Book Review: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Book Review: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy/Fiction

Released  in 2009


“My life to yours. My Breath become yours.”

That is how characters in Warbreaker can transfer their Biochroma or breath to another being. It is your breath that also you to view the world in Color. In this world, Brandon Sanderson built a magical system in which one's breath (or biochroma) can be transferred to others, making them more powerful in the ways of a type of magic that uses colors. Additionally, some people have learned to harness and use the biochroma to infuse life into non-living objects to serve their purposes. 

In the main story, there are two princesses: Siri and Vivena that get caught up in intrigue within the land of Hallandren, far from home. One is forced to marry the God-king, a returned, a deity that has been infused with the life and power of thousands of breaths. The other sister is working with the underground to undermine war preparation and political efforts in the local government. 

The court of Hallendren is occupied by "gods" or returned who have died in a manner that conferred a second life unto them. In this resurrection, they are infused with the breath of thousands of people much like their god-king. To stay alive, these returned must take the breath of a person at least once a week to continue living until they find their purpose as gods in their service to the people. 

Lastly, without giving too much away is the character of Vasher, who is an awakener (someone who can draw Color from his surroundings and infuse breath (and life) into non-living objects and his semi-sentient sword. Together they strive to break the war that is imminent around them.

There were moments during the book that I felt the story drag on, and others when I could not believe how much had happened in just a few pages. This was a pleasure to read AND to listen to as an audiobook (don't buy audiobooks btw, visit your local library and their online library first). 

Warbreaker was written as a standalone novel and has built up a small cult following. It is a shame that Sanderson dedicates so much time to create a unique world and type of magic to then confine it to a single book. It is entertaining and thrilling. Occasionally a twist is not predictable, creating an additional element of joy and surprise in the reader.

It's a highly recommended book. Great for a road trip if you are listening to it as an audio book.

If you prefer a hard copy book, get it used. I buy all my real books (not audio or e-books) from  - second hand books! Referall code here if you want to earn a free book credit 

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