Warbreaker Groupread, Part I

Welcome to Part 1 of the “Warbreaker” groupread!  I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while because I am a bit of a Brandon Sanderson fangirl.  When Naithin announced the readalong, I couldn’t pass up the chance to participate in the discussions, even though it’s going to be a very busy couple weeks leading up to and including my trip to Book Expo America.

Before I get started discussing the content of the book, I just wanted to say how much I love the cover illustration.  It’s not in line with the kind of cover art that I usually like, but it fits so well with the story.

Many thanks go to Amanda and Naithin for hosting the discussions!

“Warbreaker” is a standalone novel that features a color-based magic system.  The rest of this post will contain spoilers from the first section of the book.  I’ll post a spoiler-free review once I’m done reading it for anyone who isn’t following along.

1. All right, let’s start easy – how are you liking the book so far? We’ve been introduced to a lot of characters and started several stories now. Any in particular catch your attention? Anything intrigue you?

Of the Sanderson novels that I’ve read thus far, this one seems to be the least polished, which I especially noticed while reading the prologue.  At the same time, the idea behind the story is original and I’m getting caught up enough in the story to overlook the fact that the writing doesn’t quite measure up to what we see in Mistborn: The Final Empire or The Way of Kings.

My favorite character thus far is Lightsong.  His tendencies to pretend at drunkenness and headaches even as one of the Returned are rather endearing.

I also love Nightblood, even though I don’t think it (He?  She?  Do swords even have genders?) counts as a character so much as a sarcastic sentient object.

At first I thought of Vivenna as a bit of a boring character, but I gained a new respect for her when she ran away to save Siri and accidentally fell in with some mercenaries and acquired Breath.  She’s an unlikely heroine, and I can’t wait to see her learn to use her magic.  One of the things that I love about Sanderson’s novels is the way that he crafts magical systems that work as natural processes and obey certain rules.

2. The Returned are all treated as Gods, but at least one of those Gods doesn’t believe in his own divinity, despite seeing potential visions. Do you think the Returned will prove to be divine? How do you feel about the religion built up around them?

Lightsong is going to prove to be an important character when he remembers whatever it is he’s supposed to do.  I don’t think that the Returned are divine, but rather, they’re more like the Elantrians.  They’re not immortal, as they can give up their lives to save others.  Their more like zombies than angels, and even though I don’t like a religion that involves sacrificing the souls of children, I do think that it is based around some sort of truth/wisdom/insight.  The dreams are most likely prophetic, but I don’t think the Returned can do much to stop the events they foresee from occurring.

3. The God King didn’t turn out to be the way he’s presented and thought of in this world. Any ideas on what his role will be in this story?

At first I thought that he might turn out to be a powerless figurehead, but someone of the Tenth Heightening is far from powerless.  He’s quite mysterious, and I am curious as to his personality and function.  He reminds me a bit of the Lord Ruler from Mistborn, but at the same time he doesn’t seem quite as sinister (yet).

4. The title – Warbreaker – what do you think it might refer to?

Perhaps each of the characters that we’ve met will be a part of the events that stops the war from occurring.

13 thoughts on “Warbreaker Groupread, Part I

  1. Despite this being an early work, I actually found the book so much easier to get into than the others. Maybe I’m just getting used to Sanderson’s style a little?

    I am very, very intrigued by Nightblood, though I’m not sure I can say I like it/him/her at this point. It/he/she makes me laugh, though!

    1. I had the opposite problem, as it took me longer to get into this one than any of the other Sanderson novels that I’ve read. Of course, I’m thoroughly into it now and I was pretty tired when I started reading…

      I don’t know that I trust Nightblood, but I love the idea of a sentient sword. 🙂

  2. I don’t remember seeing anything about you starting this group read before this post. I really enjoyed this book (but then again I enjoy pretty much everything Sanderson writes).

    Lightsong and Nightblood are both really interesting characters throughout the course of the novel, it’s always fun to have lighthearted characters in novels.

    The God King is also an intriguing character throughout the course of the book, you’ll find out a lot more about him as the book goes on.

    1. I posted about it a week or two ago, but I probably should have done some sort of reminder when it was about to start… feel free to join in!

      Warbreaker does have a more lighthearted feeling to it than the other Sanderson novels that I’ve read thus far. It’s an interesting change, and so far I think it’s working out well. Lightsong and Nightblood are a lot of fun to read about.

  3. I actually found this one more polished than I was expecting, knowing that it was one of his earliest works, but I do still agree that Mistborn and later books in particular TWoK and his contributions toward WoT are much, much, much better.

    The Vasher prologue pulled me in fairly effectively though, so I had no trouble getting into it. 🙂

    1. Vasher seems interesting because I don’t know whose side he’s on yet, or whether he represents an entirely different force.

  4. I completely agree about the cover, love it!

    About the writing: you put your finger on the inkling I was having. It pulled me in, but seems a little rougher around the edges than Mistborn was. I think I’m still going to really enjoy the book because the story is very compelling, but it is almost reassuring to know that authors like Sanderson aren’t just born perfect 😉

    1. It seemed to be a bit rougher at the start even than it is once you get a bit further into it. I was a bit surprised because I know that he wrote this one after Elantris, which seemed a bit more polished than Warbreaker. The story more than makes up for it though.

  5. I also found Vivenna to be an intriguing character. She seemed very caught up in her duty and that drive transferred to the need to save her sister (and perhaps endure that fate of marriage to the GK herself). I get a kick out of Tonk Fah and Denth.

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