Series Title: Warbreaker #1
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publication Date: March 30th 2010
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre / Themes: Fiction, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
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.
4.5 VIBRANT AND COLORFUL STARS
Oh Lightsong. Why do you have to be so damn loveable. Seriously though, Lightsong was a scene stealer for me.
My goodness. I can’t get enough of him nor am I of Brandon Sanderson’s writing. If you haven’t read anything by him, you are missing a lot, my friend.
Knowing Brandon Sanderson, I know that he can write amazing characters, create vast and unique worlds, and develop fascinating magic systems. I’ve read 6 of his books so far, but I am still astonished by how he does it. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine how he can create so many worlds with such distinct magic systems. I am in awe.
Warbreaker is no different. This one is a gem, just like the rest of his books.
I LOVED WARBREAKER AND HERE ARE ALL THE REASONS WHY:
• MAGIC SYSTEM AND COLORS
Sanderson never fails to surprise me with his magic systems. Every series he creates, the magic system is always distinct from one another. The type of magic used in one series is exclusive to that series alone. Despite all these books co-existing in the same universe, each series introduce you to a new magic system.
In Warbreaker in particular, the magic system uses Breaths. The more Breaths you have, the more powerful you are and the more colors you project and see. These Breaths have other uses that I will not spoil for you guys. You must read it for yourself and find out. It’s brilliant though. One of my favorites so far.
• YOU GET A MIX OF CHARMING AND UTTERLY ANNOYING CHARACTERS
I have said this on my review of The Final Empire, think one of Sanderson’s many strengths as a writer is how he crafts his characters. He created some of my favorite ones to date, from Vin of Mistborn Era One, Jasnah of The Stormlight Archive, to now, Lightsong of Warbreaker. Some of my favorites are not always the main heroes, but that doesn’t mean I hate the main characters – not at all. I just found that in each of his books there will always be one that stands out for me.
In Warbreaker, his character work is no different from the others. He created fantastic characters that we can either sympathize with or completely hate, not in the way that you’ll hate them because they’re bland characters. Nope. You’ll hate them because of how attached you became to these characters and then right out of the blue… Bam… no spoilers. Lol. But I know you guys get what I mean.
Vivenna was my least favorite character but it wasn’t because she was written badly. I didn’t like her because she represented a part of the society that I did not like . I liked how Sanderson used her to show a certain truth that our society struggle with today. To be fair though, she grew as a character and does the rest of them.
• JUICY PLOT TWIST NO ONE SAW COMING
This my absolute favorite thing about this book! The numerous plot twists. I was so convinced that the story was just moving as it should. I thought it was one of those stories that despite the great character work and magic system will just follow a very generic plotline. While it did at the beginning, I was completely thrown off guard when all the buildup was actually building to something more I did not predict.
I love being surprised by books. I don’t enjoy a book as much if I could foresee the events that will unfold from a mile away. I’m so happy to tell you that Warbreaker was one that pleasantly surprised me.
• SANDERSON’S VERY ACCESSIBLE WRITING STYLE
Fantasy is a genre that a lot of people are afraid to dabble in because of the assumption that it’ll be hard to read. Being someone who was introduced to this genre by reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy, while I liked it a lot, it was not an easy book to read. So while I know some books will be able to give me the same experience as LOTR, I refrained from reading them because of how painfully difficult it was for me to read it. I loved the story, the characters, the world, but I had a difficult time with the writing style.
Luckily, someone recommended me to read The Final Empire. I forgot who it was but whoever he is, may God bless your beautiful soul because it was the best gift ever. Anyways, I found out that not all fantasy books have the same writing style as Tolkien’s. I was ignorant. Lol. I thought all fantasy books were like that. Haha. It was completely my fault.
Anyway, Sanderson’s writing style is easy to get into. His writing makes understanding magic so easy. The uses the right words and description to make every kind of reader feel included. English is not my first language so there are times I struggle to picture events in my head, but Sanderson makes it so easy for me to visualize things. I really appreciated that.
• AH! ROMANCE.
For a guy, Sanderson does good romance. He did it with Mistborn Era One, with Stormlight not yet sure as I only finished book one, but he did it again in Warbreaker. He takes such good care on making us want these people to end up together. The buildup of their relationship made sense, it wasn’t rushed or forced, it felt organic to the story.
• YOU BLINDSIDED ME THERE! I HAD NO CLUE THIS PERSON WAS GOING TO BE THE ACTUAL HERO OF THE STORY
The reveal was a surprise. LIKE WOW. I did not see that shit coming.
• POLITICS, RELIGION, & RACISM
Warbreaker did dip its toes on some of the more controversial topics in the world today. Two of the characters here were brought into a situation wherein they had to adapt to a different society than where they were originally from. The culture and the people were completely different to what they were accustomed to. These two characters had a different approach and manner of acceptance to the situation that they gotten themselves into. In this way, Sanderson was able to show the readers different perspectives on how people react or see others who aren’t like them or didn’t share the same beliefs as they do.
With regards to politics and religion, we got to see the role how religion could sometimes play a big role in politics. I know in current times, there should be a separation of church and state, but for some countries that isn’t always the case. My country in particular, despite it being a law that there should be a separation between the two, religious views still affect some of the laws that gets passed and junked.
WHILE I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH, IT IS NOT WITHOUT IT’S FLAWS.
• THIS BOOK AIN’T FINISHED BRO
A lot of people told me this book was a standalone. It wasn’t. It ends with a cliffhanger. And if you know me, I hate cliffhangers. But to be fair to Sanderson though, the main conflict got resolved, it’s just a matter of knowing what the outcome would be after all the events that happened in Warbreaker. So it’s an open-ended ending, technically.
For those who doesn’t know, turns out this is actually a series. The sequel will be named Nightblood and I’m excited to know why. Unfortunately, publication for this is not in the near future. Sigh.
• IT TAKES ITS TIME. SOMETIMES TOO MUCH TIME.
I’m a plot-driver reader, I love it when things are happening all the time, I assume, partly it’s because of my ADHD. Warbreaker took its time. It wasn’t in a hurry to tell the story like most of the books I like. It wasn’t bad though, this is more of a nitpick than an actual con for me. There might be some readers who might get bored that nothing exciting is happening. But believe me, when things happen, oh they do happen and you’ll be taken by surprise.
WHAT ARE MY FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT WARBREAKER?
I thought it was another strong addition to his already impressive body of work. Story and character-wise, I couldn’t complain about anything. Every character did their part, if they were annoying, it was because they were supposed to be annoying. An author deserves praise if they were able to make you feel what they want you to feel, whether it be towards a character or an event, if the author was able to successfully invoke certain feelings from the reader, then they are doing their job right as a writer.