When I emerged after just 3 days victorious in my reading of Warbreaker I had to subdue my excitement long enough to wait for today to roll around so I could share this with you. So I've been wiggling for over a week here, biting my tongue and, while amazed that I still have one, I can now report that this -- is win. I wasn't going to review a hardcover for my first freebie of the new year. But I'd feel like I wronged the readers here if I deprived you of a chance to pick up a copy for yourselves. Moreso if I neglected to inform you about something you can't put off reading any longer. Without further ado, I present my
After bursting onto the fantasy scene with his acclaimed debut novel, Elantris, and following up with his blockbuster Mistborn trilogy, Brandon Sanderson proves again that he is today's leading master of what Tolkien called secondary creation, the invention of whole worlds, complete with magics and myths all their own.
"Warbreaker" is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn't like his job, and the immortal who's still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.
Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren's capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as "breath" that can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.
By using "breath" and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery, and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker.
It takes a truly excellent book to take me that extra step past "fun". Sanderson put this one together in an approachable way that made me smile, sniffle, and sit up straight with agitation as my eyes are led to the next page turn. Very few books these days make me get a giddy little lump of joy in my chest while reading, but the worldbuilding, dialogue, and twists between these covers do just that. Warbreaker even appealed to the musician in me, which in truth may heavily color my opinion of the book--the descriptions of color stoked not only the visual side of my overactive imagination, but also the auditory--a wonderful treat of the senses. Sanderson brings politics and religion back into play, at turns playful and at others serious. Between these covers waits a whole new world with customs, rules, and a pallet of characters so distinctive you'll be standing in line for whatever Sanderson serves up next. (Or going back to read Elantris and the Mistborn trilogy, which are also, if I might add, full of win.)
My two-fold regret regarding Warbreaker is simple, really, and has nothing to do with the book itself: I was sad that I must a) sleep for at least 3 hours each evening (and I do not wake to that with the skill of a Lifeless--I shamble like the classic zombies of old), and b) return to the day job after my lunch hour. Hindrances which are required for continued livelihood. Both of which involve NOT reading this book. Should you acquire this for your reading list I urge you to make the following appropriate preparations: Begin on a decadently long weekend and hook up an IV of saline (among other necessary nutrients, lest you become dehydrated from drooling in awe of the words).
So now that I've got you primed for the amazingness, to win this hardcover, leave a comment on this post with the following:
1. Your Name
2. Tell us how you found us.
3. Leave a question for us to answer on our next Mailbag Monday.
Just three quick things, post by midnight EST on Sunday, January 31, 2010. Winner will be heralded with parades on Monday, February 1, 2010.
Disclaimer: This opinion is mine alone, although I sincerely hope you share it once you get a chance to pick up the book. The reviewed novel was purchased by myself from a physical bookstore, twice, (so I can give one away to one of our lucky readers!), and is not an ARC or acquisition reviewed for compensation.