Here’s What Brandon Sanderson’s Four Kickstarter Books Are About

Over the past month, Brandon Sanderson’s Kickstarter project has raised a record-breaking $41 million+ from almost 186,000 backers, each of whom will receive four new books from the author in various formats, depending on their backer level, over the next year. The author also donated to nearly every other publishing project on Kickstarter during this record-breaking fundraiser (with caveats for NSFW stuff). Details regarding those projects are available on his YouTube channel.

When Sanderson first launched the Kickstarter, details about the four new books were scarce. Over the course of the campaign, however, we learned a bit about each one. The four books are called:

  • Tress of the Emerald Sea
  • The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook For Surviving Medieval England
  • Yumi and the Nightmare Painter
  • The Sunlit Man

Many of these titles take place in Sanderson’s Cosmere, the same overarching universe that contains The Stormlight Archive and Mistborn series of epics. Let’s learn more.

The Princess Bride was a direct inspiration for the story for Tress of the Emerald Sea. Sanderson previewed this title via his newsletter and mentioned that William Goldman’s story had always made him wonder: “Why did Buttercup just sit around after she heard her love had been taken by pirates? Wasn’t there anything she could have done?” That question combined with a notion that Sanderson had always wanted to try with central Cosmere character Hoid (or Wit, as some readers may know him) and the result is a 100,000-word novel as told by Hoid. It will ship to backers in January 2023.

The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook For Surviving Medieval England is an action-adventure story that came about from Sanderson’s desire to write a Jason Bourne-like book, where the main character finds out things about themselves at the same time the reader does. Sanderson took that premise and mashed it up with time travel, and also explored the implications that messing in the past can have on people’s lives.

The third book, Yumi and the Nightmare Painter, is another as-told-by-Hoid story, albeit one with a far different tone than Tress of the Emerald Sea. This story is Sanderson’s personal favorite of the four books and is told in a more dramatic presentation, originally inspired by the Hikaru No Go manga.

The Sunlit Man is the fourth and final book of the Kickstarter project and is adjacent to The Stormlight Archive series. The story is told from the point of view of Wit’s apprentice, Sigzil (called Nomad here), and takes place far in the future from where we currently are in the Stormlight Archive series.


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