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Warbreaker: Book Review

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I just finished listening to the audio book of Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

I really would not recommend reading the synopsis from Goodreads, it gives away way too much, here is the one I read. 

"An author whose previous, wildly successful novels have earned him a reputation as fantasy's master of magic, Brandon Sanderson continues to dazzle audiences with this tale of princesses and gods. In this extraordinary world, those who attain glory return as gods. And those who can master the essence known as breath can perform the most wondrous miracles - or unleash the most devastating havoc."

I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads, but I possibly should have given it four.... there are no half stars though. Rating books is really hard.

Warning: there are a few minor spoilers in this review.

So I shall start with what I did not like or at least a thing that readers should know of. Four things, as far as I can remember.

  • The book is violent....there are a lot of bodies... (they are trying to stop a war after all)
  • Sex is talked about; two characters have sex, but they are married and it is not gone into at all, but the subject keeps coming up. 
  • There is Blushweaver: one of the returned 'gods' who does a lot of seductive talking.... it is portrayed as her nature, not one I like much, (at all) yet she is a very real character. She is also described a few times in her clothes... Or great lack of them.
  • Also Nightblood, I just don't know what to say about him..... I mean I have never not liked swords that could talk, but they have always creeped me out a bit (Gurthang from Tolkien’s writing, The Silmarillion and Children of Hurin). Still I liked him a lot, I mean how can you not like something that is so like a child yet so intent on destroying evil.....but the problem of course is that he does not know what evil is, so that means he's intent on destroying. The sword appears evil, but is not really, and (almost) every reader likes it...him... Well I do, despite trying not to.

Other than those things (and including them sometimes) this book is amazing.... yes Nightblood you are amazing too... (See what I mean). The whole story is intricately woven. And well as one of the characters says 

“You should watch yourself, child,” he whispered. “Not all here in the palace is as it seems.”

No it certainly is not! Brandon Sandersons world building is fantastic (there are over 310 years of history in this story and no info dumps!) The magic…. The Breaths! Oh so cool, and such a unique sort of magic too. Another problem with the story could be that I ended up feeling much more stupid than I felt before listening to this story... felling so silly for not realizing some of the plot twists and revelations. Sure I got some, but often only just beforehand, they are so well written. Though I do often find my ability to predict things decreases a lot if I am only listening to a story….. so it could have been different if I had read a hardcopy. The black moment in this book was sooo good too; I kept thinking it had come before it had. And when the decisive moment came I was so not expecting it to happen that way. 

This book really took my Breath away at times...

The 'royal locks' were really cool. I used to dream of having hair I could grow at will, and it being able to change colours too only makes it better! I also really enjoyed the humour of Lightsong, and his ungodness. I mean a 'god' trying to destroy his own religion. I do suspect if you read rather than listened to this book it could feel slow at times near the beginning and middle, but again Audiobook, I am always doing something else while listening (like cleaning or gardening), so to me it felt interesting all the way through, except for a few conversations between the gods… 

The characters are amazing too. They are developed and change throughout the story, or we slowly find out who they really are; especially the four main ones, two of whom are princesses but not exactly always so princessy... but even the minor characters were real, and considering how many of them there were I think it quite a feat how real they were. I could see the story unfolding before me and, well, the audio version is cool too because everyone has their own voices and I keep talking to myself in my head using Siri's or Lightsong's voices... Oh and Nightblood….I really should not like him so much. 

So should you read it? If you want to but Elantris (also by Brandon Sanderson) is even better. Other than the violence factor there were no problems with that book at all. You can read my review of  Elantris on Goodreads

Have you ever read any of Brandon Sanderson's books? 
What did you think of them?

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  1. Brandon Sanderson is pretty much my favorite fantasy author of all time. I just love his writing, his magic systems, and his characters. Warbreaker was pretty good too. I prefer it to Elantris, really XD I don't really mind the sex talk here (they were minimal, though, and the sex scene was so "fade-to-black" even) since this isn't YA anyway and is considered adult fantasy. You must try the graphic audio version of his books. So, so amazing :D

    Faye at The Social Potato

    1. Thanks for commenting. I agree, but I always try and include anything that people may have a problems with in my reviews, just to inform them. I can well believe that the graphic audio versions would be even better.

  2. I've only read one Brandon Sanderson book BUT I LIKED IT A LOT. Tbh I really want to try his books on audio. I do so much better with thick, complicated fantasy books when they're on audio. XD (I read The Final Empire...and totally want to continue with that series. :D)

    1. The thing is that I had no idea how long this one was until I had finished it. I have not read any of his Final Empire books but they are on my to read list, I just need to get copies of them.