Skyward (Skyward Series #1)

Skyward (Skyward Series #1)

by Brandon Sanderson


$10.79 $11.99 Save 10% Current price is $10.79, Original price is $11.99. You Save 10%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, November 19


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Reckoners series, Words of Radiance, and the Mistborn trilogy comes the first book in an epic new series about a girl who dreams of becoming a pilot in a dangerous world at war for humanity's future.

Spensa's world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what's left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa's dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father's—a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa's chances of attending flight school at slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.

And don't miss the thrilling sequel, Starsight!

"[A] nonstop, highflying opener."Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"With this action-packed trilogy opener, Sanderson offers up a resourceful, fearless heroine and a memorable cast." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Sanderson delivers a cinematic adventure that explores the defining aspects of the individual versus the society. . . . Fans of Sanderson will not be disappointed." —SLJ

"It is impossible to turn the pages fast enough."Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399555800
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 10/08/2019
Series: Brandon Sanderson's Skyward Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 24,275
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Brandon Sanderson is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Reckoners series: Steelheart, Firefight, Calamity, and the e-original Mitosis; Skyward; Starsight; and the internationally bestselling Mistborn trilogy. He was also chosen to complete Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. His books have been published in more than twenty-five languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Brandon lives and writes in Utah. To learn more about him and his books, visit him at or follow @BrandSanderson on Twitter and Instagram.

Read an Excerpt

I stalked my enemy carefully through the cavern.


I’d taken off my boots so they wouldn’t squeak. I’d removed my socks so I wouldn’t slip. The rock under my feet was comfortably cool as I took another silent step forward.


This deep, the only light came from the faint glow of the worms on the ceiling, feeding off the moisture seeping through cracks. You had to sit for minutes in the darkness for your eyes to adjust to that faint light.


Another quiver in the shadows. There, near those dark lumps that must be enemy fortifications. I froze in a crouch, listening to my enemy scratch the rock as he moved. I imagined a Krell: a terrible alien with red eyes and dark armor.


With a steady hand—agonizingly slow—I raised my rifle to my shoulder, held my breath, and fired.


A squeal of pain was my reward.




I patted my wrist, activating my father’s light-line. It sprang to life with a reddish-orange glow, blinding me for a moment.


Then I rushed forward to claim my prize: one dead rat, speared straight through.


In the light, shadows I’d imagined as enemy fortifications revealed themselves as rocks. My enemy was a plump rat, and my rifle was a makeshift speargun. Nine and a half years had passed since that fateful day when I’d climbed to the surface with my father, but my imagination was as strong as ever. It helped relieve the monotony, to pretend I was doing something more exciting than hunting rats.


I held up the dead rodent by its tail. “Thus you know the fury of my anger, fell beast.”


It turned out that strange little girls grow up to be strange young women. But I figured it was good to practice my taunts for when I really fought the Krell. Gran-Gran taught that a great warrior knew how to make a great boast to drive fear and uncertainty into the hearts of her enemies.


I tucked my prize away into my sack. That was eight so far—not a bad haul. Did I have time to find another?


I glanced at my light-line—the bracelet that housed it had a little clock next to the power indicator. 0900. Probably time to turn back; I couldn’t miss too much of the school day.


I slung my sack over my shoulder, picked up my speargun—which I’d fashioned from salvaged parts I’d found in the caverns—and started the hike homeward. I followed my own hand-drawn maps, which I was constantly updating in a small notebook.


A part of me was sad to have to return, and leave these silent caverns behind. They reminded me of my father. Besides, I liked how . . . empty it all was. Nobody to mock me, nobody to stare, nobody to whisper insults until I was forced to defend my family honor by burying a fist in their stupid face.


I stopped at a familiar intersection where the floor and ceiling gave way to strange metal patterns. Circular designs marked with scientific writing covered both surfaces; I’d always thought they must be ancient maps of the galaxy. On the far side of the room, an enormous, ancient tube emerged from the rock—one of many that moved water between the caverns, cleansing it and using it to cool machinery. A seam dripped water into a bucket I’d left, and it was half full, so I took a long drink. Cool and refreshing, with a tinge of something metallic.


We didn’t know much about the people who had built this machinery. Like the rubble belt, it had been here already when our small fleet crashed on the planet. They’d been humans, as the writings on places like this room’s ceiling and floor were in human languages. But how distantly related they were to us was a mystery even now. None of them were still around, and the melted patches and ancient wrecks on the surface indicated that they had suffered their own war.


I poured the rest of the water into my canteen, then gave the large tube a fond pat before replacing the bucket and moving on. The machinery seemed to respond to me with a distant, familiar thrumming. I followed that sound and eventually approached a glowing break in the stone on my left.


