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The Cosmere

Sixth of the Dusk

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A fascinating new novella in Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere, the universe shared by his Mistborn series and the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive.

Sixth of the Dusk, set in a never-before-seen world, showcases a society on the brink of technological change. On the deadly island of Patji, where birds grant people magical talents and predators can sense the thoughts of their prey, a solitary trapper discovers that the island is not the only thing out to kill him. When he begins to see his own corpse at every turn, does this spell danger for his entire culture?


A note from the publisher: For a detailed behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this novella, including brainstorming and workshopping session transcripts, the first draft, line-by-line edits, and an essay by Brandon, please see Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology.

59 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 16, 2014

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About the author

Brandon Sanderson

401 books203k followers
Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s Soul, Mistborn: Secret History, and a brand-new Stormlight Archive novella, Edgedancer.

Earlier this year he released Calamity, the finale of the #1 New York Times bestselling Reckoners trilogy that began with Steelheart .

Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light, in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series have been released in new editions by Starscape, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor’s Soul, were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brought two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.

The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.

Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,072 reviews
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
283 reviews506 followers
January 18, 2023
"There have been female trappers…"

Once more, I’m forced to go back on my own rule to keep the novella ratings between 1-3. This was unbelievably good!

Sixth of Dusk introduces an entirely new magical system, which makes me wish for a complete book (or a series) on its own, given how great, imaginative, and intriguing Sanderson’s teasing here is. Just when I was beginning to wonder whether or not I should try any more novellas for the time being, (after the Shadows of Silence fiasco), this one strongly confirmed that doing so would be a huge mistake. Another must-read novella from Cosmere, and I can’t wait to see how this would come into play in a major entry.

"Sixth of what?"
“Of the Dusk.”

Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
June 16, 2018
Sixth of the Dusk is one of the Sanderson novellas collected in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, and one of my favorite stories in that collection.


"Sixth of the Dusk" is the name of the main character, who goes by “Dusk.” He's an old-fashioned trapper on his world, where his Polynesian type of culture conflicts with the more advanced society on the mainland. Dusk travels on land and sea with his two Aviar, which are birds endowed with different magical talents that help to protect Dusk from the numerous deadly dangers on the islands and in the waters that surround them. Trappers are loners who cling to their traditions, but when Dusk runs into a lone woman on the island of Patji where Dusk traps, the magic of one of his birds makes it clear to him that he needs to work with Vathi to save their world from a grave danger.

This story has several thoughtful layers of intriguing conflicts ― between the humans and the natural dangers of their world, between Dusk and the more civilized people from the mainland, and -- and maybe more.

Once again, Sanderson’s trademark creativity with magical systems adds hugely to this story. I particularly liked the unique powers of his bird Sak, which gives Dusk highly realistic visions of his own dead body to warn him of dangers that will kill him if he doesn’t take care. And the island where he spends most of his time trapping has such tremendously dangerous animals and plants (seriously, it's a crazy place) that he's constantly seeing his corpse lying on the ground as he makes his way around the island. o.O

Sanderson focused on the immediate dangers to Dusk for most of the story, but it was the more distant, intangible danger that I found most intriguing. I'd love to read more about what happens in this world after this story ends.
Profile Image for Petrik.
669 reviews43k followers
March 21, 2017
3.5/5 Stars

Mini review (I read this in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection)

Inspired by Sanderson’s interest in Polynesian culture, Sixth of the Dusk is another unique and different than Sanderson's usual novella that took place on a tropical island called Patji. It’s really different in a sense that the magic systems can be found not on an object but on magical birds called Aviar and the main character, Dusk, is also very different to Sanderson’s usual character, he doesn’t talk much and imo he's really hard to connect with. However, although it’s really different, it brought me up to this notion where I believe Sanderson really could write any kind of story he wants.

