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River of Souls


The ebook for Unfettered, which contains the A Memory of Light deleted sequence “River of Souls,” has now been released.

If you haven’t heard about Unfettered before, here’s a bit of an introduction. When I was on tour probably for The Alloy of Law, Shawn Speakman (webmaster for Terry Brooks and Naomi Novik, and who also runs the booksigning service The Signed Page), approached me about an anthology he was putting together (at the suggestion of Terry Brooks) to help defray Shawn’s medical bills stemming from his 2011 diagnosis with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Shawn has been a friend and supporter to the careers of a lot of writers, so I was interested in helping out. The question was what to contribute to the anthology. The title Shawn gave it was Unfettered, because he didn’t want to put any restrictions on whatever the authors wanted to contribute.

When I was writing A Memory of Light, there was a sequence of viewpoints I was working on that were somewhat more daring than some other viewpoints I had done. The character I’m talking about is known as Bao in the book, and if you’ve read it you’ll know who that is. I wanted to try to give some deeper backstory to Bao, but after I showed the scenes to Harriet, though we all liked them, we decided they they didn’t fit in the book. Harriet felt that these scenes were distracting and derailing the narrative too close to what was to be the climax of the entire series, because of the new elements I was adding and fleshing out. So after some discussion, we decided that they should be cut.

Though I saw the need for this, the fact that this was necessary left me feeling kind of sad. I felt the scenes were strong and added a lot to the character, giving a lot of extra motivation and poignancy to some of the things going on in A Memory of Light. So when the opportunity for Shawn’s anthology came along, I began to think this would be the place for them. I approached Harriet, and she said that was a good idea.

The result is “River of Souls,” labeled as a Wheel of Time tale by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Since it’s actually a sequence of deleted scenes, it’s meant to be read as a companion to your read of A Memory of Light. It’s not going to make a whole lot of sense if you haven’t read at least the rest of the Wheel of Time, but it’s a complete arc and I find it very exciting. I think you’ll really like it, and I think this anthology is a good place for these scenes because they won’t be distracting from the rest of the story.

Unfettered also has stories from lots of other wonderful writers in it. I’m honored to have a story in there, to be alongside the names that appear in this anthology. It’s great to see so many people pulling together to support someone in the community, and I wish Shawn the best.

The anthology is available now in ebook form, and as a hardcover direct from Shawn’s Grim Oak Press website. He’ll be shipping books out over the next three weeks (he has a very small operation and it will take him time to get through so many orders). Also note that the long-sold-out special edition signed by every single author will take even more time to deliver. The signing pages are currently being shipped around the country from author to author for all of us to sign, and that will take a while. Once all of those are back with Shawn, the pages will be bound into the books, which will then be delivered.

Here is the complete list of stories appearing in UNFETTERED:
  • Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks (a precursor to the Word/Void trilogy)
  • How Old Holly Came To Be by Patrick Rothfuss (a Four Corners tale)
  • River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (a Wheel of Time tale)
  • The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
  • Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
  • Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey (a precursor to the Kushiel series)
  • Dogs by Daniel Abraham
  • Mudboy by Peter V. Brett (a Demon Cycle tale)
  • The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian (a Vault of Heaven tale)
  • The Coach With Big Teeth by R.A. Salvatore
  • Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood (a Summer Dragon tale)
  • Heaven in a Wild Flower by Blake Charlton
  • The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne (an Iron Druid tale)
  • Select Mode by Mark Lawrence (a Broken Empire tale)
  • All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
  • Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth (a Struck epilogue tale)
  • Nocturne by Robert V. S. Redick
  • Unbowed by Eldon Thompson (a Legend of Asahiel tale)
  • In Favour With Their Stars by Naomi Novik (a Temeraire tale)
  • The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan (a Riyria Chronicles tale)
  • The Duel by Lev Grossman (a Magicians tale)
  • Walker and the Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks (a Shannara tale)
  • The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman (an Annwn Cycle tale)
If you missed it, here’s the video where I explain my part in this anthology.