Kogiopsis's Reviews > Elantris

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fangirl-alert, favorite-2011-reads, reviewed

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) 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) 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)
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)
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)
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)

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.
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Quotes Kogiopsis Liked

Brandon Sanderson
“Men protect things they find important," Galladon said with a shrug. "If you object, you shouldn't have made yourself so irreplaceable.Kolo?"
-Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson, Elantris

Reading Progress

March 16, 2010 – Shelved
October 22, 2011 – Started Reading
October 22, 2011 –
page 35
5.49% "Hmmm..."
October 22, 2011 –
page 130
20.38% "Dear Galladon: Please stop saying 'kayana'. I read it as 'Kanaya' and it drives me crazy. Bad enough that I have to deal with the temple of KarkatKarnak in my class readings, but I would rather not be distracted by: when reading kthx."
October 23, 2011 –
page 152
23.82% "Really, really, really liking this - even if Raoden reminds me powerfully of Kelsier and Kaladin. Doesn't mean he isn't still great."
October 25, 2011 –
page 184
28.84% "Ah, nascent talent. It's so interesting to see the roots of a writer who I know has so much skill, because in this book he's writing confrontation scenes about as compelling as mine - and that's not very. Also, I've figured out what Raoden and Sarene are in relation to his later characters."
October 30, 2011 –
page 191
29.94% "Not sure how I feel about that scene."
October 30, 2011 –
page 193
30.25% "wait, you're actually - you are! Brandon Sanderson, you are magnificent."
November 1, 2011 –
page 261
40.91% "Raoden, stop being so adorable."
November 2, 2011 –
page 300
47.02% "Oh, my poor darlings. I wish I could give you all hugs and tell you that it will be better."
November 2, 2011 –
page 308
48.28% "excuse me Hrathen what the fuck are you doing."
November 2, 2011 –
page 325
50.94% "Ummm... IADON WHAT?"
November 2, 2011 –
page 364
57.05% "Sarene, you are wonderful."
November 2, 2011 –
page 381
59.72% "Raoden. STOP BEING SO ADORABLE. It's too much."
November 2, 2011 –
page 384
60.19% "No no no no no no no no nononononononononononononono"
November 2, 2011 –
page 405
63.48% "This is just delicious."
November 2, 2011 –
page 410
64.26% "Raoden, stop lying. It's too cute."
November 2, 2011 –
page 423
66.3% "kiss him kiss him kiss him kiss him gogdammit Sarene kiss him already!"
November 2, 2011 –
page 433
67.87% "well this is going directions I did not anticipate."
November 2, 2011 –
page 442
69.28% "Hrathen, I pity you. Sarene is your kismesis, isn't she? Or would be, if this world had kismeses. It must make everything that much harder."
November 2, 2011 –
page 463
November 2, 2011 –
page 472
73.98% "ohhhhh awkward. I'm still going to call that kismesissitude because anything else is kinda creepy."
November 2, 2011 – Shelved as: fangirl-alert
November 2, 2011 – Shelved as: favorite-2011-reads
November 2, 2011 – Shelved as: reviewed
November 2, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)

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message 1: by Kogiopsis (last edited Nov 05, 2011 12:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kogiopsis Continuation of review:

The romance in this book is so- damn- adorable that when I was trying to explain it to other people I was spinning in circles, tripping over my own feet, and running into walls. It's actually only good luck that I didn't fall down a flight of stairs. That's how gooshy it made my insides feel. I don't melt over bad boys and their taut abs: sweet, genuine, intelligent guys catch my heart, and a romance which is shy, slow, and reserved is more beautiful and tense in my eyes than a thousand sexually charged moments. If it's built on mutual respect and genuine appreciation for the other person, well, even better. And oh, is this one ever. I really liked that they'd communicated via letter and magic but never met in person, because for both there was an element of doubt involved in the relationship and they approached it very cautiously. And then when Sarene met Raoden - not knowing it was him, believing he was dead - aslkdhglakshdlkgkshdksdkgh. One of the things I enjoy in a romance is when one person is keeping secrets from the other for a good reason - not in a creepy way, but in a 'the bigger picture is more important than us' way. And Raoden is. Except that... his secret is of his very identity. It's just gorgeously poignant to see him falling in love with Sarene, and to see her beginning to reciprocate, but because of that barrier neither can admit it.
She was impressive in every attribute - intelligent, beautiful, and strong. Now, if only he could convince her not to hate him.

