Traci's Reviews > Elantris

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
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Mar 08, 12

bookshelves: fantasy, favorites
Read from March 03 to 08, 2012

I was afraid I wouldn't like this as much as I did my first time. And I didn't. I liked it more.

Elantris is about a city of blessed advanced humans that fell for unknown reasons and it's occupants turned into zombie like creatures. The book begins with the prince of the neighboring kingdom awakening to his own curse. We follow his struggle to survive, to save his cursed brother (and sister) hood, and the hunt for what went wrong.

This remains an impressive first book. I think Brandon Sanderson is one of the greatest fantasy writers to come from this age. And I believe he's just at the beginning of a great career.

Not to say it was perfection. It's not. My complaints first. One problem I had is a problem I have with other books of this nature. Elantris fell only ten years before. Could an advanced civilization crash that quickly and completely? I like to think humans are more stubborn and more resilient than that.

There were also near moments of eye rolling for Raoden's (the prince) wife Sarene. It's not that she was a bad character. I mostly liked her. But her moments of thinking the most important goal in life is to be married got a little sickening. But it's personal taste more than a complaint about writing. I have known and know women who are like this. Sometimes it just seemed a little too Little House on the Prairie fantasy.

I also disagreed with the whole money is bad thing. And really disagree with the real freedom is freedom from choice thing. But despite this I wouldn't consider Sanderson to be at all pushy or preachy.

First thing I loved was the writing. It's hard to explain but our favorite authors just click. And this one does for me. Big time. It's an intricate complicated story told with a deceptively simple easy narrative. There are a few moments of unevenness and choppiness but as a first book I think those can be overlooked.

The second thing I'll mention are the characters. The point of view are shared by three characters. Raoden, the cursed prince. Sarene, his new but unseen bride. And Hrathen, a high priest out to convert or destroy Raoden's people. All interesting sympathitic characters. I enjoyed reading about each of them. Although I do wish he had spent more time letting us know Hrathen better. A good character that came close to becoming a great one, for me anyway.

My last mention will be my favorite. The love story between Raoden and Sarene. There is something very moving to me how Sarene falls in love with Raoden's Elantris persona before she knows who he is. Finally a romance not based solely on lust.

I recommend this to anyone with any interest in fantasy that has not yet read it. I would also recommend it to some science fiction fans. You might not like the book or author as much as I do, and many others, but I do believe you owe it to yourself to at least try.
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03/04/2012 page 183
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 2: by Alex (new) - added it

Alex Ristea ^ agreed!

You summed up everything I felt pretty much perfectly.

I can't wait for more Sanderson!


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