Brandon Sanderson · Stand Alone · Young Adult

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

warbreaker

~Review~

I can’t believe that another Brandon Sanderson novel has made it onto my favorites list. This novel was incredibly unique, suspenseful, and entertaining with so many twists and turns, especially at the end. Not to mention the breathtaking world-building and the distinct, remarkable magic system.

Plot 

Throughout the entirety of Warbreaker we follow people from two cities: Hallandren and Idris. These cities are on the verge of war and it is up to our characters to figure out how to stop it or risk losing thousands of people. That’s all this book is about and though it doesn’t sound very intriguing, believe me when I say… it is. It’s a mixture of the plot, characters, and world-building that bring this novel together and make it something that is seriously enjoyable.

The plot is simple on the surface, but as you read it just becomes so much more complicated. At least, I was never too confused while reading because the author does a great job explaining everything. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying each explanation, even when a tad long because it was so engaging. Details were spot on, yet concise as well. Nothing was ever long-winded.

“Mocking a woman is like drinking too much wine. It may be fun for a short time, but the hangover is hell.”

I never thought the pacing was too fast or slow–it was perfect. There was just enough time to really get to know the characters before being thrown completely into the story and I enjoyed every minute of it. For most, however, this book may move very slowly. It just depends on how much you like character-centered novels.

The book switches between the POVs of two princesses from Idris–Vivenna and Siri, as well as a “god” from Hallandren, Lightsong. Within their POVs we also follow the God King and Vasher. I always seem to enjoy books written with character POV chapters and it was the same with this one. There wasn’t anyone I was disinterested in reading about, which doesn’t happen too often. Actually, at first I wasn’t that into Vivenna, but it didn’t take me long to enjoy her chapters as well.

“It was strange, how easily and quickly protection could cause destruction. Sometimes, Vasher wondered if the two weren’t really the same thing. Protect a flower, destroy pests who wanted to feed on it. Protect a building, destroy the plants that could have grown in the soil. Protect a man. Live with the destruction he creates.”

The twists in this book were just ridiculous! I did not see them coming! OMG! I thought I knew how it was going to end (I was right) but the means in which it was accomplished was just incredible! I love unpredictable novels!

The ending was fantastic and though everything wraps up, Sanderson left an opening for another novel in the future.

World-Building 

This is where Sanderson always shines. His world building is always astounding and it is the same for this novel. The details were incredible–everything was well described, yet concise. I enjoyed learning all about his world and its history, not to mention the unique magic system.

In this world, magic is called BioChroma and is conducted using Breaths and how many you have depends on how powerful you are. The more you have the more you are able to perceive various colors as well. Everything in Hallandren is about color! Breaths are used to breathe life into things thereby allowing you to give them simple commands. For example, you can Breathe into a coat or shirt and ask it to “protect me” and it will act as a shield. It also takes color to Awaken something as well as Breath, thereby draining an item of color and turning it to a dull gray. This sounds so incredibly strange and it is, but it is also unique and so much more complex.

Characters 

I thought all the characters were awesome! Siri is lively, innocent, and rebellious, whereas Vivenna is more refined, studious, responsible, and just mostly a “goody-goody”. She knows what is expected of her and will do it no matter what. Vivenna is also kind and always looking out for her adventurous sister.

I loved Lightsong but it took awhile for him to really grown on me. He is hilarious, clever, sarcastic, and just does whatever pleases him. He is also a god who doesn’t believe he is a god.

The God King was a complex character from the very beginning. Very mysterious, for a while at least. I never knew what to think of him. I looked forward to every chapter in which he appeared.

“I swear, my dear. Sometimes our conversations remind me of a broken sword.”

She raised an eyebrow.

“Sharp as hell,” Lightsong said, “but lacking a point.”

Though he doesn’t show up much until part way through the novel, I loved Vasher. He was intriguing and mysterious as well, especially his talking sword! Yes, it talks….

All the characters develop throughout the novel, especially Vivenna and Siri. I enjoyed the characters immensely, especially because there are not any love triangles or unnecessary romance in the novel! The characters were just multi-dimensional and it was so easy to become captivated by each of their stories.

The secondary characters were also amazing, especially Deneth and his gang! I don’t think there were any characters I was disappointed in.

Writing

I have always loved Sanderson’s writing and he has definitely grown; however, I still enjoyed the writing in this novel, despite it being one of his earlier ones.

Cover 

Honestly, I hate the cover. I don’t like the illustration, the blurb, or that it says “A Sci Fi Essential Book”. Ugh. It is actually kind of a turn off and why it took me so long to read this one. I have had it on my shelf for quite some time. At least the UK version looks a bit better.

~Review Spotlight~

Metal and the Geek   Karina Reads

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9 thoughts on “Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

  1. Lightsong, I have to say, really annoys me. 😉 Otherwise, I loved this book, as well. It’s a really thoughtful look at religion, for one thing. So few fantasy novels seem to have multiple religions, and from there it’s a bit rare for the characters to face certain moral crises over taking actions potentially contrary to their religions. So much fantasy religion I’ve come across is mostly ritual–swearing in the god’s name, lighting some candles, whatever. This is one of the first fantasy novels I’ve encountered where the moral standards of the religion really came into play (beyond things that are common to most religions like “don’t murder innocent people”).

  2. I am slowly making my way through the Mistborn novels but I’ve had my eye on this series ever since I first heard of the magic system he created here. A magic system that goes off breaths & colors…i need to know more haha! I agree with you 100%, he is a master at world building & i’m glad that you see growth in his writing here as well. I’m not too crazy of Vin in Mistborn but I’m hanging in because I love all of the other characters & magic system. “Mocking a woman is like drinking too much wine. It may be fun for a short time, but the hangover is hell.”—>this alone makes me want to pick this series up right now lol. Great Review! ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂

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