Review: Warbreaker

Posted: August 3, 2009 by in Books We Like (4/5 single_star) Meta: Brandon Sanderson, Epic Fantasy

There is this guy named Brandon Sanderson, and if you read fantasy with any regularity, you know who he is. If you don’t know who he is, you should really read more. Seriously. Not only is he the talent in epic fantasy, he is finishing the WHEEL OF TIME for the late Robert Jordan. Sanderson is a gifted author, and WARBREAKER (Amazon), his newest novel, shows why.

WARBREAKER is more light-hearted than we typically enjoy, but it was still an excellent novel. This is a fantastic work that appeals to a huge audience.

Color (as in dyes, etc) is power. A person’s breath let’s them breathe life to inanimate objects. A talking sword that begs to kill things. Sound like an intriguing magic system? It should. Sanderson has made quite a name for himself by inventing unique and enjoyable magic systems. WARBREAKER essentially starts with the wrong, untrained daughter of a king being sent to another country to prevent a war from breaking. A great start to a great novel.

While we found ourselves engrossed in the world created in WARBREAKER, it’s not to say it didn’t have a few… shortcomings. We like our epic fantasy gritty and dark. We love action. We do like a little humor, but prefer it to have it’s place with certain characters, and only in certain situations. If we want humor everywhere, we pick up a Terry Pratchett book (Amazon) or a Douglas Adams novel (Amazon). In WARBREAKER, it seems like everyone is trying to be witty. We enjoy it with the character Lightsong. It has some funny moments with the mercs. But it seems like everyone wants to be the king/queen of the witty quip. It’s not a bad thing, just not what we prefer. Also, it is in need of a sequel, which we won’t be seeing any time soon, but look forward to.

WARBREAKER is more light-hearted than we typically enjoy, but it was still an excellent novel. This is a fantastic work that appeals to a huge audience. While we felt his MISTBORN (Amazon) series was superior (And that is what we are all about), WARBREAKER is, in our awesome opinions, a book you should have bought the week it was released.

  • Recommended Age: 13+
  • Language: If there was any, we don't remember it
  • Violence: There is some, but this is more a novel about political intrigue. Though the sword is pretty awesomely violent.
  • Sex: Yes and no. Hard to describe it without having a spoiler. What little there is has been handled tastefully, and has purpose.

Not that he needs more publicity (wink), but head to his website.

Also, the crazy awesome Dan Dos Santos is the artist of the beautiful cover of WARBREAKER. Go give him some respect. He’s earned it.


  • bacaninho says:

    I have to say, the mercs were the highlight of the book for me, not just their characters (which were vivid and well done), but their purpose and the structure they provided to the story as well. They (through the manipulations of their masterful puppetmaster Mr. Sanderson) surprised me, and any time a book manages to surprise me (in a good way), it deserves at least four out of five stars.

    Warbreaker, I think, gets four and a half.

    • It is like what we said in the review, and what you, Matt, seem to be hinting at. I feel like we need a sequel. I think if we get a satisfying sequel (hopefully in a few years), it has the potential of making Warbreaker an incredible novel. But even as is, Warbreaker is still much better than a lot of the crap out there.

      Also, the writing was Brandon's best, but the story not as good as Mistborn (thought I should clarify our opinion).

  • Matt says:

    I definitely agree with this review. While it Warbreaker is an entertaining read in its own rights, I think it was definitely a step down from Sanderson's other books (though I confess I have not read Elantris). The world didn't feel as deep or as interesting to me as Mistbor. Sanderson also spends too much time discussing the magic system of the book. It felt like he was trying to capture the feeling that Allomancy had in Mistborn, but ended up with something much more complicated and not nearly as cool.

    I also agree that the book is too lighthearted, and the casual and witty way all the characters treat things undermines the seriousness of the plot lines that they are involved in.

  • Patton says:

    The ending, to me, implies that we might be getting some more action in that universe, and I think that would be good. This was really the book that made me believe that Brandon could work very well with Robert Jordan's material to finish up the Wheel of Time. Also, I like what seems to be a trend in his books- trope-busting. So often the mercs in stories really have hearts of gold, but in this, the mercs really are mercs. He makes it seem more complicated than it actually is, and that, to me, is a sign of good writing. Personally, I can't wait until November 3rd.

    • -Slamel- says:

      While I was reading the merc's sections, all I wanted was the Northmen from Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy. That is humor done extremely well from the perspective of real killers.

      But there is not doubt or dispute that Brandon is and was the only possibility to finish WOT.

  • Björn says:

    The review mentions a character “Lightbringer” (which I don't remember from the novel). Should it be Lightsong?

    I also found the comedy a little bit too much at times. Overall, I liked the book and found it very well-written, but I found the plot in the Mistborn series (and in Elantris as well) more interesting.

  • John says:

    I didn't mind the comedy so much. For as much time as we spent with Vivian in her happy place, a bit more time could have been spent in her darkest hours. I love how he transformed the characters through the story.

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