without ending up at the business end of a Shardblade herself.

"Edgedancer" is rather different from the other Stormlight Archive books -- it focuses almost entirely on Lift rather than the other characters we know and love, and the conflict is relatively small-scale despite the expansive universe it takes place in. It's a little story in a big world, and Sanderson knows how to spin up a relatively simple tale with plenty of rich cultural and magical details, as well as the feeling that a bigger storm than the Everstorm is coming.

As always, Sanderson's writing is smooth and rich ("They looked like twisted, broken bodies in the gloom"), but with quirky edges that keep it from ever feeling pompous ("Those were only slightly better than gruel, which was only slightly better than cold socks"). The novella can switch smoothly from comedy (Lift's quest for pancakes) to an eerie kind of horror (most scenes with Darkness) very easily, but the middle section kind of spins its wheels, and the identity of the Radiant is kind of obvious.

Lift.... is Lift. She doesn't see the point of money, hates dreams, and swims through entire wagons full of grain before stuffing herself with pancakes. But Sanderson never lets her eccentricities take over the core of her character, which has a reluctant heroism that she seems almost to be afraid of -- she's a creature that desperately doesn't want to change or be bound to anything against her will, yet it's happening to her whether she likes it or not. There's also Wyndle, her plaintive little sidekick who struggles to deal with whatever weird ideas she's gotten.

"Edgedancer" is a solid little accompaniment to the Stormlight Archive books -- not particularly complex, but a straightforward little tale of Radiants, powers, and assassins. Better than pancakes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dene
This novella follows Lift, the quirky preteen orphan who attempted to rob the Emperor's Palace in Words of Radiance. After Lift's miraculous display, she's smothered by attention from the viziers and scribes until she decides to run away. Her flight takes her to Yeddaw where she finds Darkness, the Shardbearer who almost took her life. When Lift learns he's on the trail of another fledgling Radiant, she has to discover their identity before Darkness does.

The audiobook doesn't contain Lift's original chapter from Words of Radiance, although the Kindle edition does. But if you're reading Edgedancer, you've probably already been introduced to Lift. She's a character you'll either find really annoying or really endearing. I personally loved the spunky girl, but at times still felt frustrated with her forced immaturity. Then her innate generosity and protective nature would shine through and I couldn't help cheering for her again.

This novella is important to read before Oathbringer. Think of it as Stormlight Archive 2.5. Sanderson shines again with the setting, a city carved by Shardbearers right out of the stone ground. He's able to create a new and original culture each time he introduces a city, with such vivid imagery I feel like I'm there myself. Lift's magic is fascinating, I can't wait to see what she does with it in the future. And Wyndle might be my new favorite spren, after Syl of course!

Kate Reading is... well she's Kate Reading. Professional, polished, and put me right there in the story. I'd highly recommend this read to fans of the Stormlight Archive, not just to complete the series, but because it's a really enjoyable read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andrewf
Okay, for him it’s a novella, but I’ve read plenty of stories that length that prided themselves as novels. It was nice to have a Stormlight Archive book that didn’t force me to skip the gym. Just kidding. I love getting swol on Epic Fantasy and Sanderson is the best!

Lift is hilarious! Possibly the best person to be given superpowers in order to prevent Armageddon. She’s a young orphan girl with no education, marketable skills, or aspirations, other than her next meal. She also thinks her spren is a void bringer.

Edgedancer takes place after Words of Radiance and before Oathbringer, and if you have already started the series, I recommend going in order. If you have yet to give the series a try, come out from under your rock (yes, I know how cozy it is) and try the little one out. It reveals some stuff that you wouldn’t see right away in The Way of Kings, but nothing mind blowing. The storyline and character have not been introduced in the first two novels. Unless I missed something… Did I miss something? Egad! I’d better rent the first two audiobooks from the public library again and spend my next fifty driving hours reviewing.

I has been a while since I enjoyed the first two Stormlight Archives. Shortly after I listened to the audiobooks, I started the Science Fantasy Hub and wrote over one hundred and twenty book reviews. I’m reading Oathbringer now, I wonder how many more books I’ll get through before book four is released. Never enough.

Sanderson is the author I turn to when I want to take my own writing craft to the next level. Reading his stuff lets me know what mastery of world building, characterization, and creativity in genre fiction should look like. His youtube lectures are great for that, too!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
vito
Traveling from the palace of the Azish emperor to the carved out city of Yeddaw, a young Knight Radiant stalks her would be executioner even as a danger to her world stalks the land. Brandon Sanderson’s Edgedancer is a tale from the Stormlight Archive set in-between the second and third volumes of the main series as it shows the how Lift, the titular Edgedancer, and a long surviving Herald react to the Everstorm.

