Genre: epic fantasy
The people of Hallandren’s Gods, like Lightsong, are regular humans who died in a heroic way and was brought back to life using magic. No matter how hard Lightsong tries, he can’t remember his death or past life, as is the same with all gods, and he questions the belief people hold of him. After all, the thought of him being the god of bravery proves something’s gone wrong.
The God King, Susebron, are to marry one of the princesses Vivieanna or Siri of Idris. Vivienna has been trained for court and this fate her whole life, but her father the king considers her too valuable to let go. With that decision war would be on them, and so he sends his younger, more unruly daughter Siri instead.
Vasher is an immortal and exactly what he’s planning no one knows. His bloodthirsty, talking sword Nightblood are by his side and so are thousands of Breaths. Magic is colorful in this world and it comes in the form of breaths. Every person carry one Breath each and if one buys or gathers enough, few things become impossible.
I really enjoyed this book. It has a lot of elements I have missed in fantasy, like the quality of the interesting political intrigues. Not to forget the fantastic world-building, twists and mysteries that makes you constantly question the gods’ place and how this world actually works. Sanderson’s one of the best at playing around with gods and belief-systems, and this is a perfect example of that. Theology is a corner stone in the development of characters and the story, without overlessing you with facts or becoming too complex to follow for regular readers.
There’s five (i believe) different points of view and Siri is telling the story a lot in the beginning, as she’s beginning her journey. I didn’t like Siri or her sister Vivenna as much as I would’ve liked, but I still cared enough to worry about them. Siri is a strong, if young and inexperienced, main character and it’s not her fault she’s thrown into this new country without preparation. Or maybe a little, since she quickly realizes she should’ve paid attention in her classes. Vivienna on the other hand is a leader, but perhaps in over her head. They’re both faulty people, and the book shows that well.
Vasher’s point of view was interesting, but there’s so much mystery surrounding him it can get a bit overwhelming. His sword Nightblood has to be my favourite magical object and it’s worth reading the book just for its sarcastic witty comments and fights.
I completely fell in love with Lightsong and his place in the story. He’s a minor god of bravery and automatically controls parts of the troops, even if he jokes about giving the responsibility away. No Lightsong on board = no war. He’s tried to stay out of the political intrigues and works hard to convince himself and everyone else he’s useless. The reason I love him is how he thinks about how lazy he is and unfit for the job, while sneaking around trying to find answers. That’s devotion. I mean;
“Have you no thoughts on the matter?“ Blushweaver finally asked.
“I try to avoid having thoughts. They lead to other thoughts, and-if you’re not careful-those lead to actions. Actions make you tired. I have this on rather good authority from someone who once read it in a book.”
Blushweaver sighed. “You avoid thinking, you avoid me, you avoid effort… is there anything you don’t avoid?”
I didn’t like Warbreaker as much as the Mistborn series, I just prefer those characters and magic-system, but it’s absoloutly worth a read or three. It’s a good place to start with Brandon Sanderson’s books since it’s only one book (for now) with a complete story, where many others are series. Warbreaker had a perfect balance of humour, focus on characters and solving the mysteries of the plot!
– favourite quotes –
“I swear, my dear. Sometimes our conversations remind me of a broken sword.”
She raised an eyebrow.
“Sharp as hell,” Lightsong said, “but lacking a point.”
“Lightsong had never bothered to learn the rules.
He found it more amusing to play when he had no idea what he was doing.”
“So much evil, Nightblood said, like a woman tisking as she cleaned cobwebs from her ceiling.”