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Elantris - 10 Aniversario

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Brandon Sanderson debutó en 2006 ante los lectores en castellano con Elantris, una novela de fantasía épica que marcó un auténtico hito. Cuando se cumple el décimo aniversario de su publicación, Nova la relanza en esta edición especial, que permite rememorar y descubrir los inicios de un autor que, desde entonces, ha cosechado ocho millones de seguidores en todo el mundo, Brandon Sanderson debutó en 2006 ante los lectores en castellano con Elantris, una novela de fantasía épica que marcó un auténtico hito. Cuando se cumple el décimo aniversario de su publicación, Nova la relanza en esta edición especial, que permite rememorar y descubrir los inicios de un autor que, desde entonces, ha cosechado ocho millones de seguidores en todo el mundo, confirmando su condición de heredero al trono de todo un género. Esta nueva versión, convertida en la edición definitiva del autor, empieza con un prefacio de Dan Wells, la primera persona que leyó el manuscrito completo, y un nuevo prólogo de Miquel Barceló, su primer editor en castellano. Lo cierra un epílogo en que el propio Sanderson nos cuenta por qué escribió esta novela y su importancia en el Cosmere, el fascinante universo que comparte la mayoría de sus obras. Se incluye también una versión ampliada del apéndice "Ars Arcanum", con más detalles técnicos sobre la magia de un libro mítico para su legión de lectores. Bienvenidos a la ciudad de Elantris, la poderosa y bella capital de Arelon llamada la "ciudad de los dioses". Antaño famosa sede de inmortales, lugar repleto de poderosa magia, Elantris ha caído en desgracia. Ahora solo acoge a los nuevos "muertos en vida", postrados en una insufrible "no-vida" tras una misteriosa y terrible transformación. Un matrimonio de Estado destinado a unir los reinos de Arelon y Teod se frustra, ya que el novio, Raoden, el príncipe de Arelon, sufre inesperadamente la Transformación y se convierte en un "muerto en vida" obligado a refugiarse en Elantris. Su reciente esposa, la princesa Sarene de Teod, creyéndolo muerto, se ve obligada a incorporarse a la vida de Arelon y su nueva capital, Kae. Mientras, el embajador y alto sacerdote de otro reino vecino, Fjordell, usará su habilidad política para intentar dominar Arelod y Teod con el propósito de somerterlos a su emperador y su dios.


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Brandon Sanderson debutó en 2006 ante los lectores en castellano con Elantris, una novela de fantasía épica que marcó un auténtico hito. Cuando se cumple el décimo aniversario de su publicación, Nova la relanza en esta edición especial, que permite rememorar y descubrir los inicios de un autor que, desde entonces, ha cosechado ocho millones de seguidores en todo el mundo, Brandon Sanderson debutó en 2006 ante los lectores en castellano con Elantris, una novela de fantasía épica que marcó un auténtico hito. Cuando se cumple el décimo aniversario de su publicación, Nova la relanza en esta edición especial, que permite rememorar y descubrir los inicios de un autor que, desde entonces, ha cosechado ocho millones de seguidores en todo el mundo, confirmando su condición de heredero al trono de todo un género. Esta nueva versión, convertida en la edición definitiva del autor, empieza con un prefacio de Dan Wells, la primera persona que leyó el manuscrito completo, y un nuevo prólogo de Miquel Barceló, su primer editor en castellano. Lo cierra un epílogo en que el propio Sanderson nos cuenta por qué escribió esta novela y su importancia en el Cosmere, el fascinante universo que comparte la mayoría de sus obras. Se incluye también una versión ampliada del apéndice "Ars Arcanum", con más detalles técnicos sobre la magia de un libro mítico para su legión de lectores. Bienvenidos a la ciudad de Elantris, la poderosa y bella capital de Arelon llamada la "ciudad de los dioses". Antaño famosa sede de inmortales, lugar repleto de poderosa magia, Elantris ha caído en desgracia. Ahora solo acoge a los nuevos "muertos en vida", postrados en una insufrible "no-vida" tras una misteriosa y terrible transformación. Un matrimonio de Estado destinado a unir los reinos de Arelon y Teod se frustra, ya que el novio, Raoden, el príncipe de Arelon, sufre inesperadamente la Transformación y se convierte en un "muerto en vida" obligado a refugiarse en Elantris. Su reciente esposa, la princesa Sarene de Teod, creyéndolo muerto, se ve obligada a incorporarse a la vida de Arelon y su nueva capital, Kae. Mientras, el embajador y alto sacerdote de otro reino vecino, Fjordell, usará su habilidad política para intentar dominar Arelod y Teod con el propósito de somerterlos a su emperador y su dios.

30 review for Elantris - 10 Aniversario

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    To be fair, I was warned going in that this was Sanderson’s first novel. Maybe because of this it is not his best. Also, I should not judge everything by this book and, as a result, not want to read more of his books. So, my review of this book may be a little harsh, but there is no reason to lose hope . . . Ah, heck, I cannot keep this charade up!!! WHAT THE ACTUAL F!$%???? If what the fans are saying is true about this “weakest” book and that I shouldn’t judge whether to move o/>WHAT To be fair, I was warned going in that this was Sanderson’s first novel. Maybe because of this it is not his best. Also, I should not judge everything by this book and, as a result, not want to read more of his books. So, my review of this book may be a little harsh, but there is no reason to lose hope . . . Ah, heck, I cannot keep this charade up!!! WHAT THE ACTUAL F!$%???? If what the fans are saying is true about this “weakest” book and that I shouldn’t judge whether to move on based on this, I MUST BE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON THE MOST AMAZING SERIES OF MIND BLOWING FANTASY BOOKS EVER! I don’t think I need to say much more than this was GREAT, FANTASTIC, WELL DONE! Sanderson has easily found himself a new fan. And, if it only goes up from here . . . well, I guess I am in for a real treat! (Yes, Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~, all of those ellipses are for you for not having more faith in your author! ;););))

  2. 5 out of 5

    Petrik

    3.5/5 Stars Exactly 3 months ago, I finished binge reading the two available books in the Stormlight Archive series, Brandon Sanderson’s magnum opus and my favorite series of all time. By that time, I already caught up to all Sanderson’s Cosmere works (excluding novellas) except his debut work, Elantris. Today, I finished it and in my opinion, it’s a great debut novel but at the same time it’s also Sanderson’s weakest Cosmere’s book. Once you read all his other books, it’s really clear that this is his debut work, wh 3.5/5 Stars Exactly 3 months ago, I finished binge reading the two available books in the Stormlight Archive series, Brandon Sanderson’s magnum opus and my favorite series of all time. By that time, I already caught up to all Sanderson’s Cosmere works (excluding novellas) except his debut work, Elantris. Today, I finished it and in my opinion, it’s a great debut novel but at the same time it’s also Sanderson’s weakest Cosmere’s book. Once you read all his other books, it’s really clear that this is his debut work, whether from his writing or the way he weaved the world-building and magic systems. Although this debut is inferior in comparison to his other Cosmere books, this doesn’t mean that it’s not great. Elantris has got to be one of the most unique and original fantasy books I ever read. The plot starts with the explanation of the city Elantris, the beautiful city of the gods full with magical abilities and dazzling architecture, which loses all its power and beauty 10 years ago. Then one of the three main characters, Raoden, inflicted with the same curse that ravaged Elantris were exiled to the city. The city of Elantris is pretty much a twist to the ‘zombie apocalypse’ genre and it contained really strong and eerie atmosphere. 90% of the plot in the book revolves heavily around politics and religious exploration, it’s really slow paced and there aren’t any ‘Good vs Evil’ theme going on here. It’s really scarce on actions, more or less 5% of the book, it’s only there during the climax and yet, conflicted with these circumstances, Elantris still managed to be remain captivating and engrossing because of how intricate and intriguing the politics and religious aspects are. The story is told sequentially from 3 main POV, Raoden -> Sarene -> Hrathen, in that order from the beginning until the end and all the main characters possessed different narratives to each other. Raoden, the prince oozing with positive attitude (who in my opinion has the personality mixture of Kelsier from Mistborn and Hadrian from Riyria), Sarene, the strong and witty female MC and Hrathen, the fanatic high priest, all three characters never sounded the same in their narratives and they added a better experience to the plot. Raoden casting AonDor Two problems I have with the book are in its world-building and magic systems. The writing is good and immersive enough but clearly if you’ve read all other Sanderson’s Cosmere works, you’ll see just how inferior his writing is compared to them. This means Sanderson always improves with each books he wrote but for this standalone, the scope of the world-building seems constricted, taking place in two big cities of the world of Sel, with the exception of Elantris, there isn’t enough world building done to the settings which made them seemed really small. This holds true especially to the city of Kae, the details were given probably only to two or three mansions and the dock of the city. Also, the magic systems, which are usually one of the strongest factors of Sanderson’s books is quite underwhelming. The magic of AonDor, ClayShan and Dakhor all made their appearance only in the last 60 pages of the book. AonDor have several intricate explanations on how it works but ClayShan and Dakhor were just there within the climax section of the book with very brief to zero explanation to what they actually are and how they operates. It felt like Sanderson tried to cram too much information into this standalone even though there aren’t enough pages left to do justice towards it. “Remember, the past need not become our future as well.” This quote summed up exactly what I think of Elantris's quality in comparison to all other Sanderson’s future works. While still great as a debut, it’s also his weakest book in his Cosmere universe. I really enjoyed reading it, it's different from his other book, lower in quality but it's one of the most original fantasy works I ever read. If you haven’t read any Sanderson’s adult fantasy books, Elantris or Mistborn is a great place to start. You can't go wrong with anyone of them, Elantris is pretty much just an appetizer to what’s in store for all his other phenomenal books. Recommended for any high fantasy fans who's into intricate politics and religious exploration story. You can also find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at Booknest

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dorreh

    Oh my God this is so contrary to my usual love of shorter novels. Okay so I knew that I had missed something in my review pot, I just realized now that I had missed this book. But there is a Persian saying that says "the fish is fresh whenever you catch it from the water", so let's go with that. This book is very different, but then again it is Brandon Sanderson, so anything less would be shocking. Elantris is simply said a rather ecstatically unique book, that creates a wo Oh my God this is so contrary to my usual love of shorter novels. Okay so I knew that I had missed something in my review pot, I just realized now that I had missed this book. But there is a Persian saying that says "the fish is fresh whenever you catch it from the water", so let's go with that. This book is very different, but then again it is Brandon Sanderson, so anything less would be shocking. Elantris is simply said a rather ecstatically unique book, that creates a world beyond the usual bounds of imagination that thirsts for expansion into something even grander. There are times when you think "it doesn't get any better than this", that is where you would be absolutely wrong. The book revolves around a young prince cursed to the immortal tragedy that is Elantris, and a young yet slightly misfit feminist princess (who I adored) . A world of Gods and grandeur that now plagued by an unknown curse is depleted of its magic and plunged into suffering. The sufferings include the inability to die and along with it the inability to heal. Where a simple bump to the arm can become an eternal pain that never leaves you, and when the pain is enough it sends you into an delirious limbo. The ideas were erratic and profound, but in the best way possible. They were daring and incredible, and that is why one must simply fall into the world of Sanderson and accept that leaving it without being marked for life is simply not an option. The book hung somewhere between high fantasy and paranormal, never quite surrendering to either. I can't really express how much I adored this book, I usually don't like overtly descriptive books, with excessive amounts of narration. I feel like these books cage the imagination, but that is simply my personal opinion. That wasn't the case here, obviously. In this book the word excessive had no place, it simply worked out in the best way possible. I hope I find time to read how the tale of Elantris will continue real soon! But 2020? What?!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    I'll have to think about how to review this but for now... wow! Sanderson does it again!

