It’s official folks - Stormlight Four has an confirmed title! First announced by Tor then retweeted by Brandon, the newest edition to the Stormlight saga has been confirmed to be named Rhythm of War. Brandon floated this as the tentative title back in February 2019 during the initial outlining of the book, and it appears it stuck firm.
Like with previous Stormlight novels, Rhythm of War will also reflect the title of an in-world text. Brandon has confirmed that this text will not be written by human hand, which fits nicely with a Venli focused book. Will we see another piece from our spotlight character, like in Oathbringer? Or maybe we’ll see some historical singer writings? Like always, RAFO.
Here’s what Brandon has to say about it:
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!
Along with a title confirmation, we’ve been given a sneak peak at what may end up being the end page art of either Rhythm of War or Stormlight Five. This gorgeous piece by Donato Giancola, depicts Talenelat’Elin, Herald of War, and has been described by Isaac Stewart, Brandon’s art director, as striking “...the right balance between realism and symbolism, and gives us a heroic, yet tormented, version of this beloved Herald.” This painting is the first in what seems to be a full set of Herald portraits, with multiple other pieces currently in the works. According to Issac, which Herald’s end up in each book will be depended on who best fits the novel’s theme and which artwork pairs well together. Isaac explains:
It’s been a dream of ours here at Dragonsteel to get to work with Donato on a piece of epic fantasy art depicting a scene or character from one of Brandon’s books. We were admirers of Donato’s work even before he created the illustration for “Firstborn” on Tor.com, and wow, did he create something beautiful there. So when Brandon came to me with the idea of paintings of all ten Heralds from the Stormlight Archive, the first person that came to both of our minds was Donato.
And again, Donato has knocked this one out of the park. His rendition of Taln (Talenelat’Elin) is gorgeous. It strikes the right balance between realism and symbolism, and gives us a heroic, yet tormented, version of this beloved Herald. We love what Donato has done!
We have several paintings of the Heralds in the works, so this one is likely to appear on the end pages of this book or the next, depending on which Heralds we feel look good together and best represent the themes of the books.
Last, (but not least!) Tor's post has also confirmed that Michael Whelan will be designing, what we all know will be, a stunning art piece for the cover of the American edition of Rhythm of War.
Many keen eyed fan’s have been quick to notice the symmetry in the book abbreviations - WoK, WoR, OB, RoW - and speculation has begun about whether Stormlight Five’s title will follow the same pattern and be KoW. Think this might be the case? Put your comments or title predictions in the comments below!