Brandon Sanderson Has Finished the Final Draft of Rhythm of War

Rhythm of War is officially done! Taking to Twitter over the weekend, Brandon Sanderson announced that he’s wrapped up the final draft of The Stormlight Archive Book 4, adding that fans can expect preview chapters soon:

And…done! As I wrap up my work tonight, I have finished the final draft of Rhythm of War, Book Four of the Stormlight…

Posted by Brandon Sanderson on Saturday, July 11, 2020

Meanwhile, in a comment on the Facebook announcement, the author revealed that the final word count is “roughly 460k” words, around the length of Oathbringer, and will consist of 112 chapters, plus differently numbered interludes, prologue, and epilogue.

This is the latest update following a June conversation between Sanderson and Christopher Paolini at TorCon, where the authors discussed Rhythm of War and To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. During the discussion, Sanderson revealed that  Rhythm of War marks the near-end of The Stormlight Archive’s first five-book cycle, adding that a complete ten book count is “mythologically important” and that there will “be some character continuity between the two series.” He also said that he told Paolini either the final scene to the book or to the Cosmere as a whole (which the Eragon author said he’d take “to the grave,” so don’t bother asking), and gave a spoiler-free teaser:

There is a character moment that was one of the pillars of my outline from the very beginning. This scene that I was working on. There were only two or three scenes that were core pillars. My beta readers feel like it landed. There won’t be a moment like this again until Book 7 or 8.

While artist Michael Whelan is hard at work on the US cover, British book retailer Waterstones shared the UK cover back in April, prompting some fan speculation about the plot. Over on Reddit, some readers theorized that the character depicted is Shallan, which would make this the first time she’s appeared on a Stormlight cover. And if the last two books both showed pivotal scenes on their cover art, could this also be true for Rhythm of War? (SPOILERS at the link).

Here’s the book’s official synopsis:

The Stormlight Archive saga continues in Rhythm of War, the eagerly awaited sequel to Brandon Sanderson’s #1 New York Times bestselling Oathbringer, from an epic fantasy writer at the top of his game.

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage.

Now, as new technological discoveries begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.

Book 4 of The Stormlight Archive, Rhythm of War, comes out November 17, 2020 from Tor Books. It’s available for pre-order now from your preferred retailer.

In the meantime, brush up on your lore with Drew McCaffrey’s Cosmere primer, explore three questions about the state of the Cognitive Realm with Vanessa Armstrong, and catch up on Sanderson’s plans for the Cosmere universe (and more) with last year’s State of the Sanderson update.

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