The fourth book of has recently been announced The Chronicles of Folgoluce by the fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson, Rhythm of war. Here's all we know!

Anyone who follows me on social media or reads my articles knows very well that I am a lover of the works of Brandon Sanderson, which I consider one of the sacred monsters of today's fantasy.

However, I rarely write articles about good Sanderson and his works. Currently, in fact, I have only three small insights to my credit: one about this author's empathy, one on the problems between Sanderson and Fanucci and one on publication in Italy of Skyward and Oath.

I return today to talk about Sanderson because the title of the fourth book has just been announced The Chronicles of Folgoluce. I therefore take advantage of the opportunity for briefly summarize the events of the saga (so watch out for SPOILERS!) and to present what we know about this new book.

The cover of La via dei Re
The cover de The way of the Kings

The Chronicles of Folgoluce In short

Of all Brandon Sanderson's books, The Chronicles of Folgoluce they are certainly his most monumental and ambitious work. In fact, the author predicts it will consist of ten books, each of which will likely be around a thousand pages.

The history of The Chronicles of Folgoluce is set on one of the planets in Sanderson's Cosmoverse, Roshar. Periodically scourged by terrible Storms, Roshar is on the verge of a much worse war than is already being fought on her soil.

Indeed, the Alethi kingdom is facing a grueling war against the cryptic people of the Parshendi, but this conflict appears to be only the first step towards a new Desolation, in which humanity will once again risk being wiped out. Dalinar Kholin, one of the bloodiest lords of the Alethi, is reliving the memories of Honor, a dead divinity, who spurs him to unite the peoples of Roshar against imminent danger. Kaladin, who was previously a surgeon, then was a soldier and is now a slave, is making an unusual bond with a spren, one of Roshar's elementary spirits, discovering his new powers. Shallan Davar, a noble minor of a ruined house, is trying to help what remains of her family by defrauding the philosopher Jasnah Kholin, only to find that she has slipped into a game of power, magic and murders much bigger than her.

A spectacular but very human high fantasy

Following the vicissitudes of these three characters, along with those of many other supporting actors, The Chronicles of Folgoluce tell the struggle of the inhabitants of Roshar for their self-determination. By understanding the past and the profound structure of their world, the protagonists will have to find ways to bring together the living beings of the world against the new Desolation and the god who killed Honor, Odium. However, the first enemy all characters will face will be their own internal demons. In fact, Dalinar's alcoholic warmonger past, Kaladin's chronic depression and Shallan's childhood trauma are no less formidable enemies than the Nichilifers, and certainly cannot be killed by Stratolama.

With The Chronicles of Folgoluce, Sanderson has created a high fantasy saga all about the humanity of its protagonists and the difficulty of their decisions. Nonetheless, Sanderson does not feel he has to sacrifice the spectacularity of his (extremely well-defined!) Magic system to introspect: Kaladin can face an extremely realistic depression, and at the same time he can be engaged in impressive fights in the sky. In addition, Roshar exhibits one of the world building more complex and well thought out than Sanderson, as well as being a fundamental piece for understanding the entire Cosmoverse. In fact, ne The Chronicles of Folgoluce we find characters already appeared in other books by Sanderson, set in other planets of the Cosmoverse.

The cover of Parole di Luce
The cover of Words of Light

The road to Rhythm of war

Currently, de The Chronicles of Folgoluce we have three books: The way of kings, Words of light e Oath. The first two books are published in Italy by Fanucci, while Oath it was instead published by Mondadori, which currently holds the rights to the saga.

After the release of Oath in 2017, Sanderson announced in the summer of 2019 that it was now at 50% of the first draft of the fourth book of The Chronicles of Folgoluce. During San Diego Comic Con 2019, Sanderson has read a short excerpt from the fourth book, with Parshendi Venli as the protagonist, while he fears that his lies have been discovered.

Three groups of characters

In August 2019, Sanderson updated their fans on Reddit on the progress of the work, also revealing part of the structure of the fourth book. In fact, it seems that the volume will open with all the main characters together, and then see them different in three groups.

Il first group it is the one with the most space in the volume and will be composed of the main protagonists of the book (which is not said to be those of the Oath!), with five different points of view. However, two of these POs will be less numerous and therefore the real protagonists of the book will be three (I repeat, not necessarily Dalinar, Shallan and Kaladin).

Il second group will be engaged in a more specific, but deeply felt mission. Instead, the third group it will consist of two points of view, on which we will focus more rarely, mostly to understand what they are doing in the meantime.

The flashbacks: doubts between Venli and Eshonai

Like any book de The Chronicles of Folgoluce, the fourth will also have a series of flashback that will deepen the past and the motivations of one of the main characters. Neither The way of kings we had Kaladin flashbacks in Words of light those of Shallan and in Oath Dalinar's.