  5. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    when i asked john for book recommendations, his list included ‘everything by brandon sanderson.’ apparently ‘everything’ is not an actual book title, but meant everything sanderson has ever written. so i decided to start at the beginning with his debut novel and, i have to say, i am pretty dang impressed. firstly, this is the absolute dream for those who love a good slow burn. let me break it down for you - the first 400 pages or so is really intricate world building, very in-depth characterisation, and a prett when i asked john for book recommendations, his list included ‘everything by brandon sanderson.’ apparently ‘everything’ is not an actual book title, but meant everything sanderson has ever written. so i decided to start at the beginning with his debut novel and, i have to say, i am pretty dang impressed. firstly, this is the absolute dream for those who love a good slow burn. let me break it down for you - the first 400 pages or so is really intricate world building, very in-depth characterisation, and a pretty solid and steady build up to the climax of the novel. the first 70% of the story is very character driven, with the world building and plot slowly laid out as the characters come to learn more themselves. its told in three different POVs, and i definitely enjoy some more than others (raoden is bae and sarene is iconic). but it starts getting really interesting when all three view points converge. thats pretty much page 401 and then everything is literally action, Action, ACTION! right until the very end. normally that kind of narration/storytelling would bother me, but i think it actually works really well with this particular story. despite the pacing, the main thing which keeps this from being a 5 star read for me is that the primary focus is not on the magic elements of the cosmere world. this story is overwhelmingly heavy in court politics and religion, so much so that my interest began to fade after a while. i understand their importance in creating a complex storyline, but their presence in a story shouldnt mean that the fantasy components of a fantasy novel take a back seat. if anything, it should be the other way around - magic as the main focus with the politics and religion as support. i do appreciate that my edition of the book had extra content at the end, which gave me a little more insight into the magic system, since the story itself didnt have as much as i would have liked. but overall, this is a really strong debut effort and i can understand the appeal sanderson has for so many readers. i am definitely looking forward to his other books, as i have been told his writing and stories get so much better from here on out! ↠ 4 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    carol.

    Oh, Elantris, why must you torture me so? Why must you force me into conflict with the library, my favorite dealer? They claim I owe them, and they aren't going to leave me alone. I'm afraid to go to the corner dropbox at night in case a librarian is lurking. I've stubbornly held onto their copy of Elantris hoping that I would become inspired to re-read and provide a more thorough review. Alas, no. You will have to read my generalized dislike instead of many specific examples. For no clear reason, I was Oh, Elantris, why must you torture me so? Why must you force me into conflict with the library, my favorite dealer? They claim I owe them, and they aren't going to leave me alone. I'm afraid to go to the corner dropbox at night in case a librarian is lurking. I've stubbornly held onto their copy of Elantris hoping that I would become inspired to re-read and provide a more thorough review. Alas, no. You will have to read my generalized dislike instead of many specific examples. For no clear reason, I was completely unable to sustain interest in Elantris despite leaving the library copy on my physical 'currently reading' shelf for months. While there is an interesting vision of a magical system, magic isn't enough to save the story, especially as the re-discovering of Elantrian magic is so slooow in the making. Out of the triplicate storyline, the destroyed Elantrian city was the only plot that really sustained my focus. Perhaps part of it was a difficulty connecting with any of the characters who were mostly out of the Campbellian Mythical Archetype lineage. Prince Raoden has been declared dead, but has actually been thrown into slime-coated Elantris. He has undergone the random but incomplete transformation into an Elantrian. However, he brings his royal training, knowledge of various Arelon citizens and unflagging optimism to the destroyed city and starts gathering the hopeless citizens into a band of survivors. He has a vision--plans to forge them into a populace with pride. He is going to scrub the slime from the buildings and recognize that even the street-sweepers have value in society. He's going to study, at least the books that haven't been eaten by the starving populace. He's going to make friends with a Jamaican friend and adviser, Galladon. He's going to fix things. A second storyline is focused an an annoyingly plucky young heroine, Sarene (subtle much?)--saved from being a Mary Sue because, you know, she can't draw. Or sing. I think. She's been betrothed to the prince of Arelon as part of an alliance between her kingdom and his. She faces somewhat predictable kingdom politics, as well as--gasp--overt sexism from her father-in-law and the generally patriarchal Arelon society. But don't worry--she'll modernize them and teach them that real princess can fight using swords. The final storyline is focused on Hrathen, a high priest from Fjordell who is in a mission to convert the godless in Arelon before his emperor invades. He's actually one of the most layered characters because he has the zeal of a believer tempered with flawed insight. Though he thinks he knows the politics, he's frequently outmaneuvered by everyone around him, from Sarene, to his recruit, to the emperor. However, the subtlety of his characterization is based on overly-fuzzy political details, so there is a tremendous amount of info-dumping whenever he is in a scene, likely one reason a number of readers label it their least favorite storyline. I just didn't feel the heart here, ultimately leading it to a two star read for me. It felt a little too self-conscious and 'I'm-avoiding-formula-by-changing-two-things' on Sanderson's part. There are a couple of unsolved questions, at least as far as my half-a-brain effort could tell, but I'm not sure there's anything worth potential conflict with the library. After all, I have to stay on the good side of my dealer. Cross posted at http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2013/0...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Holy shite balls! I loved this book! Okay, I took a picture of the back of the book because I liked how they had the part about Raoden, Hrathen, and Sarene printed on there but I did cut off a little bit of Sarene. So it's supposed to say she's a princess from Teod, not Teo. Lol Anyway, I wanted to add it because I thought it looked cool! I loved the hell out of this book! ❤ AND NO, I'm not comparing it to his other books. All of his books that I read are reviewed as their own book. I loved THIS book for T Holy shite balls! I loved this book! Okay, I took a picture of the back of the book because I liked how they had the part about Raoden, Hrathen, and Sarene printed on there but I did cut off a little bit of Sarene. So it's supposed to say she's a princess from Teod, not Teo. Lol Anyway, I wanted to add it because I thought it looked cool! I loved the hell out of this book! ❤ AND NO, I'm not comparing it to his other books. All of his books that I read are reviewed as their own book. I loved THIS book for THIS book not (it's not as good as this or that) so don't ask. Thank you! =) And then I look and see there are going to be more books to this series in a million years. <--Okay, not a million but still. I have to wait and read them like all the other ones I'm waiting on. Oh, and I am getting this one in the UK Edition like all the ones I love and am trying to get. So far I have the regular box set of Mistborn and the UK edition of Mistborn. I will get them all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will shut-up now and talk about the book. =) I loved Raoden and Galladon. I loved Sarene and her Seon, Ashe. I just loved a lot of people in this book but those are the main ones. I even loved Hrathen and that was before he became good =) Elantris was a beautiful place with these people/gods that were silver with white hair and all the goodness and wonderfulness. Then one day it hit the fan and Elantris fell. It turned peeps into living corpses so to speak. (I'm not telling you the whole freaking story because you need to read it and plus I don't to put up my spoilers tag) The people of Arelon left Elantris alone but exiled people in the kingdom to Elantris that would get this disease. I loved these parts. Not what happened to the people but the things that were going on in Elantris, the whole freaking story about it Raoden is the prince of Arelon and his father who is the king is a big jerk! Anyway, Raoden is to be married to Sarene but when she gets there they tell her that the prince has died. Well, that sucked right? Sarene stayed in Arelon to try to make things better and stir things up. Oh how I loved her. She was teaching ladies to fence and she she was just a smart, strong woman. And she his this little thing called a seon and this one is named Ashe. They talk to each other and are always together unless she sends Ashe off on an errand. Hrathen is a high priest who comes to town trying to convert everyone. He's a huge scary looking dude apparently. Or a gyorn as he was called. He was having trouble every step of the way from Sarene and one of his own and even Raoden. But he seemed to always be on the fence about things. There is so much in this book that I would like to talk about. There is just so much. I must say the parts I did enjoy the most were with Raoden. Where he was at, what he was doing what he became. And the last paragraph of the book brought a tear to my eye. MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    Re-discovering Brandon Sanderson was one of my best decisions this year. Elantris is undoubtedly a wonderful debut, paving the path for marvelous fantasy adventures. And even though it's probably Sanderson's weakest work, you can't help but feel awed before his ingenuity and the masterful way he navigates politics and intrigue! In case it is not clear, I plead fangirl! ❝ Dream on, Elantris. Remember what you used to be and try to hide your sins beneath the blanket of darkness. Tomorrow the sun will/> Re-discovering Brandon Sanderson was one of my best decisions this year. Elantris is undoubtedly a wonderful debut, paving the path for marvelous fantasy adventures. And even though it's probably Sanderson's weakest work, you can't help but feel awed before his ingenuity and the masterful way he navigates politics and intrigue! In case it is not clear, I plead fangirl! ❝ Dream on, Elantris. Remember what you used to be and try to hide your sins beneath the blanket of darkness. Tomorrow the sun will rise and all will be revealed once more.❞ Elantris used to be the city of Gods, of glorious beings of extraordinary powers. Until the Reod, the Punishment happened, and Elantris fell. What was once beautiful and pure, now is tainted and filthy; Elantris is the land of eternal misery and perdition, and its inhabitants monstrocities that are exiled from the civilized societies. Right after the fall of Elantris, king Iadon took the reigns of the kingdom of Arelon, establishing a government system based on money. People that were once prosperous, now have barely enough to eat. As Arelon's collapsing, reeking of poverty and corruption, the Fjordell Empire gathers its forces and prepares to strike in order to convert the heretic Arelon to the true faith, Shu-Dereth. And this is where the fates of three individuals collide. Raoden, the beloved prince of Arelon, suddenly disappears, presumed dead. Nobody knows that the Shaod took him, and turned him into an Elantrian. Sarene, the Teoish princess that was supposed to marry Raoden, arrives to Arelon only to find out that she is a widow before she had the chance to meet her husband. Now she must manipulate, outsmart her enemies and make alliances if she wants Arelon to survive the instability that has brought it to its knees. Hrathen, a high priest of Shu-Dereth, is sent to Arelon with one mission: convert the infidels in the span of three months, or else they will be drowned in blood. Raoden, Sarene, Hrathen, they will cancel each other's plans, they will make kingdoms tremble, but in the end, everything depends on the cursed city and the secrets hiding in her stained buildings, whose light has been extinguished. ❝ Truth can never be defeated, Sarene. Even if people do forget about it occassionally.❞ There is something about Elantris, something that seizes your attention from the first page and captivates you in its snare. It's the combination of a cursed mystical city, religious zealotry, mind games and court intrigue that sucks you in the slime-covered streets of Elantris, in garish balls and the palace of a paranoid king who has brought his country to the brink of conquest and massacre. As per usual, Brandon Sanderson never fails to deliver intricate religious systems that play an integral part in the plot, and quick-witted (and occasionally sharp-tongued) characters; the dialogues are infused with mirth, friendly banters and battles of wit, and they are always enjoyable. That being said, it is obvious that Elantris is Sanderson's first published work, and not his best. What I always admire is his fascinating and well-structured magic systems, but in this one the AonDor could use some improvement. The concept of the Dor and the power behind Aons were a tad muddy, hence confusing; it felt like the explanations and the principles related to them were lacking, thus I found myself struggling to understand the magic of Elantris, and that's one of the reasons I was more invested in the politics and the back-stabbing court of Kae. ❝ The problem with being clever, Serene thought with a sigh, is that everyone assumes you're always planning something.❞ The characters were pure gold. The plot of Elantris did not revolve around the battle between Good and Evil, and that's why I neved knew who to root for, considering that, in the end, they all shared the same goal: avoid a bloodbath. The means they used, though, and their motivations were different, and the actions of one negated the efforts of the other, in an elaborate dance of schemes and plots. Watching Sarene, the lanky princess of Teod outmaneuvering seasoned nobles and eloquent preachers was definitely one of the book's hightlights for me. While Sarene could be overwhelming at times, her spirit and her innate distrust made her an excellent political opponent, and I loved her dynamics with the group of nobles and merchants who wanted to change the system for a better future. The entire set of side characters that accompanied her, from Ashe the Seon to hilarious Luke, heartbreaker Shuden and stern Roial, they were all perfect in their own way. My favorite character, though, was Raoden. His kindness, his optimism (his dialogues with Galladon were simply precious) and his need to help his people, to uncover the secrets of Elantris and restore Arelon to its former glory made me want to protect him at all costs. Hrathen, on the other hand, was more complex. At first I regarded him as the enemy, but as he faced obstacles in his journey and began to question his faith, his purpose and everything that made him the person he was, I began to warm towards him, and accept that not everything is either black or white, and for me, this is Sanderson's greatest achievement with Elantris. Elantris is a wonderful book, but if you wish to explore the magnitude of Sanderson's sheer talent, you should probably start with Warbreaker or, better yet, The Final Empire! Review also posted on BookNest!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Merphy Napier

