Tress of the Emerald Sea: An Extract

Article | May 2023

BRANDON SANDERSON lives in Utah with his family and is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author. He is best known for his epic fantasy series The Stormlight Archive and The Mistborn Saga. His latest novel, Tress of the Emerald Sea is a standalone adventure filled with magic, romance, and fantasy.

Read on for an extract.


The only life Tress has known on her island home in an emerald-green ocean has been a simple one, with the simple pleasures of collecting cups brought by sailors from faraway lands and listening to stories told by her friend Charlie.

But when his father takes him on a voyage to find a bride and disaster strikes, Tress must stow away on a ship and seek the Sorceress of the deadly Midnight Sea. Amid the spore oceans where pirates abound, can Tress leave her simple life behind and make her own place sailing a sea where a single drop of water can mean instant death?



Perhaps you were surprised to hear those last words. Tress wanted to stay on the Rock? She liked it there?

Where was her sense of adventure? Her yearning for new lands? Her wanderlust?

Well, this isn’t the part of the story where you ask questions. So kindly keep them to yourself. That said, you must understand that this is a tale about people who are both what they seem and not what they seem. Simultaneously. A story of contradictions. In other words, it is a story about human beings.

In this case, Tress wasn’t your ordinary heroine – in that she was in fact decidedly ordinary.

Indeed, Tress considered herself categorically boring. She liked her tea lukewarm. She went to bed on time. She loved her parents, occasionally squabbled with her little brother, and didn’t litter. She was fair at needlepoint and had a talent for baking, but had no other noteworthy skills.

She didn’t train at fencing in secret. She couldn’t talk to animals. She had no hidden royalty or deities in her lineage, though her great-grandmother Glorf had reportedly once waved at the king. That had been from atop the Rock while he was sailing past, many miles away, so Tress didn’t think it counted.

In short, Tress was a normal teenage girl. She knew this because the other girls often mentioned how they weren’t like “everyone else,” and after a while Tress figured that the group “everyone else” must include only her. The other girls were obviously right, as they all knew how to be unique – they were so good at it, in fact, that they did it together.

Tress was generally more thoughtful than most people, and she didn’t like to impose by asking for what she wanted. She’d remain quiet when the other girls were laughing or telling jokes about her. After all, they were having so much fun. It would be impolite to spoil that, and pre- sumptuous of her to request that they stop.

Sometimes the more boisterous youths talked of seeking adventure in foreign oceans. Tress found that notion frightening. How could she leave her parents and brother?

Besides, she had her cup collection.

Tress cherished her cups. She had fine porcelain cups with painted glaze, clay cups that felt rough beneath her fingers, and wooden cups that were rugged and well-used.

Several of the sailors who frequently docked at Diggen’s Point knew of her fondness, and they sometimes brought her cups from all across the twelve oceans: distant lands where the spores were reportedly crim- son, azure, or even golden. She’d give the sailors pies in exchange for their gifts, the ingredients purchased with the pittance she earned scrubbing windows.

The cups they brought her were often battered and worn, but Tress didn’t mind. A cup with a chip or ding in it had a story. She loved them all because they brought the world to her. Whenever she sipped from one of the cups, she imagined she could taste far-off foods and drinks, and perhaps understand a little of the people who had crafted them.


Discover more about Brandon Sanderson here

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Category: Fiction & related items

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Gollancz

ISBN: 9781399613378

RRP: $65.00

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