Warbreaker is the fantasy story of two sisters working to prevent war, a God trying to figure out what his purpose is, an immortal still trying to repent for the past and a magic system that uses color to fuel power
I love love love love Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn and was so excited to do a read along for one of his earliest novels, Warbreaker. The read along was so much fun (thank you for the good times everyone!) and convinced me that even when Sanderson is at his weakest/earliest, he still writes an amazing novel!
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Pages: 688 (hardcover)
Genre-ish: Sanderson’s own brand of Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★☆ - Amazing world-building, minor slips in plot/characters
Setting: Warbreaker takes place in a world where everyone is born with one Breath that can be transferred to others. People with enough Breath can Awaken objects to do their bidding, but they must have color to drain for their power to work.
Premise: Two countries with very different opinions about Awakening have been at odds for decades since one broke from the other. Two sisters, Siri and Vivenna are from the “rebel” country, one destined to marry the God King of the larger (and more flamboyant) country, the other the one who actually ends up being sent (silly people changing their minds!). Now the question on everyone’s mind is war, and can it be stopped in time?
- As anyone who has read Sanderson can attest, Sanderson is amazing at world-building. You completely believe that this world has existed long before the story and will continue to do so; it’s ridiculously compelling.
- I loved some of these characters! Siri is spunky and kind and develops a lot in the story, Vasher and his sentient sword Nightblood make a wonderful pair, and even Vivenna grew on me eventually ;-).
- The plot twists! You will never see these things coming! And not just at the end; there are twists all over the place and they rock your mind :D.
- The ending seems a little rushed and open-ended. It is clear that Sanderson plans to write a sequel (called Nightblood :D) eventually, but he hasn’t gotten to it yet and emphasizes a little too heavily at the end of the story that there will be a sequel.
- Some of the characters just didn’t do it for me for the first half of Warbreaker, or the character development slipped up towards the end (there are a lot of characters), so you can tell that it was an earlier novel in that.
- The magic system didn’t do it for me for the first half of Warbreaker, I mean color, really? But just go with it and it’ll grow on you and it makes a lot of sense in the Cosmere that Sanderson has with all his novels.
Not the best Sanderson’s ever written, and not one to start your Sanderson experience with, but Warbreaker is still a really great novel once you understand how wonderful Sanderson’s writing can be. It’s pretty long, but the chapters are short and the pacing whisks you quickly through. I was tempted to give Warbreaker 5 stars once I was done, but my initial struggles convinced me that it isn’t quite that perfect ;-). You will definitely feel the urge to read more or re-read Warbreaker when you’re done though :D.
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Similar Stories Reviewed:
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson - If you haven’t read Mistborn, you must! It is arguably one of Sanderson’s best stories.
Dune by Frank Herbert – A classic with the same world-building strengths.