    I really enjoyed this book a lot. It's very different from how Sanderson builds up his stories in later novels (the plot took off on page two, but I'm used to him spending some time building his characters and worlds before expecting us to run next to them). The first half was pretty difficult for me to connect to and I thought I'd be rating this lower, but the second half was a RIDE and I couldn't stop reading. The city of Elantris is very interesting and the characters took me a while to fall I really enjoyed this book a lot. It's very different from how Sanderson builds up his stories in later novels (the plot took off on page two, but I'm used to him spending some time building his characters and worlds before expecting us to run next to them). The first half was pretty difficult for me to connect to and I thought I'd be rating this lower, but the second half was a RIDE and I couldn't stop reading. The city of Elantris is very interesting and the characters took me a while to fall for but man do I love them now. Sanderson took the idea of zombies and made it something I'm sooooo on board with (not against zombies but also not something I really care about). He made a world, a curse, and a culture that I fell into head first and one that I'll be rereading someday (shocker). It's not his best work, but man is it good.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ❄️Nani❄️

    3.75⭐ I got my Cosmere fix. *giddy. Giddy. So giddy* Should be able to last me for a few weeks. RTC I need my Cosmere fix... No matter where I go, all roads lead back to the Cosmere. Such is the way of the world...🤷♀ Kicked off January with Rothfuss now February with Sanderson. Yay for 2018!👌😍 3.75⭐️ I got my Cosmere fix. *giddy. Giddy. So giddy* Should be able to last me for a few weeks. RTC I need my Cosmere fix... No matter where I go, all roads lead back to the Cosmere. Such is the way of the world...🤷‍♀️ Kicked off January with Rothfuss now February with Sanderson. Yay for 2018!👌😍

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    What happens after the Fall? Sanderson sets up a complex and unique fantasy world, with a magical system built on glyphs of power drawn in the air. The Elantrians were nearly godlike beings with glowing, silver skin and powerful magical abilities. Ordinary humans would sometimes randomly transform into Elantrians. But ten years before, the transformation process was twisted into something horrible: the Elantrians turned into diseased-looking horrors, their glowing, lovely city of Elantris became decayed and co What happens after the Fall? Sanderson sets up a complex and unique fantasy world, with a magical system built on glyphs of power drawn in the air. The Elantrians were nearly godlike beings with glowing, silver skin and powerful magical abilities. Ordinary humans would sometimes randomly transform into Elantrians. But ten years before, the transformation process was twisted into something horrible: the Elantrians turned into diseased-looking horrors, their glowing, lovely city of Elantris became decayed and covered with slime, and the magic was lost. But life goes on. And different people and factions are seeking to fill the power vacuum left when Elantris fell. Elantris alternates between three viewpoints: Prince Raoden, who has just turned into an Elantrian as the story begins, and is thrown into Elantris to live or die; Sarene, the princess of a nearby country who had just arrived to marry Raoden, but is told he is dead; and Hrathen, the priest of a third country who is seeking to claim Raoden's country for his own emperor, by conversion or conquest. The stories of these three characters are intertwined, but each character has a distinct point of view and their purposes often conflict. Hrathen, the red-robed priest, was perhaps the most complex character, struggling with fears and doubts and pride. But I actually enjoyed Raoden's and Sarene's parts of the story more. Raoden, especially, grabbed my interest, as well as my admiration, as he tries to deal with his terrible and painful transformation, figure out why the magic of Elantris was lost, and rescue himself and other Elantrians from the desperate existence they've been thrown into. And, not incidentally, get to know his fiancée Sarene (who believes he's dead, remember) when she visits the city of Elantris. They're arguably a bit of a Mary Sue couple, but personally I don't mind reading about really admirable characters when it's well done. This was Brandon Sanderson's first novel, and that shows somewhat. It's a fairly lengthy novel and periodically got a little long-winded and tedious, except for the ending, which seemed a little rushed. But the sheer amount of creativity in it is impressive and I found the main characters sympathetic. Overall it kept me interested until the end. Plus, bonus points for a fantasy novel that's actually stand-alone and doesn't require you to read a sequel to get the whole story! Art credit: http://alain-brion.deviantart.com/art...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kogiopsis

