|Released||June 9, 2009|
Warbreaker tells the story of two sister princesses, Vivenna the elder and Siri the younger, of the country of Idris. Vivenna was contracted through treaty to marry the God-King of rival nation Hallandren and is raised for this her entire life. Instead Siri is sent unprepared to meet the treaty. Vivenna, feeling her life to be devoid of purpose with her sister married in her place, follows to Hallendren in hopes of saving Siri from her fate. Both sisters become involved in intrigues relating to an imminent war between their home nation of Idris and Hallendren and attempt to divert the war from happening in their own ways: Siri from the inside of the government and Vivenna from cooperation with the underground.
 Magic System
The book uses a system of magic which is heavily reliant on art. Magic users are known as Awakeners and their power comes from the number of BiChromatic Breaths they have stored. A breath can be thought of as a soul, but a better interpretation is that it is the sixth sense that we all seem to have. Without it, a person known as a drab has a harder time perceiving colors, the world seems muted, and they don't have an ability to perceive if someone is watching them (the feeling that someone has their eyes on your back). With larger amounts of souls amassed, a person gains new abilities. Each step is referred to as a Heightening.
Any amount of Breaths - Awakening : With any amount of breaths a person can, through specific commands, call inanimate objects to life by investing Breaths in them and draining the color from another object, usually pieces of cloth carried around by the awakener. The closer the object resembles a human already, the easier it is. Size also affects the amount of Breaths necessary as can the complexity of the commands. Breaths can be regained by the person who invested them with the command "Your Breath to mine"
The following is mostly from the Ars Arcanum of Warbreaker
- First - 50 Breaths - Aura Recognition (The ability to determine how many breaths another person has)
- Second - 200 Breaths - Perfect Pitch (The ability to determine musical notes)
- Third - 600 Breaths - Perfect Color Recognition (Similar to Perfect Pitch, but with the ability to determine the hues of colors)
- Fourth - 1,000 Breaths - Perfect Life Sense
- Fifth - 2,000 Breaths - Agelessness (Also, immunity to toxins and most physical ailments though death is still possible from physical violence)
- Sixth - 3,500 Breaths - Instinctive Awakening (Ability to use basic awakening commands without training or practice. Difficult commands become easier to practice and discover)
- Seventh - 5,000 Breaths - Breath Recognition (Similar to Aura recognition, but for objects that have been invested with breath)
- Eighth - 10,000 Breaths - Command Breaking (Ability to override commands of another awakener's awakened object)
- Ninth - 20,000 Breaths - Greater Awakening (Ability to Awaken stone and steel, though it takes large amounts of breath and specialized commands)
- Tenth 50,000 Breaths - Audible Command (Ability to awaken objects the awakener is not physically touching) , Color Distortion (Creates colors from a white object by bending the light around it), Perfect Invocation (Awakener is able to draw more color when awakening leaving objects white rather than grey)
Specialized forms of this magic that are pertinent to Warbreaker include the Lifeless and the Returned. The Lifeless are reanimated human bodies that require only one breath to awaken. They are sustained with a specialized liquid called ichor alcohol. Lifeless feel little or no pain and are able to follow simple commands.
The Returned are the god beings of the Halladren religion. They are people who are said to have died in such heroic manners that they were given the choice to return to this world from the afterlife to accomplish something. They lose their memories during the return trip but are guided by their own inherent prophetic powers. The Returned must consume one Breath every two weeks or else they die. They each contain a single powerful Breath that alone allows them to reach Fifth Heightening, granting them, among other things, Agelessness. The Returned also may spend this one Breath once in their lives to perform a miracle and upon doing so, they die.
- WARBREAKER (Tor, Summer 2009)
- Audio rights (unabridged) to Recorded Books
- Audio rights (dramatic abridgment) to Graphic Audio
- Chinese rights (complex, Taiwan) to Gaea
- Czech rights to Talpress
- German rights to Heyne
- Italian rights to Fanucci
- Polish rights to MAG
- Spanish rights to Ediciones B
- UK rights to Gollancz
- French rights to Calmann-Levy
- Bulgarian rights to Bard
- Chosen by Library Journal as one of the 5 best SF&F novels of 2009
- Chosen by Barnes & Noble as one of the 5 best SF&F novels of 2009
- Chosen by The Onion A.V. Club as a Best of 2009
- Nominated for the 2010 David Gemmell Legend Award
- Nominated for 2009 Romantic Times Award, Best Epic Fantasy
- An ALA Top Five Fantasy of 2009
- 24 on NY Times hardcover list
|Characters||Vasher · Vivenna · Siri · Lightsong · Denth · Susebron · Llarimar · Bluefingers · Blushweaver · Nightblood|
|Places||Hallandren · T'Telir · Idris · Kuth · Huth · Tedradel · Court of Gods|
|Magic||Awakening · BioChroma (Breath) · Command · Drab · Heightening· Ichor-alcohol · Lifeless · Returned|
|Mythology and Lore||Endowment · Austrism · Five Scholars · Iridescent Tones · Manywar · Kalad's Phantoms|