The problem with this novella is that I really think it could’ve benefit so much more if it were expanded a bit further. This is the problem with novella in general, there’s not enough content to make me truly care about the story and characters most of the time and that’s quite evident here for me. Also, out of all the novellas, Sixth of Dusk is probably the one who doesn’t have any significant contribution to the Cosmere universe, plus the postscript also said that there won’t be any more story in the future for this world which I honestly don’t mind. Despite these problems, I still find Sixth of Dusk to be quite a fun read for its short length and exposure, it could’ve been so much better though if it were adapted into a full standalone rather than ending it on a cliffhanger.

You can find the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at Booknest
Profile Image for Fares.
246 reviews315 followers
June 24, 2019
Did we expect anything other than 5 stars really?
I'm running out of Sanderson books to read, send help!!
Also, this one and Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, have amazing characters and world building, I want more books in these worlds!!
Profile Image for Choko.
1,205 reviews2,583 followers
October 31, 2022
*** 3.44 ***

The eight story, "“Sixth of Dusk” (First of the Sun), reads like many a sci-fi stories I have read growing up. We are on a World far behind in technology than ours and an Island not unlike those in Polynesia. A boy named Dusk is a trapper, but in a sense a caregiver and guardian to the very specific Avion creatures who can mentally communicate with humans and are the primary source of finances for the people living on the islands. A big company decides to take over the birds by mapping out their habitat with a machine left over from a visiting Peoples of another planet, who are many times more advanced than the locals. Following the rules of the Universe, an advanced society is not allowed to trade with one just in the beginning of its progress. They are also not allowed to mess with their progress. This story is an ethical question as to what is better for a just developing, but very curious culture, should it follow its own path of development, or should it be pushed on its way, and what is the ultimate price the budding culture would end up paying in the end.

"...“The world is progressing. One man cannot slow it, no matter how determined he is."
He stopped in the path.
You cannot stop the tides from changing, Dusk. No matter how determined you are. His mother’s words.”..."

Interesting, but just too short and although it makes an impact, it leaves you wanting more...
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,978 followers
February 12, 2017
I think this might have been one of my rare Sanderson misses. Maybe I just wasn't quite in the mood for something of his that I knew would be short. I like his normally long-spanning epic series. That's no problem. But his short fiction? Even if it has some really cool world-building elements?

Well, the magic birds that give abilities and especially the one that allows Dusk to see his dead bodies everywhere was pretty damn cool. But I couldn't really get into all the 'trapper' this and 'trapper' that, nor could I really get into the characters. Alas.

It may have just been me. Sorry, Mr. Sanderson! I usually so look forward to your stuff, too! :)

I probably would have appreciated a much larger and growing plot in this world, just assuming this was the opening gambit. It was, after all, only 59 pages, which must have only been a 2 day write for him. :)
Profile Image for TS Chan.
700 reviews868 followers
February 10, 2017
Dec 2016: Re-read via Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection

Seriously. I can't laud Brandon Sanderson enough for the ingenuity of his Cosmere stories.
So now I know that this story took place in a solar system called the Drominad system. And the knowledge I managed to glean from Khriss' essay made the re-read a very different experience. So much cool information which invited so many questions, and a new symbiotic form of Cosmere Investiture! The geek in me was just reeling from burning curiosity and fascination.

Feb 2015: Short and sweet read from one of the masters of worldbuilding, and fascinating magic systems - this time it's eco-based! In usual Sanderson style, the main character was interesting and there were some cool twists in the story.
Profile Image for Valliya Rennell.
364 reviews230 followers
November 4, 2020
3.75 stars

This short story is the farthest along in the Cosmere so far. It gives me so much to think about in terms of the ramifications of the story in the full length novels so far. I am reallly curious about who the Ones Above are, as well as how this society on First of the Sun was when it was in the same time as the main series. Even though I only had 60 pages of it, First of the Sun is now my favorite planet. I find the entire island gods really interesting. They are reminiscent of Purelake from The Stormlight Archive, but more interesting since everything is trying to kill you. I am cannot wait for more of this planet. I really, really hope there will be more that I will be able to read about. Maybe a Khriss-centered novella of her going to this system.

