I am looking a fantasy novel, possibly part of a series. I don’t remember much but the hero travels to a city where he is imprisoned into a cell, then he then fashions and animates a straw mannequin with magic to break out.

The magic system might be based on color wavelengths or be something about multicolored or prismatic, or light-weaving magic, thought it may possibly be from another book.

(N.B. definitely not Pratchett’s extra colour nor "Sir Apropos of Nothing" light strands magic weaving system nor the unraveling of magic traps based on strands like in several books)

  • How does the mannequin help him escape? How do you know it was part of a series, do you remember other events? How did he create the colours used in his magic? Was he the only magic user or was this a common skill? – Valorum Nov 9 '14 at 15:23

This sounds a lot like Warbreaker, by Brandon Sanderson.

At the beginning of the book, a character named Vasher uses Breath to awaken a straw doll, to help him escape.


The book uses a system of magic, "Awakening", which allows mages to bring life to objects as well as provide benefits directly to the mages while they hold "BioChromatic Breath", the source of their power, such as perfect pitch, perfect color recognition, perfect life recognition, and agelessness. Use of Awakening drains the colors from surrounding objects and the less colorful an object is, the more difficult it is to apply Awakening to it. The system has been praised as a unique and original magical system.

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  • thanks great, that does seem to be the one i never got to finish it, i can go read it now...wait, on second thought not sure anymore this was published in 2009 i could have sworn that the book i didn't finish was at leat 5 years before that...but i'll read it first to determine if it is the one. anyways as i liked elentris and loved the misborn series i need to read it. – Reed -SE is a Fish on Dry Land Nov 10 '14 at 0:35
  • Yep, that's the one thanks, i though i starteded reading in in the early 2000's, way before i read Elantris but i guess i was wrong. – Reed -SE is a Fish on Dry Land Nov 12 '14 at 17:07

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