In this book, though, Sanderson is still not sure which character is best suited to the lead role of the flashbacks. In fact, it was his intention to make room for the Parshendi generaless Eshonai. However, as of August 2019 the writer was still in doubt as to whether Eshonai could be functional enough for the story or interesting enough. So, there was a chance to replace her with her sister Venli, more immersed in the secrets of Roshar.

Scenes designed twenty years ago and the release date of Rhythm of war

Writing the fourth book took up much of the rest of Sanderson's year. However, as far as the writing of the Chronicles has always been for him a much more tiring commitment than the others, the author was nevertheless happy to see ideas take shape that had been buzzing in his head for years. In fact, in a December 2019 interview, Sanderson revealed that he was writing some of the scenes he had thought of twenty years ago, when he thought that no one would publish him such a huge project.

“It has been almost twenty years since I first outlined The Stormlight Archive,” says Sanderson. "Back then, I didn't think anyone would be interested in this crazy epic I'd devised – and it's been so thrilling to see enthusiasm for it grow to such heights over the years. Book four finally gets to one of the foundational scenes I conceived from the beginning. In fact, it might be the very first big scene I imagined, and my favorite in the entire series. A part of me can't believe people are finally going to be able to read it. Less than one year now! Life before death, Radiants. "

It was during this interview that the release date of the fourth book was revealed: the November 17, 2020.

The latest writing marathon of Rhythm of war

December 2019 was coming to an end, and Sanderson had not yet finished the fourth book in the series. However, he wasn't short of much, so the writer decided to do one last great writing marathon, in order to finish the book by 2019, as he had promised.

So, on December 31st, Sanderson armed himself with goodwill (but not with coffee, because he is a Mormon!) And started writing for twelve hours straight, with one update per hour for fans on Facebook. At the end of the marathon, Sanderson wrote 15.000 words and finished the first draft of the fourth book, for a total of approximately 424.000 words.

Certainly, the work would have had to go through the hands of many editors and would still have to undergo many reworkings, but in the meantime the bulk of the work had been done.

Announcement of the end of the crazy marathon to end Rhythm of War by the end of 2019
Announcement of the end of the crazy marathon to conclude Rhythm of war by the end of 2019

Rhythm of war: the announcement of the title

On February 10, Brandon Sanderson and the Tor publishing house have officially announced the title of the fourth book de The Chronicles of Folgoluce: Rhythm of war. Sanderson writes this:

The time has come! Though I've had an instinct for many months that the title of Book Four would be Rhythm of war, I had to make certain it fit into the last chapters of the book as I wrote them.

Indeed it does, and I feel comfortable announcing this at long last as the official title of the book. Like previous titles in this series (The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and oathbringer) this one is taken from the title of an in-world volume of text. To tell you more would, of course, be a spoiler. Let's just say that this is the first of one of these in-world books that has involved the writings of someone who is not human.

I'm hard at work on revisions, and am excited for the end of the year — when I can finally share Rhythm of war with you all!

In reality, Rhythm of war as a title it had already been aired by Sanderson in November 2019, during the launch event of another of his books, StarSight.

What can we understand from this title?

First, as Sanderson said, the title of the fourth book will mirror the title of a book shown within the story, as had already happened with the other three volumes. Where exactly this book comes from is yet to be discovered.

However, we know that Rhythms are modulations of the voice of the Parshendi, acts to express emotions or better define the type of linguistic act that is being performed. For example, a genuine question will be asked with the rhythm of the background curiosity, while a doubtful one will be accompanied by the rhythm of skepticism.

Therefore, along with the small excerpt read by Sanderson on Venli and on the nature of flashbacks, one thinks that Rhythm of war he will place particular emphasis on Parshendi and their role in the history of Roshar and the desolations. But of course the title also evokes the idea that the conflict between Dalinar's peoples alliance and Odium's Nichilifers will acquire much greater proportions.

Should we therefore expect deaths in the ranks of the protagonists? After four books, honestly, I find it very likely. Sanderson is not a chronic killer of characters like Martin and certainly does not reap victims for pure shock value. However, the price in human lives of a war is unlikely to demand a high tax.

Illustration for Rhythm of War, by Donato Giancola
Illustration for Rhythm of war, by Donato Giancola

Latest updates from Rhythm of war

Currently, Sanderson is engaged in the correction and revision of Rhythm of war.

We know that the book's second draft was completed in early February, when Sanderson announced that he had written the inevitable monologue of Astuzia. However, before the work is complete and delivered to Tor, the writer will have to undergo five complete revisions.

We will see what news will be announced in the coming months.

Meanwhile, we have one of the illustrations which we will probably find in Rhythm of war (just the one above!). It is, in fact, Talenel, one of the ten Heralds of Honor, (SPOILER!) Sacrificed by the others to keep the next Desolation at bay and returned to Roshar ... not particularly in good health. The illustration is the work of a local author, Donato Giancola, former illustrator of both works by Tolkien and Martin, both of Magic: The Gathering.

The cover of Rhythm of warinstead, it will be commissioned to Michael Whelan, already author of the covers of the other three books of the saga.