Aug 20, 12
Read in August, 2012
Sanderson has a talent for conceiving magic systems. In this novel he shows off that talent again with an intriguing magic system called BioChroma involving 'breath' which must be taken from individuals - usually voluntarily. People whose breath has been taken claim to feel no different, though this is disputed. The more breath a person holds, the more power he has to turn organic material to his own purposes.
Sanderson also has a talent for writing believable female characters, something male writers all too frequently lack. Siri is sweet, wilful and smart. Vivenna is prim and proper but woefully naive, though she proves adaptable when her life takes an unexpected path.
With the mysterious Vasher you can never tell - is he good, bad, or something in between? Whose side is he on? This thread of the story keeps you guessing a long time.
And Lightsong, the reluctant God of Bravery. Is he really as lazy as he seems? Have the minor gods really been resurrected for a single purpose, and will Lightsong ever find his? Another great character and interesting thread.
I don't often say it, but this book would have benefited from being longer. This story was a very personal story, and the character development was excellent for Siri, Vivenna, Lightsong and the God King. I feel the action suffered a little next to this, and could have done with more attention. With a little more balance between events and internal dialogue, this would have been a 5-star book.