Warbreaker is an engrossing story of two sisters. Vivenna and Siri are princesses of Idris: the first is calm, controlled and irreproachable; the second is impetuous, vivacious and headstrong. When their father breaks Vivenna’s longstanding engagement and instead sends Siri to marry the God King of neighboring Hallandren, both are cast into confusion and must reevaluate who they are. Moreover, they must do so before war engulfs both kingdoms. Siri spends her time trying to enlist allies in the palace — including the God King himself — to prevent war, while Vivenna seeks to undermine the war from within the city itself. Hallandren is seeking an excuse to make war on Idris, and neither princess knows if she can stop it.
Brandon Sanderson creates a complex world where those who die in glory return as gods to live in and rule Hallandren and where power is based on the possession of an essence called breath, which comes from ordinary individuals. This breath can be used to draw upon the color of the world and accomplish all manner of magic. Both Vivenna and Siri are surrounded by these powerful magic users, and they become enmeshed in layer upon layer of machinations. Sanderson masterfully weaves a story of magic and political misdirection which manages to mislead us until the very end of the book, when we find out who the real villains are.
This book was a wonderful read. I could hardly put it down and Sanderson’s signature twist endings lose none of their punch in this novel.
Rated: Moderate. This novel has some mild profanity — a few “hells” and a “slut” — and some mild sexual references including innuendo and descriptions of scantily clad women. The moderate rating was chosen mainly for the novel’s violence, which includes some gory murders, torture and various sword battles.