I picked up four books to read in anticipation of Oathbringer: the Mistborn trilogy and Edgedancer. As I mentioned in my reviews of the Mistborn books, that trilogy isn’t very closely tied to the Stormlight Archive (but it is also the best Sanderson series I’ve read, so no harm, no foul). Edgedancer, on the other hand, is not only helpful but almost mandatory reading between Words of Radiance and Oathbringer. It is also a damn fine book on its own, although it can’t stand alone.
Edgedancer is labeled as “Stormlight 2.5.” Sanderson realized that he hadn’t sufficiently fleshed out a character introduced in an interlude to Words of Radiance (Sanderson is increasingly drawing characters from seemingly unconnected interludes into the main story). Lift is an Edgedancer will the ability to heal and the ability to reduce the friction of her body so she can do things like glide along the ground. An attempt to rob the imperial palace in Azimir results in one of her fellow thieves being named emperor (not a popular job with an assassin killing heads of state).
With Gawx as emperor, Lift has a place in Azimir. She flees, nonetheless, to Yeddaw, a city built in a maze of Shardblade-cut trenches. But Yeddaw means an inevitable confrontation with Darkness, the same Surgebinder that was hunting her during the Words of Radiance interlude.
Lift is a great character. She is irreverent. Sanderson’s goofy sense of humor usually doesn’t do it for me, but Lift is really funny. Her material even gets a bit *gasp* blue. A highlight is her relationship with her “pet Voidbringer” Wyndle (her spren). Sanderson uses her for some cool worldbuilding in addition to her role in the story (she shows up in a quasi-significant role in Oathbringer). She visited the Nightwatcher and uses food, not Stormlight, to fuel her Surgebinding.
You might notice that Edgedancer is billed as a novella but listed as 270 pages on Amazon. The hardcover, at least, is pocket-sized so the page count is inflated. As best I can tell, Edgedancer is around 40,000 words, which is right at the Hugo Awards dividing line between the novella and novel categories.
4 of 5 Stars.