    Warning: the review that follows is terribly unprofessional (you know, in the way that no one ever bitches about for some reason) and full of love and lots and lots and lots of because REASONS. I think I've wished for half-stars maybe three times, at the outside, in the years I've been on Goodreads. Generally, though I may waffle between stars for a little while, I can settle on a rating which I feel accurately represents my feelings about the Warning: the review that follows is terribly unprofessional (you know, in the way that no one ever bitches about for some reason) and full of love and lots and lots and lots of because REASONS. I think I've wished for half-stars maybe three times, at the outside, in the years I've been on Goodreads. Generally, though I may waffle between stars for a little while, I can settle on a rating which I feel accurately represents my feelings about the book in a... mostly unemotional manner. (All my ratings are to some extent emotionally based; I am, after all, not a computer.) However, when it comes to Brandon Sanderson books I'm simply so biased that this system doesn't work for me. I'm not sure half stars would help, actually. What I really need is a system that breaks the book down into qualities like 'writing style' and 'plot coherency' which I can then rate out of ten because, considering them separately, I could probably manage more objectivity. This system would then spit out a rating based on the average of the subcategories, which would likely be lower by at least a star than my shiny emotional-first-reaction five stars up there. Since this system has yet to be created, let alone implemented, the five stars will stay. Take them with a grain of salt; the book is not perfect, but I honestly do not care. And now, after two preambles, we bring you the main event: an actual review of the book, and not just Anila's abstract feelings about it and the rating system. We'll start with the bad, because it's the smallest section. Like most first novels, Elantris suffers from some predictable problems. Sanderson's prose is rockier here than I'm used to - I've noticed over time that, logically enough, it becomes more polished with each new work, so of course this would be the roughest of them all. The two main characters, Raoden and Sarene, feel like prototypes of the characters he's put in his later work: they're larger-than-life and slightly messy combinations of the virtues and flaws that he's since separated out to make more realistic, tidier characters. Here we see the seeds of Kelsier's leadership and idealism, Vin's cynicism, Elend's bookishness, Jasnah's keen intelligence and sharp attitude. As is to be expected, all those qualities are powerful when used in moderation in other characters; here, they feel a little bit exaggerated and unlikely, particularly in Raoden. Speaking of Raoden - I love him, really (more on this later) but some aspects of his character felt a weeeeee bit deus ex machina. (view spoiler)[His unexplained 'affinity' for the Aons being the big one, of course. (hide spoiler)] With characters like this, it comes as no surprise that scenes of conflict are underwhelming: not only are our heroes almost absurdly full of virtues, they're also extraordinarily talented and powerful in many areas. Everyone else is sort of dim next to them, and so any confrontation doesn't last long and no one really puts up a fight. It's hard to be invested in the tension of a scene or feel emotions at success when the ending was a foregone conclusion. ...I think that's all the bad stuff. Excellent. Let's move on to the meat of this review: things I love without shame or moderation. 1. The concept. And not just the whole 'Eternity ended ten years ago' thing even though wow, what a killer tagline, am I right? No, what appealed to me most was the way Elantrians - now cursed - changed their natures to suit the situation. What they are has forced them to adopt or lose their minds to neverending pain, and it's really fascinating. "On the outside, people tend to be convinced of their own immortality. We are more realistic. One rarely wins a battle without at least a few wounds, and here even a couple of slight cuts can be more devastating, and more agonizing, than a swift decapitation." This is most interesting, I think, for its contrast to conventional fantasy. Usually in a fantasy novel there will be someone who can heal with a touch or a spell or a potion; failing that there are herbalists, doctors, sometimes even surgeons. The Elantrians, however, have none of the above nor the resources they would require to be effective - and on top of that, even if they did, their wounds would still never heal. The way this changes their interactions varies depending on the situation, but in general creates a world where only the half-mad actually fight other people. One injury too many means a fate worse than death; it could turn a previously sane man or woman into a listless broken wreck who can do nothing more than chant a mantra of their greatest regrets over and over and over again. This is really astounding, in a worldbuilding sense, and forces what might otherwise have been a violence-centric story to become one of diplomacy and negotiation. It's also all the more painful when people are injured, as does happen from time to time, because the reader knows what they are suffering and that they have lost the last shred of their humanity, but will be forced to live on without it. 2. Raoden. I have... feelings about Raoden. The truth is, I sorta adore all the male characters Brandon Sanderson creates. Raoden, however, is the only one I want to pluck out of the book and mash faces with. (view spoiler)[(If Kelsier were real, he and I would be at loggerheads over the whole 'wiping out a group of people because of circumstances beyond their control' thing, and as for Elend, well, would you dare to steal Vin's man? No, thought not. Kaladin is too good for me, and also belongs right in that book where he already is, thank you very much, so I can have more wonderful exploits and badassery to read about.) (hide spoiler)] which is not really a spoiler but actually a tangent. Raoden started worming his way into my heart on page 51. How? "Books!" Raoden said with excitement. Open note to all authors: any character who reacts exuberantly to the presence of books will start out in my good graces. If it's your love interest, well... bonus points are an understatement. Enthusiasm for books and enthusiasm for whales are two hugely appealing things to me. Anyhow, that's really just the beginning. Raoden is the kind of character who, like Kaladin, would be the center of a lot of montage scenes if this book were made into a movie. He's one of those leader types who goes in and gathers people who all love him and help him work towards a goal and they're successful and it's beautiful and deep down inside you know it can't last because the montage is just leading up to the big emotional moment when everything goes south, but you really really really want them to just do everything right and live long happy lives in the paradise they've created for themselves. I love montage scenes, and I love the people who orchestrate them, and really this is kind of pathetic but one of the easiest ways for a character to become sympathetic and engaging is for them to participate in one. Trufax. There's also the fact that not only is Raoden enthusiastic about books, he recognizes their value as a resource and uses them to solve problems. Words cannot express how many characters in how many books could have fixed their shit right up if they would just go the fuck to the library, or the nearest comparable resource. (I include older, more knowledgeable characters in 'resources', by the way. Seriously, guys, sometimes adults really do know something important. Talk to them. It bears noting that this is only a little bit of a tangent and not actually off-topic, because Raoden makes a point of learning from other characters. WUT.) Raoden manages to figure out a great deal about Elantris and what caused its problems by careful research and logical deduction. (view spoiler)[I do agree with the assertion that he comes by this deduction rather too easily, the same way that he gets a nebulous 'affinity' for Aons rather too easily. Buuuut... whatever. And anyhow, the primary tidbit of information that enables him to solve the riddle - that the basic Aon represents the major geographic features of the land - comes from someone else, so that gives him a little more leeway in my eyes. (hide spoiler)] Umm. There will be more (spoilery) fangirling over Raoden later. Yes, in a whole other subsection. This is what I mean by feelings. 3. Sarene. ...a lanky, brusque woman who was almost past her prime. Sarene is not my favorite of Sanderson's female characters. That would be Jasnah Kholin, always and forever. She is also not the most well-rounded or well-developed character in this book, and she has a lot of habits and characteristics that annoyed me. A lot of them annoyed me, though, because I see them in myself. Personal digression in spoilers; has nothing to do with plot: (view spoiler)[I'm eighteen and I've never once been asked out, let alone kissed. To my knowledge, no one has ever had a crush on me. I don't know why, and I'm not sure I would want to, because in general I really like who I am, but sometimes (especially when I'm talking with friends my age who have steady boyfriends or, even worse, change boys frequently) I'm struck by a feeling of missingness. Something is absent. I form perfectly wonderful emotional connections with other people, and I have friends that I love like siblings or better, but the physical aspect is just - not there. It's not something I worry about all the time, not by a long shot. I'm not a particularly physical person; I don't wish I had a significant other so I could jump their bones. But it would be nice to have someone I felt that comfortable with in that way - someone who I could walk with holding hands, or whose shoulder I could rest my head on, or whose cheek I could kiss in just a casual, natural, affirmative way. I miss that, as much as anyone can miss something they've never had, and so I understand how Sarene feels so very, very well. The longing that she feels for that kind of emotional connection may be annoying to some readers, but to me it feels intensely real. (hide spoiler)] Ummm. It's a little hard to re-ground myself after that. Sorry. Anyhow, Sarene. Yes. Sarene is a pistol. I admired her spunk (for lack of a better word) from the get-go: she finds herself in a country not her own, legally married and obligated to mourn for a dead man she never met, frustrated by a king who thinks women are for decoration and court ladies who act as if he's right. And of course, as soon as she decides that the kingdom of Arelon is in trouble, she does everything in her power to help it, even though she owes it no obligation. Interestingly enough, she doesn't really do it out of pure selflessness. She had spent nearly three decades loving a country without ever feeling it loved her back. Teod had respected her, but she was tired of respect. She wanted something different from Arelon. Sarene is, I think, the second most flawed character in this book. She wants to do good, yes, but that's because she wants the affirmation she thinks she'll get from others. And the real kicker is: she doesn't know how to do the right thing. It's a sharp (and sometimes unfortunate) contrast with Raoden, who seems to come upon the exact right decision by constant good fortune to the point that it gets kinda annoying. Sarene, on the other hand, doesn't always have a complete picture of the situation and so she does what she perceives to be best at the time - which isn't always what's best in the bigger picture. This, of course, leads to some not-so-positive results, which is how it should be: flawed characters make mistakes and suffer for it and then they get better. I like that Sarene does this. I don't like that her mistakes are more frequent and more directly commented upon than Raoden's. (view spoiler)[His biggest one, in shoving her out of the city through the front gates after Hrathen's potion wears off, really really bothers me because he never even stopped to think about it, especially since it came right after she explained Hrathen's campaign to get Arelon to convert. Actually, I kind of blame Raoden for the whole Eventeo-converts-to-Shu-Dorath thing, because if he'd taken a moment to consider everything that had happened, he probably would have kept Sarene hidden and devised a better strategy. This would be better if it were addressed as a mistake, but... it wasn't. So it niggles at me. (hide spoiler)] The final word on Sarene, though, is still 'awesome'. She's smart, well-meaning, emotionally believable, and willing to kick ass when it's necessary. 4. Hrathen. He just fascinated me. Actually, as I think about it, I feel that a lot of the reasons that I liked Hrathen were the reasons Inspector Javert is my favorite character in Les Miserables, because they are both noble people doing bad things for all the right reasons, and with little malice in their hearts. I also loved, loved, loved Hrathen's religious conflict, and the way he struggled to balance what he felt his duty as a gyorn was with what he felt was right. He's got a lot of baggage from doing something purely from duty, and I felt that it affected his actions in Arelon to a real and nuanced degree. It didn't matter that he had acted in the name of the Church, or that he had saved thousands upon thousands of souls. The destruction Hrathen had caused in Duladel ground against his soul like a millstone. People who had trusted him were dead, and an entire society had been cast into chaos. Though at his introduction I'd expected Hrathen to become the villain of the novel, I was quickly sure that this was not the case. Far be it from the eminently skilled Mr. Sanderson careful Anila your fangirl is showing to create a wholly unsympathetic villain, but even so the degree of attention he paid to Hrathen's conflicts elevated him fairly clearly to, if not protagonist level, at least secondary character on the 'good' side. I don't feel that's too much of a spoiler, since it becomes evident relatively early. (view spoiler)[My one reservation is what happens with Hrathen at the very end. I liked his actions, and that he turned away from the strict doctrines of Shu-Doreth to do what he felt was right, but I felt that decision was somewhat marred - nay, tainted - by the brief narrative comment explaining that he had been in love with Sarene. Umm... what? First of all, there was very little basis for real love between them. Mutual respect, yes; romantic love, no. (In Homestuck parlance, I'd say that they could have been morails or even kismeses at certain points but never matesprits.) It also felt a little unrealistic given Sarene's previous romantic experience - if she'd gone her whole life finding no man who believed himself in love with her, the idea that two would show up in such short succession is a bit preposterous. (hide spoiler)] 5. Religion. It's always a theme in Sanderson's books, and one that he includes on purpose, which I think is really quite fascinating. Because I've been aware of it as a theme since before I read Warbreaker, so I pay special attention to it. As always, it shines. There's not much to say about the way he handles it, actually, that I haven't raved about in other reviews - particularly for The Well of Ascension - but I do want to mention that even though the religions here feel somewhat more derivative than I'm accustomed to from Sanderson - the schism between Shu-Dorath and Shu-Korath is painfully close to Islam and Christianity - I still found it to be handled tastefully. Now, I'm not religious myself so someone who is might be annoyed at things that I didn't notice, but I feel it bears noting that I, as an atheist, found the religions to be a believably central part of the world without feeling that I was being preached at, which is often a delicate balance and one that few authors even attempt to address as directly, if they do so at all. There are a few quotes regarding religion that I really, really loved: "Keseg taught of unity. But what did he mean? Unity of mind, as my people assume? Unity of love, as your priests claim? Or is it the unity of obedience, as the Derethi believe? In the end, I am left to ponder how mankind managed to complicate such a simple concept." This one stood out to me because it's something I can really sympathize with. Even as an atheist, there's a lot of things about religions that I like - usually those that have to do with it as a social/moralizing force. It feels like Shuden is speaking for me when he comments sadly on the overcomplication of simple, positive ideas. "Everything happens according to Domi's will, child," Omin answered. "However, I do not think that 'curse' is the right word. At times, Domi sees fit to send disasters upon the world; other times he gives the most innocent of children a deadly disease. These are no more curses than what happened to Elantris - they are simply the workings of the world. All things must progress, and progression is not always a steady incline. Sometimes we must fall, sometimes we will rise - some must be hurt while others have fortune, for that is the only way we can learn to rely on one another. As one is blessed, it is his privilege to help those whose lives are not as easy. Unity comes from strife, child." Have you ever noticed how no one, ever, wants to answer one key question? I refer, of course, to the common query of the atheist: if a benevolent god exists, why is there so much evil in the world? To which most people will respond with vagaries about 'free will' and 'mysterious ways' and actually not answer the question in a satisfactory manner. Now, I have my issues with this explanation, but not only is it perfectly in-character, at least Sanderson made the effort. That really counts for something. I may not be rushing out to convert after such blinding and faultless logic, but I'm glad to know there are people out there who have put enough thought into their faith to be able to answer such an essential question. continued in comments because character limits.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    Review number 2 Having just finished re-reading the first ever stand alone Brandon Sanderson novel I ever read it struck me how my view of the book has changed. Of course I always knew it was likely to happen. The flaws and pacing of the text were far more noticeable. That does not mean I did not enjoy the book all over again, I simply analysed it to a far greater extent. The flaws of Elantris are to put it simply a slow and uneven pacing, the occasion lapse of characterisation, the fa Review number 2 Having just finished re-reading the first ever stand alone Brandon Sanderson novel I ever read it struck me how my view of the book has changed. Of course I always knew it was likely to happen. The flaws and pacing of the text were far more noticeable. That does not mean I did not enjoy the book all over again, I simply analysed it to a far greater extent. The flaws of Elantris are to put it simply a slow and uneven pacing, the occasion lapse of characterisation, the fact that some characters are thinly sketched out and the use of unexplained deus ex machinas right at the end. That said I fully recommend this book as your first venture into Brandon Sanderson's work if you are at all interested in fantasy or just want an entertaining read without the 'literary baggage'. The strengths of this book are in the plot (discussed more deeply in my first review) and the depth of the novel. Brandon Sanderson manages to combat a lot of criticisms of modern fantasy in this work by concluding an entire story in one volume and while a lot of his later books have been called shallow fun with readable, yet not brilliant writing, this book is probably his deepest, philosophically. I would love to read a feminist review of the book (and one that did not simply question things like 'are the characters Mary Sues - because frankly I hate the term and fine most characters in some ways have unique qualities that make them interesting regardless) or a review looking at the religious system built into the novel. What I myself find most interesting however is how it looks at pain and despair. Elantris is a modern version of Atlantis in many ways with Sanderson referencing that myth nicely. Although his version is nowhere near as good as that by J.R.R Tolkien. In his version however, rather than showing a race of people drowned, he uses the idea of a sickness. Another idea it appears to reference is the fall of man as seen theologically in Genesis. This sickness is a curse that brings with it pain, despair and alienation. It is how this 'sickness' is treated that I find fascinating in this book. It reminds me of how the X-Men are treated by humans in the comics and how humans have treated each other in slavery. And yet, the main idea running through this book is that we do not have to be defined by our conditions, that we are only defeated if we let our conditions get to us mentally. This is the idea of contrasting sickness and health, freedom and slavery and alienation and acceptance as only defeating you if you accept them with your mind. A fine, entertaining book and one with some interesting and relevant themes. There are better books like Les Misérables however not everyone will read those books. I hope instead that people can find the themes in those great books in good books like this one. Review number 1 The premise: a blessing that turned men into gods became a curse that turns men into the undead without a heartbeat and with skin that shrivels in place of the silver skin and hair they possessed before. What follows is one man's quest to discover how and why the curse happened and hence why he has been thrown into Elantris. Where before the curse he would have been immortal and free of all pain he remains immortal but with a body which no longer heals itself. The pain builds up and up until eventually those cursed snap. In the midst of this plot a religious conflict exists as one man tries to convert an entire city to his religion and prevent war. A princes also strives to work out what happened to her promised husband while trying to fix politics within the city bordering Elantris. Sound confusing? Well Brandon Sanderson manages to pull together all these conflicting elements, spinning a web of intrigue and magic so dense it's hard not to be drawn into the world formed by his words. Its very easy reading this to see why he was chosen to complete Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Series because he is a superbly brilliant writer of fantasy. The story explores incredible themes like rejection, political intrigue, religious extremity, bigotry, xenophobia and a load more. And the story is easy to pick up and read from beginning to end. Trust me this is a book that must be read in order to appreciate the wonders of the fantasy genre. Not all will enjoy this as much as I did. As a debut novel it does exhibit several typical aspects of other debuts. For instance a tendency to over-word is prevalent. Still it is a finely told story despite any flaws and that is why I loved it as much as I did. If you want to read a city based fantasy that focuses on political intrigue, religion and the idea of what pain will do to people then read this book. Appendices: 1.I was going to read this but I had to return it for the second time before I got the chance. I guess one day I'll get the chance to re-read and I'll see if my thoughts are still the same. 2.Anyone interested in this book and the theory of fantasy should read this article: http://www.brandonsanderson.com/book/...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hasham Rasool

