|Family||Mother, Venli (sister)|
|Occupation||Warform, Council of Five, Stormform|
|Appears in||The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, Oathbringer|
She has a sister, Venli, who is a scholar, and a mother, who appears to suffer from some kind of dementia.
Eshonai has keen eyes - glassy and dark, like those of all Listeners. She also has an enormous stature.
Eshonai drew maps of her hiking across the wilderness that had been Natanatan. She'd been alone in her endeavor, but her discoveries had incited her people. Though still in her teenage years, she'd lead entire expeditions to find new rivers, new ruins, new spren, new plants. And humans.
Once, she'd seen the world as something fresh and exciting. New, like a blossoming forest after a storm. She was dying slowly, as surely as her people were.
Eshonai's youth was spent as an adventurer and cartographer. Her wanderlust made her one of the first Parshendi to try and venture outside their ancestral lands after the last Desolation. It was Eshonai who made first contact with humans.
Eshonai had always imagined that humans were dark, formless monsters. Instead, she finds them to be wonderful, bizarre creatures who speak with no discernible rhythm. She observes that humans wear clothing more vibrant than carapace, but that they cannot grow their own armor. She also finds them to be so terrified of highstorms that they hide from them.
Notably, she observes that humans have only one form; mateform, work form, and warform concurrently, and that they don't have a choice. She also notes that humans wear their emotions on their faces far more than listeners.
Not called by name except in the chapter title, it is suggested that Eshonai is the Parshendi Shardbearer that Dalinar fights with not once, but twice. The first time she salutes Dalinar for the respect he pays to the dead Parshendi, suggesting to him that the Parshendi are not mindless warriors.
She tries to speak to him again at the Tower but Dalinar assumes she speaks only in Parshendi. Later, after he regains consciousness from his battle with her, while still on the field, he realizes she can speak Alethi. However, before she can explain, Kaladin intervenes to save Dalinar. Because of her great stature, Kaladin and Dalinar assume Eshonai is a Parshendi man.
Eshonai is the last Parshendi Shardbearer and General of their armies. She is a member of the Council of Five, the governing body of the Parshendi and represents the warform Parshendi, or Listeners, as they refer to themselves.
She is at first presented as having similar goals as Dalinar, hoping to meet with The Blackthorn and broker a peace after explaining that the Parshendi feared Gavilar would take actions to revive the Parshendi gods, whom the Parshendi fear. She secures a meeting with Adolin, thinking it is Dalinar (because Dalinar's son has usurped the place of his father), before her experimental transformation.
Eshonai believes that dabbling in things that her people shouldn't might bring the eyes of the Unmade upon them. She initially rejects her sister's idea that they try a new Parshendi form called stormform, stating that the song representing it sounds as though it would revive their old gods. However, pressure from her soldiers, other members of the Five, and Venli convince her to finally go forward with the transformation with the caveat that she be first to try the new form.
Eshonai hated trapping spren.
|“||The right way was to go into the highstorm with the proper attitude, singing the proper song to attract the proper spren. You bonded it in the fury of the raging storm and were reborn with a new body.||”|
After her transformation, Eshonai is filled with a hatred and she sings and hears long lost forgotten songs of her people that are more aggressive and hateful than the familiar songs. Eshonai hears a screaming in her head which leads the reader to believe that Eshonai is really not in control of herself but that the red spren is. In stormform, Eshonai is aggressive, angry, and seemingly incapable of controlling her impulsivity. She leads a coup against the Five and has as many of the Listeners as possible change to stormform. Toward the end of Words of Radiance, nearly all of the Listeners have transformed. They gather up the ones who did not want to change and Eshonai thinks that they might have to kill the resistors even though her mother is amongst them. This really shows the brutality of stormform and the chaos that the Everstorm will bring to all the kingdoms of Roshar.