Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Warbreaker Post 3: Chapters 24-34.

It's time for the third post on Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker. The group read is hosted by Amanda and Naithin. You can see my thoughts for the first set of questions here, and my thoughts for the second set are here. Needless to say, I am rather enjoying the book. :)

Be advised that I don't intentionally spoil, but if you have plans to read the book, it might be better to skim!

1. Lightsong is beginning to remember his past, or at least, what he thinks is his past. Why do you think this knowledge is coming to him now, after five years as a Returned?

I am fascinated by Lightsong. While I was wary of him to begin with, I feel like we are really getting to know the real man behind the god stature. He's a funny guy, and while he seems to enjoy being irritating and a bit of a laughing-stock, I think there is a lot more to him.

I enjoy his little quests into determining who he once was. The priests say that he has to have done something to earn the right to Return, so wouldn't it be logical for someone, like a detective, to be offered that opportunity? Honestly, I think it would be too easy for Lightsong to have had that kind of a role in his past-don't those kinds of individuals do wonderful things as parts of their jobs?

Anyway, I'm curious to see what else he thinks he remembers about who he was. I also want to know why the priests won't tell the Returned who they were when they were alive. I think that's key to getting a little more information about their supposed divinity.

2. In this section, Vivenna has learned a lot about herself, and not necessarily to her liking. How do you think the new knowledge will change her going forward?

I think Vivenna is finally learning a little tolerance towards the people around her. She grew up in a society where one way of thinking was pushed as correct and everything else was wrong. As she spends more time in T'Telir, she is realizing that her own way of thinking is narrow, condescending, and close-minded.

I'm hoping she changes as the plot moves forward because characters who stay stagnant infuriate me. :)

3. From the beginning of the book, both the Idrians and Lightsong have been telling us that the Returned aren't Gods, and that the Hallendren religion is untrue. Now, though, we've had a few other different perspectives: Jewels' vehement faith in the God King, the God King's own belief in his divinity, and finally, Hoid's collection of historical stories. Given the new information, have your ideas about religion in this book changed? How do you view it now?

First of all, I really like this question. :)

I think the system of divinity and religion in the novel is an interesting one. I mean, how often do gods themselves question their own right to be worshiped? For Lightsong, who doesn't remember his past before he was Returned, he can't put the pieces together as to why anyone would worship him. He sees himself as a lazy, irritating fellow and sees no divinity within himself. He does his job as a god because it is expected, not because he believes in it.

As for the God King, he also knows nothing beyond what he has been told about himself and the Hallendren religion.  He has been told he is a god, so he sees himself as a god. Since the only people around him are priests who tell him so, and servants who wait on him, what else can he really believe?

I really like the perspective of these two because it also made me question whether they should be seen as gods. But what Hoid and Jewels confirm is that the people believe. The fact is, these people Returned for apparently no reason. They were given a second chance after proving themselves at the end of their first life. That opportunity makes them higher than the people around them. In some way, you have to respect that these were honorable men and women before they Returned. They did something to stand out. The religion, in the context of that knowledge, has to be valid, right? But there is still something underneath all of that we haven't been told yet (regarding the God King and his heir). I'm sure we'll find out by the end.

4. Denth says, "Every man is a hero in his own story." What do you make of this, especially given Denth and Vasher's apparent rivalry, and Vivenna and Siri's different perspectives of life in Hallendren and the Gods' court?

We all want to see ourselves on the right and moral side of things. If you believe in something strongly enough, maybe you do become the hero in your own story. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not, but Denth seems to believe in it. I just think it says a lot about tolerance the ability to change your opinion when faced with facts, but that's a tangent for another day. :)


  1. I have not read this but have seen the group read here and there. The questions are very good indeed and although I just browsed your answers (since I have not read it myself), I have seen enough to be intrigued.

  2. One of the biggest things I love about Sanderson is the way he takes a situation that seems so black and white and then turns it into grey. He did the same thing in Mistborn (even more in the volumes to come - you'll see). It's a fabulous talent, adn I like how we're getting right to that murky area. I do wonder, if this hadn't been a standalone, if the God King would eventually question his own divinity because of Siri.