    'Elantris' is the first novel by Brandon Sanderson. There will be sequel books of 'Elantris'. There are three main characters: Raoden, prince of Arelon, was loved by all, including the princess he'd never met. Hrathen, high priest of Fjordell, will convert the people of Arelon or kill them. Sarene, the princess of Teod, was a widow before she was ever married. This is usual genre cliches, offers something for everyone: mystery, magic, r 'Elantris' is the first novel by Brandon Sanderson. There will be sequel books of 'Elantris'. There are three main characters: Raoden, prince of Arelon, was loved by all, including the princess he'd never met. Hrathen, high priest of Fjordell, will convert the people of Arelon or kill them. Sarene, the princess of Teod, was a widow before she was ever married. This is usual genre cliches, offers something for everyone: mystery, magic, romance, political, wrangling, religious conflict, fights for equality, sharp writing and wonderful, robust characters. This book has focused on religious and politics. Raoden and Kaladin are reminiscent but they are different because Raoden is more omnipotent. Kaladin is more victim. Raoden is what Kaladin would have been like if he was born to a more powerful family and Kaladin is what Raoden would have been like if he was born to a less powerful family. My favourite characters are Raoden and Hrathen. I find Hrathen intrigues than rest of the characters because his character is more complex. I have noticed lots of people gave lower rated of this book. Most of them are like me read books by Brandon Sanderson before 'Elantris' like 'Mistborn' or 'The Stormlight Archive', they are very popular and they like it so I think these people who have gave lower rated of this book have a high expectation towards 'Elantris'. I love this book so much Alhamdulillah.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Iryna *Book and Sword*

    *I finished this two months ago and am still thinking about it <3 Constantly. I love it so much. 5/5 OR more accurately all the stars in the world! “To live is to have worries and uncertainties. Keep them inside, and they will destroy you for certain--leaving behind a person so callused that emotion can find no root in his heart.” I will be honest. I expected to like this. I knew I would. I just didn't expect to love it so, so much. Elantris might just have jumped to be my #1 favorite Sander *I finished this two months ago and am still thinking about it <3 Constantly. I love it so much. 5/5 OR more accurately all the stars in the world! “To live is to have worries and uncertainties. Keep them inside, and they will destroy you for certain--leaving behind a person so callused that emotion can find no root in his heart.” ​I will be honest. I expected to like this. I knew I would. I just didn't expect to love it so, so much. Elantris might just have jumped to be my #1 favorite Sanderson book. Sure, I adore the first Mistborn trilogy (I'm not comparing them, but I think Mistborn is the first thing people think of when they hear Sanderson's name). It's breathtaking. I love Kell, and Vin, and Sazed and all of the gang with all of my heart. They are my favorite, they are irreplaceable. But I spent three books with them. Three very hefty books at that. Raoden and Sarene stole my heart completely and unabashedly in just one book. “Is human nature to believe that other places and other times are better than the here and now.” Elantris is a story of a city, yes, but first it's a story of three amazingly different characters. Raoden, who is the most pure and beautiful soul in probably all of the universe. And not just Cosmere. Sarene who is so headstrong and stubborn, she would probably move a wall with just her will if she had to. And Hrathen, who seems intimidating and scary, but in reality is lost and scared. Their stories are so different, but they intertwine in the best of ways. Elantris also has a very cool magic system, but it isn't explored much until about the last third of the book - which plot wise makes the perfect sense, but also leaves the reader hungry to know more. Which now we can, because Elantris 2 is a thing that will happen. One day. I loved that it was inspired by Chinese lettering, something that has always fascinated me. ​Did I mention that a lot of dialog is positively hilarious? “So, using his pride like a shield against despair, dejection, and-most important—self-pity, Raoden raised his head to stare damnation in the eyes.” ​I can see how Elantris can be a bit hard to get into in the beginning, because of the extensive terminology that is thrown at the reader. All of it is of either religious or political nature - two forces that drive the book. But it isn't confusing, it's just a lot to take in, but once you do - you will feel as if you are yourself are a part of all of the schemes. Elantris made me cry, and it made me laugh. A lot. It's a story about how our parentage doesn't define us. It's a story about being lost without a purpose, and finding it in the most unexpected places. It's abut coming together and building a better community. It's about embracing who you are and believing that people who truly love you, will love you no matter what. And as weird as it feels for me to say - the romance in here will make your heart turn to goo, because it's so beautiful. “One cannot separate truth from actions...Physically inevitable or not, truth stands above all things. It is independant of who has the best army, who can deliver the longest sermons, or even who has the most priests. It can be pushed down, but it will always surface. Truth is the one thing you can never intimidate.” Also, Hoid !!! ____________________ I am dead. This book has killed me. My WEBSITE My INSTAGRAM My WORDPRESS BLOG

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》

    I DID IT! Took me only about 4 months but i did it! Now i can read Warbreaker in peace.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nermin

    I confess myself disappointed with Mr Sanderson. For the first time ever. And I feel bad about it. Well, how can I not when I've enjoyed every book I've read by him and when I've always heard very positive things about Elantris? I'm just so glad that this wasn't the first BS book I read. Because I seriously doubt I'd be picking up his other books anytime soon after finishing Elantris. My biggest issue with this book is its main characters. I'm willing to turn a blind eye on Deus ex machinas lurki I confess myself disappointed with Mr Sanderson. For the first time ever. And I feel bad about it. Well, how can I not when I've enjoyed every book I've read by him and when I've always heard very positive things about Elantris? I'm just so glad that this wasn't the first BS book I read. Because I seriously doubt I'd be picking up his other books anytime soon after finishing Elantris. My biggest issue with this book is its main characters. I'm willing to turn a blind eye on Deus ex machinas lurking around every corner, plot holes, unresolved questions, incredibly boring dialogues and witless conversations (which probably makes up more than 90% of the book). No, all of these factors combined couldn't be as disappointing as the main characters. Sarene, the heroine, the-most-perfect-and-intelligent-princess-that-ever-walked-the-earth is the chief reason why I felt like puking most of the time while reading this. BS and just about every character in the book would have you believe that she is the most awesomest thing ever: she's intelligent, beautiful, she has a great mind for politics, religion, she is a master swordsman. In short, she's perfect, you see. But nothing that ever comes out of this girls mouth is remotely interesting, intelligent or funny. On the contrary she is very annoying, insecure, haughty and stupid 99% of times. None of the 'clever' solutions she offers in the book ever does anyone any good. She repeatedly makes very foolish decisions. Yet everyone is ever in awe of her. You will read about how intelligent and amazing she is at least once in every page. Though basically all she ever does is be bitter about this or that, act like an old spinster even though she is only 25 year old or whine about how, how men don't want to marry her because of her intellect. SNORT. One of the other main characters, Prince Raoden is without a doubt the biggest Gary Sue Sanderson has ever created. And he is a very boring one at that. He is so boring that I'm not even going to criticize him because even trying to think and write something about that guy is extremely boring. Just think of a hero that is perfect, wealthy, lucky, smart, good, talanted and never dies in the book. That is Raoden. Raoden is the Solver of the mysteries, savior of the Elantrians, defender of the weak. Raoden is the fair and beloved prince of Arelon. Raoden is all that is good and fair. Raoden is the walking and talking definition of being boring. Hrathen, on the other hand, is the only truly interesting and fully fleshed out character in Elantris. His storyline had the potential to save this book.(view spoiler)[ But instead Sanderson chose to sacrifice him and go for cheap romance. Pity. I wish Raoden and Sarene were dead instead of Hrathen. (hide spoiler)] One of the very few interesting things about this book was Elantris. The mystery of it. So despite the painful stupidity of the characters, I gritted my teeth and embraced myself for biggest revelation. What I got instead was a poorly explained (or was it even explained at all?) mystery, a plot that heavily relied on Deus ex machinas and the most underwhelming and anti-climatic ending ever. And don't even get me started on endless dialogs that were obviously meant to be humorous and witty but instead came off as excruciatingly boring and didn't even have an ounce of humor or intelligence. P.S Sanderson's descriptions of food and clothes in this book can put even GRRM to shame.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~

