Book Review: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker is a great fantasy story. The setting is quite removed from your typical Tolkien clones, (no elves). I enjoyed it immensely.

The characters are colorful and varied. There are atypical princesses, mercenaries, gods, thieves, scoundrels, and unlikely heroes who aren’t very heroic. No two dimensional dashing knights in shining armor here.

The story is about two rival kingdoms, the smaller reserved mountain Kingdom of Idris is forced to send the kings daughter to marry the God King, who is an immortal “returned” someone who died and was brought back to life as an immortal typically due to their deeds in life.

Siri the “wrong” princess is sent to the flamboyant brightly colored kingdom of Hallandren. Where “awakeners” bring cloth bone an even the dead to “life.”

Bright colors are forbidden to Siri’s people and she deals with culture shock and being married to a god she doesn’t know or believe in who she isn’t even allowed to speak to.

The story centers on the intrigue involved in pushing Hallandren to send it’s army of lifeless, reanimated corpses to reconquer the rogue nation “within” their borders. Everyone it seems is involved in one plot or another. Priests, servants, gods, and thugs all influence the nation.

All along the way the characters find themselves in dangerous situations usually over their heads. Which means there’s a lot of action! Yay! But this is no mindless hack and slash fiction. There’s a love story but it’s not one of those stories where you yell at the dumb guy “Tell her you love her you fool!”

One of my favorite characters was Lightsong the Bold, who is a god who doesn’t believe he is one. He’s a joker, liar, and lazy bum but somehow he becomes more than just comic relief. His story though is mysterious and intriguing despite the fact that he can’t seem to take anything seriously.

Vivenna the older sister was an interesting character. She has the most growth in my opinion than all the others. And ends up very different from where she started. I like her so much I might write a short from her viewpoint. (Maybe)

Weaved through the tale is a very unique magic system. This isn’t a “I need a mana potion!” kind of magic. No the breath, think soul sort of, of each person can be given to others. As one’s number of breaths increases the wielder can use them to “awaken” certain objects, and enjoy certain perks. Being able to sense others who wield breaths, distinguish colors and tell who else in a crowd is an awakener.

I highly recommend Warbreaker with one tiny caveat. It’s thick, nearly six hundred pages. So be prepared to lose all your free time. 😉

If you want to read it on your computer or ebook thingy the author Brandon Sanderson has the entire book available for free on his website, click on “Get the Current Version.” or if you want you could get an earlier draft. I might go back and take a look at some earlier drafts to glean what I can about the writing process.

Oh and one more thing…

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