Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Review: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Book: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: A

For: Support Your Local Authors and a buddy read with Heather J.

This book is huge and looks very daunting indeed, but don't worry about that because the minute you start reading, I doubt very much you'll be able to put it down.

It's a story of world divided. One kingdom lives very plain, simple and colorless lives. Literally, colorless. They believe that color is frivolous and ostentatious. The other kingdom thrives on color and brightness and flaunts it everywhere. The first kingdom believes in an unseen god, where as the other kingdom has their gods, 25 of them to be exact, living right among them, and they cater to their every need.

The book begins when the king from the first kingdom sends his daughter to the second kingdom to become married to the highest of their gods who they call the God King. He hopes it will prevent war between the two kingdoms, but he fears he has just sent his daughter to her death.

What does this daughter, Siri, find when she arrives and meets the God King? Does she have a chance to stop the war? How will Lightsong, one of the lesser gods, get involved? He doesn't even believe in himself! Then there's Vasher, who seems mean and heartless and cruel, but is he really? And Siri's sister somehow gets herself involved but will she make things better or worse?

Oh, wow, there's so much more going on in this story, but if I summarize more, I will give too much away! It's full of wonderful imaginative characters, from the highest gods themselves, down to the lowly dregs of society. The magic system in this world, all based on colors and breath, is so very cool and unique. The background history and religion is also fascinating. There were times when it got a little political, but even that didn't bother me because it was done in such a way that the characters were not forgotten. The last few chapters were so suspenseful for me that I had to stop, look away, take deep breath (ha! Breath!) and then keep reading, several times, to get through that edge-of-your-seat craziness.

Since we are both major Brandon Sanderson fans, Heather J from Age 30+... A Lifetime of Books and I decided awhile back to read and review this book together. Here are her thoughts on a few questions we came up with:

In one sentence tell me what you thought of this book. This book is a well-written and very unique fantasy novel populated with believable and (sometimes) endearing characters.

What was the strongest part of this book for you? In addition to a magic system that is completely different than anything I've read (and honestly, how often does that really happen?), this book has some really great characters in it; for me, they are the book's greatest strength.

Do you like that this is a stand-alone novel or would you have preferred that it start a series? Although I think that there is enough in this book to start a series I’m thrilled that it is a stand-alone novel; I’ve too many series going at the moment!

Did you find yourself thinking about this book when you weren't reading it or were you able to put it aside easily? I could NOT stop thinking about this book and couldn’t wait to pick it back up again whenever I had to put it down.

What do you think about the detailed world building? Does it make your head spin, or do you get completely sucked into it? There was a lot going on, especially at first, but once I got into the story I was hooked. Most stand-alone novel affect me that way; I seem overwhelmed at first but once I’m really immersed in the author’s world, I begin to enjoy the story.

What do you think about all the political and religious talk? Interesting or bothersome? It made total sense in this book. Usually I’d say that politically-themed books aren’t my thing but Sanderson did an excellent job with it (as he did with ELANTRIS) and he really made me care about the opposing viewpoints.
Who was your favorite character and why? I’d have to go with Lightsong; I started out not liking him at all but in the end I really love him. I also really liked his high priest though.

Make sure you check out her review for more on her thoughts on this book and for my answers to some of the above questions.

And here's what Brandon Sanderson himself has to say about it: (Have you noticed that sometimes authors forget and let spoilers slip when they talk about their own books? Well, I'm only posting this because he does a great job of talking about his book but NOT giving anything away! Yeah for that!)


  1. This was so much fun! Thanks for reviewing with me. :)

  2. I really need to read something of his one of these days.... hmmm...

  3. I just got Elantris at the Used Bookstore so I was happy to find the reference to it here. I love the two-way conversation on how you both felt about the book. I am intrigued and ready to share it with a friend who loves Sanderson's work!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Heather: :)
    Britt: This would be a good one to start with.
    Inside a Book: Elantris is wonderful too. Enjoy!

  5. I'm still so embarrassed that I haven't yet read any of his books, and I even have one that has been signed by him! Ack! What's wrong with me?!?

  6. Scott is the one who discovered Brandon Sanderson for me. Several years ago he got me the first Alcatraz and Elantris for Christmas (probably soon after they came out). So I asked him nonchalantly if he had read Warbreaker, with the intention of running out and getting it for him as a surprise. BUT I was surprised that he answered YES. What? We don't have that book! Apparently it was offered very early, before the final edit even, as an ebook thing that he downloaded to his phone and read. Ack! Now I'm even further behind him!

  7. Becky, which one do you have signed? I say.. READ IT! :)

    Julie: He read the whole stinkin' thing on his phone? I can't even imagine!



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