When you hear the word “hero”, what’s the first image that comes to mind? Someone big and strong and confident and perfect? Well, in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive novels, the heroes aren’t quite what you’d expect.
In the following conversation, Sanderson beta readers Paige Vest and Ross Newberry take an in-depth look at these less-than-ideal heroes and how reading about their exploits has inspired more than one “broken” person to keep up their own fight. Please be aware that this article includes frank and deeply personal discussion of mental illness and touches on depression, anxiety, trauma, suicidal ideations, and self-harm, in terms of both fiction and personal experience—addressed with the intention of illuminating the experiences of the characters and the perspective of readers who see their own struggles reflected in the series.