Brandon Sanderson Releasing 'The Way of Kings Prime' and New Novella

As part of a Kickstarter promotion for a leatherbound edition of The Way of Kings, the first novel in The Stormlight Archive series, author Brandon Sanderson will also release a previously unpublished version of the novel and a new novella in the same setting as the epic fantasy series.

The fantasy author released details regarding his upcoming July 7 Kickstarter on his blog Tuesday. But while the main objective of the crowdfunding campaign is to support a two-volume leatherbound edition of The Way of Kings, which was originally published by Tor Books in 2010, Stormlight Archive readers are likely to be just as intrigued by several of the bonuses offered to various backer tiers.

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Brandon Sanderson will launch a Kickstarter for a leatherbound version of 'The Way of Kings' on July. Brandon Sanderson / Dragonsteel Entertainment

Odds are, though, the item that'll most intrigue Stormlight Archive completists will also be available for free. The Way of Kings Prime is a previously unpublished version of the novel that predates The Way of Kings by nearly a decade. Written in 2002, The Way of Kings Prime was set in a different universe from the expansive Cosmere shared universe that Sanderson has used as the setting for many of his novels, including not only The Stormlight Archive, but also the Mistborn series and others.

Sanderson describes Prime as "an alternate version of The Way of Kings" and emphasized that it shouldn't be read in place of the novel that was eventually released as the canonical series opener.

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In addition to a printed version, Sanderson will release 'The Way of Kings Prime' for free online. Brandon Sanderson / Dragonsteel Entertainment

While The Way of Kings Prime will be released in hardcover to certain tiers of the Kickstarter, Sanderson will also release the novel for free in e-book and PDF on his website. On July 7, The Way of Kings Prime will be available to everyone on the Online Library section of Sanderson's website.

The Way of Kings Prime was written before the 2005 release of Sanderson's first published novel—one of approximately a dozen novels Sanderson completed by 2003. Characters from Prime were renamed and the timeline of events was substantially restructured. Sanderson has previously published chapter excerpts from the Prime version of The Way of Kings, both on his blog and in the Altered Perceptions Anthology.

"The Way of Kings Prime is what we're calling a Sanderson Curiosity," Sanderson wrote. "We can't guarantee we'll ever reprint it once the campaign is over."

The Way of Kings Prime and the leatherbound edition of the novel will also be joined by a new novella. Sanderson described the as-yet-untitled novella as "in the vein of Edgedancer," which was released in 2016 and "bridges the gap" between the second and third books of The Stormlight Archive series. The new novella will be set between Book 3 Oathbringer and the upcoming Book 4 in the series.

Sanderson will release the novella in an e-book and physical edition for Kickstarter funders.

The alternate-version novel and novella join a number of other bonus items to be offered during the crowdfunding campaign. While The Way of Kings Prime will be available online on July 7, physical editions of both Prime and the new novella likely won't ship to backers until early 2021.

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The cover for Brandon Sanderson's "Way of Kings," first book in "The Stormlight Archive" series.

Sanderson is currently working on the fifth draft of Rhythm of War, the upcoming Book 4 in The Stormlight Archive series. In an update offered in March, Sanderson described this draft as a "final polish," anticipating the next book in The Stormlight Archive will hit its November release target.