In times such as these, it can be helpful to look forward to things, such as the November release of Rhythm of War, the fourth book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series. November is still many months away, however, and many of us need a distraction NOW.
But just because we can’t read Rhythm of War yet, that doesn’t mean we can’t revisit the world of Roshar in other ways. For starters, you can reread the previous books. That’s probably the best thing to do, if I’m being honest. But if you’re looking for something a bit shorter and sillier to do, read on to figure out what Order of Knights Radiant you’d be if you found yourself making a spren friend on Roshar.
Are you broody, yet appreciate order? Maybe you’re a Windrunner!
Each group of Knights Radiant has two Surges or sets of magical abilities. For Windrunners, their two Surges are Adhesion and Gravitation, which basically makes them able to fly and lash people and objects together. The most well-known Windrunner in The Stormlight Archive is Kaladin—the broody, talented fighter who makes lowly Bridge 4 a force to be reckoned with. Historically (AKA thousands of years ago, before the Day of Recreance when most of the Knights Radiant foreswore their Oaths), Windrunners were considered to be good protectors. They can also fly, which is pretty cool—so if flying is your favorite superhero ability, the Windrunners might also be the Order for you!
Are you super intense and like blowing things up? Maybe you’re a Skybreaker!
Like Windrunners, Skybreakers have Gravitation as one of their Surges, which means they can also fly. Unlike Windrunners, however, their second Surge is Division, which means they can blow stuff up. Skybreakers were historically viewed to be fanatics in part because they were the only Order who continued to operate after the Day of Recreance. Szeth, the former so-called Assassin in White who is now an ally of Dalinar’s, is the most well-known Skybreaker in The Stormlight Archive. He’s also the only one of his Order to not follow Odium. So if you decide you’re a Skybreaker—be like Szeth! …Except for the whole mass murder thing—maybe skip that part!
Are you artistically inclined and think you’d make a good spy? Maybe you’re a Lightweaver!
The Lightweaver Surges are Illumination and Transformation, which means they can craft convincing illusions and convince objects to turn into other things. Shallan is the best known Lightweaver, and like others of her Order, she’s artistically inclined and has mnemonic abilities. Lightweavers, including Shallan, are also known to be manipulative if the need calls for it. But most importantly, in my opinion, they also have the most interesting spren (if Pattern is a good representative of his kind…I wish I had a spren friend like Pattern).
Are you a Ravenclaw who likes to travel? Maybe you’re an Elsecaller!
Elsecallers’ Surges are Transformation and Transportation. Like Lightweavers, they can change objects into other objects. Their Transportation Surge, however, allows them to physically travel through different realms without the need of an Oathgate. Jasnah is the best known Elsecaller in The Stormlight Archive, and represents her Order well with her scholarly, take-no-guff ways.
Do you like being graceful while you blow things up? Maybe you’re a Dustbringer!
Dustbringers can cause some serious damage if they’re so inclined. Their Surges are Division and Abrasion, allowing them to move frictionlessly over surfaces and also destroy and/or burn stuff up, often with impressive exactness. The only Dustbringer we’ve seen in The Stormlight Archive so far is Malata, a member of King Taravangian’s retinue. She was the one who opened Oathgates (to good and bad ends, at least from Dalinar’s point of view) in Oathbringer. If you think you’re a Dustbringer, maybe don’t follow King Taravangian like Malata does—feel free to follow her example of making intricate burnt wood carvings though, as those are pretty.
Are you agile and like gardening? Maybe you’re an Edgedancer!
Edgedancers are an elegant Order. Their Surges are Abrasion and Progression, which means they can move fast and frictionlessly, just like Dustbringers. Unlike Dustbringers, however, their Surge of Progession gives them the ability to make organic things like plants grow much faster than usual, and they can also heal themselves and others. Lift is the best-known Edgedancer in The Stormlight Archive (she even has a whole book about her, appropriately called Edgedancer), and while Lift is anything but elegant or refined, she’s still, in my opinion, a great representative of her Order.
Are you a healer who’s also kind of odd? Maybe you’re a Truthwatcher!
Truthwatchers share the Progression Surge with Edgedancers, which makes them great healers. Their other Surge, Illumination, is one they share with Lightweavers, which means they can also weave illusions by manipulating light and sound. Renarian is the best known Truthwatcher in The Stormlight Archive, and just like the stereotype of his Order, he’s also odd and secretive. Unlike other Truthwatchers, however, Renarian’s spren has been corrupted by Odium. It’s unclear whether it’s this corruption that makes him able to also see potential futures or if that’s another trait of the Order. If future-telling is your thing though, Truthwatcher is your best bet to achieve that ability.
Do you embrace chaos and enjoy traveling to other realms? Maybe you’re a Willshaper!
Willshapers, like Elsecallers, use the Surge of Transportation to physically travel to other realms like Shadesmar and potentially other planets in the Cosmere. Their other Surge is Cohesion, which they share with Stonewards. Little else is known about their abilities, though in the past they’ve been described as erratic and untrustworthy. The only Willshaper we’ve seen in The Stormlight Archive is the Listener Venli and her lightspren Timbre. She’s still early in declaring her Oaths, however, so it’s not clear where her abilities will take her—those looking for a little mystery in their Order, however, might find this intriguing!
Do you like rocks and think you’re swol? Maybe you’re a Stoneward!
Little is known about Stonewards so far except that their Surges are Cohesion and Tension. These Surges suggest that those in the Order (no characters as of the end of Oathbringer are identified as Stonewards) can move and reshape rocks and stuff. Before the Day of Recreance, Stonewards were seen as being and dependable, ripped, and stubborn. If Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson lived on Roshar, I bet he’d be a Stoneward. Are you like The Rock? Maybe you’re a Stoneward too!
Are you a natural leader whose spren friend is kind of godlike? Maybe you’re a Bondsmith!
Only a select few—three tops—can be a Bondsmith at a given time. The Order’s Surges are Tension and Adhesion, which means they can do a full lashing (AKA stick all objects in an area together) and also bind with someone else’s mind, thereby gaining that other person’s mental capabilities, such as being able to understand and speak that person’s language. Most importantly, however, they can also level up the abilities of other Orders, giving other Knights Radiant more powers than they would have otherwise. Dalinar, with his link to Stormfather, is the only known Bondsmith right now in The Stormlight Archive, when he showed his badass powers during the Battle of Thaylen Field. If you think you’ve got the stuff to create your own perpendicularity, just like Dalinar, maybe you’re a Bondsmith too!
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And that’s all the Orders! I hope you found one that spoke to you. If not, feel free to come up with your own interpretation of what traits these Orders look for. This overview is nothing if not an imprecise primer, and the beauty of Sanderson’s Cosmere is that there’s enough detail as well as enough room for interpretation to build your own view of Roshar and the Knights Radiant who live there.
Vanessa Armstrong is a writer with bylines at The LA Times, SYFY WIRE, StarTrek.com and other publications. She lives in Los Angeles with her dog Penny and her husband Jon, and she loves books more than most things. You can find more of her work on her website or follow her on Twitter @vfarmstrong.