Feeling confined and unsure, the adventurous theft Lift travels to the city of Yeddaw to find more Radiants before they are murdered by Darkness. The teenager displays her Edgedancer talents to draw the attention of her would be executioner while also exploring the city and trying to figure out its people. Her tactics pay off as Darkness learns she’s in the city and she follows him to discover what he knows only to find out that Darkness has Radiant apprentices of his own including a man in white. Eventually Lift is forced to use her connections with the Azish emperor to find out who Darkness is searching for only to discover that his apprentices had made a mistake and that the unlikeable woman Lift has had several encounters will is his target. But it is during their confrontation that Lift convinces Darkness, the Herald Nale, that the Everstorm hitting the city means a new Desolation has arrived.

Although this book comes in at roughly 270 pages, the first 58 being a reprinting of Lift’s Interlude in Words of Radiance, the small hardback volume that it appears in makes it seem longer than it is. In a postscript, Sanderson wrote that this novella was needed before both characters appear again in Oathbringer thus meaning for that anyone reading the series this short little story is something they might want to quickly read. Given it’s short length, Sanderson packs a lot into it as he wants to describe the city of Yeddaw as well as continue to develop Lift—who he is not shy in saying he enjoys writing—in both her understanding of who she is and in giving readers hints about what the “Nightwatcher” gave her instead of her request to remain 10 years old.

Edgedancer is a quick, fun read about young adventurous character looking to figure herself out and in the process helping an age-old hero begin to regain his focus on what the world of Roshar needs. Even though you’ll need to have read earlier volumes of the Stormlight Archive to understand the magical system and world it take place in.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer zimny
It’s been a little over a year now since I first read Arcanum Unbounded for the first time and I can still remember how much I enjoyed Edgedancer and how disappointed I was when it was over. So when Tor sent me a copy of the new miniature hardback edition of the novella I knew it was the perfect time to reread the book and give it the proper review that it deserves. I was honestly a bit worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I did the first time though since I have a bad habit of overhyping books I enjoyed reading and then having them not be as good as I remembered

Happily, that wasn’t the case and the story was just as amazing as I remember it being. One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book is that it isn’t just some unimportant side story meant to tide people over until the next book in the main sequence released. The events in Edgedancer are important and will have a huge impact on future books in the Stormlight Archive. I would definitely recommend that anyone who is reading the Stormlight Archive makes sure that they read Edgedancer after Words of Radiance otherwise they are going to be pretty confused over some things.

One of the things I will never understand is why so many people seem to dislike Lift for some reason — I loved her in the interlude chapters of Words of Radiance and I think the best part of Edgedancer is that we get a much deeper insight into her character. lift is one of those characters that runs around the entire book telling herself and everyone who will listen how selfish she is and how little she cares for other people but then spends the majority of the book risking her life for people she doesn’t know.

Life became one of my favorite characters in the series because she looks and acts nothing like you’d expect from one of the Knights Radiant. She also really reminds me of Matrim Cauthon from the Wheel of Time and I sometimes wonder if Brandon took any inspiration from him for her character. I really can’t wait to see what happens with her next and see how she’s going to interact with the rest of the Knights in the rest of the series.

I think this is one of the best Novella’s that Brandon Sanderson has written so far and it makes me really hope that he does more novellas like this set in the Cosmere. It’s a good way to see whats going on in other parts of Roshar that may not show up in the main sequence of books.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
zoujihua
I have to admit, I don't get the appeal of Lift. I can only deal with willful stupidity and ignorance to a certain degree before I start losing empathy. That's fine if the intention is to make the protagonist unlikable, but that obviously wasn't the case here. I think Sanderson vastly underestimates children, especially those approaching teenage years, in terms of their abilities to actually reason and learn.

Lift didn't take any spheres with her when she leaves the palace, because she "reasons" that it's just something that might get robbed? Seriously? This is not the mentality of a child that grew up on the streets, even accounting for whatever sort of origin story she has that was only briefly hinted at. It's certainly not out of any sort of sense of pride or independence, because she's quick to call in connections to high places as soon as she has use for them.

She knew how to talk to a street urchin in her own "language". Why couldn't she also reason that you needed to talk to educated people in their own "language" as well? It would have made her much more interesting as a character if she had at least been able to make a minor cognitive leap like this.

