Elantris

Elantris

Book - 2006
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"But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspects the truth about Prince Raoden's disappearance. Taken by the same strange malady that struck the fallen gods of Elantris, Raoden was secretly imprisoned within the dark city. His struggle to create a society for the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps even reveal the secret of Elantris itself."--BOOK JACKET.
"Arelon's new capital city, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris, which its people do their best to ignore. Princess Sarene of Teod has come to Kae for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping - based on their correspondence - also to find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died, and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. Sarene decides to make the best of a sad situation and use her position to oppose the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god."
"Elantris: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities to benefit all the people of Arelon. Yet each of these godlike beings had been an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Then, ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, feeble, leper-like creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling. The Shaod became a curse."
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2006, c.2005
ISBN: 9780765350374
0765350378
Branch Call Number: PAPERBACK SF/Fantasy San
Characteristics: 638 p. : map ; 17 cm

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Beatricksy Jul 21, 2017

I just really enjoyed this. The magic is super well defined--I wish there had been more playing with it, but what was there was beautiful. The political element is interesting, dragging in ideas that I haven't necessarily seen explored in fantasy before. It's a shame that our swordfighting female protagonist is relegated to damsel at the end, but otherwise it's a delightful romp in a well established universe.

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bpbiblio
Apr 30, 2017

Elantris is an imaginative and interesting story which I enjoyed reading. However, I couldn’t believe that Sanderson just stopped with this one novel – it screams to be continued and made into a series. The book is well written, but I feel that he focuses way too much detail on the political machinations and ignores the fascinating aspects he introduces of the fabled city Elantris and its magic. It feels like we are given only a tantalizing taste of these things, leaving the reader wanting more. For example, I loved the idea of the “Seons,” the intelligent beings that take the form of orbs of glowing light – and yet very little attention is paid to them through the course of the story. We need a sequel or two to flesh out these characters and the mysteries of Elantris’ “gods”…

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MelanieED
Mar 11, 2017

My son gave this to me for Christmas, a thoughtful gift as he knew I had devoured Bujold's works and was jonesing for missing books from her World of the Five Gods series. For that reason, the book is dear to me. Critically, I liked the book and didn't in almost equal measure--I stopped and restarted it several times when annoyed with what repeatedly jarred to me as characters not acting or speaking as people actually do, or worse, inconsistently within their own characters or action lines as developed--inconsistent motivation, action, and annoying skips in emotional intelligence--or so it seemed to me. I liked much of the magical theory, liked the storytelling very much in parts, and was impressed with a distinct world easy to visualize and remember well after the book is over. I also had a major question I'd been waiting to have answered still unanswered at the end of the book.

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BoogeymanJack
Jun 28, 2016

pretty sure this book is missing a sequel, given how its ending goes.

t
trevorbrightwell
Jan 16, 2016

I really liked this. It is very different from any books I have ever read. I'm looking forward to reading more of his stories.

r
red_cobra_341
Dec 29, 2015

In my opinion, this is the least of Brandon's Cosmere works.

It just seems that all the climax has been put into the ending.

j
JihadiConservative
May 26, 2015

It's rare to find a good high fantasy tale that doesn't span less than half a foot tall. Elantris is an exception. By now, nearly everyone knows who Brandon Sanderson is. You know, author of The Way of Kings, Mistborn, and all those big fat fantasy novels that are selling out quickly at the bookstore.
But the novel that first put him on the map was Elantris, a standalone fantasy novel and arguably one of the most imaginative books in the genre.
While Elantris doesn't do anything new in the genre (and few books do these days), it's a thoroughly enjoyable tale and certainly one of the better high fantasy tales you can find in packed into a single volume.
Elantris proves that you don't have to cut down a wide swath of forest to tell a fantastic fantasy tale -- something that many fantasy authors don't seem to realize. What's surprising is that Fat Fantasy Meister Sanderson started his forest-killing career with an environmentally-friendly standalone.
If you like Sanderson's other books, it's a no brainer to read Elantris. But author pedigree aside, Elantris is a great story with a rather unique (to fantasy anyway) story?
Now why should you read Elantris out of the many other great books out there? The plot is great, the characters well drawn, and it's a fantasy adventure that sucks you in and won't spit you out till you've finished the last page. The book has a strong female protagonist too (something that's quite common in most of Sanderson's books) and a likable, manly hero too.
If you are looking for a standard high fantasy tale to make this list, then Elantris is the stand-in one for that spot. Apparently, Sanderson is working (or thinking about) writing a sequel the book, though the story is completely self contained as it is.

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dwu10
Jan 02, 2015

Extremely good standalone fantasy novel.

Sanderson creates an amazing fantasy world with believable, complex and likeable (or hateable) characters. Character development was very well done in this book and I could feel the goals and motivations of Raoden, Sarene, Dilaf, Hrathen and the rest as the pursued their goals and schemes.

Well mapped out world, clearly thought out system of magic and powers and great story!

4.5/5.0

k
keelgin
May 03, 2014

This is an excellent and unusual standalone fantasy novel by Sanderson. It combines fantasy/,magic with ideas on religion, politics, economics and social issues. I found the ideas thought-provoking while Sanderson maintains a non-pedantic exploration of such issues through his story. The characters were well-formed and very likeable with an immersive fantasy world. The language is evocative and simple enough for most ages to enjoy.

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Oddoneout
Oct 05, 2013

Although it does have it's flaws. For what it is - which is a debut novel- it is not bad. Nothing comparable to his later works, The ideas were there and it has some interesting concepts although it does need to be a bit more developed in some areas and less obvious in others it is not that bad. Of course as always, it has a unique system of magic for us to explore.

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bookKITTY
Jun 27, 2011

bookKITTY thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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dida
Jan 18, 2010

dida thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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