I’ve come to expect certain things when reading Brandon Sanderson – creative magic, complex politics, original cast of characters – and I am glad to r...moreI’ve come to expect certain things when reading Brandon Sanderson – creative magic, complex politics, original cast of characters – and I am glad to report Warbreaker didn’t let me down. And while it was my least favorite book of Sanderson so far, I still loved it tons – which says a lot about the man’s talent!
The best way to describe how I felt reading Warbreaker is : it was like reading the adult fantasy equivalent of a Disney princess movie. There were princesses, an arranged marriage, adventure, funny sidekicks, a colorful kingdom, fancy dresses, a castle, and so on. There was something new and exciting at every turn, and the author’s words did a magnificent job of transporting us to this unique world.
I liked Vivenna and Siri both. It doesn’t happen often that I can’t pick a favorite character, but here I truly enjoyed both of their stories. They were two very different girls, and they changed and grew through the story in ways that felt very likable and realistic. I wish we could have read a bit more about their father though; through the pages, I so badly wanted to hear what he thought of Vivenna’s sudden departure, and everything that ensued!
The politics twisted with the religions created a very intricate story in a complex worldbuilding. It’s a lot of information to absorb but Sanderson did a great job of sharing it through the story rather than dumping it all at once. There was enough material there to create one or two books more, but I loved that he kept it to one epic volume.
There was one aspect of the story I didn’t enjoy as much and it was how passive I felt Siri and Vivenna were at times. It’s not their fault; they both get thrown into a new world where rules are completely different from the ones they are used to, and they need people to guide them through. However, this creates many scenes where the girls are reacting rather than acting.
Overall though, this was a great adventure. The magic was colorful and inventive, and created unique scenes that were extremely cinematographic – which is something Sanderson simply excels at. And I am so excited that I still have a few more books of his to discover!(less)
Reading the second book in the Mistborn series was long overdue; I had read the first one over two years ago, and even though I absolutely loved it, I...moreReading the second book in the Mistborn series was long overdue; I had read the first one over two years ago, and even though I absolutely loved it, I kept pushing the moment I would read The Well of Ascension. I finally did, and oh my, it was purely AWESOME!
I used to read a lot of fantasy as a teenager/young adult, but I honestly can’t recall a series that succeeded on so many different aspects. The action scenes are right out of a movie. The characters, though numerous, are complex. And the story, oh, the story! A gripping, intricate plot that surprised me from one chapter to the next! You would think that a 796 pages long novel would feel at least a little long, but no : it went way too fast and as soon as I finished it, I wanted to read the next one. (I managed to wait a little, surprisingly enough!)
The worldbuilding is incredibly original and the magic system so well thought-out that it makes it difficult to guess what is coming next. But one thing Sanderson also excels at, in my opinion, is character development. That’s something I’ll probably mention again on my review of the final novel since it is even more obvious then, but I have to give him credit for building characters that are multidimensional, filled with strengths and flaws, and change as the story goes without acting out of character.
The following part of the review might be slightly spoilerish; you’ve been warned!
(view spoiler)[While Vin certainly has changed since the first book, her development wasn’t as obvious, for me, as Elend’s. Vin is still struggling with who she is and fighting old demons here, and while Elend is also having a hard time becoming the king he wants to be, I felt he was closer to knowing how to get there (well, he also had a little help!)
I loved OreSeur – or at least I loved him by the end of the book. His relationship with Vin certainly is a complicated one. It evolves in unexpected ways through the story and offers some of the best dialogues in the book, with nice touches of humor, too!
Zane was such an interesting character. He was just so messed up. I didn’t know what to expect from him; he was a “villain”, but at the same time he was a victim of circumstances. I don’t think he had a chance of coming back from his crazyness, and I both pitied him for how he had been treated by his father, and hated him for trying to bring Vin down with him.
There are more than a few twists in this novel. Some are completely unpredictable, being tied with elements of the worldbuilding we aren’t aware of. Others are more predictable, but still surprised me. Sadly though, I did had a very bad feeling of who the traitor would be, and it absolutely broke my heart. (hide spoiler)]
In the end, I think it is quite obvious that I absolutely LOVED this book. Yes, LOVED in all-caps! It is not only one of the best books I have read this year, but one of the best books I have ever read, period. Good thing we already have all of the Sanderson books on our shelves!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I feel there is very little I could say to explain how much I loved that book – the whole series, in fact. I am not sure I can translate all these fee...moreI feel there is very little I could say to explain how much I loved that book – the whole series, in fact. I am not sure I can translate all these feelings in words, but I am willing to at least give it a try.
I came from The Well of Ascension with a lot of expectations. It had been, if possible, even better than the first book, and had left me with many unanswered questions. I felt nervous for most of the characters, and almost completely unable to predict what would happen next. So far, Sanderson had excelled where so many authors fail : surprising me while being faithful to the worldbuilding and the characters. I would be a huge disappointment if The Hero of Ages was anything less than awesome.
I will admit that I felt the book had a slow start. It might be because of all these expectations, or it might be that the book did have a slow start; in any case, the feeling didn’t last. I was soon completely hooked to the story, as I had been in the previous novels. I’m still impressed with how life-like these characters felt to me, and how complex they were, even the secondary ones.
And the story. Oh! I can’t really talk about it without adding a “caution-spoilers” announcement, so :
(view spoiler)[That ending! Oh my! My jaw fell so far to the ground I had to get it back from my downstairs neighbors. I’m pretty sure there were tears, too. I had not seen that coming. Well, I knew there would probably be deaths, but that was as much as I could predict. I couldn’t say who, or how. Wow. I’m still in shock thinking about it. And I certainly couldn’t predict the role that Sazed would play. And Ten Soon.
This was both heartbreaking and beautiful. And magical. And I was impressed how Sanderson could make this ending such a godly experience, without stepping too strongly into the religious aspect of it.
I’m actually not sure I understood everything that happened there, and I am looking forward to rereading it in a few years; I know I’ll be surprised by details I hadn’t noticed before. (hide spoiler)]
Reading the Mistborn trilogy was certainly a once in a lifetime experience! Often I’ll read a book with a weak worldbuilding but wonderfully complex characters, or with shallow characters but a strong story; Sanderson achieved greatness in so many aspects that I would have a hard time finding flaws after only one reading. Complex characters, intricate plot, creative worldbuilding; I can only recommend that you read and experiment for yourself this wonderful series!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)