“I try to avoid having thoughts. They lead to other thoughts, and—if you’re not careful—those lead to actions. Actions make you tired. I have this on rather good authority from someone who once read it in a book.”


(This is straight off of Brandon Sanderson’s website as his summary is better than any summary I could ever write.)

I wouldn’t change ELANTRIS, but I’ve always kind of wished that I could write a book that actually focused on what it was LIKE to have to live with all of the expectations of being transformed into a deity. How would that affect a person? What if they, themselves, didn’t believe that their powers made them a god—yet everyone else did believe it? Could you have a god who didn’t believe in his own religion?

Eventually, I couldn’t leave this idea alone. I needed to explore it, perhaps for the same reasons I needed to explore the opposite idea in ELANTRIS. In many ways, this book is a companion—yet opposite book—to ELANTRIS. Though set in separate worlds with very different systems of magic, both take the same concept, then run different directions with it. I hope very much not to seem like I’m repeating myself as an author; I think by doing Mistborn and Alcatraz between these books, I’ve shown my versatility. Now, I want to try another book about deified men. (Coincidentally, I decided I wanted to deal with another concept I promised in ELANTRIS, but then ignored—the bride who is sent to another kingdom to marry a man she doesn’t know. Once again, I wanted to take it the opposite direction. In ELANTRIS, Sarene arrives to discover her fiancé is dead and gone. In WARBREAKER, however, I wanted to show what happened if the bride didn’t get to dodge this uncomfortable situation, but actually had to marry the man she’d been promised to.)

And so, we are introduced to four characters in this book. Lightsong is a God of the Hallandren people—a regular man who died in a heroic way, and was therefore brought back to life by the magic to rule as a god. (Or, at least, that’s how the Hallandren people interpret it.) We have Siri, a rebellious daughter sent by her father to marry the tyrant god-king of those same Hallandren people. We have Vivenna, sister to Siri, who goes to try to rescue her sibling from her fate. And then, there’s Vasher—whose motivations and goals are his own. (You can read about him in the prologue.)

The magic is one I’ve wanted to put into a book for a long, long time and the setting—with its vibrant color and tropical climate—is very different from the worlds of MISTBORN or ELANTRIS. This is the book I wrote when I, myself, got engaged and married, and I think it had a great influence on how I interpret the world.

Personal Experiences

Every time you open a book, the author makes a promise to you. This promise can be one that tells you that this book will be funny (Alcatraz), or have a great magic system (Warbreaker), or will be an Epic Fantasy (Wheel of Time). This promise is usually made in the first sentence/paragraph of the book. Some authors don’t realize the vow they are making. Brandon, you have never let me down. The first sentence of the book Alcatraz is “So, there I was, tied to an altar made from outdated encyclopedias, about to get sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of evil Librarians.” This sentence made a promise to be unbearably funny. And it was.

Warbreaker‘s first sentence is: “It’s funny, Vasher thought, how many things begin with my getting thrown into prison.” This sentence promises a good laugh, but also very serious and real, with slivers of Epic Magic. And this is exactly what I get.

Brandon, you once again force me to rebuild my fortifications. I get knocked dead and reincarnate into the same body. A must read for Sanderfans all over the world!.


“Mocking a woman is like drinking too much wine. It may be fun for a short time, but the hangover is hell.”

“I swear, my dear. Sometimes our conversations remind me of a broken sword.”

She raised an eyebrow.

“Sharp as hell,” Lightsong said, “but lacking a point.”

“Unknowing ignorance is preferable to informed stupidity.”

“You’re a very difficult person to manipulate, you know.”
“Nonsense,” he said. “You just have to promise me that I won’t have to do a thing, and then I’ll do anything you want.”
“Anything that doesn’t require doing anything.”
“That’s nothing, then.”
“Is it?”
“Well, that’s something.”

“Every man is a hero of his own story.”

“My dear, did you just try to prove the existence of God through the use of your cleavage?”

“It was strange, how easily and quickly protection could cause destruction. Sometimes, Vasher wondered if the two weren’t really the same thing. Protect a flower, destroy pests who wanted to feed on it. Protect a building, destroy the plants that could have grown in the soil. Protect a man. Live with the destruction he creates.”

“Regardless, you ask why I
did not greet you. Well, let us assume that I had acted as you suggest I
should. Upon your approach, you would have had me gush over you?”
“You would have me point out how stunning you appear in that gown?”
“I wouldn’t complain.”
“Mention how your dazzling eyes glisten in the fireworks like burning
“That would be nice.”
“Expound on how your lips are so perfectly red that they could leave any
man breathless with wonder, yet drive him compose the most brilliant of
poetry each time he recalled the moment?”
“I’d be flattered for certain.”
“And you claim you want these reactions from me?”
“I do.”
“Well blast it, woman,” Lightsong said, picking up his cup. “If I’m
stunned, dazzled, and breathless, then how the hell am I supposed to greet
you? By definition, won’t I be struck dumb?”
She laughed. “Well, then, you’ve obviously found your tongue now.”
“Surprisingly, it was in my mouth,” he said. “I always forget to check

“She’s only seventeen years old,” Llarimar said. “I can’t imagine being
married to the God King at her age.”
“I can’t imagine you being married to the God King at any age, Scoot,”
Lightsong said. Then he pointedly cringed. “Actually, yes I can imagine it,
and the dress looks painfully inelegant on you. Make a note to have my
imagination flogged for its insolence in showing me that par tic u lar sight.”
“I’ll put it in line right behind your sense of decorum, Your Grace,”
Llarimar said dryly.
“Don’t be silly,” Lightsong said, taking a sip of wine. “I haven’t had one
of those in years.”

“A person knows when they’re in darkness, even when they can’t see. -Nightblood”

“Llarimar had told him to do his best. That sounded like an awful lot of work. Unfortunately, doing nothing was beginning to seem like even MORE work.”

“You see, the great thing about madness is that it’s all in your head.”

Where to find Warbreaker

Indie Bound*

*If you are unaware, I have a video on how to use Indie Bound as a resource on how to find books

**Also, if you have a Windows Phone, there is a really good EPUB reader app called Bookviser Reader. You can check out their website here.

NOTE: Brandon decided to do something very interesting with this book. You can read more about it here. This would also be the same website that I got the summary from.

Happy Reading . . .

Cite this article as: Serene Haroon, "Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1) by Brandon Sanderson," in {sereneharoon.com}, October 9, 2016, http://sereneharoon.com/2016/10/warbreaker/.

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68 thoughts on “Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1) by Brandon Sanderson”

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