This is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses. Theirs is a world in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city. A world transformed by a power based on an essence known as breath. Using magic is arduous as breath can only be collected one unit at a time.
This book started unusually interesting to me. I had mixed emotions while reading different perspectives from different characters in the book. It introduces to me from varying unforgettable persona in Warbreaker such as Siri, Vivenna, and Lightsong – then there’s Suseborn and Vasher. What I noticed from reading Warbreaker from transitioning The Way of Kings that this book has a different tone than the Stormlight Archive but the quality, content, story, and as well as the execution is amazingly remarkable.
Warbreaker started difficult for me as I just finished reading Way of Kings. Nevertheless, Warbreaker exceeded my expectations. It introduced me to a different story that set in a medieval era where war or conflict between two races is starting to spawn. It was magnificent to read the book and slowly diving to see where the root of the causes of two nations in regards with trades, foods, wealth, and the most important aspect that I can think of in this book is power.
Aside from the aforementioned factors above, Religion in this novel is also a key factor. It influences the characters decision making and the personalities of this people. What this book made me in awe is how Sanderson crafted the magic system and yet still stay true or at least connected to the concept of magic that will be aligned with the Stormlight Archive. As other readers say, there are characters in Warbreaker that will appear on Stormlight Archive. I have a feeling who are they but I’m not yet sure since I haven’t got back on the series so far.
I would like to talk about the magic system in this book. It didn’t even occur to me that the enchanting aspect of this book is set to a high standard. It could take away a breath and your color enhances hence the cover of the book. The more breaths you own, the more powerful you are here. You can perceive breaths as life. One breath, one life. Imagine how many lives you could weave and will those breaths into your own liking. It was scary but you don’t get to control a living person. It was emphasized in the book that you can manipulate the things around you and instruct them with words while imagining the command on your own visions. That’s how it works. You could also command a lifeless but it would be hard since you have to prevent the flesh of the dead to rot. It was actually both mesmerizing and terrifying concept but at the same time intriguing.
There are ground rules in Brandon Sanderson’s magical concept of Warbreaker. And I am astounded how it was explained in the book as if I was reading a scientific journal and could really convince me that it works and I’m not reading a fictional book. For starters, I would definitely glad to point out that that is one of Sanderson’s edge when writing a book. It dwells between the grey area of reality and fiction. It is addicting.
Aside from the wonderful inclusion of the magic system, I think what stands out in this book also is the implication of the religion of the two different races fighting over leadership. I mean, how would you align your beliefs and how a magic system works when your religious belief contrast the process of the magic? That’s kind of…complicated but believe me, you’ll understand the book better if you started reading the book. It shows a great amount of work, research, conceptualizing, and execution to achieve this certain kind of demonstration of magic in a literature.
The book will not live without its characters, right? One of the characters in this book – who is a God in their own culture is Lightsong. (Yup, that’s his name.) This is one of the characters that I believe most readers would relate to. He has no sense of pride. Open to everybody, frank to be with. Loves to talk about himself and like to meddle with simple stuff. Doesn’t want to commit to future goals. Bored at times but has the most impact. You know the feeling when you don’t want to do something but you ended up doing it anyway? Not because you want to but because the people around you trust you more than you trust yourself. That’s how I feel about Lightsong
(and yep, that’s how I feel about myself as well.) and that’s also the reason why I said that Lightsong is relatable. He has dynamics. Flaws. Hidden talents but there’s also the hesitations. What I learned about his character is that whatever you do, don’t forget to laugh. There is always a good in a situation. [Yeaaaah, despite the war coming on their way. Lightsong will still laugh.]
Siri and Vivenna are really the protagonists of the book. They are sisters where their fate changes when their father decides of a different curated plan for the two of them. The exciting about this novel is that we could see their struggles, progress, and improvements as the chapter goes along. Siri gave us an innocent and yet rich and wise character that dwells around the palace while Vivenna’s chapter will introduce as to the outskirts and the poverty sector of a country. How will the two of them survive? How will they overcome the challenges that they need to face? What should the two of them need to do to live in a foreign land? There are so many questions for a reader in this book and yet, again, Sanderson could easily answer them through his book. That’s how masterful of a storyteller he is.
Warbreaker is a profound high fantasy book that is part of the Cosmere Universe that Brandon Sanderson is weaving. One of the unique books that I’ve read in a year and I would definitely read more from him from this day on. What really struck me in this book is how a certain character could give up life for another life and how a certain character who is full of life died so easily. It was magnificent portraying the same situation with different outcomes. That’s Brandon Sanderson for you. The epilogue of this book doesn’t just answer my questions but also opens a lot of new questions that I need to know when the next book comes out. Warbreaker will put you on an edge; it will drive you mad and shocked you at some parts and the best thing about this book is: it has great execution. Especially at the ending. It left my jaw dropping! And I know for a fact that there’s more to the story than what we just read.
MY RATINGS: 4 STARS.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s Soul, Mistborn: Secret History, and a brand-new Stormlight Archive novella, Edgedancer.
Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.
Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light, in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series have been released in new editions by Starscape, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor’s Soul, were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brought two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.
The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.
Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.