    This was my first foray into Sanderson's novels, and I must say I was not disappointed. This book was full of interesting characters and a healthy plot, lots of world building, and lots of information without being "info-dumpy". Ten years after the fall of Elantris, rumored to be a city of gods among men, the country of Arelon is plagued with a crippling disease called the Shaod. The curse comes swiftly and without warning, and those taken by it are banished to live the rest of their This was my first foray into Sanderson's novels, and I must say I was not disappointed. This book was full of interesting characters and a healthy plot, lots of world building, and lots of information without being "info-dumpy". Ten years after the fall of Elantris, rumored to be a city of gods among men, the country of Arelon is plagued with a crippling disease called the Shaod. The curse comes swiftly and without warning, and those taken by it are banished to live the rest of their lives within the walls of the ruined Elantris. This novel follows three distinct perspectives - the recently afflicted Prince Raoden, his fiancé Sarene and Princess of the neighboring country Teod, and a high ranking priest, Hrathen. Each has their own ideas about how to save the peaceful country of Arelon from the looming threat of total annihilation if it continues to resist religious conversion. I absolutely loved most of the characters in this novel. They were realistic, flawed, and passionate. Sanderson wrote nearly all of them in a way that invests you in their outcome, which is a distinct talent when you're writing high fantasy. Normally with multiple narratives, I find myself rushing through some characters in favor of others. With this book though I was solidly interested in each path and how they would all weave themselves together by the end. Characters were placed in situations that forced them to develop and grow in a meaningful way, and it was wonderful. As far as plot goes, there was a heavy emphasis on political and religious relationships and I adored that. Sanderson developed a some solid ideologies in his fantasy world and embellished on them through his characters. I was fascinated, angry, disturbed, & curious as the world unfolded before me, and shortly into the novel it felt natural reading the names and occurrences happening outside of our central country. Sanderson took the opportunity to seamlessly bury explanations for his world into the characters dialogue, interactions, & inner reflections. My only real issue with this book was the pacing. Approximately 90% of the story adopts a slower, methodical pacing that was even across the board for our three main perspectives. It switched just at the right moments to leave you thirsting for more. And then in the very last segment of the book *BOOM BOOM BOOM! REVELATIONS! SECRETS UNCOVERED! SOLUTIONS! TWIST TWIST TWIST! RESOLUTION!* I was just sitting there in my bed saying "Holy shit. Holy shit! HOLY SHIT!!" over and over. Finishing things up this quickly really took away from the feelings that come with a long awaited resolution. I was getting worried around T-minus 100 pages that there couldn't possibly be a way to resolve everything that was happening in such a small amount of time, but around 70 pages left the story just exploded into action. I was scared for my life alright. It's like, if you spend an hour building a nicely designed house of cards with a sturdy base and a consistent support structure all the way up until the last few levels and then you throw a bunch of ill-planned cards on top and call it a day? Overall, this was a fantastic read. Would recommend for those of us who love fantasy, if you can prepare for a very strange bit of pacing near the very end.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

    Not as good as Mistborn, but still wonderful. One of the most religious books I've read outside of the Christian genre. Sanderson creates the coolest magic systems!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    On sale today for 2.99 here this is Sandersons first published work and it sparks of originality. Sandersonitis Support group a.k.a. Epic Buddy Read starting July 4 With members Athena, Alexa, Armina, Gavin and Desinka 4 Stars Only Because I Know the Extra Epicness Brandon Sanderson Delivers in Later Works Reasons Brandon Sanderson (BS) is one of/if not my favorite author 1. Strong Female Characters 2. Complex Heroes and Villians 3. Complicated yet Understandable Magic Systems 4. Intertwining of Religion and Culture 5. More than one book a year (looking at you Patrick Rothfuss and George RR Martin) 6. Humor 7. Plots twist I never saw coming 8. And he alwaoriginality.Sandersonitis On sale today for 2.99 here this is Sandersons first published work and it sparks of originality. Sandersonitis Support group a.k.a. Epic Buddy Read starting July 4 With members Athena, Alexa, Armina, Gavin and Desinka 4 Stars Only Because I Know the Extra Epicness Brandon Sanderson Delivers in Later Works Reasons Brandon Sanderson (BS) is one of/if not my favorite author 1. Strong Female Characters 2. Complex Heroes and Villians 3. Complicated yet Understandable Magic Systems 4. Intertwining of Religion and Culture 5. More than one book a year (looking at you Patrick Rothfuss and George RR Martin) 6. Humor 7. Plots twist I never saw coming 8. And he always has the best rollercoaster ride possible on the last 20% of each book. I spent thirty minutes trying to explain this book to my husband and son. Why it was cool and all the stuff I liked about it such as a zombie city with intelligent life, a marriage of two people who have never met in person and one of whom is assumed dead, a religious zealot that made my skin crawl, silvery orbs that have a sentient being in them that act as a type of google/skype hybrid, political intrigue, pending doom etc, etc….and I failed miserably all I got from them was…. I’m not even sure that the book’s description does it justice and I may fail here as well but I will give it a shot. This is shown from the perspectives of three different PoVs; Raoden the Prince of Arelon, Sarene the Teoish princess he was supposed to marry and Hrathen a priest from Fjorden sent to convert the people of Arelon. I like this style of storytelling because of the larger picture you see when it is from all the different angles. The story: “The Shaod, it was called. The Transformation... When it came, the fortunate person's life ended and began anew; he would discard his old, mundane existence and move to Elantris. Elantris, where he could live in bliss, rule in wisdom, and be worshiped for eternity. Eternity ended ten years ago.” Now Elantris is a city that is full of walking corpses. Some still have their minds but many have given into the pain and despair and become nothing more than muttering lumps on the side of the streets. Everything is dirty and broken. The city that was once beautiful and full of God like beings with magical powers is now just a shell of what it once was. Raoden was the Prince of Arelon before the Shaod took him and his heart stopped beating. Now he is a walking corpse in Elantris too, but he thinks that maybe he can find a way to make life in Elantris a little better than it is now. ”We’re dead, sule,” Galladon said. “What purpose can we have besides suffering?” “That’s exactly the problem. Everyone’s convinced that their lives are over just because their hearts stopped beating.” “That’s usually a pretty good indication, sule,” Sarene, is a spinster by Teosh standards. She is twenty five and without much hope of finding a husband in Teod she agreed to an arranged marriage with Raoden. They have never met, only corresponded through letters and Seons (that is the silvery google/skype floating balls thingy), but she had hopes that one day it could be more than just a political arrangement. However, when she gets to Arelon she finds that the man she was supposed to marry has died and according to the terms of the marriage contract she is officially married to a man she never met. To save her homeland she will need to play some political games and find some allies in her new home. “The problem with being clever, Serene thought with a sigh, is that everyone assumes you're always planning something.” Finally there is Hrathen the high priest or gyorn in his religion. Sent by his god he has three months to convert the people of Arelon to Jaddeth or his god will conquer the city and none will survive. He caused a serious revolution in another country he tried to convert and hopes to avoid the mistakes he made in the past. This story is where it all begins. The thing I find hard about rating this book is that I have read other Brandon Sanderson (BS) books and so I know how much better his writing is going to get. BS is a fantastic story teller. His characters are complex and imperfect. The heroes have doubts and moments of weakness, the adversaries have good qualities and solid motivations for their actions as well. This is the first book he had published, his characters are still all these things but not as developed as in later works. The magic system created and the political ones are always different and well plotted out. There is a minor discrepancy in this one but it didn’t take away from the overall story me. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I loved Jumping from Raoden’s chapters that where more action to Sarene’s that are more political intrigue and plotting. I held on hoping and waiting for the two to meet and loved the almost Beauty and the Beast aspect of their initial meeting. Hrathen’s chapters were insightful and disturbing; he went through a lot of planning and misdirection in his zeal to convert the kingdom. BS always creates strong female characters. Sarene is witty and fun. She speaks her mind and can play the political game well, even when she isn’t sure what she is playing at. One thing was clear, however. If the gyorn saw reason to preach against Elantris, then it was her duty to defend it. It was possible to block her enemy's schemes before she fully understood them. Since this is the first book he published it isn’t as polished as his later works and I will say that I knew how the overall ending would work out early on even though I didn’t see the twists and turns to get there. In his later works you have no idea how things are going to work out in the end. BS has really grown a lot in his writing since this novel. If you have never read anything by Brandon Sanderson I’m not sure that this is the book to start with. I say that only because he is one of my favorite Fantasy authors and I don’t want there to be any confusion on how great a writer he is. This is a novel in a greater collection of 36 novels called the cosmos but….DO NOT let that deter you. It reads great as a stand-alone novel as well. If you have never read another Sanderson book I recommend The Mistborn Series (because the first trilogy is complete) or the Stormlight Archives, The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance (because they are my absolute favorites). But if you have already read those pick this up, it is still a great story and you can see just how far BS has come.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Conor

    Elantris was a promising debut from little known fantasy author Brandon Sanderson.... But really though it was definitely a good debut and a pretty strong read in it's own right. The world-building, especially the set up of 2 religions warring for the hearts and minds of a people with the ruins of a fallen utopia in the background, was awesome and the characters were overall pretty likeable and occasionally intriguing. This is my first Sanderson book so I'm definitely psyched to see h Elantris was a promising debut from little known fantasy author Brandon Sanderson.... But really though it was definitely a good debut and a pretty strong read in it's own right. The world-building, especially the set up of 2 religions warring for the hearts and minds of a people with the ruins of a fallen utopia in the background, was awesome and the characters were overall pretty likeable and occasionally intriguing. This is my first Sanderson book so I'm definitely psyched to see how he develops his craft from this strong debut. The setting in this book was pretty strong. The specter of a fallen utopia in the background of a thriving city was a really striking image, although I found it kind of eye-roll inducing that the Elantrians (the race of magic people that inhabited the old city) were seemingly perfect in every way before being undone by chance. I know this is fantasy but it was still unbelievable. My favourite part of the world-building by far was the conflict between 2 schools of religious thought, and how that conflict motivated schemes, warfare and bloodshed around the world. This was explored particularly well in Hrathen's sections. A complaint I did have about the world-building was how a once sophisticated society that was pretty much a magical utopia turned almost instantly into a feudal-style society with clearly defined social positions (serf, lord) and how this society was shown in a really clumsy way to be evil and inefficient (when kind-hearted princess and MC Sarene rolls in, frees the peasants and everyone is so happy that productivity skyrockets). The story is told through the POV of 3 main characters: Raoden, Sarene and Hrathen. Raoden is a former prince thrown into the zombie infested ruins of Elantris. Only instead of eating brains and doing cool zombie stuff most of the zombies sit around complaining about how sad/hungry they are. Instead of doing the right thing and going all Dead Rising (i.e. getting a skateboard and riding through clumps of zombies, somehow killing them while remaining unharmed. Dang, that game was awesome I should really re-play it) on their zombie asses he tries to lead the emo-zombies into forming a hippie commune. Raoden's were probably my least favourite sections. The lack of interesting stuff going on and initially slow pace was compounded by the constant references to how the residents of Elantris were constantly on the brink of going mad from hunger/pain. It really killed my vibe. The highlight of Raoden's parts were undoubtedly his attempts to unravel the mystery of how Elantris fell. These sections posed an interesting mystery and had an awesome payout at the end of the book. Sarene was at times a pretty boring character. Much like Raoden she often came across as a pretty bland protagonist, however unlike Raoden she was at least doing interesting stuff. Her attempts to being down a corrupt monarchy were interesting and her ongoing battle of wits with Hrathen, as she tried to stop the spread of his violent religion, made for some really interesting conflict. Hrathen for me was by far the most interesting of the main POV characters. A priest of the Derethi (bad guys) religion he aims to convert the people in a desperate attempt to avoid a bloody conflict between the 2 religions. Throughout the story Hrathen is shown to be both a badass warrior and a subtle political operative, however my favourite part of his arc was his attempts to work through a crisis of faith and justify his often horrific actions through a mixture religion and logic. The plot of this book was pretty meandering and some parts seemed to go very slowly (this was especially true of many of Raoden's parts and a few of Sarene's) however the ending more than made up for it and managed to raise this book from a 3/3.5 star rating to a solid 4. Without going into any spoilers a load of the plotlines that were set up throughout the book and the storylines of most of the characters converged in an epic action packed finale that was Erikson-esque in it's intensity. (view spoiler)[ Raoden finally being able to cleanse the Dor and open up a can of whoop-ass on the Derethi demon-monks was easily the most fist pump inducing moment of the book to that point and almost enough to single-handedly make up for how boring the rest of his arc was. Hrathen's ultimate decision to turn against the religion he increasingly viewed as evil and brutal was also a great (and appropriate) ending to his storyline while his slaying of the fanatical (and evil as fuck) head priest was an extremely close second to Raoden's earlier moment of awesomeness. Hrathen's final thoughts: Lamenting that he never got the chance to tell Sarene, his rival throughout the book, that he loved her combined with the memorial erected to him were by far the most moving moments of the book. (hide spoiler)] Overall this was a strong debut and a good read in it's own right. I've heard that Sanderson's stuff only gets better from here so I'm definitely interested to check it out.

