Friday, November 7, 2014

Review: Warbreaker

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: June 9th, 2009
Source: Sanderson's Library
Date Read: 10/16/14 to 11/4/14
592 Pages
Rating: 1/2

Warbreaker is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn’t like his job, and the immortal who’s still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.

Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.

By using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery, and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker.

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Just a note before hand, I actually read the rough draft of Warbreaker, which can be found on Sanderson's website! The full book is in his library, but he uploaded the chapters while he was writing them, just to show his writing process. Basically, I just couldn't get a copy in time for #SandersonCosmere, and I'm also broke, HA.

Everytime I read another Sanderson book, I end up changing my mind about my favorite book by him. I don't think I've mentioned this enough, but Sanderson is king of all fantasy novels. If you haven't picked up at least one written by him, then this is a good place to start!

The strengths of all his novels lie in the world-building. And this is yet again, shown in Warbreaker.

  • In the world of Warbreaker, colors make up the magic system. Every person has a breath, and they can obtain more breaths by buying them off people
  • The more breaths you have, the more color you are able to see.
  • You can awaken and command certain objects with your breath, or even control dead people!
  • But once you get rid of your one breath, you become a drab, basically meaning you yourself no longer have any color, which is sad, because I RATHER BE COLORFUL.

And then, there are the characters. This is the first book I've read by Sanderson where the characters actually come together pretty quickly, though the format of the book is still in multiple POVs.

First there are the sisters Siri and Vivenna. Both are trying to save their country from being invaded, though Siri was dragged into it when her father decided to send her to marry the God King of Halladran, rather than Vivenna. Of course, the whole marriage deal was to keep the peace between the two nations, but NOPE. No such thing as peace here!

Then there's Vasher, who's interesting because he has a ton of Breath, and therefore pretty powerful. Not much is said about him in Warbreaker, which is why I'm also dying for some sort of sequel.

And lastly, my favorite character, Lightsong. He's apparently a god, in that he Returned from the dead to fulfill some sort of prophecy. He's humorous, sarcastic, and refuses to partake in the politics of all the gods and the priests. (If anyone has read Way of Kings or Elantris, he kind of reminds me of Kaladin and Raodan).

Overall, the world-building of Warbreaker is what really pulled me into the story. The idea of using colors as magic, and being about to perceive more vibrant colors the more breath you have, is just incredibly original. Once again, Sanderson does not fail in delivering a complex, well-developed fantasy world.

But with saying all of this, I'm a little upset on how rushed the ending was! I really wanted to know more about what happened afterwards, but NO. I GOT NOTHING. So I just had to deal with what was given, which didn't end well because I spent a couple hours in a book hangover. 

It was not a good time for me. 

But in the end, Warbreaker is another amazing fantasy read, and it's definitely going into my favorites pile!  
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