Friday, June 4, 2010

Warbreaker by: Brandon Sanderson

   High fantasy isn't exactly my high point, but when I was given this treasure and saw that the author was Brandon Sanderson I knew I had to give it a go.
     My friend Jake and I were eating lunch one day and were talking about Brandon Sanderson, when Jake  turned to me and asked if I had read Warbreaker. After indicating that I hadn't, he gasped---complete with hand on chest--- and sent me on my way, book in hand with a reprimand not to come back till I had finished it.
      Well my friends that I did.
The story tells of two neighboring kingdoms, Hallendren and Idris. There are Two Princesses--sisters no less, a terrifying lord king, infuriating gods, and some questionable mercenaries all wrapped up in a magical world of BioChromatic breath, Blue fingered priests and a mass army of lifeless.  

    I really enjoyed this book. For all you Sanderson fans out there, this one does not disappoint. And for all of you new to this author, you will soon find yourself flipping pages to get more of Brandon Sanderson's ability to create magical worlds with scheming plots, leading you down paths that take you places completely unexpected. The two princesses, Vivenna and Siri are both quite different yet both important and endearing. Vasher was the intriguing mysterious character. He was the character that had me craning my neck to scan ahead of what I was reading to see if he would come up again so I could get more glimpses of this mysterious character. My favorite however is the God Lightsong.
       I have come to notice a soft spot I've acquired for the flamboyant, sarcastic, flippant characters in books. In this one it would be the infuriating God Lightsong. This one kept a little a smirk on my face through out the entire story--- and yet at the same time he was one of the characters that had me thinking the most in where and how all the pieces fit together. 
    For me, sometimes with high fantasy the world building can be overwhelming, too many different characters with different abilities all at once, or the world is so complex it takes a few re-reads to  fully grasp the concept of it all. This my friends, is where Brandon Sanderson shines. He has an amazing hand at world building---introducing the world, the norms, the traditions and religions with such  grace and tact that you're not left in the dark, confused or overwhelmed by information overload. His characters are also one of his strong points. They're all distinct characters, quite likable and all intriguing---The good ones and the bad ones. The awesomeness of Brandon Sanderson just keeps growing my friends, while against his agents best judgement he has offered Warbreaker FREE online at his website. If you are new to High Fantasy or Science Fiction go explore, why not take on a free read---go read Warbreaker and enjoy its lovely characters and world full of colors.

    The door thumped shut. Vasher immediately knelt beside the patch of straw, selecting a handful of sturdy lengths. He pulled threads from his cloak---it was beginning to fray at the bottom---and tied the straw into the shape of a small person, perhaps three inches high, with bushy arms and legs. He plucked a hair from one of his eyebrows, set it against the straw figure's head, then reached into his boot and pulled out a brilliant red scarf.
    Then Vasher Breathed.
    It flowed out of him, puffing into the air, translucen yet radiant, like the color of oil on water in the sun. Basher felt it leave: BioChramtic Breath the scholars called it. . .
    The little straw figure jerked. sucking in the Breath. In Vasher's hand, half of the brilliant red scarf faded to grey. Vasher leaned down---imagining what he wanted the figure to do---and completed the final step of the process as he gave the Command.
    "Fetch keys," he said.
    The straw figure stood and raised its single eyebrow toward Vasher.
    Vasher pointed toward the guard room. From it, he heard sudden shouts of surprise.
    Not much time, he thought.
    The straw person ran along the floor, then jumped up, vaulting between the bars. Vasher pulled off his cloak and set it on the floor. It was the perfect shape of a person---marked with rips that matched the scars on Vasher's body, its hood cut with holes to match Vasher's eyes. The closer an object was to human shape and form, the fewer Breaths it took to Awaken.
    Vasher leaned down, trying not to think of the days when he'd had enough Breaths to Awaken without regard for shape or focus. That had been a different time. Wincing, he pulled a tuft of hair from his head, then sprinkled it across the hood of the cloak.
    Once again, he Breathed.
    It took the rest of his Breath. With it gone---the cloak trembling, the scarf losing the rest of its color---Vasher felt. . . dimmer. 
. . .
    The cloak jerked. Vasher leaned down. "Protect me," he Commanded, and the cloak grew still. He stood throwing it back on.
    the straw figure returned to his window. It carried a large ring of keys. The figure's straw feet were stained red. The crimson blood seemed so dull to Vasher now.
    He took the keys. "Thank you," he said. He always thanked them. He didn't know why, particularly considering what he did next. "Your Breath to mine," he commanded, touching the straw person's chest. The straw person immediately fell backward off the door---life draining from it---and Vasher got his Breath back. the familiar sense of awareness returned, the knowledge of connectedness, of fitting. He could only take the Breath back because he'd Awakened this creature himself---indeed, Awakenings of this sort were rarely permanent. He used his Breath like a reserve, doling it out, the recovering it.
    The yells from the guard room died out. The dungeon fell still. He had to keep moving.
    Vasher reached through the bars, using the keys to unlock his cell. He pushed the thick door open, rushing out into the hallway, leaving the straw figure discarded on the ground. He didn't walk to the guard room---and the exit beyond it---but instead turned south, penetrating deeper into the dungeon.

   Lastly, I would be a complete nincompoop to not talk about this lovely cover.  My friends I would grab this book anywhere just for this beautiful artwork. I love book covers that match what's inside the book, and this one does just that. As I admired the beautiful cover I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the lovely art work was done by Dan dos Santos. This wonderful artist is also the one that did the covers to one of my favorite urban fantasy series---The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs---and the covers are Beautiful.




Melina said...

I know what you mean about some of the books like this being confusing. I like how you included quotes from the book. Nice idea.

You are not a nincompoop at all.

Milli said...

The cover looks amazing! Wow, the artwork is awesome:D And, your review is great too!

KIKA said...

Melina: How sweet are you?! Thanks for stopping by:D

Milli: aww Milli! it's always a pleasure to see you stop by, and yes I love the artwork too :)