From what I've seen of it, the Drominad System is a fascinating one. Although similar to Threnody, it is much more fun in my opinion. This fast paced novella was a wonderful entrance to this new world.

Thank you all for joining in for Episode 8 of Quickie Review with Valliya!

Previous episode: Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania - Brandon Sanderson ★★.5

Next episode: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood - Marjane Satrapi ★★★
Profile Image for Jarek "the Mistborn" Dąbrowski.
200 reviews54 followers
October 18, 2017
Another one of Sandersons shorts that left me feeling...goddamn Brandon why dont you go and write a full novel on this shit its awesome. A fun read with a brand new world and magic system that leaves you with a taste for much more. Maybe one day Brandon will go back to these stories and expand on tchem. I hope. 5 stars
Profile Image for Gavin.
863 reviews393 followers
December 3, 2014
This was another fun novella from Sanderson's Cosmere universe. It had everything one might expect from a Sanderson fantasy book. Good world-building, a fascinating magic system, weird creatures, and an intriguing plot.

Sixth of the Dusk is a highly trained Tracker. His main stock in trade are magical birds which can only be found in the Archipelago. Sixth's people worship the mysterious islands as gods and view themselves as their priests. Each Tracker dedicates themselves to hunting on only one island. Sixth's island is the largest of them all Patji, considered the Father among the islands worshipers.

Sixth's world is in the midst of a cultural and technological change as the more progressive society of the Homeislers are making inroads of their own into the Archipelago in search of the magical birds. The Homeislers have advanced technology such as projectile weapons and steam powered ships. One corporate company has sent a party to set up a base on the island of Patji. Both to claim the island as their own and as a base to learn more of the deadly islands mysteries.

In an interesting twist the Trappers and the Homeislers are not the only society in the mix. The primitive world of The First of the Sun has been visited by the seemingly benign space faring people known as the Ones Above. The Ones Above can interact with the people of less advanced worlds in only a limited way. Their rules forbid them from sharing their technology or trading with the locals. Still, they have a fascination with the magical birds and return often to visit this world!

I enjoyed this story, but wish it was longer. I was just getting to know the world and the characters when it came to an end! I took a while to warm to Sixth, but liked him well enough when I did. The only other character to feature much was the Homeisler Vathi and she was quite likable.

The world and the magic were both quite fascinating. The magical birds and their abilities were great and the island of Patji, with its multitude of deadly plants and creatures, was a fascinating setting.

As with any Sanderson books we got a few surprise twists and they only increased my desire to read more from this world.

Also, space travelers in the Cosmere! How cool is that?

Rating: 4 Stars.
Profile Image for Scott  Hitchcock.
779 reviews223 followers
December 21, 2016
Read from Arcanum Unbounded.

3.5*. Loved the island world and the concept of cultures at different levels all meeting and their motivations for exploiting each other.
Profile Image for Luna. ✨.
92 reviews1,215 followers
March 25, 2017

This book was amazing. I don't feel the need to write a long detailed review on it. It definitely had some issues, it was to short, the plot wasn't Sandersons best and I found myself thinking it didn't make much sense, however it's still a good read for all mega fans of BS.

Definitely not an important book in regards to the cosmere.

Recommended to all fans of Sanderson. You do not need to read his other books before this one, unless you buy Arcanum Unbounded then I suggest reading Mistborn 1-6 first and also Stormlight Archive 1-2. Read in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection anthology.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,608 reviews1,481 followers
November 17, 2014
3.5 Patji Tried to Kill Me and All I Got Was This T-Shirt Stars

I’m a huge Brandon Sanderson fan, he is my absolute favorite High Fantasy Author. Even in a novella he is able to create an entirely new setting with different magic and characters. In 96 pages he can bring to life an entire story and make you care and want to know even more about these characters.

