Profile: Epic Fantasy
I was incredibly excited to get started on this month’s book sequence; namely, a speedy run through the remainder of Brandon Sanderson’s bibliography. I can’t really talk about why because of spoilers. Suffice it to say my re-read of The Way of Kings revealed something that I missed because it was the first Sanderson book I had ever read. While I may still dislike the man for his abysmal treatment of The Hero of Ages, I have to say that the greater body of his work is quite good, and the more you read of it, the better it gets.
Warbreaker was originally a free web publication that was serialized on Sanderson’s website. Older draft copies of some of the chapters are still available there, but I ended up reading the finished novel in paperback form. While it shares a number of traits with Sanderson’s other epic fantasies, Warbreaker feels like a very different kind of novel. In the same vein of the Mistborn sequence, it plays with the extremes of power, wealth and status and transposes a more modern society into a fantasy setting. Sanderson’s strong emphases on religions and cohesive magic systems are also present, but the sum of these parts ends up being very different because, at its heart, Warbreaker is a story about averting a crisis, rather than confronting one.