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Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
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Warbreaker

by Brandon Sanderson

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1,512964,923 (4.11)193
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  1. 60
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    souloftherose: Both are epic fantasy novels featuring strong female characters and focusing on gods in the respective fantasy worlds and their interactions with humans
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    elbakerone: Another book with phenomenal world-building and complex plot told through the points-of-view of interconnected characters.
  4. 20
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  5. 10
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    elbakerone: Both books demonstrate wonderful world-building and a unique system of magic.
  10. 00
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» See also 193 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
I don't often read stand alone novels as I like good long series focusing on the same characters, but I gave this one a shot because it was by Brandon Sanderson. I'm so glad I did. This has such an interesting magic system, and a good plot, and interesting characters. I recommend it to any who love a good fantasy story, or those interested in creative magic systems. ( )
  RoseCrossed | Jun 27, 2014 |
Pretty good book. I loved the magic system. It seems that Brandon Sanderson keeps on coming up with these very intricate and elaborate magic systems and worlds. If I were a betting man, I would think, this book was in fact, intertwined with his other books (Mistborn Trilogy, Elantris, & Way of Kings Series). I hope he continues on with this too. The plot devices were pretty cool but the plot regarding the priests and scribes seemed predictable. Vasher was very interesting character and well written. Vivien was probably the one that evolved the most, and I was glad it didn't turn out to be a drama, Dostrayovsky-esque. ( )
  seaofsorrow | May 20, 2014 |
There were some flaws for me with Warbreaker -- like many other reviewers, I felt that the wrapping up at the end went way too fast -- but all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've found that I like Brandon Sanderson's world-building a lot, no matter what he's doing: he seems to bring a flair to it, seems to be able to make it that bit different from the rest of the fantasy fare around. I wasn't sure anyone could pull off some of the stuff in Warbreaker, like the princesses whose hair changed colours with their mood -- it seemed like something right out of some kind of wish fulfillment fanfic, which generally doesn't do much for me. I mean, it's usually changing eye colour in those stories, but the super specialness applies.

The other thing is that Sanderson manages to keep things consistent. None of this felt like a deus ex machina, even when it kind of was: the various sacrifices, discoveries, etc, all seemed perfectly foreshadowed by the text. I didn't find all of it terribly surprising -- I figured out some people weren't as trustworthy as they seemed to the princesses, for example -- but I did enjoy it, and I felt it makes sense. The storytelling, too, works for me: it goes along at a great pace and kept me interested and going 'just one more chapter, just one more' again and again.

One thing I didn't like so much was Vivenna's character development. Or Siri's, in a way: I liked that Siri became capable, learned to value herself, learned what she could do. I wasn't enamoured of the way they basically swapped roles, though. And we spent an awful lot of time with Vivenna being self-important and self-righteous, neither of which are traits that appeal to me. I wasn't, in general, very attached to Vivenna and Vasher at all; their stories were necessary for the plot, but emotionally I didn't get attached. I suppose really, I was mostly attached to Lightsong and Llarimar: Lightsong's character development was something I really was interested in.

The ending wraps up extremely quickly, and leaves things wide open for another book, but the story itself is self-contained as well, which is rare enough in this time of trilogies (and trilogies of trilogies). I loved that it wrapped up within one book, leaving things open and uncertain in the future for the characters, but without leaving any big gaps. ( )
1 vote shanaqui | May 8, 2014 |
Having read quite a few of Sanderson's books at this point, I can say that while this was a good book, it was not one of his best. It did include a fascinating new look at magic. It did have his amazing ability to weave a story, or in this case several. It did pleasantly surprise with an enjoyable ending. What it did not do well was draw you into the characters in the way he has in other tales. I did not dis-like them, I just didn't really care either. It was still well worth the read. ( )
3 vote Velmeran | Apr 25, 2014 |
My fellow reviewers at FanLit have sufficiently covered all of the important elements of Warbreaker (indeed, Bill’s review was nearly as long as the book) so I will briefly report my own reaction and then mention Recorded Books' audio version.

I really enjoyed Warbreaker for all the reasons that my colleagues did: Unique world and magic system, interesting twisty plot, agreeable humor, and great characters. I was slightly annoyed with Vivenna’s use of the word “ostentatious” and her constant concern about modest clothing (this reminded me a lot of The Wheel of Time), but I looked forward to the transformation of her character that was obviously coming.