The circumstances under which they meet and interact mean that the romance plays second fiddle to the main plot. (Why, oh why, does this always happen in the books where I wish the romance was center stage, and not in the ones which are badly in need of more nonromantic plot?) Both characters have other concerns, and when they realize they're putting their relationship before thir responsibilities, they snap out of it. (view spoiler)
Then, realizing what she was doing, she rolled her eyes. The entire world was toppling around her, and all she could do was size up the man walking next to her.

You go, Sarene. YA heroines, are you taking notes?
(view spoiler)
(view spoiler)
Even though their romance is relatively chaste, by the way, there are distinct indications of a physical element which is definitely part of it. It's not dominant, and to be honest its inclusion always feels a little bit out of place, but in this case I think the thought is what counts.

There are definitely people for whom Elantris will be a disappointment. If you're expecting a Mistborn-tier novel, this isn't it. But if you're willing to let yourself be swept up in a well-told, if somewhat simplistic, story, it's a winner. The ending was actually a shock to me - I put the book down just before I reached the last section, after a long section of good things happening and romantic fluff, and came back to a much harsher finale than I had anticipated.

Not that it felt out of place - looking back on it, I'd say its only flaw was that its internal pacing was far, far too compressed. Otherwise, it was very fitting, and the shock factor of its contrast to what had directly proceeded it kept me reading even when I was horrified and sure there was no way it could end well. I feel like endings are probably where Sanderson needed to improve most - Warbreaker's most prominent flaw was also in the rushed finale, and over time it definitely seems like he's been smoothing out those third-act reveals to make them more natural-feeling.

I should also mention that Elantris seems like the kind of book that needs a sequel. There are a lot of questions left unanswered ((view spoiler)) which a sequel could handle to satisfaction. Unfortunately, I've heard no talk of a sequel - it seems that, like Warbreaker, Elantris will be forever alone. (come to think of it, Warbreaker could use a sequel too... PLEASE?)

The good thing is that there are lots of supplementary goodies on Sanderson's website. I haven't poked around a lot, but hopefully some of the stuff he's put up there will alleviate some of my confusion.

Vinaya wrote: "YAYYY! I've emt LOADS of people who love the Mistborn trilogy, but not all that many who get excited about Elantris. I am joy. :)"

I am joy as well! (view spoiler)

As for excited.... yyyyyyeah. I was flipping out today; actually tripping over my own feet and bumping into walls when I tried to explain it to people. The warm fuzzies this book gave me... especially Raoden. I don't care that he's borderline Gary Stu, he's ADORABLE and anyone who says otherwise can FIGHT ME.

Flannery Epic review, Anila:) It made me miss the experience of reading this book. It was weird to see all the names of characters and the religions types out because I listened to the audiobook. Anyway, I loved Raoden and Sarene as well. (view spoiler)

This was the first Sanderson book I read but I'll catch up eventually. I know how much you love the Mistborn books. He's coming to a bookstore near me next week--I'm thinking of going. (view spoiler)

Kogiopsis Uuuuuum Sanderson is coming to your area? You must go. And then you must tell me aaaaaaall about it so I can live vicariously through you.

Seriously, I was SO EXCITED to be going to college only an hour away from Powell's and I was sure he'd go to Powell's on his Alloy of Law tour and he isn't coming. *sobs*
then again I would be a terribly incoherent fangirl if I ever got the chance to meet him. like, babbling like a maniac.

but yes. I think you should go, and you should buy the first Mistborn book there and then you can join the loooooove.

Flannery I don't know any Sanderson fans in the area but I'll probably go solo. I did today:) (I went to see a bunch of YA authors)

Kogiopsis Oooh, ooh, who'd you see?

