Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker (Warbreaker, #1)Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What to say about Brandon Sanderson... Really, there is only one thing to say. The man is a flipping genius.

Every book he has written has had deep characters, unexpected plot twists, unique magic systems, and have been true page-turners. And they are all connected! I have to believe that unless he massively implodes like a one hit wonder rapper that just won the lottery, by the time his career is over he will be the GOAT (greatest of all time, for all you non NBA fans out there) of fantasy fiction.

So I'll stop geeking out over the Sanderson, and get back to the book. As the first book he wrote, it is a book about princesses. Can anyone spell "cliché"? Well, my spell checker can. But he took a mediocre fantasy setting with princesses and added a cool magic system, deep political and religious themes, and a bloodthirsty magic talking sword. How can that go wrong? And it didn't! I thought it was amazing, with plot twist after plot twist until you are so turned around you don't know good guys from bad guys. Then you have to keep reading to find out.

The only flaw I saw in this book was the magic system. The concept is cool, and the action scenes it enabled were also cool, but the system itself is tricky. I felt he got stuck fairly often. For example, at the end Vasher has to get fancy with his breath, and needs color to do it, so he uses the bloodstains on his clothes? If that's possible, no one is without color, they can just cut themselves in a pinch. Or they can dump wine on their clothes to stain them, and then immediately use the color and not even have to send their clothes to the cleaners. You couldn't torture an awakener that still had breath, because their own blood would give them power to escape. Anyway, that is one example. There are other details that bothered me, but the key thing is that it is a finicky magic system. I wonder if that isn't the reason Sanderson has been slow to come back to this series. I felt the same way about the Rithmatist.

Having said that, I loved this book, and look forward to reading more like them. I still need to read Elantris, and then I might break down and start the Stormlight Archives. My son is a huge fan and has been tempting me to read them, although that goes against my rule of not reading an in-progress series. We'll see.