MJ's Reviews > Warbreaker

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
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's review
Sep 10, 2010

it was ok
Recommended for: people who like descriptions of sexy ladies

** spoiler alert ** I was excited at first when I started reading this book. The magic system is new and interesting, and the settings were described well. Some of Sanderson's writing was great, but I was thoroughly disappointed with this book.

First of all: the characters. Early in the story, I had high hopes for Siri. I initially thought she might turn out to be a strong, independent character, regardless of her royal status. Nope, not at all - she sits around, enjoys her pretty dresses, and likes the pretty colors of Hallandren. She snoops around a little, but doesn't manage to learn anything or make any huge changes. The one exception is that she teaches the God King to read and write. She is described as an impulsive, emotional girl when she finally sleeps with him. Thanks to that unnecessary detail that Sanderson threw in, I lost all respect for her.

Vivenna starts out a spoiled, prissy princess who can't do anything on her own, and ends up as a spoiled, prissy princess who can't do anything on her own. She needs men, both hired and not, to do work for her, and is one of the most useless characters I have read in literature. I disliked her at the beginning, but kept an open mind thinking she would change. She learns a little about breaths and how to use them and quits being such a traditionalist, but she is still unlikable. She's good at crying, at least.

Siri and Vivenna are the two main female characters. They are both typical weak female characters - no skills, no talents, and they both have flat personalities. When their hair changes color, though, you can count on Sanderson to tell you all about it.

There is another female character, though not as important as the first two - Blushweaver, the goddess of honesty. The book says the goddess of honesty but she's more like the goddess of T&A. Seriously, nobody else in this book has their appearance explained in half as much detail as this lady. Every sexy outfit, every sexy pose, every sexy eyelash bat - it will all be described in sexy detail, because she is a sexy woman, and everyone must know about it, sexily. Why only her? Why do all the other characters have a brief, meaningful description of their appearance, and yet, we can rely on Sanderson to explain her voluptuous body and the slinky dress it's in in every new scene with her?

Often in the company of Blushweaver is the god Lightsong. Most of the interesting dialogue in this book occurs between them him and the Previously Mentioned Goddess of Awkward Fanservice - but it is usually playful banter. Sanderson does an okay job of showing off how well he can write witty conversations. I felt the urge to skip past them, but I read them in full, thinking I might miss an important detail. At some point their conversations would change and go back to the story, but their flirting served no purpose and made the story come to a halt every time. The flirting never got either of them anywhere, so what was the point? It sure as hell didn't serve as character development.

Lightsong is an okay character, even if I did get tired of Sanderson reiterating how lazy and sarcastic the guy is. Yes, he's apathetic, he's mischievous, we get it. Out of all the characters, Lightsong has the most defined personality and the most recognizable speech patterns. I would sympathize more for Lightsong, but the source of his angst is simply the fact that he didn't know who he was in a past life, and he didn't feel like he was really a god. Oh, poor baby, he lives a life of leisure but doesn't know who he really is. If Lightsong was a female character, people would stomp their feet angrily and call her a Mary Sue.

Then there's the mercenaries Denth and Tonk Fah. They would repeatedly say to Vivenna that no one trusts mercenaries. The third or so time this was emphasized, I knew something was up and that they were really the bad guys. Sigh. Sanderson also tried too hard to make them funny. They weren't.

Vasher is in the first chapter, but ignored for most of the book. He has an abrupt personality change - first he is nasty and rude, and then he's the quiet, misunderstood loner. This cliche isn't necessarily a bad one, everyone likes a good loner character, but he wasn't well-developed. I didn't feel sympathy for him.

When the story reaches its climax, all the pieces are hastily put together and there are several reveals. Bluefingers is bad, the Pahn Kahl are behind everything, Llarimar is Lightsong's brother, Lightsong was a scribe in his past life (I liked this reveal, for whatever reason), Lightsong finally realizes he is a god, Lightsong dies by giving Susebron his breath, Susebron gains a tongue from this somehow, the way Vasher killed Arsteel (as well as Denth) was by giving him breath and stunning him, Vasher is Peacegiver/Kalad the Usurper, the statues in Hallandren are Kalad's army, and there were probably other reveals I didn't mention. It was a little over the top.

I found the characters weak and the story uninteresting. I think I would have liked the story more if I could like the characters, but it got to the point where I was hoping that Vivenna would be on the streets forever, and that the annoying talking sword would break somehow. I wasn't rooting for any of the characters. It was worth what I paid for it - nothing.
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02/05/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8)

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Austin McConnell Summed up the way I felt exactly!

Karina Thank you, you nailed it as far as I'm concerned. Btw, Lightsong sounds like a young Keanu Reeves in the audio book. Bodacious! Not.

Levi You lost respect for Siri when she slept with her... Husband?

Heidi I think it would be better asked, "You lost respect for Siri when she slept with her husband once she realized she was in love with him?"

Diashawn Not going to lie. The characters were a bore at first but, they fit the story.

Kevin Excellent review. Right on target.

message 2: by Bob (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bob Buchko I enjoyed the book and think it's worth 4 stars, but I do agree the characters are not as well developed or sympathetic as those in other Sanderson novels. He especially missed the boat with Vasher. With the backstory, he could've really have built that reveal up. Instead it did indeed feel very rushed at the end. It particularly took me by surprise because the Kindle edition I bought apparently has an Ars Arcanum/Index that's 20% of the entire length, so here I am at the 80% mark going, "Wait, what? It's over already?" I think there was much more to tell with Vasher and Susebron working with the D'Denir to stop the LIfeless army, Siri realizing that Vivenna is now a powerful Awakener, etc. Still an enjoyable book; if it weren't a Sanderson novel and didn't suffer by comparison to some of his others, I doubt folks would be complaining at all.

Emma I think it's 'I lost respect for Siri when she performed an impulsive overly emotional act for love - as all female characters are supposed to do - even though she knew it would probably end up with both her and Susebron killed'

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