  22. 5 out of 5

    TS Chan

    Just over 10 years ago, a pretty much unknown author published his fantasy debut, sold 400 copies in the first week and panicked thinking it was a failure. Fast forward to early 2016; Brandon Sanderson has published another 17 of his own books and 7 novellas/short stories (garnering an average rating of 4.36 in Goodreads), completed The Wheel of Time, and been repeatedly touted to be one of the most prolific authors of this generation, with worldbuilding ideas that almost defy imagination at tim Just over 10 years ago, a pretty much unknown author published his fantasy debut, sold 400 copies in the first week and panicked thinking it was a failure. Fast forward to early 2016; Brandon Sanderson has published another 17 of his own books and 7 novellas/short stories (garnering an average rating of 4.36 in Goodreads), completed The Wheel of Time, and been repeatedly touted to be one of the most prolific authors of this generation, with worldbuilding ideas that almost defy imagination at times. Elantris was Sanderson’s first published novel and it still represented one of the most original works I’ve read to-date. It was not flawless given its uneven pacing, and neither was it grand nor epic. While Sanderson was subsequently known to write amazing action scenes, Elantris was instead a more personal and contemplative story of devotion and dominion. As Cosmere geeks will most likely know which Shards exist in the world of Sel, it was thematically very appropriate. There were little in the way of action scenes and of the magic system at work, except during the climax, but this did not stop me from being interested in the story. It is by no means a spoiler, I believe, to say that the fall of Elantris was linked to the failure of the magic pervading the city and it was up to the main protagonist, Prince Raoden, to figure out what, why and how. With this, the very explanation of how the magic of Elantris works served as the mystery component underlying this tale. Humanity and faith, hope and purpose, power and greed - these are relevant key aspects of life (fantasy or otherwise) which Sanderson deftly wove into this book which stands well as a single-volume, which in itself is a rare occurrence in the modern fantasy genre. The main characters in this book have also been touted to be flat and clichéd, especially Raoden and Sarene. While they definitely do not have the complexities of some of Sanderson’s characters in the Mistborn and Stormlight series, I have no complaints and personally find that Raoden and Sarene carried the story of Elantris well. As far as the main POVs go, Hathren was clearly, and by popular consensus, the more interesting character. The theme of devotion and dominion was most obviously dealt with in his arc. One point to note is that I completed this reread via 2 mediums – the Graphic Audio supplemented by the paperback version of the Tenth Anniversary Author’s Definitive Edition. The new and improved maps, an expanded Ars Arcanum, a special extra scene of this edition make the additional purchase worthwhile. The addition of a foreword by Dan Wells and postscript by Sanderson was also very much welcomed as they enhanced my appreciation of this story. The superb casting of the Graphic Audio ensemble brought out all the characters really well and I believe that went a long way in enlivening the characterisation which was regularly criticised. This then comes to my point of view – if the material is great enough to produce such a wonderfully immersive experience with the right casting and interpretation, is it really the fault of the author that the characterisation failed to shine in the minds of its readers? I am upgrading Elantris to 5-stars. ---------------------------------------------- Mar 2016: Reread alongside Graphic Audio Been meaning to re-read this after I've bought the 10th anniversary edition. The main impetus now came in the form of Graphic Audio which I've discovered when Brandon announced that The Stormlight Archive is being adapted into this amazing movie-like storytelling format.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Bach

    I think it's only fitting, considering whose book this is, that I tweaked review of it dozen of times. Hopefully, this is the last version. It can’t be helped. No matter despised one of his books or loved it - by the end of reading - I’ll get annoyed at Brandon. Is it ego, delusion of grandeur or just a case of plainful laziness that drove him to mercilessly squeeze so many ideas from this book and simply repeat them in all of his other series I have read? If I’ve never read Elantris I would probably think of Brandon as one of the greates I think it's only fitting, considering whose book this is, that I tweaked review of it dozen of times. Hopefully, this is the last version. It can’t be helped. No matter despised one of his books or loved it - by the end of reading - I’ll get annoyed at Brandon. Is it ego, delusion of grandeur or just a case of plainful laziness that drove him to mercilessly squeeze so many ideas from this book and simply repeat them in all of his other series I have read? If I’ve never read Elantris I would probably think of Brandon as one of the greatest in this genre. If I didn’t loved Elantris I would probably go easier on The Stormlight Archive series, and other of his books I have read - books with cloned characters and world settings - that so much resemble this one. But the fact that I know of Elantris and love it dearly, makes all his other books – with slightly influenced or blatantly stolen ideas from this one, it doesn’t matter – cheap and redundant. No matter how interconnected worlds in this ‘Cosmere Universe’ are, there’s a point when everything simply feels repetitive. “Welcome to Elantris. Everything you assumed is no longer valid.” Prophetic and, oh, so befitting. For a solid and fair 2.75. As Brandon himself described, this book is about a man trying to rebuild society among wretches, a woman who refuses to be defined by the roles society heaps upon her, and a priest having a crisis of faith. Now, is this book the greatest book ever written? God, no. It was brought to my attention that this book has pacing issues. To be honest, none that I minded or felt threatening to ruin my overall enjoyment. I much appreciate when author doesn't consider me as an idiot, so he restrains himself from describing color of grass and sky or wetness of water. So yes, at some times pieces in story felt chopped off, certain events happened in intermission, and I'm left with impression there was experimenting by Sanderson to sometime tell linear story from different perspectives by stepping back in time. All which is, considering this is his debut novel, a none-issue for me. Story itself doesn't have those now, unfortunately, quite regular Brandon's trademarks. Characterization wasn't been told through 300 pages of characters past. It's not stellar either, mind you, but at least I didn't need to go through 300 pages of characters past to understand his 300 pages of actions in present time. Main female character, for once, doesn't have some magical specialty, doesn't wield power, to be considered as important and interesting in his book. Her only power and specialty is that she's smart and compassionate. And, for crying out loud, he made Sareen likable and with an amazing sense of humor. He made her believable. Something Sanderson's regularly forgetting in his later books when writing female characters. Often I read that people consider Elantris his weakest novel. I would argue this is his strongest. Again, let's not forget this was his debut novel. With one of most unique magic system and original worldbuilding written over a decade ago. And then when I look at how similar The Mistborn series is, how similar The Stormlight Archive is, with all those characters seemingly deriving from Elantris, how could I not think that "Sanderson's curve" in literature is descending? When I realize just how bad copies of Sareen are Shallan and Vin. Even Jasnah, one of my favorite. When I draw comparisons of Raoden to Elend, Kelsier and Kaladin. Or when I remember how before Kaladin's devoted henchman Teft there was Raoden's Galladon. When I read about Shuden twisting and turning in his strange fighting stances leaving after-glow behind him, how could I not remember Kaladin's introduction in his first chapter. When I read description of Assassin Monks in Elantris with impenetrable armor beneath their skin, how could I not pause for a minute realizing that same description could be used for Parshendi people. How could I not say, seeing all these influences in his later books, that Elantris is his greatest work? His magnificent pillar which holds copies of all these other worlds? And how could I not say, seeing all these similarities, that he uses same characters with slightly different names in slightly different worlds? Knowing all this, how could I not say that Sanderson, over the course of time and dozens of books published, is one of the most undeveloped authors I had displeasure to read? If Elantris is indeed his weakest novel as people say, than just how weak all these later copies of it are? No, Elantris, for me, is his greatest novel. Only one that deserves to be called that. As for Brandon... well I'll quote himself reflecting on this book: "Looking at Elantris, I think the book's most enduring legacy is to be found in the effect it has had upon me. It continues to provide a soft reminder that not every action scene needs to be about two people with swords, and that the fate of one lonely man in a rotting city can be more compelling than the clashing of armies. Elantris proves that a book can be magical, yet not show magic itself until the last few chapters. I find it essential to remember that a vibrant, passionate story about engaging characters is more important than cool magic system or epic action sequences." I couldn't agree more. Then tell me, dear Brandon, why, with every book you wrote since Elantris, do you keep ignoring everything you've said here?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bibi

    If I were rating Elantris purely on the world building and magic system, then it'd be 5+ stars. However..however, the sum of the parts does not form a whole. With character interactions and dialogue being the weakest links, something I find puzzling since Sanderson clearly wrote such excellent dialogue for the imaginary characters in Stephen Leeds' ( Legion) head. All in all, it If I were rating Elantris purely on the world building and magic system, then it'd be 5+ stars. However..however, the sum of the parts does not form a whole. With character interactions and dialogue being the weakest links, something I find puzzling since Sanderson clearly wrote such excellent dialogue for the imaginary characters in Stephen Leeds' ( Legion) head. All in all, it was an average story in an exceptional world.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    I really loved this book. The story was intriguing even if it was a bit slow at times, and the characters were incredible. Overall a pretty fantastic read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anish Kohli

