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Warbreaker - Book review

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Published on the 09th of June, 2018

Genre: High Fantasy

Pages: 688

My rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Warbreaker is the first novel of a newest series of the Cosmere universe. This big boy was initially announced as a standalone, but it seems a second book is in the making.

According to Goodreads, Warbreaker is “the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses. Theirs is a world in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren's capital city. A world transformed by a power based on an essence known as breath. Using magic is arduous as breath can only be collected one unit at a time.”

The plot basically revolves around two neighboring kingdoms on the verge of war, Idris and Halandren. Idris is depicted at first as this small and pious nation in the highland, struggling to survive under the oppression of Halandren, its big bad “heathen” neighbor. From the very first page, we are embarked into this big political mystery where our main characters, Siri and Vivenna, sister princesses of Idris, are attempting to stop a war between the 2 nations. However, everything is illusion and false pretense. And it is as hard for the characters to discern friend from foe as it is for the readers. Reading this book felt akin to riding a rollercoster. your only choice is to hold tight and hope for the best, making Warbreaker feel very refreshing as a fantasy book.

Another refreshing aspect of this book was the masterful way sanderson used well known tropes to lull the reader into a false sense of knowing before turning the tables on them. One trope, though, was left to unfold in the "traditional" fantasy way. It was the romance one, and I loved every bit of it.

As far as characters go, my favourites were Vivenna and Lightsong the Bold, with a slight preference for Lightsong. I am not going to venture into any analysis of the character craft when the writer is the master of the craft himself. I would however love to expand on the world building, which ranks now as one of my favourites of all times. I loved the magic system of course, again, this is Sanderson we are talking about, but my favorite part about this world has to be the religion and the lore. The history of Idris and Halandren felt intricate and well thought, and I loved to see Sanderson's depiction of how religion shapes people and history, and how believes can either lift a kingdom or lead to its ruin. I know that this review of characters and world-building is as shallow as it can get, but I am trying to be as vague as possible because I suspect this book felt unique to me because i went in knowing nothing about it.

Now, let's wrap-up this review with me gushing about how much I LOVED the humour and the writing in Warbreaker. This is without contest the funnier book I read in 2019, granted, I only read 68 books that year, but I am fairly certain this is the funnier one I read, and one of the top 3 pages-turners.

Overall, this was my first attempt at reading a book by Brandon Sanderson and I am happy to state I finally understand what the hype was all about. You have blown my mind Mr. Sanderson, and I am forever thankful. I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book in this series, and as of now, every single Cosmere book has been added to my TBR.


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