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Warbreaker

Warbreaker

Book rating: 05 Hardback Sci Fi Essential Books

By (author) Brandon Sanderson

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  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Format: Hardback | 592 pages
  • Dimensions: 167mm x 234mm x 47mm | 875g
  • Publication date: 9 June 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0765320304
  • ISBN 13: 9780765320308
  • Illustrations note: maps
  • Sales rank: 108,244

Product description

After bursting onto the fantasy scene with his acclaimed debut novel, "Elantris, " and following up with his blockbuster Mistborn trilogy, Brandon Sanderson proves again that he is today's leading master of what Tolkien called "secondary creation," the invention of whole worlds, complete with magics and myths all their own. "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.

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Author information

BRANDON SANDERSON grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He lives in Utah with his wife and children and teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University. In addition to completing Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time(R), he is the author of such bestsellers as the Mistborn trilogy, "Warbreaker," "The""Alloy of Law," "The Way of Kings," "Rithmatist," and "Steelheart." He won the 2013 Hugo Award for "The Emperor's Soul," a novella set in the world of his acclaimed first novel, "Elantris."

Customer reviews

By Lexie Cenni 07 Jan 2010 5

This is interesting for two reasons--1) he originally had this on his website to read for free as he wrote it/edited it/etc. and you can in fact still read it on his website for free. For those of you reluctant to buy a $28 hardcover...give it a whirl and see if it will appeal to you. I'm telling you you'll want to buy it--plus the coverart is so gorgeous. And other reason this is interesting is because it, like Elantris, is a stand alone novel, but in terms of subject matter they are like cousins. Elantris dealt with Gods who were ordinary humans at one time and Warbreaker also deals with ordinary humans who became Gods. Or rather about as similar to Gods as can be considered as such.

As can be expected in a Sanderson world the magical system is complicated and takes several explanations to understand. Kind of like math or science equations, Sanderson's magic systems require you to remember complex variables and formulations in order to properly understand things. Luckily in almost every book he has someone who is as new to it as the reader is, so we get the lessons! In Warbreaker we're introduced to a magical system revolving around 'BioChromatic Breath'--basically this 'Breath' let's the wielder perform anything from making a rope move on its own to bringing a person (Lifeless) back to limited life controlled with simple commands. There are certain levels that allow for certain other perks, as well as different classes and disadvantages, but overall that's the gist of things.

We follow 4 separate but eventually converging storylines--that of Siri (who is sent in her elder sister Vivenna's place to marry the enemy of her people's GodKing), Vivenna (who wants to rescue Siri and find purpose in her life again), Vasher (who began the mess centuries ago and wishes to fix things) and Lightsong (a 'God' who wishes to remember what he was like before and reluctantly finds himself tangled up in the 'now'). In essence all four want the same goal--to end the tyranny that Hallandren commits and find a better way of things.

I began the book firmly in Siri's camp--I really liked her and her fiery temperment. However before the end of the novel I became a follower of Vivenna--Vivenna who realizes that even though she hated Hallandren and its people and the sacrifices she would have made to bring peace to her people, she is drawn to it just the same. Siri matures in personality--becoming a more grown up version of herself. Vivenna matures as a person--becoming a well-rounded individual.


There is a lot of wit in this novel and the usual admonition that you shouldn't take things on face value--people or situations. Overall it makes me sad I'll have to wait until he is finished with his Wheel of Time conclusionary books--I'm not a Wheel of Time fan and thus will have to wait for his original fiction.

Review quote

"Not only has Sanderson drawn a freshly imagined world and its society, he has also given us a plot full of unexpected twists and turns. . . . Anyone looking for a different and refreshing fantasy novel will be delighted by this exceptional tale of magic, mystery and the politics of divinity. "Warbreaker" might even take your breath away."--Michael Moorcock "Epic fantasy heavyweight Sanderson pens a powerful stand-alone tale of unpredictable loyalties, dark intrigue and dangerous magic. . . . Sanderson melds complex, believable characters, a marvelous world and thoughtful, ironic humor into an extraordinary and highly entertaining story."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred review) on "Warbreaker ""Sanderson again demonstrates his capacity for handling large and complex themes while creating believable characters."--"Library Journal" (starred review) on "Warbreaker ""Hilarious dialogue, descriptive action sequences, and genuinely sweet romance. . . . Sanderson knows how to wrap things up cleanly. He spins a world that's easily complex and mysterious enough to warrant sequels, but prefers to end it climactically, answering many of his biggest questions, while leaving others to the imagination."--"The Onion" on "Warbreaker ""Sanderson is clearly a master of large-scale stories, splendidly depicting worlds as well as strong female characters. . . . May the author write long and prosper."--"Booklist" on "Warbreaker ""A highly readable and compelling stand-alone volume from the acclaimed author of the Mistborn trilogy. . . . Highly recommended to fans of epic fantasy."--"The Romantic Times BOOKreviews" 4 1/2 Stars TOP PICK!