Karen Ahlstrom

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Karen Ahlstrom is an employee of Dragonsteel Entertainment. She is Brandon Sanderson's continuity editor.


Karen maintains an internal wiki for Dragonsteel that started out as Brandon's own notes and has continued to grow.[1] The wiki ensures that Brandon does not contradict himself, and contains a high level of detail on everything in the books such as characters, objects, and locations.[2] It also contains relatively esoteric information that is not explicitly covered in the books, like the speed of highstorms and the house colors of all of the Alethi highprinces.[3][4] Because of her detailed knowledge of spren, Karen also suggests good places for Brandon to add them when she reads early drafts of the Stormlight Archive books.[5] Isaac Stewart also checks with Karen to ensure continuity in artwork, including maps.[6]


She also maintains a master spreadsheet with the entire timeline of the cosmere. She is often forced to reconcile timeframes that are described differently on different planets, or are only given as relative dates in the text.[2] She ensures that the events of each book do not occur in an impossible timeframe.[7] The Stormlight Archive books are particularly challenging for Karen since the cyclical storms must be taken into consideration, and there are a large number of flashbacks.[7][8]

Personal Life

Karen was a member of one of Brandon's earliest writing groups named "Here There Be Dragons".[9] She is commonly an alpha reader of Brandon's books and often appears in his acknowledgements; Skyward is dedicated to Karen.[10]

Karen's tendency to be ultra-prepared inspired a similar character trait in Steris Harms.[11] Ka from Roshar is named after Karen.[12] She is married to Brandon's longtime friend and assistant, Peter Ahlstrom.


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