You can read Sixth of the Dusk even if you have never read anything else in the Cosmere series without any troubles. Dusk is a trapper on an isle filled with magical birds. It is what he has done in solitude most of his life and he lives on Patji, one of the deadliest islands of them all. There is something trying to kill him around every corner and in almost every shadow. He knows this because one of his birds can see his deaths and can project images of it into his mind. A little disconcerting to see your corpse on the path ahead of you showing how you could die, but Dusk has become accustomed to these warnings over the years.

Patji might be a deadly land full of monsters but it is also a remarkable place and one of the few Islands where Aviar live. They are special birds that can great an ability to their owners. It is Dusk’s job to protect these birds.
“This,” he said with a harsh whisper, holding it up before her, “is the symbol of your ignorance. On the Pantheon Islands, nothing is easy, nothing is simple. That plume was placed by another trapper to catch someone who does not deserve to be here, someone who thought to find an easy prize. You cannot be that person. Never move without asking yourself, is this too easy?

Vathi has come with a group of people intent on finding out why the birds come only from a small stretch of Islands in hopes of discovering a way to make more Aviar. When she is sepereated from her crew on a ship she makes her way across the lsland searching for a trapper to help her make it to the rest of her people.
“This is nice. Very roomy for a shack on a mountainside in the middle of a deadly jungle on an isolated island surrounded by monsters.”

Dusk knows that Vathi and her people bring change with them and might even be the destruction of his lifestyle and everything he holds dear. He must decide whether to help her or if it is better to just let Patji kill her.

This is not one of my favorite Brandon Sanderson novella’s but I do like that he was able to show the circularity of how the choices we are willing to make might affect us later on. When we decide to force our will on others who is to say someone stronger won’t come along and do the same thing to us.

I am forever encouraging my friends to read anything Brandon Sanderson. If you like High Fantasy I think he puts some of the best stories together. But, if you want to sample some of his work to decide if you like his story telling style before committing to 1000+ pages for one of his series the I highly recommend reading The Emperor’s Soul or this novella.
Profile Image for Anna [Bran. San. Stan].
262 reviews84 followers
January 5, 2021
And yet another great Cosmere story! The premise of an island whose nature is out to kill people while producing birds with magic abilities was intriguing. The protagonist, the eponymous Sixth of the Dusk, a trapper on the island of Patji has two of those birds – one showing him visions of his imminent death which he then uses the counteract them; another protecting him by hiding his mind from enormous predators both on sea and land. It had a bit of an Avatar-vibe as well, with people from the “civilized” mainland trying to exploit nature and its treasures.

And yet, the entire story felt like it was meant to build up to something more; possibly the sequel which Sanderson has planned for 2021 – which I’m definitely looking forward to!
Profile Image for Holden Johnson.
Author 2 books45 followers
November 14, 2018
Why oh why did this have to end. And on such a cliffhanger too. I absolutely loved this world and unique magic system. The small blurb at the end said that there likely won't be any more stories in this world which really upsets me =( I Loved it.

Full novel please?

I guess I can't have everything I want.
Profile Image for Desinka.
300 reviews60 followers
December 5, 2014
This has been one of the less satisfying of Sanderson novellas. I loved the world and one of the two featured characters, Vathi,but was not all that impressed with Dusk or the story. Knowing what Sanderson is capable of, I found this lacking in comparison to his usual fascinating, fast paced and action packed whirlwind of a story.

Still worth the read and a well deserved 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Mike.
483 reviews376 followers
November 13, 2014
When I saw the the amazon ad link for this book on io9 I felt it was like a little slice of Christmas come early. I am a self admitted Sanderson addict and had no idea this was even on the horizon (OK, so I am poorly informed addict, but one nonetheless).

Simply put this is an awesome novella and has all the hallmarks Sanderson's other amazing works:

-Kickass female character: The protaganist of this story is a pretty badass Trapper name Sixth of Dusk (for a pretty profound reason you learn later). The island he works is the largest and most dangerous with exotic menaces everywhere. He ends up falling in with a homeisler, a female named, Vathi. While not as capable a trapper as Dusk (which is a tough bar for men as well) she is very competent and handles herself exceedingly well in the dangerous environment earning his grudging respect.