I was disheartened to see that Lift was going to be featured more, because... well, I didn't exactly hate her, but she was just so damned... exasperating. That's fine for a minor character, but far too annoying for a main character who we're forced to tag along with, like poor Wyndle.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
david rowley
I absolutely love this series! Sanderson is a master story teller. The Stormlight Archive is testimony to his skill as a writer. With so many fantasy novels in the world how Sanderson is still able to create something so original, so vivid, so detailed, and sooooooo addictive is beyond me. That is why it is with my deepest regret that I must admit in my opinion Words of Radiance had more then enough of the character Lift! I rather enjoyed her part in that story. But an entire novella with just her, and her childish behavior and speech was just so painful! She pretty much just gets away with being ridiculous and inconsiderate. She won’t take shards given to her as a gift mind you, but she will steal from middle and lower class citizens without a thought among other things. I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn’t read it yet and I realize her story is important but I just can’t help but feel like she is the Jar Jar Binks of this franchise! Sanderson is awesome so even though some will say I’m a blasphemer/ heretic or that they loved her character I can not. I will say this story is still more then worth reading as it feels in gaps while moving this brilliant work forward. I mean let’s face it I’d read the back of a soap box if Brandon Sanderson was the author ;) I hope you enjoy it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
simsim
Look, it's quite simple. The more Cosmere books the better. More specifically, the more Stormlight Archive books the better. Especially at a time like this, with Oathbringer on the horizon and Sanderson fans such as myself chomping at the bit to read it.

This particular addition to the universe follows a character who I love; one who hasn't had much screentime yet in the main series, but will undoubtedly play an important role in the future. Lift. Her Pancakefulness. An Edgedancer. We follow her escapades in Tashikk, as she becomes awesome all through the city of Yeddaw and finds herself biting off a little more than she can chew... Maybe. She can chew a lot.

We also have two other familiar characters make an appearance. Maybe not too surprising considering the story follows Lift, but I'll spoiler tag them here anyway. (view spoiler) Seeing them again was a treat. And the story really did feel like an integral piece of the Stormlight puzzle. Brandon nailed it (as always) and it was the perfect primer for Stormlight 3.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sharon homer drummond
I am a big fan of Sanderson's work so it pains me to say that this story was not particularly strong. In fact, the first half of the story is absolutely brutal. I read this as part of the Cosmere Collection anthology after reading the forward from Oathbringer that suggested reading it before starting the third book in Stormlight.
Honestly, the main character is where this story falls apart for me. She's a 12 year old...Need I say more? Lift is a rude, disrespectful and often frustrating character to read. She doesn't listen and she isn't particularly likable. I understand that the author wanted to portray a confused young girl who had had a tough life but I think her behavior is extremely off-putting and just plain annoying at times. The story picks up towards the end and there are some interesting events with regards to the larger overall Stormlight story line but this is easily the worst Sanderson story I've read so far. That said, I would recommend reading it if you are reading the main Stormlight Archive series. It's not that long and it is really utilitarian in nature, in that it serves the purpose of properly connecting certain dots in the story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anne boyack
Lift gets sick of being pampered in the Emperor's palace so she wanders off to go find other people as "awesome" as her.

I'm glad I waited until Oathbringer: Book Three of the Stormlight Archive came out to read this one because i prefer to binge-read when it comes to Sanderson. I thought this novella was just like the interlude we got in book 2 (entertaining but not terribly serious). I really loved that Gawkes (if i'm remembering the new Emperor's name correctly) and Lift are still in contact by the time this book occurs (and i love how she's now an "advisor" of his). I guess i wasn't expecting character development, but we definitely got some in this novella.I don't want to elaborate on the plot lest i spoil it, but some stuff happens in it that is relevant in book 3, so it's worth reading even if you aren't a big fan of Lift.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kathryn
Wow. This story was disappointing. The main character was boring, pointless, insipid, and annoying. The dialogue was childish or bland. The story was trite and agonizingly drawn out to no purposeful end, more exposition (endless, endless, endless exposition) than action. A chore to read that took me thrice as long to slog through as normal. The only remotely redeeming note was that it gave some info on the cosmere but not enough to be worth the effort.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
chelsea miller
This book is hard to review.

As many folks have said, this novella is chronologically between Words of Radiance & Oathbringer. It has some important—though not mandatory plot points that arise in Oathbringer—so you ought to read it. I read it after Oathbringer so it’s not that big of a problem.

It focuses on one of Sanderson’s best characters (with important caveats), Lift. I won’t go into detail about what the book is about but you see Lift growing into her powers as an Edgedancer— whose powers are really one of the most unique in the comere thus far. Or, the most fun, at least. I love that her focus is on the downtrodden. It makes sense given her background.

My biggest gripe with his book, unfortunately, is Lift. I am just not a fan of how Sanderson writes rogue-type characters. Lift is like a mix between Mat Cauthon without the gambling & Locke Lamora without the penchant for thinking big heists. Lift, in her current form, has much smaller & immediate heists on her mind.

The problem, for me, is that Lift’s light-hearted dialogue doesn’t sound authentic. It doesn’t *feel* like her voice when she makes quips that aren’t really funny. I felt the same with Shallon (although she’s a different type of character). I felt the same with Sanderson’s take on Mat Cauthon. And Wayne from the Alloy of Law series. Sanderson, a master storyteller, just doesn’t do light-hearted, dry, sarcastic wit well. As a result, it doesn’t come of genuine & makes the character’s dialogue annoying and/or unbelievable for me (this is a subjective criticism).