Flannery Well I went to see Jessica Martinez, Stasia Ward Kehoe, Tara Kelly, and some others but I was super excited to find out that Lish McBride (and Holly Cupala) were sitting right in front of me in the audience!

Kogiopsis That's really awesome! (alskdgh Lish McBride is made of winnnn) Was it some sort of music-themed event? (I noticed that the three featured authors you mentioned all have written music-related books.)

Flannery Yep, it was part of the Stages on Pages YA Book Tour. All the authors have written books that have something to do with performance. Jessica Martinez and another author played the violin and read a bit, and the rest of the authors read from their music-themed books. It was definitely interesting!

Kogiopsis That sounds like a super cool event indeed.

message 10: by Momentai (new)

Momentai II don't know if you know or not, lol, but he's making sequels to both. If possible, could I message you about heroines and story things sometimes?

Kogiopsis Yup, I'm aware! I follow all of Sanderson's Cosmere projects as closely as possible.
And yeah, sure, you can message me with whatever. :D

message 12: by Momentai (new)

Momentai Thanks, part of me knew you probably already did, but I wanted to make sure you did.

message 13: by Riki (new) - added it

Riki The explanation for natural disaster and evil might be acceptable, given that it's a fictional world, but when it comes to Christianity and other real world religions, that kind of explanation is crap. Presumably residents of heaven have free will, and yet they (presumably) suffer no ill or natural disasters. Why not just create the damn thing in the first place instead of being a sadist and watching humans suffer?

Kogiopsis Riki wrote: "The explanation for natural disaster and evil might be acceptable, given that it's a fictional world, but when it comes to Christianity and other real world religions, that kind of explanation is c..."

Hah, wow, are you from my Philosophy class? Because we had the same discussion there this past week.

Anyhow, it's not really my place to defend/explain someone else's ideology, particularly when it comes from a point of belief that I really don't share. (I've been an atheist all my life/Sanderson is a devout Mormon; it's a sizable divide)

I find the character's explanation satisfactory in this case for a couple of reasons. One is that I like the message of it - not that suffering is necessary as a punishment for some long-lost ancestor's faults, and not that it's the price tag on free will, but that it's designed to encourage people to work together and love each other. That's really great! That's a religious ideal which I feel is at the heart of a lot of belief systems and yet, paradoxically, is too often buried in favor of attacking the unfamiliar. I'd actually like to see it applied in real-world religions, particularly Christianity. (As an American liberal, and particularly as a woman, I have a lot of issues with the Religious Right at the moment.) And I really disagree that it would be crap applied to those religions. Partly that's because it doesn't invoke the Free Will Defense at all, which you seem to have correlated it with somehow. I have a lot of issues with the Free Will Defense, not the least of which is that I agree with you; it strikes me as indicative of an extremely sadistic god.
I... don't really know if that answers you? I mean, the thing is that I agree with about half your post, so if you're trying to spark debate it's not working.

message 15: by Riki (new) - added it

Riki Nah, not trying to start a debate at all. I actually completely missed the point in that quoted paragraph from Elantris (which I haven't read, btw). I didn't realize it was saying that it's designed to encourage people to work together and love each other. I feel that that's more of a humanistic view than it is a divine/religious view though. When you attach an omniscient/omnipotent being into the equation, then you're still left with the problem of the cruel god. But I do love the naturalistic explanation that, well, we know misfortunes occur, so perhaps we make the best of it and use it to encourage love.

So anyway, yeah, I love that explanation, but only insofar that it's used to explain the natural world, not one governed/engineered by the Almighty.

Anyway, sorry to hijack the thread :p I actually found your review interesting because you're an atheist, and I wanted to see what you thought of Sanderson's work. I enjoyed Mistborn a great deal, but it got ruined in the end with the religious talk, so I wanted to see if Sanderson's other works contained religious themes or not. Religion is a big part of society, so I don't mind reading it in books. Sazed just annoyed me.

