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by Brandon Sanderson


In the jungle kingdom of Hallandren, a rebellion against the gods who rule them has been crushed.  Its leader, an Awakener named Vahr, is hung naked by his wrists in the dungeon. Vasher, another Awakener, desires the Breaths Vahr held.  In exchange for these Breaths, Vasher promises to get Vahr out of his prison.  He cuts Vahr's throat, stopping the torture.

Meanwhile, things are coming to a crisis in the mountain kingdom of Idris.  The treaty the king signed with Hallandren twenty years ago is coming due.  The king, Idris, must send his eldest daughter to be the bride of Hallandren's god king, Susebron.  If he doesn’t, there will be war, a war Idris could never win.  Vivenna has trained for this moment all her life, and is packing to leave.  But her father can't bear to send her away.

Vivenna is the perfect daughter.  She is disciplined enough to keep her royal locks a serene black no matter how she feels.  She is in control of herself in all situations.  If war comes, the king needs her at home.  His second daughter is a monk in the temple of Austre.  That leaves the rebellious and undisciplined youngest daughter, Siri.  Perhaps she'll settle down when she is a wife and mother.

Warbreaker is the kind of book that you never want to put down.  The action starts on page one and never lets up.  All of the characters are fully human, even the Returned, who are revered as gods.  Perfect Vivenna is jealous of Siri, and feels useless now that Siri has been sent to Susebron. Siri is frightened, but breaks all the rules.  It is that characteristic that lets her succeed where Vivenna would not.  The Hallandren god, Lightsong, doesn't believe he is a god.

There is room for a sequel, though none has been announced.  If you love fantasy, dig into Warbreaker.  It's a winner.

The Book

MacMillan / Tor
June 2009
978-0-7653-2030-8 / 0-7653-2030-4
More at
NOTE: Contains violence, sexual situations

The Reviewer

Jo Rogers
Reviewed 2009
© 2009