Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.
Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also 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. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.
But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.
A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.
Who would have thought that Elantris is Sanderson’s first published novel? I mean, I know that he is a brilliant and amazing writer when it comes to building a new magic system or progressive character development in a story but I read his other works, and I’m a little late on reading this one. So, my point here is that, I just didn’t expect to have a high standard with high quality novel knowing that this is the first book and by the end of the book, I was blown away.
This book does not dwell with failures nor lost optimism. Elantris is a dark turned beautiful story that I haven’t encountered in a fantasy novel that I read so far. It gave that vivid, imaginary, and compelling story that will make you keep on reading even if the sun is starting to shine. And when that happens, you already know that you are reading a good book in your hands. The novel offers a wide range of twist, bravery, manipulation, politics, religion, and authority. What I find the best when Sanderson is writing a female character, most of the time, they are powerful. They have high status that they know what they want and what to do, or they have something to offer and they pride with themselves. And who am I to complain? I love how he write these powerful women and I am not complaining.
Sarene is an intelligent character. Reading her actions, her thoughts, I really don’t see her as a fictional character. She was well-developed character. A princess that can change a country. Can provide powerful insights and know how to navigate herself into the politics of misogynist. One of the scene in the book is her teaching the ladies the art of swordplay and I know for a fact that readers of young age (or anyone) will remember that scene that empowers them, especially women. I couldn’t say anything more because if you read Sarene in the book, you will love her definitely.
Raoden is the prince that Sarene is supposed to marry but because of a sudden death or so, Sarene thought. She was declared widow and Raoden was exiled to the dark city where the dead lingers and fight for food due to constant hunger. Little did the people of the dark city that Raoden has the capability of leading a community. His drive to change the dark city and turn it into the beautiful city once again is remarkable. He was able to keep on studying, learning something new, discovering what he can do, and focusing on people’s strength rather than giving them a simple task. He is empathetic, kind, and great leader. I aspire to be like Raoden. His optimism is addictive. You keep on wanting to lean him.
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson is full of wonders that the readers surely will enjoy. The politics is well established, the story line is magnificent, the characters are unexpectedly interesting, and the whole magic system is so new that the feeling of wanting more is there and it goes on and on and on as you keep reading. This novel provides the maximum reading experience to the readers who enjoy a great adult fantasy novel that will make them read for all the nights that they can sacrifice.
MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s Soul, Mistborn: Secret History, and a brand-new Stormlight Archive novella, Edgedancer.
Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.
Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light, in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series have been released in new editions by Starscape, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor’s Soul, were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brought two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.
The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.
Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.