Warbreaker - Brandon Sanderson I had a lot of problems with this book, but all in all, it was still pretty awesome.

My main problem, aside from Vivenna, was the fact that the whole book was somewhat too predictable. I mean, every element of the plot was divided up into clues and presented as a mystery, but I had everything figured out nearly from the beginning. I mean, after Denth says he's a bad guy so many times, how was I supposed to trust him? Only Vivenna could be stupid enough to fall for that, especially with Tonks muttering about blood and pain all the time in the background. I knew they were evil the entire time.

I also knew that Bluefingers was a mastermind, probably evil. And I knew his people were the real villains, because, you know, there are only three kingdoms. The two kingdoms who are going to go to war, don't want to go to war, so naturally the third kingdom was the instigator. It was too easy.

And I assumed the God King was mute early on, although I didn't expect that he'd had his tongue cut out. But once you knew that, how could you not know that Lightsong was going to die to repair him?

Another of my problems with this book is here, actually: When Susebron got his tongue back, he was immediately throwing out orders in this big, deep, commanding voice. Sanderson claimed that it was because Lightsong's sacrifice somehow gave Susebron the ability to use his new tongue, and to command his vocal cords like a pro...but it just felt lazy to me, like he didn't want to come up with a real explanation.

And the "hidden" army...come on. It was so obvious. Giant, armored stone statues hidden by the hundreds all over the city? What, were all the Hallandren blind?

For the record, I hate it when stone things come to life and move around. They always retain their hardness, so if a weapon hits them it bounces off harmlessly, but somehow they can move and flex their joints without cracking or breaking into pieces. And this time, there wasn't even a defined type of magic that could explain it - they just made it sound like the stone would move without any trouble, for no reason. The cloth didn't turn into water or something when it was Awakened, so why should stone turn into just stone-hard flesh?


I hated Vivenna. She did get better right at the end, but after I had to suffer through five hundred-plus pages of her POV, I really wasn't in any mood to forgive her. She was intolerant, arrogant, stupid, judgemental, whiny, hypocritical, boring, self-obsessed and pretty much loathsome in every way. I could have handled that - I can like good characters even when they're hateful - but Sanderson presented her to me like she was supposed to be some kind of heroine, and I got sick of that fast. I knew she was going to be redeemed, and learn to be an Awakener, and fly/ride/walk off into the sunset to practice with her Breath more the entire time, but I don't like being beaten over the head with any character's "goodness", even when they are good. Which Vivenna wasn't.

But then there was Lightsong. He was predictable, but such an amazing character. He literally defines the bridge between brilliance and madness. He was completely insane, but he was a genius, okay? Pretty much every conversation he ever had was just...a work of art. There were whole pages of his dialogue that I wanted to just read over and over. Some of them I had to read twice, just to be sure I'd really read what I thought I'd read. Lightsong was a masterpiece. There was a lot of humor in this book, but most of it was his fault - and yes, it had me grinning. I loved the humor in this book. I'd copy and paste some examples of Lightsong's dialogue to prove my point, but I'm too lazy.

I did love Vasher, right up until the end. He was amazing. I was horribly afraid Sanderson was going to say he was secretly a Returned, and of course, my fears were justified. I liked Vasher better before he went into Glorious Mode. He's still a great character, but I enjoyed him more when he was little and scruffy and cranky. And Nightblood was incredible. I don't think I've ever actually come across a talking sword that I liked before, but I absolutely adored Nightblood.

Siri was okay. She was my last hope for a strong female character, and she didn't pull it off, since she spent most of the book cowering in fear or screaming for help, but she was okay. She was dumb as a box of rocks, naturally, but so was everyone else. Must be a constant in that world.

There were a few of Sanderson's writing quirks that irritated me, though, and I promise this is the last thing I'll complain about: in other books of his, it was the word "perk". He uses it a lot, and it did appear a few times in Warbreaker, but it wasn't as annoying to me as it was in, say, The Well of Ascension.

A few of his writing tricks that drove me insane were bleached white, and pale white. I'd really love to know how many times he used those two phrases. For some reason, everything has to be bleached or pale white, it can't just be white, because white isn't descriptive enough. Now, if we were talking about brown or blue, using an extra word to describe the hue, like pale blue, would be okay, it'd help me see the colors better. But there's only one shade of white. It doesn't need that extra descriptive, unless you were going to say "almost white" or something.

There were other phrases he used over and over again. I lost count of how many times Vivenna "felt a chill". And half the time, words like "Breath" and "Lifeless" were capitalized, but the other half they weren't, which did get confusing sometimes. But I can't remember the others now, it's late and I'm tired.

The magic system was really cool, as always. It all seemed a little vague and occasionally contradictory, but mostly it was awesome. I don't know how Sanderson dreams up this stuff.

Before I'm finished, though, I have to ask, how did Siri smuggle that piece of charcoal into the God King's chamber? She was bathed by about a dozen serving women, then painstakingly dressed, and then led straight to his chambers every night. Unless she stuffed it up into her cheek and then didn't open her mouth or say a word through the whole process, I can't fathom how she'd manage to get a piece of charcoal through the entire process.

But I suppose that's why Sanderson didn't tell you how she did it. It's because he couldn't think up a way, either, and he just assumed Siri was more inventive than any of us.