A few months ago I realized it had been a long time since I'd read any science fiction or fantasy novels. When I started making a list of titles to try, a friend recommended Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. Now I'm recommending it to you because this is a book that has everything: mystery, romance, sword fights, political intrigue, religious debate, sarcasm and more!
Two strong female characters lead the story. Vivenna and Siri are sisters and princesses of Idris. Although Vivenna has been trained from birth to be the god king of Hallandren's bride, it is Siri who is sent to off to this foreign country to marry the god king. Vivenna, both confused about having her duty taken away from her and worried about her younger sister, takes off to Hallandren to rescue Siri from the god king.
The countries Idris and Hallandren have mostly opposite cultures, so both Siri and also Vivenna, who's been educated on the Hallandren lifestyle, experience major culture shock when they arrive in Hallandren. Idris is a quiet country with only small cities populated by worshipers of Austre, who strive to never be ostentatious. Their one god Austre is not someone they see, only someone who's good works they see. Hallandren is a bold country full of bright colors with a pantheon of gods, the most powerful of which is the god king. The Hallandren people can actually petition their gods in person at the gods' and goddess' palaces. Since the book takes place primarily in the capitol city of Hallandren, color is a very important part of the story.
Idris and Hallandren are about to go to war against each other and the two sisters, though separate, find themselves doing whatever they can to prevent it or make it easier on their beloved Idris. Meanwhile, in the court of gods, debate over the war becomes more and more heated. Most of the gods and goddesses are either strongly for or against the war, but Lightsong the Bold, a rather reluctant god, is not sure.
Each and every character brings something to this story, but some of my favorites are Vasher and his sword, Nightblood. Lightsong's high priest, who he nicknamed Scoot, is my favorite of the less central characters.The god king himself turned out to be more interesting than I thought he would.
At nearly 600 pages, Warbreaker is a little longer than most books I read, but it was well worth it. There really aren't any slow sections. Once I was in the last 200 pages, it became a real struggle to pull myself away from the story for anything at all!
To visit Brandon Sanderson's website, click here.