|Titles(s)||Ward of Jasnah Kholin|
Shallan is the fifth and youngest child and only daughter of Brightlord Davar. She was quiet and timid and lived a sheltered life, except for her father's cruel rages, mostly directed towards her brothers. She is largely self-educated, since her mother had died when she was young, her stepmother was not educated herself, and three tutors were driven away by her father's rudeness or temper.
Her father recently died in obscure circumstances, although Shallan secretly accuses herself of his murder. There are hints that in the process, she acquired a Shardblade somehow, sometime and from someone, but the details have so far not been revealed. His death, which she and her surviving brothers are attempting to conceal, left her and her three surviving older brothers with numerous unfulfilled obligations and in perilous financial and political circumstance.
After the 'incident' that resulted in his death, she took the lead and proposed that she seek out Jasnah, a noted scholar and heretic, and attempt to steal her Soulcaster under the pretext of becoming her ward and student. Shallan has a genuine interest in scholarship and dislikes the duplicity of the plan, but feels compelled because of her family's perilous straits. She took passage from Vedenar with Captain Tozbek and his wife Ashlv aboard the Wind's Peasure, one of her father's Thaylen business connections. After finding Jasnah already departed from two previous places where she expected to meet her, she finally caught up to her in Kharbranth. She was escorted to the Palanaeum by Tozbek's crewman Yalb, where her first application to become Jasnah's ward was rejected. She met Kabsal while waiting to make a second attempt, which was also rejected. Yalb assisted her to make a third, which succeded.
Shallan seems to get along well with her family well (with the exception of her father) and frequently contacts them via spanreed. She is referred to as her father's 'favourite' by her brother, Nan Balat.
While in Kharbranth, she met an ardent named Kabsal, who seemed to show an interest in her. He even suggested leaving the ardentia to be with Shallan. However, Kabsal died after accidentally poisoning himself and Shallan without having the antidote (Jasnah accidentally removed it by soulcasting). Shallan seemed to think that Kabsal genuinely cared for her near the end, even though Jasnah says he was just a man that used her to get close enough to Jasnah, so that he could kill her.
Shallan developed a friendship between herself and Jasnah. However, she tried to steal Jasnah's fabrial in "The Way of Kings", which led Jasnah to seem deeply hurt and upset. Shallan was one of the only people Jasnah thought she could trust. Luckily, this was soon repaired as Shallan proved her soulcasting abilties to Jasnah and assured her of her true desire to learn and study. Shallan had to promise Jasnah that she would no longer lie to her.
Shallan is an accomplished sketch artist, and can perfectly re-create any scene of which she has taken a "Memory" - an extremely detailed visual recollection, which is forgotten once drawn. She has a strong interest in natural history and finds most texts on the subject lacking in at least one of literary merit, quality of illustration, or scientific accuracy. She has discovered that she can Soulcast without need of a fabrial by visiting Shadesmar. She has also learned that the soulcaster she had been determined to steal is a nonfunctional fake, and that Jasnah can also soulcast without it. In a suppressed memory she recalls 'the event' that led to her father's death where she remembers a long silvery sword in her hand that is sharp enough to cut stone. Throughout the book, she has on a couple of occasions begun to summon her Shardblade, in spite of her determination to never use it, but has so far avoided completing the process.
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Shallan first appears to be shy and soft spoken, but when provoked her wit and sarcasm burst through and she can use her intelligence to confuse and insult. After a childhood of thoughtless tutors, she has learned to get quips and insults out quickly and sharply, which can lead her into trouble. She is self-conscious of her appearances does not consider herself "beautiful". She is curious, which feeds her scholarly efforts and fiercely loyal to her family and later to Jasnah.
- Brightlord Davar - Abusive father who cheated his way through life and left his family destitute, killed somehow by Shallan (by her own admission).
- Helaran - Shallan's missing older brother, presumed dead.
- Nan Balat - Shallan's next older brother, loves killing helpless creatures.
- Tet Wikim - Shallan's brother who appears to be manically depressive.
- Asha Jushu - Shallan's brother who apparently acquires a habit to gamble