Warbreaker Groupread, Part IV

This week’s reading covers chapters 35-49 of Brandon Sanderson’s “Warbreaker.”  A lot happened in this section!  Many thanks to  Amanda and Naithinfor hosting this groupread.

The image to the left is A Story for the God King by punker–rocker.

The discussion below will contain major plot SPOILERS.  If you haven’t read the book, you’ll want to stop reading now.  I’ll post a spoiler-free review when we’re done with the book.

1) So, pretty much everything has been flipped up on its head in this section. Which particular revelation was the greatest shock to you and how has it impacted your view of the book as a whole?
I had definitely been taken in by Denth & Co., even though I had suspected that they were making war more likely rather than less.  Those assholes!  I didn’t even like Vivenna, and I still found myself angry for her.  Being fooled so thoroughly definitely makes me appreciate Sanderson’s writing even more than I already had.  I’m starting to warm up to Vivenna now that she’s realizing what an idiot she’s been.
Oh, and the scene with the Allmother impressed me a lot.  Lightsong is my favorite character in the book thus far, but he doesn’t fit in very well at the Court of the Gods.  I was surprised that Allmother was willing to trust him, and I wonder whether he’ll be able to prevent the war.

2) Vasher is perhaps one of those things who we’ve had flipped over on us. Turns out he may have once been a scholar, even! Vasher and Viveena have quite the conversation about Awakening and Returned and skate across the topic of ‘Type 4’ Awakened Objects, which the story implies to be objects like Nightblood. Vasher is completely unwilling to discuss it any further – any guesses as to why?

Well, Nightblood is definitely a sentient object.  There’s the morality aspect, of course, and I wonder what the cost is to create such an object.  Something like Nightblood could be quite dangerous in the wrong hands.

3) Siri’s conversation with Treledees perhaps indicated that for all the disregard he shows for Siri, that he may in fact still care for the God King. If true, does this clash with their idea of simply holding onto the Divine Breath until the return of another, or how could you see it being reconciled?
Even if he’s got good intentions, cutting someone’s tongue out is a strange way of saying you care.  Let’s not forget the fact that without his tongue, the God King couldn’t use the Breath to help anybody if the need arose.  I still think Treledees is up to no good, and I’m glad that Siri is able to hold her own against him and use what little power she has going for her.
4) We’re so far through the book now, and the War has yet to come. Do you (still?) see it as inevitable, or do you think that it may yet be headed off?
I think that it will be headed off in the most epic manner possible.  It’s coming down to the last 200 pages (give or take), which is when Sanderson novels start to get insane.
See everyone next week for the final set of discussions!

16 thoughts on “Warbreaker Groupread, Part IV

  1. The ‘betrayal’ by Denth was very well done in the book, I think Sanderson does an excellent job of making you trust him throughout the book, but it ends up being another one of those “I should have seen it coming” moments that Sanderson does very well.

    Lightsong is a fantastic character, I don’t know how anyone could not like him, although Nightblood is just as much fun to read about, the sarcastic sword is an excellent addition to the book.

    I also have to say that’s a fantastic picture you found for this post. Some of the fan art that people create for books is very well done.

    1. Nightblood is definitely my second favorite character, especially when he gets annoyed that he didn’t get to kill anybody.

      Thanks on the picture. I like to browse around on long groupreads and see what fan art is out there. There are so many talented artists who use books for inspiration!

    2. I’m still not sure if I consider this one well done or not! I think I’ll need to reread at some point to see what I can see with the knowledge of it in the back of my mind.

      It’s a bit odd, because at first it seemed very much like Sanderson had flipped the Merc stereotype on it’s head ‘just because’ and then when it in fact turned out to be fairly closely aligned to the stereotype after all (anything for pay) that seemed out of place to me too. 😛

      It just seemed a bit like because there wasn’t really any foreshadowing for it that Sanderson had to have Viveena hit us over the head (repeatedly) with the fact that ‘onoes, their jokes were actually not jokes!’

      So I see Amanda’s point in this one perhaps lacking some of the subtlety of his later works, but I’m still a little more on the fence right now.

      There were some hints toward Kelsier’s plan in the first Mistborn book, for example, which I didn’t pick up on until the second read through.

      1. I thought Denth joking the whole time worked well. Denth appears similar to Lightsong because he’s constantly making jokes, the main difference being that he’s in a situation to use his abilities to cause a little more chaos than Lightsong is.

        Denth isn’t quite the ‘anything for pay’ mercenary, he has his own agenda (again, it’s been a while since I read the book so I don’t know exactly what was revealed at this point, so I won’t say anything more).

      2. I didn’t suspect that the mercenaries were on the other side until it was revealed, even though once I realized it, I could see all of the evidence that pointed to it. I should have realized at the moment they gave her the money that they were up to something. It should have been obvious, and it is now, and I’m kicking myself for not noticing earlier. It’s not as subtle as Mistborn, but it’s still effective.

  2. I admit that I felt a little betrayed by the twists in this one, and i prefer Sanderson’s subtlety in his later books. It just felt a little like sacrificing character for plot twists. :/ Maybe that’s just because I was fairly attached to Denth et al.

    1. The fact that I was attached to Denth, even liking him better than Vivenna herself, made his betrayal sting more. I like that the twist happened, but at the same time I was completely unprepared for it.

  3. I was a little suspicious of Denth and his crew simply because we kept getting told how nice they were, not like normal mercinaries. Compared to the ambiguity surounding most of the outher characters it stood out to me, so I wasn’t completely surprised by the u-turn, although as we had got so far into the book without incident I did believe they were okay!

  4. Vivenna had a major learning curve in this section – she even had to consider prostitution. I still wonder why she was against that but not against using Breath (or Soul in her religion). I would have thought selling Breath would have worse connotations than selling her body in her up-to-recently belief system.

    1. I had that thought as well, but then considered the consequences if anyone found out about the prostitution. Assuming it’s a typical medieval/fantasy world, it would mean she wouldn’t be able to be married off to a prince/king/etc., and there would be a whole mess of problems if she got pregnant. Using Breath has implications back home, but it doesn’t seem like the consequences will be as bad.

      1. I get the impression that holding a lot of breath is kind of addictive, so I can understand why she didn’t want to give it up. Also, she didn’t really know how to actually go about selling it and she was very ill so not really thinking straight.

        1. Yes. Also, places where one would sell Breath would likely be the first that Denth & Co. would be looking for her, as they realize that she’s got no money.

  5. I agree that I really liked the scene with Allmother. It was completely unexpected but a really great plot development 😀 Go Lightsong!

    1. I wouldn’t have expected him to give up the codes so easily (and voluntarily!). There’s a lot more to him than he wants to believe.

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