Monday, December 28, 2009

Warbreaker, a review (spoiler-free)

warbreaker-sanderson It is no secret that I am a Brandon Sanderson fan. I loved his Mistborn series, and his standalone Elantris was also a thrill-ride. I may be a bit unfair towards Sanderson, but I’ve set the bar high for him and his work, and somehow he still manages to come through.

Warbreaker is an interesting and highly entertaining tale that I can easily recommend for the hardcore fantasy buff, the fledgling bird in the genre, or anyone looking for a story that’ll keep you turning the pages. Vivenna is a beautiful, proper princess that has been engaged to the God King of Hallandren since infancy. This marriage is to end the growing tensions between the small nation of Idris and the pagan lands of Hallandren. Siri, the youngest daughter of the Idris royal family, is an obstinate trouble maker, spending her time doing whatever she pleases. Soon the time comes for Vivenna to be off to T’Telir and wed the vile God King, but not everything goes as planned…

Lightsong the Bold is a Returned god of Hallandren. He spends his days idly drinking and eating, getting into verbal conundrums, and trying to convince his high priest Llarimar that he is not a god. Despite his attempts, the people still worship him, petitioning to him and offering him elaborate gifts in hope of receiving a blessing. Something happens in the Court of Gods and Lightsong becomes fascinated, searching for clues, and stumbling into something greater…

Vasher is a mysterious and powerful figure. A strong Awakener, he never lacks Breath. His black sword, Nightblood, is even more mysterious than he is. Vasher’s intentions are only known to him, but it’s clear that he’s after something grand…

The weaving of characters, ethnicity, and religion throughout this book was gracefully done and masterfully written. The religious system involving colors was unique and completely believable. Like metals were to Mistborn, colors are to Warbreaker, and I found this fascinating.

Though I really enjoyed the book, there were parts that I found tedious and eye-rolling. For the most part, I did not like the character Lightsong. His constant banter and flippant mannerisms had me bored from early on, and I wish this character would have been developed a bit differently. Sure, some of it was funny, and most of it was very clever, but I grew bored of constantly listening to him whine/speak.

In the end, Warbreaker was a great book to read and finish off the year with. By the time I reached the end, I really wanted more pages to read, and that is a good thing. While not up to par with Mistborn (few things are), it was better in some ways than Elantris and worse in others. (That is not to say that Elantris is bad by any means.) If you’re looking for a thought-provoking, entertaining fantasy novel, Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker is it.

Random Bits and Pieces

6 Christmases, 2 funerals
1 banjo
Star Wars Clone Wars Season One
Lost Season 5
An awesome Beatles book
2 re-mastered Beatles albums (Sgt. Peppers & Abbey Road)
Candy, clothes, and gift-cards
Lots of Star Wars stuff
Lost 1 game of chess to Todd
End of the Year Favorites tomorrow


Crystal said...

Great Review! I'm still plugging away on Mistborn. I'll definitely have to check out more Sanderson.

David Wagner said...

This book is first on my 2010 list. Thanks for the review.

logankstewart said...

@Crystal: Thank you, and keep on plugging. You're in for a thrill-ride.

@David: Most excellent news, sir. Enjoy.

Melissa (My World) said...

I enjoyed this book. I loved the whole magic system created here with colors. I am glad you enjoyed it. I liked Lightsong, I think more for his dreams of the supposed future. I liked looking into them to try to tell what he was seeing and if it was really future. The character that bothered me some was Vivenna, believe it or not. I love how the character grows through the book, but there were times when I did not care for her much. But I think that is part of the way the book was to go, take her out of her element and make her react to grow as a better person.

Great Review! Have to say I love the cover too. Many things symbolized from the book in this lovely cover.

logankstewart said...

@Melissa: Ah, I forgot to mention the cover here on this review, but I do find it captivating, even if it reminds me of Christina Aguilara(?).

The dreams were interesting, but not prevalent enough for me to care about. Vivenna grew on me, though. She reminded me a lot of Vin from Mistborn.

Krista said...

Lol You know what? I liked Lightsong, too, and I didn't really care for Vivenna all that much either. My favorite Character was Nightblood! He was just cool. I loved Warbreaker, but I think Mistborn is still my favorite, too, though Warbreaker was better written.

So are you a fan of stand alones or would you like for this to have sequel? For me, with Sanderson at least, it's not always the characters (though I love his characters) you care about leaving behind it's the magic systems. I always wanna find out more of what they can do. :)

Great review, Logan!

Krista said...

Oh and the cover is fantastic!!!!!! Love it!!!

logankstewart said...

@Krista: Y'know, I enjoy stand-alones, but I would much rather have a series, as long as it's tight and well written.