7 things Brandon Sanderson fans waited for at “Oathbringer” release

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The Nov. 14 release of “Oathbringer” enticed Brandon Sanderson fans to camp out for days, wait in line for hours for access to the release event, and wait even longer to have Sanderson sign their books.

Sanderson is a BYU alumni, professor, and bestselling author; and “Oathbringer” is the third book in Sanderson’s “Stormlight Archive” series.

Currently, Oathbringer is one of Audible’s most preordered books, and the book release also bumped Sanderson to first on Amazon’s list of most popular authors.

The BYU Store hosted the book release party at the Utah Valley Convention Center, or UVCC, to provide more space. Erika Marler, a volunteer helping run the event from Bard’s Tower, said that the bookstore sold over 1,500 copies of the book through preorders.

Thousands of people showed up for the event. The ballroom used for the Q&A session and Sanderson’s reading was filled as far as the fire code would allow with people lining the edges of the room.

Keziah Adams, a BYU freshman who attended the release, said she was most excited to just get “Oathbringer,” but there were plenty of other things to look forward to at the release event. 

Here are seven things Sanderson fans were waiting for.

1. A chance to get one of the first signed copies of “Oathbringer” 

The first 99 fans who camped out on the BYU campus received the first 99 numbered and signed copies of “Oathbringer,” and wristbands to access the event. The ‘war camp,’ as it was called, started on Nov. 8. On Nov. 11 there were over thirty people camping out.

The “War Camp” was located by the campus tennis courts. Some Sanderson fans started camping on Nov. 8 to get a signed copy with a lower number, showing it was one of the first ones Sanderson signed, and guaranteed access to Sanderson’s speech and Q&A. (Emily Ashcraft)

2. Being one of only 2,000 people attending Sanderson’s forum events

Fans started lining up at 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 13 to ensure they would get one of the 2,000 wristbands available for the Nov. 14 book release. The wristbands were passed out starting at 10 a.m., and the 2,000 wristband limit was set based on the fire codes at the UVCC, according to Marler. All 2,000 wristbands were given out.

Sanderson fans line up in the Utah Valley Convention Center on the morning of Nov. 13 to get wristbands to let them into the meeting. Only 2,000 wristbands were available. (Emily Ashcraft)

3. Showing off some epic cosplay

Some fans spent hours on cosplays for the event. There were people dressed as spren, or creatures of nature, people in army uniforms and dresses representing specific Sanderson characters, and some who made shardblades, which are large swords with magical capabilities in the series.

Savannah Hopkinson
Fans cosplay at the book launch part for Brandon Sanderson’s “Oathbringer.” They took the opportunity to dress up and show their costumes to other Sanderson fans. (Savannah Hopkinson)

4. Getting a personalized copy from Sanderson himself

The line to have Sanderson add a name or quote to pre-signed books, take a picture with fans, and answer questions was hours long. Sanderson started personalizing the books right as they were released 10 p.m. on Nov. 13. He posted on Facebook that he was at the UVCC until 5 a.m. personalizing books.

Sanderson answers questions for fans dressed as mistborn, characters from his mistborn series. Mistborn are people born with magical powers. Fans waited in line for hours for a chance for a personalized book, a picture, and a chance to ask Sanderson their questions. (Emily Ashcraft)

5. Attending the VIP event

In addition to the main event, there was a VIP event for $150. Fans were given snacks and merchandise, and, more importantly, a chance to interact with Sanderson.

Savannah Hopkinson
People line up to get in to Brandon Sanderson’s “Oathbringer” release event. Activities at the book release included a raffle, games built from Sanderson novels, and a scavenger hunt. (Savannah Hopkinson)

6. Listening to Sanderson’s Q&A session, book reading

One of the most anticipated moments of the event was the Q&A session with Sanderson and a reading from one of his future books. He said the theme of the series was transformation. Sanderson read from a book he has just started writing called Skyward, which is about a girl who finds a spaceship. Sanderson said it is going to be a mash-up between “Top Gun,” “Ender’s Game” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Brandon Sanderson talks to his fans about the ideas behind the Stormlight Archive series. The room was filled to fire marshal standards, and people were lining the walls. (Emily Ashcraft)

Sanderson told the group the audio of the story he read called Skyward could be distributed as long as it was accompanied with a note that anyone attending his tour may want to wait and hear it in person. The audio for Skyward is included below.

7. Finding out what happens next

What fans were waiting to find out what happens next in the “Stormlight Archive” series. The first book in the series, “Way of Kings,” was published in 2010, and the second, “Words of Radiance,” in 2014. In the meantime, fans have been waiting to figure out how Jasnah survived, what are Lopen’s powers, and to learn more about the Heralds.

Savannah Hopkinson
An attendee holds the first two books in the Stormlight Archive series. The third book, “Oathbringer,” was released at a Nov. 14 event at the Utah Valley Convention Center. (Savannah Hopkinson)
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