-Well thought out and developed cultures: In this case two of them, Trappers and Homeislers. Trappers are a mix of shamans and rangers who train to survive and thrive on a group of holy islands. These islands play into their religious beliefs and customs. Homeislers are more "civilized" and at the stage of development of the late 18th century: early steam technology, adventure science, and big corporations. They tend to view trappers as a necessary part of getting goods from the holy islands, but somewhat uncivilized, in the stereotypical "noble savage" sort of way.

Case in point: At one point Vathi ends up killing the most dangerous menace on island (because Dusk doesn't have a monopoly on badassitude), a nightmaw, using primitive gunpowder technology. Dusk thinks this is great and they should wipe all the nightmaws:

Vathi: I thought trappers were connected to nature.
Dusk: We are. That's how I know we would all be better off without any of these things.
Vathi: You are disabusing me of many romantic notions about your kind, Dusk.

Sanderson does a nice job introducing and demolishing the noble savage, one with the land stereotype that Dusk could easily fall into.

-Unique and nifty magic system: This one is centered around birds that come from a very dangerous island. Seriously, Sanderson is like the MacGyver of fantasy writers. Give him a paper clip, chewing gum, and used floss and he can fashion and magic system that will both intrigue and impress you. In this case birds of different breeds can bestow 'talents' upon those nearby. These birds are highly valued and Trappers are the only source of them.

-A compact but expansive story with a compelling Protaganist: This story took place over the course of maybe twelve hours, but delved really deeply into both the Trapper tradition, the clash of Trapper culture and Homeislers expansive business and science rationalism, and the machination of the One's Above, a spacefaring civilization that has limited diplomatic ties with the Homeislers. That's right folks, we have SPACEFARERS IN THE COSMERE!!!11!11!!!1!!!!

"From what I have hear them [the One's Above] say, there are many other worlds like ours, with cultures that cannot sail the stars. "

While we see the story from Dusk's point of view, his conversations with Vathi help flesh out the world wonderfully. It was interesting to see the world from the perspective of a character who knows his way of life is fading into history. Often Sanderson will give us characters on the rise or already at the top. Here we get a great no nonsense character who is both at the top of his trapper abilities but also recognizes the world is changing, leaving his people in the historic dust. While being excellent at being a trapper, he is less well equipped with dealing with others. Trapping is a lonely activity, requiring weeks at sea, alone, to get to the holy islands. His interactions with Vathi show this and make his feel like a very interesting and well develop character.

The other interesting about Dusk is that he was quite different from the typical Sandersonian protagonist. Most of Sanderson's main character have some level of snark of sarcasm in their world view or conversational style. Dusk was refreshingly terse in conversations, saying only what needed to be said. I think even a little bit of snark would have seriously diminished his character and Sanderson was wise to restrain his natural conversational snark tendency in this case; I think that shows that Sanderson is getting better and more disciplined as he writes more and not letting his runaway success make him complacent.

I was delighted reading this story but, like Legion, it was too short. I wanted so much more. More of the Trapper culture, more about the Homeislers, a lot more about the One's Above, and more about the awesome magical birds. We discover one talent the birds bestow but no indication about what others do. Like Legion it was a great story that left me wanting more, hence the loss of a star.

So do you hear me Sanderson? I am withholding that one star until we get more. My terms are non-negotiable and I expect you to comply post haste.

I will also accept an advanced copy of the next Stormlight book as suitable payment.

