Warbreaker by Brandon Sander

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Spoiler Free Review

High Fantasy 

Warbreaker #1.0

My Rating: ★★★★☆

This book has truly left an impression on me. I know I didn’t give this book a perfect rating (which I will discuss further on) but rating aside, I believe this is such a sensational fantasy book for many reasons. It has definitely made an impact on my reading and has set the bar pretty high for future fantasy books.

Warbreaker tells the story of two Idrian Princesses, Vivenna and Siri. Vivenna is in an arranged marriage via a treaty to the powerful God King who resides in Hallandren – a kingdom that couldn’t be any more different to Idris. When it comes time for Vivenna to be married, the King of Idris has a change of heart and decides Vivenna is too valuable for Idris’ future and sends his youngest and somewhat rebellious daughter Siri in Vivenna’s place.

The world of Warbreaker is narrated primarily through three perspectives, with additional chapters (but nowhere near as prominent) from secondary characters. I couldn’t imagine a better way to tell the story. Having these three particular characters narrate most of Warbreaker was fantastic as they are each essentially thrown into new situations, scenarios and surroundings. Therefore as the character learns about the world around them, the reader can come to understand the world better too.

Our first narrator is Siri, the King of Idris’ youngest child, and arguably the most mischievous one. As the youngest of four, Siri is often without responsibilities and pressure her elder siblings have. That is until she is unexpectedly sent to marry the God King in Hallandren. Secondly there is Vivenna, the eldest chid of the Idrian King. Upon finding out that she will no longer be married to the God King, Vivenna experiences a brief moment of relief, before finding out her sister Siri has been sent in her place. Vivenna feels robbed by this action, as she has spent her entire life preparing to be the perfect bride. Consequently, she secretly leaves Idris for Hallandren with plans to save her younger, more naive, sister. But her path takes a turn when she befriends a group of mercenaries. Lastly, there is the returned God, Lightsong, who simply wants leave a simple life in the palace amongst the gods. But with his kingdom potentially on the brink of war, he finds himself unwillingly drawn into the politics at court.

There is – what I consider to be very interesting – a fantastic magic system that exists within this world known as ‘Awakening.’ Just a forewarning, don’t let my explanation of this system deter you from reading, Sanderson explains it much more thoroughly (and better) than I will. Essentially every character contains a ‘BioChromatic Breath’ which draws upon colour for power. This Breath is what enables practicing mages to awaken objects. Once an object is awoken, a mage can use the object to assist them as they wish. This Breath is also transferable between people and the more Breath someone has, the powerful they are.

Warbreaker has some of the best world building in a book I have ever witnessed. Granted, the book I reader prior to this had some of the worst and perhaps I noticed this aspect more than I usually do. As someone who is easily irritated by over exposition, I was truly impressed. Sanderson executes this very cleverly. He makes it interesting for the reading, as if we’re stepping right into the protagonist’s shoes.

Unfortunately I didn’t rate this book perfectly because it did take me a while to read. It is admittedly one of the longest books I’ve read. I will contradict myself with this statement: although I loved the depth of this world, at times it did drag a little. I will say that despite it’s density it was still incredibly readable. For example, if I were to read a George R.R. Martin book, I could not pay attention if I was tired in the slightest. But despite the intricacy of the world in Warbreaker, I was still able to push through tiredness to read it.

Although I recently found out there will be a sequel to Warbreaker, this book works excellently as a standalone. I highly recommend this book to any reader who likes a slow paced high fantasy book. I would also personally say its a good entry point into Sanderson’s books

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My Current Favourite Science Fiction and Fantasy Books!

Todays discussion is a Top 5 Wednesday topic. Here is the link to the group page for any further information or if you’d like to do these topics yourself!

I didn’t really have to think long and hard about todays list – these books are easily some of my favourite books in general and I’ve rated all either a four or five stars!

5. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Although the fantasy aspects of book one are really underdeveloped, and I think that aspect is largely over-shadowed by the romance a bit. (Which I personally don’t mind at all.) But Lia, main character, was such a fantastic heroine and had me enthralled the entirety of the story that I just had to have this book on my list. I believe in the second book – The Heart of Betrayal – the fantasy fleshed out a lot more.

4. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study, aside from being excellently written, is void of a lot of typical young adult tropes that are more prevalent in many young adult fantasy books today. Which makes it an incredibly refreshing to read. Yelena is a fantastic heroine, who perseveres through a lot despite the internal and external struggles she faces.

3. The Star Thief by Jamie Grey

The Star Thief is truly an exciting, adventurous science fiction duology. The author is very well versed in science fiction and does an excellent job of illustrating her world to the reader. I would highly recommend this book for people who like heroines such as Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series or Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series.

2. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

I was incredibly impressed and totally surprised by Vicious. It was a fantastic tale about superheroes – or rather, antiheroes – and moral ambiguity that makes the story incredibly intriguing. It’s told in a then and now perspective, which really adds to the suspense of the novel. Lastly, each character is complex and have a lot of value to the overall story.

1. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Of all the books on this list Warbreak is the one I’ve read most recently and it’s truly left an impression on me. I believe this is such a sensational fantasy book for many reasons. It has definitely made an impact on my reading and has set the bar pretty high for future fantasy books. I am currently working on my review for this book because there is so much I need to say about this book. I encourage any fantasy lover to add this to their TBR pile!

Thanks for reading! 

