Monday, May 4, 2009

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (5/5 stars)

I got this book through Amazon vine and when I received it in the mail I was intimidated; it is quite the brick of a book. All I can say is that I was really, really, really impressed with this book. It is the most amazing book I have read in a long time. Previously Sanderson has written the Mistborne Trilogy and a stand alone novel called Elantris. I haven't read any of those books but I wanted too; so getting this book from Vine gave me a chance to check out this work.

A quick side note, I am a bit Wheel of Time fan and when Robert Jordan died I was devastated. Well, it looks like Sanderson has been chosen to conclude the Wheel of Time series; he is going to conclude it in three final books. After reading Warbreaker I think this is an awesome choice. Sanderson's writing style echoes much of Jordan's style but it is much more approachable.

In Warbreaker Halladran and Idris are at the brink of war. Idris sends one of their princesses, Siri, to wed the God King of Halladran in an effort to stall the war. Initially Siri, was not supposed to be the one sent; her sister, the eldest princess, Vivenna had been trained since birth to wed the God King. But in a last minute decision the Kind of Idris sends Siri instead. Siri is thrown into a dangerous city of court intrigue and the mysterious magic of BioChromatic Breath and is left to fend on her own as her country totters on the brink of war. Vivenna is bereft when Siri is sent in her place and decides to journey to Halladran to rescue her sister; when she arrives she finds herself quickly thrown into dangerous city politics. The set is completed with Vasher a deadly man with a darkly humorous sword who has an agenda of his own and Lightsong one of the Halladran's gods; Lightsong is a Returned who can't understand why he was returned to godhood. It all makes for an intricate, exciting, and very enjoyable book.

I can't say "Wow" enough times. This book was executed with brilliance. I really mean it. With epic fantasies such as this book sometimes you run into plots that are too complicated, having too many names thrown at you at once, or having systems of magic that are too complicated to grasp; not to mention epics that need to run 12 books to make a good story. This book did everything right. All of the characters are intriguing and engaging; they are introduced in such a way that you are never confused about who is who or who is on whose side. The system of BioChromatic Breath magic is unbelievably creative, entertaining, and very complex; yet somehow Sanderson introduces this system of magic with an ease that does not confuse the reader and yet delivers great complexity. The plot is immense and complicated yet it is nicely resolved in one book; very satisfyingly resolved...nothing seems rushed.

I really can't believe how good this book is. Sanderson did everything right; I couldn't find a single thing to dislike about this book. It is an immense book but I breezed through it; it was sooo hard to put down. The book propels you forward, the action and suspense is non-stop. It is also so creative, the magic system is like nothing I have ever dreamed up or heard of before. I have put all his previous books on my "to read list" and I am keeping this book safe on my bookshelf so that I can read it again soon. I am also so glad that this is the author chose to finish the Wheel of Time series. Just wow!!

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