Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Warbreaker Post 1: Chapters 1-12.

I'm really excited that today is the first post for the Warbreaker readalong hosted by Amanda and Naithin. I joined in on the readalong for Sanderson's Mistborn a little belatedly, and since I loved the book, I decided more Sanderson was just what I needed (thanks Amanda and Naithin, for reading my mind). 

I ended up downloading a copy of Sanderson's novel to my Nook, Homer, since he has been feeling a bit neglected. I love that the edition I downloaded is annotated, and while I haven't really dived into the annotations yet, I foresee lots of geeking out in the future.

Anyway, Amanda sent out questions for this week, so here are my thoughts! (And while I don't purposefully spoil anything, read at your own risk).

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?

This is only my second title by Sanderson, but I have already come to expect a lot from him. His world-building is simply superb. Just like Mistborn, the world has a distinct feel and tone. I was drawn into it from the first page, and I was absorbed in the smallest details from the start. One thing that I do want to mention is that I found myself drawn into the story much quicker than with Mistborn. For that title, it took me about 50-60 pages to get a firm hold on Sanderson’s style and the events in the novel. That doesn’t seem to be the case for this one (perhaps because it is a standalone title, whereas Mistborn was setting up a trilogy?).

I am also intrigued by the storylines taking place. We’ve already met a number of characters, and there seems to be 4 parallel stories taking place with four main characters: Vasher, Siri, Lightsong, and Vivenna. Siri and Vivenna are the sisters (Siri sent in her sister’s place to marry the God King), and right now, I am partial to their storylines. We’ve only seen a little from Vasher, but I’m sure he will pop up again as we continue. As for Lightsong...at first I was a little irritated with him, but the last two chapters intrigued me. The idea of a God discontented with his role and pushing against it...I’m curious to see where Sanderson takes it.

I have to commend Sanderson, again, for creating a lovely system of magic. I love that it is focused around colors, and the smallest touches of this system make me smile (the hair changes, etc). I am hoping we learn a little more about it, as well as more about the Returneds (I have to say that I REALLY got into that conversation between Lightsong and his priest in the last chapter).

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?

I think that Lightsong is right to question his role as a “God.” It wasn’t as if any of the Returneds really make a conscious decision to take on that role, but were forced into it. Lightsong seems to hate it more than he enjoys it-the constant petitions, rules, and demands on his time irritate him (obviously). But I think that I understood more of the system of their divinity during that last conversation he had-about those who were Returneds coming back for a reason-to issue a warning or to save an individual’s life. I am hoping we learn more about that as the story progresses.

As for the religion...well, religions have been formed out of need, in a historical sense. Gods serve to guide and help humanity through all aspects of life...so I think it would be odd for a whole society to believe in nothing as opposed to a faulty system of Gods.  As for whether the Returneds should be seen and exalted as Gods? I’m not sure yet. I want to know more about their roles and how others see them (Siri and Vivenna mainly).

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?

We have only seen the God King through Siri’s eyes as she waits for him to use her as his wife, so he hasn’t really developed as a character. However, I don’t think the God King is what the other Gods, priests, or people think he is. Obviously, there is a story there and we haven’t heard what it is just yet. I have a feeling we’re going to learn more about him soon, and what his real role in the kingdom is. I’m sensing that he doesn’t have the power everyone thinks he does, or, if he does have power, he refuses to use it the way others want him to. But who knows...knowing what I do of Sanderson, it will all be a calculated surprise.

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

I’m assuming the title has something to do with one of the individuals we’ve already met. Since war is looming...I’m going to assume that someone (I’m thinking Vivenna or Lightsong) is going to take on a more powerful role to break up the chaos and discontent between the kingdoms. I'm kind of pulling for Siri, since I think she is the most interesting so far, but I could be wrong. :)


  1. I'm with you on Siri. She was by far my favorite in the first section. And Lightsong didn't really catch my attention until that last little bit.

    Also, similarly, I had a much easier time moving straight into this book than I did with Mistborn, and much much easier than with The Way of Kings (which took about 400 pages, though that time came to be worth it in the end). Maybe you're right and it has to do with being a standalone rather than a series. Maybe the longer his series get, the more intro they need? *shrug*

    I'm so glad you've joined us Allie! I seem to have taken an inadvertant break from classics this year - they just don't appeal to me at the moment - and all this fantasy is what's taken their place right now. I'm glad I'm not the only one out there who likes them. :D

    1. I quite liked Lightsong right off the bat, but it seems I'm in the minority in that regard!

      I can't wait til more of this Magic system is revealed to us though, as I am quite convinced there is still far more to it than what we've seen so far.

    2. I miss my heavy diet of fantasy. I find I can escape into them far easier than with any other genre-including YA titles. Perhaps because they were my comfort as a teen?

      I actually went and ordered a couple of his other books (Elantis and The Way of Kings) because I want to get to them this year. :) I love discovering fantasy writers with a few books already out.

    3. Ooh! If you read The Way of Kings, I believe Carl will be hosting a readalong of the second book when it comes out next year. :D I should check out Elantis.

  2. I third the comment that this book was easier to get into than Mistborn, which bodes well since even though it took a while, I loooooved Mistborn :D.

    I think it's interesting that so many people are thinking that Lightsong might be the Warbreaker, since it seemed to me that Siri was the obvious choice and Lightsong would be more of a supporting/sacrificing type of character. Only time will tell I suppose :D

    1. Well, considering the Returned all have those combined names (Lightsong, Blushweaver, etc), I have to think that Warbreaker is going to be a character who Returns. I still think it's going to be Siri, but we'll have to see. :)

  3. I'm wondering whether the priests are manipulating the Returned by not telling them what they know about their backgrounds.

  4. I really like how Lightsong relates to Scoot. First off, giving him such a ridiculous nickname, and the man doesn't get irritated. Scoot must have a well of patience.

    1. Hahaha. I love the name Scoot! I chuckled when Lightsong named him that! He is actually becoming a favorite character (I'm plowing through the book) because of their interactions.

  5. This sound really good. I haven't read anything by Sanderson but become aware of him when he was chosen to finish Wheel of Time. I've added this and the Mistborn trilogy to my wish list. And I'm not going to read any more of your posts from the read-along ;-) - don't want any spoilers although it'll probably be a good while before I get around to reading these books so I will probably have forgotten it all by then ... anyways - on the list they go :-)