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Vanessa Armstrong

Three Questions About the State of the Cognitive Realm Leading Up to the Release of Stormlight Archive’s Rhythm of War

In Oathbringer—the third book in Brandon Sanderson’s epic Stormlight Archive series—some of our favorite characters spend a couple hundred pages traveling through Shadesmar (AKA the Cognitive Realm), an alternate plane of existence that’s the inverse of the Physical Realm where humans reside.

One could argue that Shallan, Kaladin, Adolin, and Azure’s journey through Shadesmar was a detour from the meat of the Oathbringer story. Those familiar with Sanderson’s work, however, know that their experience in the Cognitive Realm will likely have repercussions not only in the fourth book, but also in future Stormlight Archive novels and the larger Cosmere universe.

[So let’s talk about Shadesmar.]

Five Nautical SFF Books to Read When You’re Far From Shore

My husband is a professional magician. To answer your first question: No, I don’t know how he does his tricks—it’s more fun for me if I don’t know, though as a big fan of fantasy I suppose I’m more inclined to want to believe in the magical than others. To answer your second question: he makes money a lot of different ways—private events, corporate events, consulting for theme parks and, last but not least, performing on cruise ships.

Sometimes I get to go with him on cruise ships for free, which is a lovely perk. The downside is I can’t do much work on my own, as cruise WiFi is often spotty and almost always very expensive. The upside of the downside, however, is that I have hours upon hours of free time to read, especially if we’re on a cruise that’s taking a two-week-long journey from one side of an ocean to the other.

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Series: Five Books About…

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