There are two things that I really like about Brandon Sanderson’s writing in general, and Warbreaker is no exception:

1. His magic systems. I’ve read all of his work now, and in each case he’s developed a wonderfully thoughtful, unique, and internally valid magic system.

2. He’s funny. So many authors try to be funny, but I find few of them to be actually funny. Brandon Sanderson is funny.

This brings me to the audiobook. At first I was put out by James Yaegashi’s slow pace which at times sounded like he was reading to first graders (I know how big this book is, so I thought “this is going to take forever!”), but it turns out that his reading really highlighted Sanderson’s humorous dialogue.

Yaegashi’s voices for the mercenaries Denth and Tonk Fah really brought out that “comic duo” feel and worked charmingly with their hilarious black humor. His voice for Nightblood (the sentient sword) was suitably creepy, demented, and naïvely zealous at the same time — perfect. The following scene is one I played back several times because Yaegashi’s rendition made me laugh (keep in mind that up to this point nearly all of Nightblood’s thoughts, speech, and actions have seemed remorselessly evil and unnecessarily bloody):

[Vasher:] reached into a pouch at his belt, pulling out the object within: a dead squirrel.
Yuck, Nightblood said with a sniff.


(This renders better on audio than print, I realize now, but I guess that’s my point.)

Also entertaining was Yaegashi’s voice for Lightsong, the god who doesn’t believe in himself (actually, his priest preaches to him!) and who strives to be as lazy and useless as possible. Yaegashi chose to use upspeak for Lightsong’s voice, and the effect is amusing because it reinforces the impression that even his stupid jokes are purposeful.

“Lightsong,” Lifeblesser said with his tactlessly honest voice, “You really need to take more of an interest in politics. It can be very diverting. Why, if you only knew the secrets to which I’m privy!”
“My dear Lifeblesser,” Lightsong replied, “Please trust me when I say that I have no desire to know any secrets which involve you and a privy.”


Yaegashi’s voices actually contributed to my surprise at a couple of the plot twists which involved characters doing uncharacteristic things.

Warbreaker is a terrific book and would be nearly flawless in my eyes if not for Sanderson’s just slightly superfluous writing style. For example, the “Yuck” quote above would work better this way:

[Vasher:] reached into a pouch at his belt and pulled out a dead squirrel.
Yuck, Nightblood sniffed.


I’m sure I’m unusual, but these things pop out at me — probably because of all of Strunk & White’s Elements of Style, Omit Needless Words is the one I find myself constantly working on with students. So, I can’t help but notice needless words in all of Brandon Sanderson’s works (though they’re getting better!) and this is the main reason I can’t consider him to be the Perfect Fantasy Author. However, though style is slightly lacking, substance is not — Brandon Sanderson writes great worlds and great characters. He is a Nearly Perfect Fantasy Author and is near the top of my must-read list. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
After reading Warbreaker, it's readily apparent that Brandon Sanderson is an extremely talented author. The novel was a real page turner and was filled with wonderful characters and thoughtful original ideas.
added by sdobie | editSF Site, Dominic Cilli (Nov 1, 2009)
 
Sanderson's prose falls into a nice rhythm that helps to move the action forward. Multifaceted characters and action of both the mystical and sword-fighting realms bring added excitement to a complex and creative read.

"Warbreaker" is an improvement on Sanderson's other work. And if he continues to follow along this path, fans of the Wheel of Time series will have nothing to worry about.
added by Katya0133 | editDeseret News, Jessica Harrison (Jun 14, 2009)
 
But the narrative is richer, spinning together hilarious dialogue, descriptive action sequences, and genuinely sweet romance.
 
The system of magic is also novel ... and demands far more of the characters' ingenuity, which in turn demands developing them--male and female, divine and mortal--to a far higher degree than one expects of much fantasy these days.
added by Katya0133 | editBooklist, Roland Green (May 15, 2009)
 
Sanderson again demonstrates his capacity for handling large and complex themes while creating believable characters.
added by Katya0133 | editLibrary Journal, Jackie Cassada (May 15, 2009)
 
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For Emily,
who said yes.
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It's funny, Vasher thought, how many things begin with my getting thrown into prison.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.… (more)

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