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Sixth of the Dusk

Brandon Sanderson

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This is another very short and independent novella by Brandon Sanderson, much like The Emperors Soul.

It follows a traditional tracker in a changing world where technology is slowly becoming commonplace, though old magics and ancient creatures still roam, while at the same time the mainland is being visited by interstellar travellers.

Yeah there's a lot going on, but it's all laid out in a very progressive and efficient way.

It will only take an hour or two to read it, and has some pretty damn interesting concepts in it.

On top of that, it's set in the Cosmere which is the universe where most of Brandon Sanderson's books are set. The characters are stand alone, but it shows another magic system and adds another drop of depth to the ocean of information that is the Cosmere. I'll post a bit more in that thread.

You can read a fair amount of the book on the official site, here's the start:

Death hunted beneath the waves. Dusk saw it approach, an enormous blackness within the deep blue, a shadowed form as wide as six narrowboats tied together. Dusk’s hands tensed on his paddle, his heartbeat racing as he immediately sought out Kokerlii.

Fortunately, the colorful bird sat in his customary place on the prow of the boat, idly biting at one clawed foot raised to his beak. Kokerlii lowered his foot and puffed out his feathers, as if completely unmindful of the danger beneath.

Dusk held his breath. He always did, when unfortunate enough to run across one of these things in the open ocean. He did not know what they looked like beneath those waves. He hoped to never find out.

The shadow drew closer, almost to the boat now. A school of slimfish passing nearby jumped into the air in a silvery wave, spooked by the shadow’s approach. The terrified fish showered back to the water with a sound like rain. The shadow did not deviate. The slimfish were too small a meal to interest it.

A boat’s occupants, however . . .

It passed directly underneath. Sak chirped quietly from Dusk’s shoulder; the second bird seemed to have some sense of the danger. Creatures like the shadow did not hunt by smell or sight, but by sensing the minds of prey. Dusk glanced at Kokerlii again, his only protection against a danger that could swallow his ship whole. He had never clipped Kokerlii’s wings, but at times like this he understood why many sailors preferred Aviar that could not fly away.

The boat rocked softly; the jumping slimfish stilled. Waves lapped against the sides of the vessel. Had the shadow stopped? Hesitated? Did it sense them? Kokerlii’s protective aura had always been enough before, but . . .
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