You know what? I’m just going to keep reading Brandon Sanderson books until you all leave this blog in droves.
I’ve figured out his shtick though. Create some super awesome set of unique powers, and base the entire world’s government, religion, and economy around it. Warbreaker has the distinction of having one of the more unique powers Sanderson has created, but also being one of the harder novels to get sucked into.
Siri has just been sent to marry the God King of Hallendren in the place of her older sister. Hopefully, this union will postpone a war brewing between her people and his. But the God King’s motivations are as mysterious as the nature of his body. For he is a returned, a man who died and came back to life anew, with no memory of his previous existence. He and the other gods must subsist off the life force of a new person every week or they will die. These ‘breaths’ do not kill a person when they are taken away, but they can provide immeasurable abilities and power to those who have enough of them.
Vivenna, the sister who should have journeyed to Hallendren, isn’t about to let her little sister go off into the lion’s den without help. Without her father’s approval, she travels to Hallendren and quickly learns that maybe she’s the one in the lion’s den.
The novel starts quite slow and takes a bit to pace up. The powers are very cool, using breath to animate objects essentially. Like the undead warriors that require no food and follow all commands. The novel really picks up when the secrets and betrayals start to tumble out. I was caught off guard many a time to my great pleasure.
But, upon finishing the novel, I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude that this was a standalone book. The characters are fun, especially the sarcastic god Lightsong, the twists are unexpected, but the overall product is lacking in a direction beyond itself. Although, as I write this, I find a section of wikipedia saying there’s a forthcoming book in this world named after the talking sword of this novel. Ah, well. Writers gotta write.
3 out of 4 stars.