I stepped up to the hole and looked out on Igneous. My home cavern and the largest of the underground cities that made up the Defiant League. My perch was high, providing me with a stunning view of a large cave filled with boxy apartments built like cubes splitting off one another.


My father’s dream had come true. In defeating the Krell that day over nine years ago, those fledgling starfighter pilots had inspired a nation. Dozens of once-nomadic clans had congregated, colonizing Igneous and the caverns around it. Each clan had its own name still, traced back to the ship or section of the ship they’d worked on. My clan was the Motorskaps—from the old words for engine crew.


Together, we called ourselves Defiants. A name taken from our original flagship.


Of course, in gathering together, we had drawn the attention of the Krell. The aliens were still determined to destroy humankind, so the war continued, and we needed a constant stream of starfighters and pilots to protect our burgeoning nation.


Towering over the buildings of Igneous was the apparatus: ancient forges, refineries, and manufactories that pumped molten rock from below, then created the parts to build starfighters. The apparatus was both amazing and unique; though machinery in other caverns provided heat, electricity, or filtered water, only the apparatus of Igneous was capable of complex manufacturing.


Heat poured through the crack, making my forehead bead with sweat. Igneous was a sweltering place, with all those refineries, factories, and algae vats. And though it was well lit, it somehow always felt gloomy inside, with that red-orange light from the refineries shining on everything.


I left the crack and walked to an old maintenance locker I’d discovered in the wall here. Its hatch looked—at first glance—like any other section of the stone tunnel, and so was relatively secure. I popped it open, revealing my few secret possessions. Some parts for my speargun, my spare canteen, and my father’s old pilot’s pin. I rubbed that for good luck, then placed my light-line, map book, and speargun in the locker.


I retrieved a crude stone-tipped spear, clicked the hatch closed, then slung my sack over my shoulder. Eight rats could be surprisingly awkward to carry, particularly when—even at seventeen—you had a body that refused to grow beyond a hundred and fifty-one centimeters.


I hiked down to the normal entrance into the cavern. Two soldiers from the ground troops—which barely ever did any real fighting—guarded the way in. Though I knew them both by their first names, they still made me stand to the side as they pretended to call for authorization for me to enter. Really, they just liked making me wait.


