'Stormlight Archive' Book 4 Release Date And Movie: Everything We Expect From Brandon Sanderson Fantasy Series

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

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson began with The Way of Kings , the first installment of a planned ten-volume epic fantasy series. Sanderson is now at work on the fourth and fifth books in the series, but readers shouldn't expect The Stormlight Archive Book 4 to have a 2019 release date. The Way of Kings has sold more than a million copies since its 2010 release. Its sequel, Words of Radiance, debuted at the top of The New York Times bestseller list.

The Stormlight Archive is set thousands of years after disastrous cyclical wars ravaged the storm-swept planet of Roshar—a time when the Heralds of the Knights Radiant and their ten powerful swords, the Honorblades, have been reduced to legend. Even the ancient Voidbringers, who once swept the planet in invasions called"Desolations," are now a mystery. The nations of the world squabble amongst themselves, until the threat of a final Desolation known as the Everstorm rears its head at the end of The Way of Kings.

It is an unusually complex saga, following a handful of viewpoint characters as they work to prevent the warlike Parshendi from unleashing ancient chaos upon Roshar. Sanderson has developed a reputation among fantasy fans for creating complex magic systems, and The Stormlight Archive, sees characters wield more than ten different forms of magic.

Stormlight Archive Book 4 Release Date

So when can we expect Book 4 in The Stormlight Archive series?

On January 2, Sanderson updated readers on his progress with The Stormlight Archive Book 4. "My 2019 is dedicated to writing the fourth Stormlight book," Sanderson posted to the Stormlight subreddit. "It's a long process, likely to take around eighteen months or longer."

Each book in The Stormlight Archive is structured, according to Sanderson, "as a trilogy written as a single novel (though in five parts) with a short story collection spliced into it." The first five books in the series are expected to form their own narrative, with the second sequence of five books acting as a sequel that, together form the "mega arc" of the series.

Sanderson is known for his prolificity, often tracking his writing process in-depth on his website, where he maintains progress bars for specific projects. "Stormlight 4 & 5 outlining" currently stands at 25 percent. Assuming he hits his most optimistic projection, readers can expect to read The Stormlight Archive Book 4 by the end of 2020.

I've moved the Stormlight Four outlining percentage bar on my website up to 25%! For more details, see my reddit post from a few weeks back: https://t.co/n7XBGi2bYp pic.twitter.com/n2oMeiFHVA

— Brandon Sanderson (@BrandSanderson) January 15, 2019

"So where do we stand? Well, right now, the outline is a bit of a mess," Sanderson writes in the Reddit update. "I need to dig back into books one and two and make sure there aren't plot threads I'm ignoring, examine the themes of this book's flashback sequence (from Eshonai's viewpoint) and map them alongside the main themes of the major plots, then choose break points for the five parts of the story."

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"Words of Radiance," second book in Brandon Sanderson's "The Stormlight Archive" series. Tor / Michael Whelan

The Stormlight Archive Movie

In 2016, DMG Entertainment secured the film and licensing rights to The Stormlight Archive and other interconnected Sanderson series, and plans to spend more than $540 million to adapt the series into three movies. Screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (Feast, Saw IV, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) were announced for The Way of Kings adaptation.

Here's some movie news that has been a long time coming. I'm thrilled to be working with DMG. https://t.co/g3UwDWfnaY

— Brandon Sanderson (@BrandSanderson) October 27, 2016

Sanderson last offered an update on The Stormlight Archive movie series in April 2018, in response to a fan question.

"Right now, latest news is they're worried Stormlight is going to be too hard to do as a film series. Surprising!" Sanderson wrote, explaining that a movie series could find traction again if other prominent fantasy series adaptations succeed. "Hopefully, Wheel of Time or Name of the Wind will come out and do really well, and that will spark everybody wanting to make very expensive fantasy properties and very expensive television shows. Because the Stormlight Archive will not be cheap. It will be really, really not cheap."

To try and secure additional funding and support for the movie, DMG Entertainment partnered with virtual reality developer Arcturus to release The Way of Kings: Escape the Shattered Plains, a VR experience that lets players try out some of the fantasy world's magic and explore its settings.

The Future of Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere Universe

If The Stormlight Archive weren't already epic enough, Sanderson's series is also set within a larger universe of stories, known as the Cosmere, connecting The Stormlight Archive with his Mistborn series and standalone novels like 2005's Elantris. Sanderson has already announced a planned sequel (currently untitled) to his Cosmere novel Warbreaker and a novella set in the Cosmere city of Silverlight.

Sanderson also plans to tell a story set eons before The Stormlight Archive called Dragonsteel. The Silmarillion to the whole Cosmere sequence, Dragonsteel will chronicle how the power of the original creator god, Adonalsium, was shattered and spread to sixteen powerful Shardholders who appear across Sanderson's work. Sanderson describes Dragonsteel as the "next-to-last" of the Cosmere novels, which he won't write until after completing The Stormlight Archive Book 10.

After completing Book 5 of The Stormlight Archive, Sanderson plans to halt progress on the series for several years before beginning the second half of the saga, which will follow separate characters.

How to Get Started with The Stormlight Archive Series

Strangely enough, Sanderson doesn't recommend diving straight into The Way of Kings, particularly if you haven't read anything by him before. "Particularly The Stormlight Archive can just look overwhelmingly large," Sanderson wrote in an FAQ. "So I like to recommend something that is self-contained, but yet does all the things that I like to do in a smaller package."

He recommends starting with The Emperor's Soul, a Hugo Award-winning novella set in the Cosmere universe, which introduces readers to the universe's elaborate magic and politics. The Emperor's Soul can be found in the 2016 Sanderson anthology Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection.

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Start here before diving into "The Stormlight Archive." Tor Books

With The Stormlight Archive Book 4 likely not seeing publication until 2020, you have plenty of time to catch up with the sprawling saga.