    Well Sule, lookie here, I am finally done with my very first full length Sanderson novel! Yay! I guess I have been initiated into the cult of Cosmere now and I hope to learn many a secret very soon and to delve into the deep mysteries that the rest of y’all cult members seem to be so taken with :D Lol, alright alright, i’ll stop! But you guys gotta admit though, it really is like a cult thing when it comes to Cosmere, what with such a hardcore fan following and all the claims of Sande Well Sule, lookie here, I am finally done with my very first full length Sanderson novel! Yay! I guess I have been initiated into the cult of Cosmere now and I hope to learn many a secret very soon and to delve into the deep mysteries that the rest of y’all cult members seem to be so taken with :D Lol, alright alright, i’ll stop! But you guys gotta admit though, it really is like a cult thing when it comes to Cosmere, what with such a hardcore fan following and all the claims of Sanderson being a genius who just can’t do any wrong and keeps getting better and better! Infact, I heard a YouTuber make the claim that Sanderson’s works are instant classics in their own right and in a few of years we’ll see the transition when Sanderson’s works will be seen as benchmarks for fantasy. I can’t support or refute any of these claims, nor should I like to. I just want to read from the man and find him worth the time and money I invested in him. I got introduced to Sanderson through Snapshot, which has to be, hands down, the best short story I have ever read. It completely blindsided me. I then went on to read the Legion series by Sanderson, which is again a trilogy of short stories and I absolutely loved it. These 4 works from Sanderson, all of them Sci-Fi, gave me enough confidence in the man’s writing that I went ahead and bought 9 books of his. And I started with Elantris, which everyone claims to be his weakest work! And now that I’ve read my first full length work from him, supposedly his weakest entry, I gotta say that I am really looking forward to the journey with the rest of the books. Anyway, let’s talk about this book. Writing Well, it was writing style that gave me confidence over Sanderson and so obviously, I find his writing very accessible and very breezy. It is so easy to get into and you never really realize just how quickly it reels you in simply bcz it’s so smooth. The pacing of this book seemed pretty fine to me as well. It didn’t drag. Had an even pacing till the climax and there it picked up nicely and managed to keep me interested throughout. I loved how Sanderson pulled a blinder on me regarding the failure of magic even though he had dropped enough hints before making the reveal. Once I got to the reveal, it seemed obvious but it was great to be unable to predict the cause. Characters Well, when you talk about a standalone fantasy, then the characters will never have the kind of growth curve due to the lack of space. But that doesn’t mean the characters have to be flat or completely two dimensional in a standalone. The characters here are pretty well done, I feel. Although there is little background on them and how they came to be the person they are, I think they were well done and served the purpose very nicely. I like Sarene for her strength and her quick wit and the way she counters Hrathen’s plots almost as quickly as he hatches them. The political intrigue was fun to read. Raoden was good to witness for his grit even in the face of a desperate and hopeless situation. Galloden was well…he was fun. I liked the banter between him and Raoden. I really like how easily banter comes to Sanderson, I found that the case in all his books so far. Magic System Well, it’s not as open ended as in the Farseer series but it definitely needs expanding upon. It was mostly used towards the end of the book to end it with a flourish but I should have liked to see it be used much more extensively. I think it is not a soft magic system that Sanderson defined here, only that he didn’t expand on it enough to make it a hard one. Nonetheless, it was a cool one and I liked it. Problem Areas I think my only two problems are more of personal preference than anything wrong with the book and even so, there are really small complaints that I have. >> Well, like I said, the writing is very breezy but that kinda turns on itself in the context that the book gave me no great quote to remember or that touched me in any way. It just went about telling a story effectively without anything else. >> The only real (or close to it) problem with this book is its atmosphere. It never felt like the stakes were really high. It was not ominous enough at any given point. It was all very light hearted and despite things happening, the gravity of them was not really pushed across well. The looming danger, the impending doom always felt just beyond the horizon. On the whole, the book wasn’t serious enough. It was a very light hearted book. It well could be that this felt light hearted bcz of Farseer trilogy that I recently finished, which happens to be pretty depressing in terms of its atmosphere. Overall Impact A good book. Definitely more than just worth your money and time. Completely entertaining. I have seldom read such a self-contained fantasy that was so light at the heart of it and also was so well paced. It was almost as if the book was not long enough for me despite being well over 600 pages. I thoroughly loved it and would suggest as a decent enough book to get acquainted to the author and his writing style without having to commit to a huge series. And if what all y’all say is right, that Sanderson gets only better from here on out, then I am piqued about what he has to offer going forward. All I can say, something I seldom get the chance to say, is that I am very, very satisfied with the book and the story. I don't have any real issues with the book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liz* Fashionably Late

    Recommended by Lau and holding hands with Mitticus, Nanu, Lizet, Xime, Cati, Violante, Ro, Majo, Yolanda, Andrea, CalypK, Bianjie, Betza, Antonio, Alejandra, Christina, Jessica,Denisse & Marivl in a massive Buddy Read! ------------------------ Elantris was beautiful, once. It was called the city of the gods: a place of power, radiance, and magic. Elantris has an amazing formula: amazing world-building, an incredible magic system and likable characters. If that were enough I'd give it five whole stars, but plot holes, unresolved questions, Deus ex machinas and an anticlimactic ending took two stars away. On the negativ------------------------with Recommended by Lau and holding hands with Mitticus, Nanu, Lizet, Xime, Cati, Violante, Ro, Majo, Yolanda, Andrea, CalypK, Bianjie, Betza, Antonio, Alejandra, Christina, Jessica,Denisse & Marivl in a massive Buddy Read! ------------------------ Elantris was beautiful, once. It was called the city of the gods: a place of power, radiance, and magic. Elantris has an amazing formula: amazing world-building, an incredible magic system and likable characters. If that were enough I'd give it five whole stars, but plot holes, unresolved questions, Deus ex machinas and an anticlimactic ending took two stars away. On the negative side, one of the weakness in this book are the main characters. Only Hrathen showed complexity but Sanderson threw it out of the window when Hrathen decided to (view spoiler)[redeem himself by saving Sarene in the name of love. REALLY? After pages and pages of unconditional belief, strong character and passion for logic? He went good because HE LOVED HER? Cheap trick. (hide spoiler)] . Raoden, the special snowflake that after ten years of elantrian ignorance came to Elantris to discover the cause of Elantris's fall ALL BY HIMSELF, was too perfect in my opinion but I did found his friendship with Galladon very entertaining so I didn't dislike him at all. There's no way to save Sarene, though. Sanderson builds this character over what others will say about her but he won't show us. Sarene's good at everything: syre fencing, politics, religion, she's clever and beautiful. She's so clever and beautiful, that nobody wants to marry her, I know that because she moans about that 50% of the book. I find it funny that she went on a humanitary mission to Elantris but after Raoden asked her for clothes and buckets among other things, she delivers broken and faulty things to sick, suffering people! However, Sanderson always has strong secondary characters who are completely adorable and their lost is always painful. (view spoiler)[This is a Mistborn spoiler!(view spoiler)[ I'm still crying over Kelsier, Sanderson! (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] As I've said before, the world-building is perfect, I mean skyping with your fiancé? The originality and creativity is always a Sanderson's distinct trait so there were no surprises there. The social structure, intrigue and betrayal, some unexpected revelations and of course, Elantris itself, are some of the reasons to read this book if you don't mind the length and weak points. Overall, the story is quite lineal, the action is scarce, the ending very predictable and the unresolved questions kinda frustrating.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    This was so much better than I had been led to believe! Seasoned Sanderson fans recommended it as a way of comparing his first work to his more accomplished recent work. But it was great in its own right! Maybe Baby Brandon emerged from his crib already writing perfect sentences!

  29. 5 out of 5

    ALet

    *DNF @ 19% Sadly, it just wasn't for me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Obida

    Incredible! This book is just great! I’m a major Brandon fan since I read the Mistborn trilogy, I’ve always wanted to read his debut novel but this book was so scarce that I almost gave up. After reading it I’m really glad I didn’t give up on my search, this book is way better than I expected. As expected the magic system is so amazing and original. “Books!” Raoden said with excitement. “Should never have brought you here,” Galladon muttered. “Now I’ll never get rid of you.” This book go/> Incredible! This book is just great! I’m a major Brandon fan since I read the Mistborn trilogy, I’ve always wanted to read his debut novel but this book was so scarce that I almost gave up. After reading it I’m really glad I didn’t give up on my search, this book is way better than I expected. As expected the magic system is so amazing and original. “Books!” Raoden said with excitement. “Should never have brought you here,” Galladon muttered. “Now I’ll never get rid of you.” This book got me hooked from the first page, it didn’t have a slow beginning and it was so easy to get into. The prologue covered lots of stuffs so you go in what all the needed information. I love the whole religion theme that was used in the book. World building and Writing The world building in this book is perfectly depicted and I love it, its so original, though all the names are hard to pronounce, I doubt I pronounced them well. The writing is okay, not as great as his other books but better than lots of books I’ve read before. It was so easy to comprehend. Characters Wow just wow, the characters are so amazing with different personalities and endless banter. I love them all even Hrathen makes me wish I’m that pious oh except Sarene cause I felt like smacking at the back of her head half the time. Of course, my mouth is what got me in trouble with you. Maybe if I’d kept it shut I’d still be sitting on those steps enjoying myself, rather than spying on one of the most dangerous men in the city.” “Perhaps,” Raoden said. “But you wouldn’t be having half as much fun. You’d be chained to your boredom.” “I’m so glad you liberated me, sule.” “Anytime.” Raoden If am optimistic half as this guy then my life will be worry free, don’t get me wrong I’m not a pessimist but Raoden’s level of optimism is way over the radar. He has so much hope even when his life got turned upside abruptly in a day. He still went on and made others feel better. I thought the book will be spent with him brooding, boy was I wrong. “What are you implying, sule?” Raoden’s eyes opened wide. “That we aren’t dead, my friend.” “No heartbeat. No breathing. No blood. I couldn’t agree with you more.” Galladon The exact opposite of Raoden and they still managed to be great friends, this guy is so pessimistic that Raoden once told him that if not that he is seeing the sun he’ll still doubt that too. But even with his attitude he is an amazing friend, he is extremely nice and also an amazing friend. Sarene The princess that I want to smack, she is kind, dedicated, smart, intelligent too intelligent and political. I get that her intentions are good but her actions not so much. Its so funny that she is a terrible artiste. “Beautifully—which is more than I can say for the painting.” He paused for a moment. “It’s a horse, right?” Sarene scowled. “A house?” he asked. “It is not a bowl of fruit either, my lord,” Ashe said. “I already tried that.” Hrathen This man is so pious, he is the definition of commitment. Despite everything his religion says he will avoid bloodshed at all cost, He is an amazing fighter and also confident. I liked him from the first time he arrived in Arelish even with his self importance and all, I knew he was following what he believed to be the truth. Plot Elantris is a city of the gods, regular people are visited by the sheod that make them godlike creatures with cool magic that can be used by drawing runes, but Elantris fell ten years ago, so the people are no longer godlike but look like the walking dead, hair fallen out, their injuries don’t heal, black splotches on wrinkled skin no matter their age. The story is told from three perspectives’, that of Raoden, one the newest Elantris who is trying to figure out how Elantris’s power failed and how to restore it. Sarene a princess who married a prince of another kingdom but he died before they met, She thought his death was fowl played and wants to figure out what happened to him and also to help liberate the people from their tyrant king not to mention Hrathen. Hrathen is a gyorn priest from Fjordell, his kingdom has conquered the whole world using religion apart from two kingdoms Arelish and Teo and he is determined to do this without bloodshed.

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