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

 

the-assassins-bladeSpoiler Free Review

Romance | Fantasy | Young Adult

Throne of Glass Series #0.1 – #0.5

My Rating: ★★★★

The Assassin’s Blade was not high on my to-read list once it was released. This is largely because on the rare occasion I read a novella, I don’t tend to enjoy them very much. However as the release of Queen of Shadow’s neared, I heard there were several things within this book that connected to Maas’ 2015 release Queen of Shadows which had me intrigued.

Without a doubt, I was clearly missing out. This was more than a mere compilation of superficial short stories. The quality of the stories and their respective plots were amazing. Each novella continues on from where the previous left off, and so it really feels like a complete novel.

If I’m being truthful this book may be my favourite in the series thus far. Sarah J Maas really illustrated just how fantastic she is at story telling and the stories within this book give her world incredible depth. She has an qual talent for drawing out moments and making them extremely suspenseful.

We’re introduced to such a variety of characters, some who play a vital part in the series main story and some who attribute to Celaena’s development as a character. Having read Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire prior to reading this – I was immensely excited to be introduced to some of these characters that are mentioned throughout the series. Such as the King of Assassin’s himself Arobynn Hammel and Celaena’s sweetheart Sam Cortland.

I would recommend any fan of the Throne of Glass series pick this up immediately. Each novella was equally fantastic, thrilling and action packed. If you’re new to the series, my best advice would be to read each book in publication order.

Fictional Jobs I’d Want to Have

This topic took a little more time than expected, but I loved having to brainstorm about some of my favourite fictional worlds and the jobs relative to them. I largely selected jobs based on what I think I’d enjoy and what looked to be a lot of fun.. but I do think I eventually complied a list of jobs that I would both enjoy and be (relatively) good at!

1. Shadowhunter (Inspired by Isabelle Light from Shadowhunters TV Series)

I stopped watching Shadowhunters for a while as I was pretty unsatisfied with where the show was going. But yesterday I picked up from where I left off early on in season two and absolutely binged watched all the episodes. Essentially this rekindled my love for the show and primarily for Isabelle because to me, she is what makes being a Shadowhunter look like fun.

2. Oompa Loompa (Inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) 

It probably makes me a pretty bad vegan to say I’d like to be an Oompa Loompa… but I don’t think I’m in any minority when I say food and theme parks are some of the many things that I love. To combine the two and have it be my day to day job to experiment with sweets would be pretty epic.

3. Meta-Human CSI Expert (Inspired by Julian Albert from The Flash TV Series)

I thought long and hard about a ‘fictional job’ actually existed within The Flash world, because a lot of the main characters actually have jobs that are rooted within the real world. But alas – thanks to Julian Albert (a new character in S3) I have found my way into Team Flash! Although it would be awesome to be a meta-human expert, I was trying to find a job in this universe largely so I could work with all the characters on Team Flash.

4. Dragonologist (Inspired by Charlie Weasley from The Harry Potter Series)

I really think this goes without explanation!

5. Dinosaur Researcher (Inspired by Owen Grady from Jurassic World)

Simiarly to a Dragonologist, being a Dinosaur Researcher would be equally exciting (perhaps Dinosaur Researcher more so because the Jurassic Park franchise was my first favourite series ever.) I love animals and have thought about working in an industry that relates to animals… dinosaurs and dragons would suit me perfectly!

Here is the link to the Top Five Wednesday group if you’d like to have a look through the discussions and further topics.

 

Justice League, Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis by Geoff Johns

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Spoiler Free Review

Graphic Novels | Superheroes | DC Comics

My Rating: ★★★★☆

I was pretty impressed upon finishing Justice League, Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis. I am definitely aware of the mixed reviews towards this graphic novel, but personally this volume really appealed to my reading tastes.

I’ll start my review of with a brief history of my reading experience with this series thus far:

Justice League, Volume 1: Origin – I gave ★★★☆☆. I wasn’t totally enthralled whilst reading, nor did this volume excite me about the series. However I thought it was a solid beginning and I therefore gave it a chance and decided to continue with the series.

Justice League, Volume 2: The Villain’s Journey – I gave ★★☆☆☆ and was honestly less than impressed with. I wasn’t a fan of the quarrel’s within the League, I really wanted (and expected) them to start working as a team more. The plot felt like it jumped around too much and there was also a noticeable discrepancy between the character’s ‘screen’ time, so to speak.

However I had a complete change of heart with Justice League, Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis because I pretty much loved it. (I don’t want to hype it up too much for anyone as this could be a real fluke.)

Within the first couple of pages of this volume I felt like I noticed a huge improvement with the quality of story-telling. It felt a lot cleaner and easier to follow. This may be because the characters actually started to get along more and it was apparent they shared a mutual goal.

I will criticise the plot slightly and say the first chapters or so really go against the grain of the title, as it has nothing to do with Atlantis. I think this was worth mentioning as it may mislead some people. But personally it did entertain me, as I have not yet read a comic with Cheetah and was excited to learn more about her relationship with Diana. Not to mention it really exhibited the growth of the team and their willingness and wantingness (whoops that’s not a word) to help each other out and work together.

As well as this, I loved the involvement of Atlantis in this series because aside from this comic series, I know very little about Aquaman and Atlantis. [This could be why I liked it so much.]

Secondly, I thought the characters were much more likeable – which was largely due to the fact that they wanted to work together more. Aside from the weird absence of The Flash, [whom is my favourite 😥 and I can’t recall if this absence was explained…] I felt like there was more of a balance between the characters ‘screen’ time.

I truly can’t wait to start the next volume in the series, it was left on a great cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see which characters [villainous and otherwise] that will be introduced!