Every day. Every scudding day.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Skyward (Skyward Series #1) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Once again Brandon Sanderson delivers a compelling and immersive adventure. He never fails to entertain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to wait till November to continue reading about Spin and her adventures! Absolute must read, done in true Sanderson style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A friend and I can’t help but notice that Brandon Sanderson gets tighter and better in each book he publishes. Not to say I don’t love his first books, but you can tell that he’s a professional that is continuing to hone his craft for all of our benefit.
CaptainsQuarters More than 1 year ago
Ahoy there me mateys!  Okay I know that I just reviewed legion yesterday.  I needed more Sanderson!  After finishing that one, I got me grubby mitts on this absolutely wonderful gem.  I am always amazed by the talent and ingenuity of this writer.  Two stories back to back and both amazing and so different. This yarn tells the tale of Spensa who wants to be a pilot when she grows up.  She wants to follow in the footsteps of her father who she considers a hero.  The rest of the planet calls him a coward.  Spensa wants to prove that she is no coward and clear her father's name. This group of humans, the Defiant, live on the planet, Detritus, in underground caverns.  The surface is dangerous because of a group of aliens, the Krell, are determined to destroy them.  The two groups fight using starships.  There is a deep layer of space debris surrounding the planet which helps keep the humans safe.  But the alien technology more advanced and they have the better numbers.  The humans are barely surviving. There are many things I loved about this story.  The first is that Spensa is an awesome protagonist.  Raised on old Earth myths, she has a hysterical way of trying to cope with feeling like an outsider.  Like telling people, "When you are broken and mourning your fall from grace, I will consume your shadow in my own, and laugh at your misery."  Watching her journey was lovely.  I adore her! I loved that the characters in this book, young and old, grow and change and learn from mistakes.  Prejudices are examined and reevaluated.  Spensa grows up through the course of the book through self-discovery and the help others.  I loved that the relationships throughout the book take time to be established and end up with unexpected results.  I thought Rig was a fantastic best friend.  I loved that the young pilots had to work and weren't instantly good at anything.  And above all I loved the talking ship.  His interactions with others made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions. As always, Sanderson manages to give me a book that entertains, makes me think, and makes me feel.   I need book two now!  Arrr!
Anonymous 3 months ago
I have read nearly all of Sanderson's books and this is one of his best! Can't wait for the next one to come out!
Kibbyra 10 months ago
Sanderson strikes again, but this time with a fantastically over the top female MC, a mysterious sci-fi setting, and a snarky, mushroom obsessed AI. While Skyward hits a lot of notes Sanderson fans are used to (world building, snark, and emotional gut punches), it was also wholly unique to me as a Sanderson reader. The slow build of the story’s mystery and eventual reveal are done masterfully and I did not guess the twists at all. Spensa (Callsign: Spin) Nightshade is a wonderful main character who ranges from ridiculously over confident to painfully vulnerable in highly relatable ways. The next book can’t come soon enough!
TheLibraryEnchantress 12 months ago
So Skyward was my book club pick this month by Brandon Sanderson and initially, I was dreading it because I usually dislike almost all things science fiction. But once again, I was surprised by a sci-fi read and I thoroughly enjoyed this book far more than I was expecting! I guess it helped that it didn't read super sci-fi (despite the whole space thing) till the very end. As far as the characters go, Sanderson is a mastermind. Spensa is a brilliant and totally unique MC! Awkward flirting, flawed, and a little crazy, she is so relatable and enjoyable that I cannot help but want to read more. What's more, is that THERE IS A PLATONIC MALE/FEMALE RELATIONSHIP AND IT IS EVERYTHING! Each character is filled with so many different aspects and just when you're ready to judge one of them for their actions or words BAM you learn something you didn't know and you have to reevaluate it all. And Mbot....ok, I won't spoil it for you but all I will say is SOMEONE GET ME MORE MBOT PLEASE!!!! There are only a couple of issues I had with the book. One of them was the lack of romance. I totally get that not every story has to have a romance. (I disagree entirely but I get it >_
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very engrossing a riveting, climactic ending. Looking forward to the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For a YA book I wasn’t too thrilled from the beginning, but this was a buddy read with someone. And now that I’ve finished it, I can’t wait for Starsight to be released. I need more doomslug in my life yesterday! Counting down the days for the new release.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining read from Sanderson as always
ChaptersWeLove More than 1 year ago
My thoughts I need to start by saying this book was absolutely FANTASTIC! I'm not sure what I was expecting to read but I got more than expected.  The writing, the world-building and characters were all such a good surprise for me and I don't even have the words to do the story justice. This is my first read of Brandon Sanderson and I'm glad I started with this one, I mean don't get me wrong I do own a few of his books but sadly for whatever reason I haven't picked any up them before and that's definetely will change now that I got a taste of his writing.  This book follow Spensa (code name: Spin) and her dream for becoming a fighter pilot.  After her father was accused of deserting with flying crew no one wanted to give her a chance to join the flight school because they think she will be just like her father a deserter, but Spensa is determined to proved them wrong. This book has one of the best battleship scenes and the characters are just as amazing (even the bad ones) as Spensa is and one of my top favorite character beside Spensa is no other than the AI-driven ship M-Bot like wow he made the story even better and I love the moments with M-Bot and Spensa the most.  Overall, I truly loved this story and I can't wait to see what comes next.  If you haven't read any books by Brandon Sanderson I think this one is a very good start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cute story with a nice trust at the end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never read a Brandon Sanderson book before, but I picked this one up because I'd been hearing a lot of good things about it. I don't even usually like Sci-fi (I'm more of a fantasy person), but I found myself absolutely hooked on this story!! I wouldn't say the premise is the most original in all of Sci-fi (young adult wanting to be a starfighter pilot), but the story is so, so well-executed that you won't care. I literally devoured this book in about 3 days, despite its length. Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It’s my favorite book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SKYWARD is a must read book, first in the series can't wait to buy the next book in the series.
MaleehaS More than 1 year ago
I think my heart is still somewhere across the room where it landed after launching out of my chest. Spensa's character arc is so well done and the ACTION. OH, the ACTION. What an incredible, gripping book and a great start to my 2019 reading goal. I need the sequel already! (mostly for more M-Bot banter).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have followed this author from the beginning. His imagination put to paper is remarkable and enthralling. Don't let YA ascribed to any of his books keep you from reading them no matter what your age. I am an avid senior reader and right down to the Alcatraz series have enjoyed everything Brandon envisions (callsign: ForeverFan).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I admit, I wasn't sure i could get into a SF novel about foghter pilots, a topic that didn't call yo me. And at first it seemed slow. But this is a story that builds. I read the last quarter in one sitting and would buy #2 right now if it was available. Im just sitting here writing this review because I'm too filled with a book hangover from this book is over to immediately pick up another book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of the awesome... simultaneously.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The title says it all
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sanderson's done it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago