When I read Words of Radiance last month, I was pleasantly surprised to run across characters from Warbreaker. I’d been thinking about rereading the book for a long time, so this was the perfect lead-in!
During my first experience with Warbreaker, I noted two things: First, the book was quicker to get into than other Sanderson books, so I was hooked immediately. Second, despite this, the book felt less polished and more gimmicky. By the end, I didn’t like it as much as other Sanderson books. In the years since that read, however, Warbreaker has stayed fairly fresh in my memory. Certain scenes and characters stuck with me. Periodically, I’d find myself reliving specific moments in my imagination. So while the book was not a favorite in the beginning, I grew very fold of it over time. (Hence my desire to reread.)
On second read, I had three significant experiences:
First, I once again found the book less polished, especially after Words of Radiance. Some of the writing, pacing, and plotting felt young. Not bad, just not as polished as I’m used to from Sanderson. Given that this is one of his earlier books, and (I believe) originally published as a serial, this makes sense.
Second, knowing the crossover character stories, I began to see the intricacies of multi-book, multi-universe world-building. Then I ended up spending a lot of time on the Wiki dedicated to Sanderson’s Cosmere, reveling in all the various ways plots and characters intertwine. (Sidenote: This is how I’ve always wanted to write, with coexisting books and book-hopping characters and cross-referencing…I take particular geeky pleasure seeing other writers do this too!)
Third, this book infused my dreams. Words of Radiance was already entering my dreams on a nightly basis (and what fun little plot-twists and side-stories my sleeping brain came up with!). Warbreaker seeped right on in with it, and stayed there for longer than a week. For someone who adores dream-life, this was glorious: book by day and booktwists by night. Hee.
Warbreaker still isn’t my favorite of Sanderson’s novels, but I quite enjoyed my reread!