I will say that in Oathbringer, I thought Sanderson finally found the “key” to Shallon & now she’s one of my absolute favorites.

I’ve read some rumors that Lift may have a book of her own down the line (not just a novella to fill in some continuity gaps). Sanderson says she’s one of his favorite characters, so I hope so! Given how Shallon has grown, I hope that Sanderson will figure out Lift in a similar manner (in a narrative sense). She’s almost there but just not as fun as a Mat Cauthon or Locke Lamora, and that’s mostly due to dialogue & (I think) Sanderson not fully getting the “rogue”. There’s a self effacing humor (& ignorance—like they don’t realize how funny they are when they sincerely try to do good) that make these type of characters memorable—think Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Lift isn’t quite there, yet. Perhaps this is an unfair read on Lift? I dunno but I think something is off with her at this moment in time—but there is *a lot* of potential for future growth.

That rant aside, Edgedancer is a fun, light novella that is good on its own (but not a stand alone. You definitely have to read prior books) but fills important gaps that fans of the Stormlight Archive will want to read, especially vis a vis the Skybreakers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ana trofin
This follows one of my favorite side-story characters from the Stormlight Archive. Lift. The goofy, somewhat crazy, yet lovable girl. I was originally planning on reading Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3) next, but the author recommended reading the short novella first. So I did. And Glad I did, because it changes the personality/objectivity of a character I imagine will have an important role going forward. This was a fun tale with slapstick humor that develops into a serious undertone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jishnu
Sanderson is in a class by himself. To compare his work to others is like comparing roses to all other flowers. Flowers are pretty but only a rose is perfect. Edgedancer is only a small part of a huge body of work. Read it at your peril, as you will be sucked in, and remember, to get the full effect you need to read all the books twice as you will forget a lot of the minor characters who become more prominent later on.
Lift, the main character in Edgedancer is such a character who is so well developed and complex that it is necessary to read the book a second time to understand her and hopefully we get to read more about her in further books in the series.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jack silbert
Sooooo I didn't like Lift's interludes in WORDS OF RADIANCE so I was worried about reading this novella. LIft's voice is young -- a little too young for me, especially with the way that Kate Reading narrates it (I listened to the audiobook for all of the Stormlight Archive novels) -- and I have a hard time with characters who are meant to intentionally sound young/uneducated/use a lot of slang so I knew it wasn't going to be a... pleasant listen, but if there's a practically full-length novella for a Brandon Sanderson series, obviously it's important.

... Except EDGEDANCER really wasn't as important as I had hoped. I am glad to have this piece of world-building and character development but to have a whole story aside didn't really seem to add that much to the current world that couldn't have been included in OATHBRINGER. I heard in the notes of one of the books (it's been a couple months by now so I'm not entirely sure which one it was) that Brandon Sanderson felt that Lift was very important and wanted to include her actual sort of "origin story" with how she discovered and came into her abilities. Personally, I didn't think this piece was crucial to the main storyline but since she does become a bigger character in OATHBRINGER, I do understand the feel for it. Even though I read this before OATHBRINGER, it's been a couple months since I've read them both and Lift's narration isn't as bad with Michael Kramer's narration. He always does a much better job with younger voices, having them sound more jaunty and upbeat versus Kate's narration which is usually just irritating.

I also found Lift's interactions with her Spren irritating as well (or maybe it was Kate Reading's voice. Or both.) due to her actions and Wyndel's overreactions to them. They just weren't jiving for me. I did like seeing a new Radiant/Spren relationship though and it was an important piece of the magic system.

This extra character arc just didn't seem as important as I had hoped and the character herself is a little irritating. Thankfully it wasn't as bad in OATHBRINGER and I wouldn't say I regret reading it or would have skipped it but I'm also not super invested in it either.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joe crook
This is a really good novella which gives us more insight into Lift. An enjoyable and fun read. However, I don't suggest you buy this. Get Arcanum Unbounded instead. That collection includes Edgedancer as well as the other excellent Brandon Sanderson novella, The Emperor's Soul.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alta faye
I recommend reading Oath Bringer first I love the mystery that Lift brings to Oath Bringer

Very unique character very well written gives incite to this unique world Brandon Sanderson has created
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anna keating
Edgedancer was a nice way to bide my time before Oathbringer's release. Lift is a fun and intriguing character and the novella makes for a fun read. It bears interesting insight into Lift as a character that was earlier missed due to her very brief debut in Words of Radiance.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
mikka
Read and understand the product description before buying. This book is nothing like his Stormlight Arcaide books in scope or length. Expecting a hardcover along the line of his previous books, I was very disappointed to receive a book the size of my hand. The may very well be a great story but be aware that there is not much to it.
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