Though in all seriousness this is a fantastic novella. Fans of Sanderson and fantasy will devour this gem of a story.
Profile Image for Jonathan O'Neill.
160 reviews327 followers
August 30, 2020
3.5 ⭐

Sixth of the Dusk is a novella based in the Drominad System of the Cosmere and influenced by Sanderson's fascination with Polynesian people/culture. It's only 50 odd pages so there's little to say without spoilers.
It is essentially a reflection on how more developed societies strive to take from their lesser-developed counterparts by destroying the 'old ways' and forcing "progression" through the implementation of technology beyond the understanding of the inhabitants.
As I've come to expect from the Cosmere, there is also a very interesting type of investiture (i.e magic) in this system that, at first glance, seems to be bestowed upon the island's birdlife. Another very decent short from Brandon.
Profile Image for Mark Medina.
82 reviews26 followers
August 27, 2016
Short, not sweet, but very good. Kind of like a mad Tarzan crossed with Pokemon. Enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Raviteja.
93 reviews23 followers
April 16, 2021
4 stars

With merely 60 pages, Sixth of the Dusk is a tale embedded with a unique world and a layered philosophy. The ending is satisfactory and it only left me wanting more from this world.

In this story from the Drominad System, set in the island of Patji, we go through the journey of Dusk who is joined by Vathi. This particular story is one of my favourites and Brandon shows us that a good story can be told, no matter how short it is. I liked the uniqueness of the world - the aviars, flowers that can broadcast thoughts, an island where almost everything tries to kill you - we see the case of a natural system that challenges every being on it, letting only the fittest survive. The philosophy, while it starts with the theme of 'exploration' for 'progress' and the lack of regard for existing ways throws a much deeper shade about how the privileged/advanced try to circumvent their rules and use those lesser privileged/advanced ones to achieve their end goals. Overall, its a story that is a job well done.
Profile Image for Jeraviz.
915 reviews408 followers
May 30, 2017
Uno de los mejores worldbuildings que ha hecho. Desde la ambientación del relato, el sistema "mágico" que gobierna el mundo o las dosis de información sobre el Cosmere que nos deja, consigue crear una atmósfera propia de Sanderson que disfrutas en media hora.
Profile Image for mina.
685 reviews242 followers
December 18, 2018
I loved this one. Bravo for the idea, the writing was also good. It was a great read my only problem now is that I want to know what happens after. The story is set in nature with predators that read minds and magical birds, what more can you wish for?
Profile Image for OhWell.
730 reviews
February 20, 2018
This is a blend of sci-fi and fantasy, leaning towards sci-fi. I have read attempts to mix the two genres before, and they were more or less failures. Brandon Sanderson made the combination work though. No surprise there:)
Profile Image for Renee Godding.
613 reviews575 followers
September 24, 2018
5/5 Stars

Sandersons usual epicness, but compressed to bite sized format.

To start: An open question to Brandon Sanderson:
Dear mr Sanderson, can we please have a full length novel version of this? Please…?
If that would be too much of an inconvenience, a multiple part series would be fine as well. Full epic maybe…?
Regardless of the format, I need more of this please.

I don’t have much intelligent thought to share on this book. Despite the fact that he is one of my favorite authors, I had never read a novella by Brandon Sanderson and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint. Everything I love about his novels, I loved about this too. In so few pages, Sanderson creates a rich world, set on an island archipelago (inspired by Polynesia or the Philippines perhaps?), so vividly that I felt like I was actually there.
The magic system is unique and original as always (also featured in the Stormlight Archive, which takes place in the same world). The plot, although short, contains more than meets the eye upon first glance…
My one criticism, as you can gather from my question above, is that it was too short. Not only do I not want to exit this world yet, I would also love for Dusk and Vathi to get more page time and more development. Both seem like such interesting characters, but in the short amount of time, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that we only got a glimpse of their depth of character.
My request for more doesn’t stem from feeling like the story wasn’t complete: the novella can definitely stand on its own and is well structured. Nothing is missing.
It stems from the feeling that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg, despite the fact that the rest of it is absolutely present in Brandon Sandersons mind. I personally would love to burrow down and discover more of this.
Profile Image for Becky.
1,339 reviews1,634 followers
July 19, 2015
I started this novella wayyyyyyy back when it was first available, but for some reason it didn't grab me. Canoeing over dangerous waters to an even dangerouser (totally a word) island sounds cool, but it just didn't hold my attention.

