WOW, WOW, WOW!!!I
really have spoiled myself far too much after feeling exultant due to exams being over and holidays having begun. Firstly it was the sweets (drinking m&ms, eating cheescake, icecream, trifle and toasted sandwiches filled with caramelised apple - cook apples and then mix cream and brown sugar) but not all at once of course, only across 24 hours. And then secondly I read this absolute gem of a novel. But then I have found all of Brandon Sanderson's serious fantasy books to be gems. I just hope he can carry his work ethic across to the YA series he is writing and that he can finish off the Wheel of Time in strong form. But if Warbreaker is anything to look at (and considering that he works at so many stories at once) the man is a prolific genius in my opinion.
How can I des
cribe this book a
I loved it. I loved the worldbuilding as per usual for a Sanderson novel. I loved the humour (something I've not seen a lot of in a Sanderson novel). I loved the magic system (something that I do see in Sanderson novels). I loved the characters and truly cared about them. And not every work of fiction does that for me. I loved nearly everything. I did find the end a little rushed and I still wondered about the history of this world but compared to how good the book was those were little faults.
y follows two girls, some me
unique mysterious warrior, a flippant god
, several other gods/goddesses and the God King of this world. It turns out that one of the girls (princesses I should specify) was promised to be married to the God King to produce him an heir and so have the God King continue in the future. Of course the wrong princess (Siri) ends up being sent along and refuses to produce an heir this of course leads to some interesting revelations. On the other hand we are introduced to Vasher, a mysterious warrior who we have no clue of his intentions and what he is doing with the gods and people of this world. Is he out to assassinate someone or start a war? More is revealed as to why he is important in the book later but from the beginning you are left to wonder. The other princess (Vivenna) however runs into two mercenaries, Denth and Tonk Fah, who promise to help her retrieve her sister from the marriage. Then while these events are happening we have the flippant god Lightsong (the bold) who is trying to make sense of his purpose in the pantheon of Hallandren.
The magic system w
e. The idea is that every b
eing has one br
eath they are
turally born with that can be given to others for money. Breath can be used by those with enough to awak
cts that contain colour
and hence cause them to live. As a result there were some interesting scenes with living material and unique zombie type soldiers (oh and there's a living sword which you meet in the first chapter). However the 'gods' or 'Returned' have to replenish their breath to keep living on and so the whole religion depends on the sacrifice of breath without which individuals cannot see the brightness of life.
A huge part of why I really liked this book had to do with the conflict of interests that existed an
hidden agendas. I also love how flippant Lightsong was (I mean a God who revels in being facetious and using tons of puns? How ex
tremely awesome is t
hat!). What drove the book was how characters were forced to lay aside prejudices in order to survive and the web of secrets behind the gods and their priests. A lot of misdirecting occurred within the plot which was fun as I had to try and work out which characters honestlyb were good. Twice I found characters I had found humorous were actually serious villains which was a clever twist.
Ultimately while some may find it over-lengthy, over-worded and slow I found it to be a fun, gripping novel full of worldbuilding. The end was a little rushed however its overall quality could not be denied and I did like the ultimate revelations at the conclusion. If you're looking for a book to keep you engaged that has an interesting consequence based magic system that's a nice plot device on the side rather than a dominating feature then you should enjoy this book. There's a little of everything from political intrigue and religious debates (what surprise from Sanderson!) and some fascinating characters and great action. Not to be missed fantasy.