By Brandon Sanderson
Paperback, 656 pages
The cities of T’Telir and Idris are on the brink of war. T’Telir is ruled by the Returned, heroes reborn as gods and the powerful God King. Each week the people of the city offer their gods Breath – the life force that each person possesses and some know how to use to bring ordinary objects to life to do their bidding. The former royal family lives in Idris and has offered one of their daughters to be the wife of the God King, in hopes that by honoring an old treaty with T’Telir, the powerful city won’t declare war on Idris. But the priests of the gods are clamoring for war and when a mysterious man with a sentient sword shows up, he’ll do all he can do to stop it.
First off, I have to admit that I owned this book for over a year before reading it and I only picked it up because the friend who purchased it for me, continually reminded me that I needed to read it. What a fool I was for waiting so long! This is definitely one of my all-time favorite books now and I’m still giddy thinking about everything that took place in the story. I know I’m not going to be coherent when reviewing this because I love it too much, so probably you should just read this book.
All the stars – I’m giving it all the stars, just so you know. Just reaching into the sky, grabbing handfuls of them and throwing them at this book. That’s basically my review!
In all seriousness, much like The Lies of Locke Lamora, I knew within reading the first few pages of this book that I was going to love it. Before we’re given any real intro to the characters, we start learning about Breath. I love a lot of things about this book, but the idea of Breath and the way Sanderson develops it might be my favorite. I’ve never read about a magical or spiritual system quite like Breath, The Iridescent Tones, The Returned and the powers of Awakening that he created. I won’t do it justice if I try to explain these things, so probably you should just read this book.
My second favorite thing about this book was every single character. Yes, I love them all. Everyone was so well developed and complex, I was constantly kept on my toes. I have favorite favorites among them of course, but they’re all fantastic. I was never bored or frustrated when the point of view switched to another character and the variation added depth to the story.
I know I’m late joining the Sanderson fan club and I have more of his work on my shelves that I need to stop ignoring (I don’t do it on purpose, I just have a lot of books!) If you’re a fantasy fan and you haven’t read Warbreaker, I highly suggest you should, if that’s not already apparent. I’ve been told by my friend that this is a stand-alone novel (though the door is wide open for a sequel and it needs to happen, dammit) and that it’s a good place to start if you’ve never read his book before. So, probably, you should just read this book!
You can visit Sanderson’s website and Tweet at him too.