Kogiopsis Ahhh. Okay, that makes more sense. As far as whether Sanderson's work contains religious themes - yes, they all do, and he's really up front about it. I actually enjoy them a lot because of that aspect, rather than in spite of it - I feel that the way he really examines religion, particularly as an organized structure, means that he says a lot of the things I've thought for years. I like the examination of the distinction between religion-as-organization and spirituality, and I also like how so many of the religions Sanderson writes are wrong. I mean, the whole crux of Mistborn is toppling a god, and the finale of the second book is (view spoiler); Elantris centers around religious conflict and people struggling to reconcile what they believe and what they see. (It's actually much better if you look at in light of the Cosmere at large - that's the universe where all of Sanderson's fantasy books are set - and realize that no matter who they worship, Elantris is actually set on a world devoid of gods because one of the godlike figures killed the two they had and now one of the spiritual realms is incredibly fucked up.) Warbreaker is set in a world that reveres people for something they don't really understand, that no one understands, and which has forgotten its history and twisted the bits that it does remember; The Way of Kings has more dead pseudo-gods, more time-distorted beliefs, and more dangerous believers than any other book (except perhaps the dangerous believers in Elantris) and gets its plot tension from the fact that no one knows the truth about events they've woven into their religions.

Sanderson does a really good job of showing how important religion is to people, and how easily it can be turned to bad ends by accident or on purpose, and how corruptible a powerful Church can be. I like that commentary/analysis a lot, and even if my personal conclusions are different I have a lot of respect for watching someone - characters and/or author - work out what they think about what they believe.

As for Sazed... if he annoyed you, I'm sorry; I adore him, personally. I felt a lot like the end of the series was less religious and more spiritual/self-determination-centric? (view spoiler) I mean, if by 'religious talk' you mean the prophecy stuff, that's a common trope in like half the fantasy genre; it's just not treated as part of a belief system, which I'd argue is actually a failing.

Alright. I really apologize if this is incoherent; I was interrupted in the middle and got back to it about an hour later, so my train of thought jumps a bit.

message 17: by Carly (new) - added it

Carly I love this part, 'as for Elend, well, would you dare to steal Vin's man? No, thought not.'

Kristalia I just love your review :D its so damn great and i agree with everything :D
I didnt expect homestuck addition, but i think they were meant to be kismesis xD

Nageen I'm at page 250 and I still find this ungripping and almost boring which is very sad as I really wanted to like it. Does it get any more interesting in the second half?

Kogiopsis Depends on what you mean by 'interesting'. If you're not invested in the characters at this point, you may not ever enjoy the book at all. 250, at least in my paperback, is well into the political 'intrigue' plotlines - so yes, more dramatic stuff happens, but it all springs from what's already been established.
It's not an action-heavy book, if that's what you're wondering. Characters, politics, and religion are the main actors here, not combat.

Nageen Actually yes, it is quite a political story but even with that there could have been more twists and turns within that context. By interesting I mean the same, some twists about the truth behind Elantris, behind Iadon; these characters including Sarene and Raoden have a lot of potential only that potential is still unexplored halfway up the book. I guess after reading great reviews of Scott Lynch's book and finding it equally amazing, I had high hopes of Sanderson, but everybody says that The Stormlight Archive is way better. I bought those two fat books and this one together, I just hope I like Elantris enough to pursue The Way of Kings after it.

Kogiopsis Well, you picked his first novel published and his magnum opus so... you will see a difference between this and WoK. In the interim he wrote the entire Mistborn trilogy, Warbreaker, and the first of three Wheel of Time books under the direction of Harriet Rigney. So if this isn't your cup of tea, don't give up.

(By your post, though, I'm no longer surprised you and I disagree on this book - I was, shall we say, not fond of Lies of Locke Lamora. Different tastes!)

Nageen Ahahah, well that's alright, they are both written in a different style entirely! And yes, I am not giving up on Sanderson at all... I loved Locke Lamora it is one of my favs. But thank you for the comments Anila.=)

Nageen Ahahah, well that's alright, they are both written in a different style entirely! And yes, I am not giving up on Sanderson at all... I loved Locke Lamora it is one of my favs. But thank you for the comments Anila.=)

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