Todd's Reviews > Elantris

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
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's review
Aug 22, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy

I never would have picked up this book, normally, because I usually base my fantasy reading on referrals rather than random browsing, but this was an exception. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let me tell the story from the beginning:

My last semester at BYU I took a How To Write Sci-Fi/Fantasy class as a relaxing, fun, end-of-college class to balance out all the yucky quantum physics. The professor was none other than Brandon Sanderson, who had just had his book, Elantris, accepted for publication. Needless to say, the class was a blast, and Professor Sanderson really left a positive impression on me.

I had forgotten all about his book until, much later, I was killing time in an airport book store while on layover, and was quite surprised to stumble across this book! I would normally almost never buy a new hardcover book, starving student and all that, but I had to make an exception in this case! I paid the hefty $25 or $30 or whatever it was and began to read. Here's what I thought:

I was pleasantly surprised. Remember, this is Mr. Sanderson's first work to be published. What struck me was that, not only did this book immerse the reader into the fantasy world quite effectively, but that fantasy world was markedly unique and interesting. Any fantasy book that can stray significantly from the, um, shall we say, "typical" scene, is a success to some degree, and this one pulls it off marvelously. This book reads differently from the typical fantasy story in a lot of ways. My favorite aspect is probably how the protagonist struggles, not with sword and sorcery, or (in the case of Tad Williams) by simply bumbling along and just showing up, but rather with his mind, willpower, and leadership, to bring the story to a good resolution. I'm really impressed with that.

It loses the 5th star because the ending was a bit rushed and awkward. Oh well, I'll be looking forward to reading more from my once-professor!
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Jason Rogers What a treat to take a class under this man!

Audrey Hammer I met my husband in BYU's sci fi/fantasy creative writing class (different professor then, though).

Rishabh Bhandari I'll feel honoured to meet him once at a convention, when the stars align. What a treat to not just meet him once, but on a recurring basis for the duration of the course! i'm a tad bit envious of you! :)

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