Spolier Free Summary: Edgedancer is a novella pulled from Brandon Sanderson’s Cosemere collection Arcanum Unbounded. For the record, I’ve read all the other stories in that collection, but Edgedancer was the new material, so that’s what I’m focusing this review on. Lift is probably the oddest of the Knights Radiant. She’s rushed of from luxury and an easy life seemingly on the quest for taste pancakes. (Honestly, that excuse worked on me; I’m a man who loves good pancakes.) As she works to find her delectable breakfast food, she finds herself again confronting Darkness, the Skybreaker who tried to kill Lift during the events of Words of Radiance. She finds herself in a race to save someone who seemingly everyone has failed to notice has a special secret.
Character: Lift is charming, as most Sanderson characters are. I don’t quite find her as compelling as Kelsier, Vin, or Kaladin, but she’s growing on me. She’s certainly powerful. Her draw is her innocence. The way she sees the world is fascinating, and that’s what gives her such charm. She’s proactive. Her competence is somewhat on par with that of Captain Jack Sparrow in it’s seemingly accidental genius. It’s her sympathy that I don’t quite have yet. I think there are reasons for her to be sympathetic, but I don’t really know them yet, and that’s preventing me from falling for her the way I do most characters from Sanderson’s world. I think that’s intentional though as she’s supposed to gain prominence later in the series.
Exposition: This was pretty limited as it’s a novella. We learn what we have to, but the only book I read of Sanderson’s that had obvious exposition was Way of Kings. I felt pretty hammered with exposition in that book, but every other Sanderson novel is wonderfully fluid and driven by character. (NOTE: I still loved WoK, but I got a geography lesson and an economics lesson that really seemed jammed in there for my tastes.)
Worldbuilding: We get a bit more sense of scope here. We also learn a bit more about some of what Spren can do. I don’t know that a learn a lot more about Roshar, but we do see a bit more of what Knights Radiant are capable of.
Dialogue: This was a bit limited. It was natural, and charming. Lift is actually a cunningly clever conversationalist. Her blunt style and mannerism catch people off guard. She’s like a rude friend you bring to a party just to see how people will react. (not in a mean way, more like a “My friend is WAY smarter than you think she is, and I can’t wait for you to try and verbal spar with her” sort of way).
Description: As always, we get a perfect mix of color and sensory cues without getting bogged down in details. Sanderson has the balance I hope to find one day.
Overall: I’m always excited whenever I read a Sanderson novel, and that excitement is crippled when it’s a Cosmere story. Lift honestly wasn’t enough to hold me over to the next Archive novel, but it was a scrap of bread to a starving man. It’s a pleasant little glimpse into not just the world of Roshar, but what’s to come in the second half of the series.
Thanks for reading,