Warbreaker is a court intrigue, political story with magic based on breaths of people turning inanimate objects to life. Color plays a large part of the magic system and world too, as bright colors symbolize strength, and color gets drained when the magic is used. The more breaths individuals have, the stronger they become, and the more advantages they acquire, including becoming somewhat of a god to others. Breaths can be passed on from one person to another and you can live without a breath but your life then becomes duller. This is a basic fantasy story of one kingdom that was thrown out of power by a more powerful, magical uprising, and the former kingdom is in exile but might go to war.
The kingdom of Idris must marry off one of their princesses to the God King Susebron of Hallandren in order to stop a possible war. Vivenna, the oldest daughter, is supposed to be the princess that is sent to Susebron because she was bred to be the wife of the God King since she was small. The father, instead, thinking that was is imminent anyway, sends his youngest daughter Siri, who has no formal training, and is very opinionated. When Vivenna finds out her sister is sent instead of her, she goes to try to rescue her and has to use the help of some nefarious mercenaries. While all this is happening, there is a powerful magic wielder that uses a magic sword that talks people into killing others, and he has his own goals.
Like most Sanderson books, this was a lot of fun. The magic system is unique and the way the social classes are built upon breaths that individuals have allow for corruption to take place. There is much more court politics in this book than other Sanderson books. If you liked the court politics in the Mistborn sequels, then you will like this book. Even though there are fighting and magic being used it is more isolated and the scale is less grandiose. There is definitely some solid character development as characters are thrown into situations where they have to either change or die. One of my favorite characters is actually the god Lightsong. He has a noncommittal and noncaring personality that comes into conflict with his newly founded desire to help and figure out a mystery.
I think a lot of fantasy readers would like this book. I think there is some confusion that he wrote this before Mistborn but he actually wrote it after he wrote the Mistborn Trilogy. This is very familiar with his other works, so if you didn’t like his other books, you probably won’t care for this either. A solid book when and if you are wanting some Sanderson like world building in your reading.
16/25 Possible Score
4 – Plot
3 – Characters
4- World Building
3 – Writing Style
2 – Heart & Mind Aspect