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Throwback Thursdays: From Darkness to Light

Welcome to Throwback Thursdays on the Tor/Forge blog! Every other week, we’re delving into our newsletter archives and sharing some of our favorite posts.

We have a cover for Words of Radiance! The process post reminded us of the awesome video of artist Dan Dos Santos creating the cover of Warbreaker. So we thought we’d share Brandon’s article on that book from 2009. Enjoy this blast from the past, and be sure to check back every other Thursday for more!

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From Darkness to Light: Brandon Sanderson on Bringing ROY G BIV to Warbreaker

Written by Brandon Sanderson

The first idea for Warbreaker was actually sparked by a comment my editor made. He and I had been working on the Mistborn trilogy for some time now. Near the end of the process, he mentioned, “This setting is very dark, with all of the ash and blackness around all of the time—and it strikes me that Elantris had some of the same feel. Perhaps we should do something different for your next book.”

That comment itched at my brain, as they sometimes do. I’d already been planning my next book. I wanted to do another stand-alone, as I’d done with Elantris. I love the form of the stand-alone fantasy epic. I wanted to deal with some of the same concepts I’d approached in Elantris, but take them from another direction.

At the same time, as my editor mentioned, I did feel a need to do something that departed from Mistborn — a story that was slightly different both in visual setting and narrative style. So when I sat down to plan Warbreaker, I played with several concepts. Mistborn had been a series filled with night-time assassinations and dark, brooding hues. Could I do something colorful and bright instead? Sometimes, danger comes as a shadowed knife in the night — but in many ways, the more frightening danger is that which comes packaged up in bright, unthreatening colors. The ending of the Mistborn books had been grim; could I create that same sense of danger in Warbreaker, but approach it wrapped up in wry humor and wit instead?

And so, the world of Warbreaker was born: A place where the magic was fueled by color itself, a place where I could mix wit and danger into its own blend of intrigue.

Using color as a fuel also grew from my desire to do an animation-based magic system. The concept of color as life fascinated me. When something dies in our world, the color fades from it — green plants become brown and human bodies lose their color, becoming pale as the blood drains to the bottom of the corpse. In a lot of ways, color is a representation of life itself. So it felt natural to do a story where color was the means by which life was given to inanimate objects.

Of course, the other big idea that sparked this story was the concept of a god who didn’t believe in his own religion. But that’s a different tale entirely…

This article is originally from the June 2009 Tor/Forge newsletter. Sign up for the Tor/Forge newsletter now, and get similar content in your inbox twice a month!

Memory of Light Backpack Sweepstakes

Memory of Light Backpack Sweepstakes

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We are offering the chance to win one of five Memory of Light backpacks! Each backpack will include a copy of Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson, Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, Farlander by Col Buchanan, Firebird by Mercedes Lackey, Spellwright by Blake Charlton, and The Legions of Fire by David Drake. Comment below to enter for a chance to win.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins October 22, 2012 at 10 a.m. ET. and ends October 26, 2012, 12:00 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

Sweepstakes: 25 Fantasy Books from Tor

Sign up for the Tor/Forge Newsletter for a chance to win this prize pack of 25 fantasy novels from Tor Books!

Servant of a Dark God by John Brown Lamentation by Ken Scholes A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham Spirit Gate by Kate Elliot Passion Play by Beth Bernobich Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson Blood Song by Cat Adams Dreadnought by Cherie Priest Twilight Forever Rising by Lena Meydan Shadow Prowler by Aleksy Pehov Brooklyn Knight by C.J. Henderson Green by Jay LakeImager by L.E. Modesitt Jr. The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe A Star Shall Fall by Marie Brennan Spellwright by Blake Charlton Knight of Knives by Ian C. Esslemont Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock Libyrinth by Pearl North Prospero Lost by Jagi Lamplighter Elfland by Freda Warrington The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt The Immoral Prince by Jennifer Fallon Wizard's First Rule by Terry GoodkindThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Every issue of Tor’s monthly email newsletter features original writing by, and interviews with, Tor authors and editors about upcoming new titles from all Tor and Forge imprints. In addition, we occasionally send out “special edition” newsletters to highlight particularly exciting new projects, programs, or events.

If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, you can enter too. We do not automatically enter subscribers into giveaways. We promise we won’t send you duplicate copies of the newsletter if you sign up more than once.

Sign up for your chance to win today!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins October 25, 2010 at 12 a.m. ET. and ends November 22, 2010, 11:59 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. For Official Rules and to enter, go to www.tor-forge.com/tor/promo/25bookprizepack. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

Sweepstakes: Brandon Sanderson Prize Pack

Sign up for the Tor/Forge Newsletter for a chance to win this collection of hardcovers by Brandon Sanderson:

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson Elantris by Brandon Sanderson Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Every issue of Tor’s monthly email newsletter features original writing by, and interviews with, Tor authors and editors about upcoming new titles from all Tor and Forge imprints. In addition, we occasionally send out “special edition” newsletters to highlight particularly exciting new projects, programs, or events.

If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, you can enter too. We do not automatically enter subscribers into giveaways. We promise we won’t send you duplicate copies of the newsletter if you sign up more than once.

Sign up for your chance to win today!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins October 25, 2010 at 12 a.m. ET. and ends November 22, 2010, 11:59 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. For Official Rules and to enter, go to www.tor-forge.com/tor/promo/brandonsanderson. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

Tor on David Gemmell Legend Awards Shortlist

The nominees for the 2009 David Gemmell Legend Awards have been announced and three TOR titles are up for awards!  Brandon Sanderson has two titles in the shortlist for Best Fantasy Novel!

David Gemmell Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel:
The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer:
Lamentation by Ken Scholes

The Nominees were announced on the Gemmell Award homepage, via a cool youtube video:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfLMqsOUG5c]

Please visit gemmellaward.com to check it out and see the other nominees.

Congratulations to all involved!

Starred LJ review for Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker

Image Placeholder of - 59Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker receives a Library Journal starred review!

From Library Journal: “Sanderson again demonstrates his capacity for handling large and complex themes while creating believable characters. He also succeeds at building a unique fantasy environment, in which color and “Breath” are the basis for magic. This series opener is essential reading for fantasy fans.”

Starred PW review for Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker

Image Place holder  of - 61Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker receives a great Publishers Weekly starred review!

From PW: “Epic fantasy heavyweight Sanderson (the Mistborn series) pens a powerful stand-alone tale of unpredictable loyalties, dark intrigue and dangerous magic … Sanderson melds complex, believable characters, a marvelous world and thoughtful, ironic humor into an extraordinary and highly entertaining story.”

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Michael Moorcock on Warbreaker: “His heroines and heroes are outstanding – especially Vasher, the Warbreaker … Not only has Sanderson drawn a freshly imagined world and its society, he has also given us a plot full of unexpected twists and turns. In subtle prose, notable for its quiet irony, Sanderson tells the story of two sisters and the god they are doomed to marry. Anyone looking for a different and refreshing fantasy novel will be delighted by this exceptional tale of magic, mystery and the politics of divinity.”

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