Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Warbreaker Group Read, Week One

I mentioned last week that I'm going to be participating in a group read of Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker. This is really my first group read, and I was apprehensive about whether I'd be able to keep up with the pace. I needn't have worried. This week's slice was Prologue through Chapter 12, and they breezed by. I actually had to hold myself back a little bit. Thanks to Naithan and Amanda for playing hosts (and Amanda for the questions). Let's dive right in...

1. All right, let's start easy - how are you liking the book so far? We've been introduced to a lot of characters and started several stories now. Any in particular catch your attention? Anything intrigue you?

I'm a sucker for Sanderson, and this has his touch all over it. Love the world building. The concept of magic through colors and breaths... awesome. Every time I read one of Brandon's books, I want to write fan fiction. His magic systems are both fun and intuitive.

I'm pretty sure the book came out before we knew Siri as the iPhone voice, but it's hard for me to shake the association. A bit unfortunate, because a clinical iPhone Siri would fit better with Vivenna.

It may be cheating because I've heard Brandon talk about some of the inspiration for Warbreaker, but the concept of a god that doesn't believe in his religion is hilarious. Love exploring ideas like that.

2. The Returned are all treated as Gods, but at least one of those Gods doesn't believe in his own divinity, despite seeing potential visions. Do you think the Returned will prove to be divine? How do you feel about the religion built up around them?

I think a case could be made in any culture that a true religion of the gods would be a lot simpler. It is mankind that builds up rules and dogmatic structures to support religion. We design rituals and such to help us feel closer to our gods. I think, perhaps, that the Returned may have been given a glimpse of divinity through near death experience, but not that they are, in fact, divine.

I'm playing Diablo III right now, and one of the central stories revolves around a fallen angel that suffered from temporary amnesia. When he regains his memories, he unlocks the message he'd hoped to bring to mankind. In order to bring that message, he had to give up his divinity and become man. It's a rather Christian theme, if you ask me. I think the Returned might be more like fallen angels than actual gods. They seem very fragile for full-blow gods (dependent as they are on Breaths).

3. The God King didn't turn out to be the way he's presented and thought of in this world. Any ideas on what his role will be in this story? 4. The title - Warbreaker - what do you think it might refer to?

Having read Sanderson's Mistborn series, I can't help but draw parallels to the Lord Ruler there. Now, LR turned out to be a misunderstood mortal, albeit one with huge magical potential. I wouldn't be surprised if the God King is much the same.

At this point, I think the Warbreaker will refer to Siri with help from Lightsong. My guess would be that the potential conflict with the Idrians is going to continue to escalate, and that the two of them may have to expose flaws in a religion in order to achieve a lasting peace. Thus, Siri would "break" the war.

That's all. Tune in next week for the next batch of chapters! (And if you want to jump in, head over to the host sites and sign up. You get the questions a couple days in advance and can post with the rest of us on Tuesdays.)

13 comments:

Amanda said...

I also thought the God King was very similar in setup to the Lord Ruler, though I didn't mention it in my post because I didn't know how many people had read Mistborn! :)

I am having so much trouble holding back on this book. I read the first section in a day, and then as soon as I put up my discussion post this morning, read this week's section. I've reluctantly hidden the book from myself to try to hold back until after next week's discussion...

Sue CCCP said...

I hope that the God King turns out to be a little less ruthless than the Lord Ruler, otherwise things are going to go badly for Siri. :(

Naithin said...

The Fallen Angel idea is certainly an interesting one. I'm not sure it'd fit with the rest of Sanderson's universe though.

But then, I am still continually surprised by the things he comes out with which in retrospect fit perfectly, so very difficult to say!

Matt said...

@Amanda - Ha, apparently most of us have!

@Sue - Agreed. And I like Siri. I'm a guy (so what do I know), but I think Brandon writes good female characters. Even his damsels in distress aren't too damsel-y... or something.

Matt said...

@Naithin - Well, in Mistborn the gods had a very direct influence on the world. So, while a true "fallen angel" may be stretch, I think I'm going more with "touched by divinity but not divine." It's probably a subtle line.

Grace said...

Haha, I'm not the only one who initially thought of iPhone Siri.

The Returned remind me a bit of the Elantrians in one of Sanderson's other novels.

aboutthestory said...

The God King is definitely very similar to the Lord Ruler in the beginning here, but I'm hoping that he goes in a different direction simply because it would be disappointing if Sanderson didn't show off more ideas, ha! Also, I hope he is less insane and semi-evil than the Lord Ruler for Siri's sake if nothing else :(

Matt said...

@Grace - Siri, how do I get to the God King's bedroom. Go through the red room with the tubs, Matt. Thanks, Siri. :-p

I've not read Elantris, but I plan to eventually.

@About - One thing everyone seems to agree on: Siri is infinitely likeable. No one's like, "Yeah, I hope he turns her to the dark side so she can go all Anakin Skywalker on Lightsong-iwon." I'll bet the Lord Ruler had exactly that thought when reviewing Warbreaker.

Matt said...

In retrospect, I'm not sure why I want to find the God King's bedroom...

nrlymrtl said...

Ha- that comment about iPhone Siri made me laugh. Can your Siri change hair color as easily as blush? I can see some jokes in that direction.

As a long time fan of Diablo II, I have to ask: Diablo III - worthy?

Matt said...

Her hair is like a giant mood ring. Anyone else remember those? I wish my iPhone could change case color with my emotions.

Diablo III is pretty awesome. I never played the earlier ones, so I'm afraid I can't offer a good comparison. Just now, I want to punch kittens because the servers are full or something and I wanted to play. Blargh!

Rhiadon said...

Matt asked me if I wanted to participate in this group read since he knows I'm also a Sanderson fan. (The one who introduced him to Sanderson if I recall correctly.) Anyway, I'd already read the book because I read anything the guy writes as soon as it comes out, but I figured it could be fun to do a re-read this way. Unfortunately, I can't answer a single question so far because I know the actual answer to them without speculation. I will however enjoy seeing what other people think to see how far off/close they are to the correct answers.

The comment about Ati and Laras, the "gods" of mistborn known as Ruin and Preservation are shards of Adonalsium, which is a godlike entity within the Cosmere so they are very much like fallen angels.

Matt said...

/waves at Kris.

"Whedonverse."

That is all.

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