|Another reviewer recently asked if it was even possible to
come up with something new in fantasy
Well, I can assure you that it didnt
take very long at all for Warbreaker to convince me that here
was something very novel indeed. The way this world works is totally different from
anything Ive encountered before in fantasyand Ive read a LOT of fantasy
over the years. Its a world of colours, of Breath, of awakening, the Returned, and
If that sounds confusing, its not when you read it. Sanderson
does a masterful job of introducing you to his world and making it all this strangeness
Part of this is due to the characters, who are beautifully realised, and draw the
reader into their world. Mostly we see this world through the eyes of the two princesses,
Vivienna the elder, and Siri the younger, and also through Lightsong the Bold, one of the
Returned. One of the sisters must marry the God-King of Hallandren, and Vivienna is
preparedbut at the last minute, their father decides to send Siri. Vivienna follows
Siri, planning to rescue her sister. But nothing is that simple, and it gets complicated
when her fathers agent in Idris dies after giving her his hoard of Breath.
I have absolutely no idea where Sanderson is coming from with this fantasymost
high fantasy is based in one historic culture and mythology or another (or some mixture).
Tolkien stole heavily from Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic myth. Others have drawn on
Greco-Roman or Chinese
I suppose there are hints of Egyptian here, but its
only hints. Sanderson proves that originality really is possible in fantasy, and with that
breathes new life into the genre. This is surely going to be one of the best fantasy
novels of the year.