Now though, I think this was needed to maybe work me out of the funk I was settling into. I picked it back up where I left off (thanks Kindle!) and this time it clicked. I was curious about the island and the creatures and who would willingly come to try to exploit such an epically kill-happy place, and why. And it turned out to be a great little story with an interesting message about the cost of greed and progress without understanding.

I liked the characters and the sense of tradition and respect Dusk had for his way of life, even if it was somewhat grudging at times. I also liked the descriptions of the island and the Aviars. I did find myself wanting more though. I want to know what happens next and who the Ones Above are. I know that this is a Cosmere story, though I am not nerdy or smart enough to have worked out all the Cosmere connections, so maybe I'll have to do a huge Sanderson reread one day.

Anyway, good story, though it requires a little bit of patience. Still, it's BSands and it's hard to find a bad story of his.
Profile Image for Chris Rhodes.
263 reviews541 followers
December 27, 2014
4.5, I think. The fact that Brandon Sanderson can write a world like this in under 100 pages is just amazing. I really hope there's a sequel to this - the only thing I really have to say is that the writing itself suffers a bit when condensed into something so short. It was a really fun, quick read though. Also, who the hell are the Ones Above? If they're in the Cosmere...what does that mean? This could be taken in so many different directions. I can't wait to see where it goes.
Profile Image for Jackson.
184 reviews57 followers
February 26, 2020
Sixth Of The Dusk is a standalone Cosmere short story set on the world known as 'First of the Sun'.

*This will be a spoiler-free review*

Our main character, Dusk, is a trapper and he lives on an extremely dangerous island. This island is one of many, and is found off the coast of a mainland who's society is undergoing rapid technological advancement.
Dusk and the other trappers, all of whom work in isolation (but often against each other) on their separate islands, are - as expected, against this advancement.

"The world is progressing. One man cannot slow it, no matter how determined he is."

I shall refrain from talking too much about the story itself so as to avoid spoilers for those who have yet to read it, but I thought it was fantastic. And the magic system employed is by far one of the strangest and most specific manifestations of investiture that we have seen on a Cosmere world yet. In my opinion anyway.

This story was very different thematically and aesthetically to the rest of Sanderson's collected works within the Cosmere, which I think is nothing but a boon to this universe that he is creating.
Where the short story directly prior to this in Arcanum Unbounded, 'Shadows for Silence...', explored a darker world with it's various associated horror elements, this story and it's world came across as it's polar opposite.
There is lots of bright and colourful imagery in the dense and dangerous island jungle, teeming with beasts, bugs, birds and all manner of interesting things. That isn't to say there isn't danger everywhere, but it's a very different kind of danger.
Of course, this being a only short story means there is a LOT more yet to see.
The mainland that we hear of is never visited by our protagonist - making the island the story takes place on reflect the medium of the short story itself; both are just little glimpses of a world and of a story that is yet to be told - that as of right now only exists in Sanderson's mind.
In fact, the series of islands featured here, known as the Pantheon, could well be a metaphor for the collection of short stories that they themselves are featured in.
Maybe that's a reach, but I can see it. Anywho...

The character of Dusk is also pretty unique. He is far less talkative and far more introverted than most protagonists I've come across, particularly from Sanderson. But it made for a pleasant change, and he is immediately made more memorable to my mind because of it.
That or I simply related more to him because I'm somewhat introverted myself. Either way; I'm a big fan of Dusk.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing more from this world and it's systems.
The more of the short stories I read from Arcanum Unbounded, the more and more it appears to me as a showcase for some of Sanderson's strongest work, and I would be VERY on board if another collection were to be published a few years down the line.
Fingers crossed.


Thank you for reading my review!
There is plenty more Sanderson on the way for me. I am determined to be 100% on the Cosmere by the end of the year!

Up next: Warbreaker

Thanks again for taking the time to read what I have to say. I could talk Sanderson forever.
I hope you are all keeping well and are enjoy your current reads!
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