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Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Brandon Sanderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,6731712,023 (4.01)4 / 417
Authors:Brandon Sanderson
Info:Tor Fantasy (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 656 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading

Work details

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (2005)


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English (160)  Dutch (5)  Spanish (3)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (170)
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
I was thinking of giving Elantris 3 stars until I got closer to the end. This book has some great ideas and was mostly enjoyable to read, but the characters and the kitchen sink approach to the dénouement ended up overshadowing the world-building for me. ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |

A standalone epic fantasy novel is a rare thing in publishing these days. (I do know that Sanderson wrote a novella in the same world but it is not connected to Elantris). Reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson and not having to wonder what will happen in Book 2 is a welcomed delight for this reader. Also, Elantris was an excellent book to finish my 2017 reading year.

Elantris was the jeweled city in the world of Arelon and now has been cursed. Prince Raoden, the beloved future king of Elantris is considered dead and has created a vacuum in the city’s leadership. Princess Sarene of Teod lives in the new capital of Arelon, Kae, was betrothed to Prince Raoden and declared a widow. Sarene has been placed in the forefront of keeping Kae from falling into the wrong hands. Malevolent forces determined to take control of Kae by a two-pronged front of religious conversion from Hrathen, leader of the Shu-Dereth faith and King Iadon, the current ruler of Kae, who wants to consolidate his power through commerce.

Sanderson takes the reader on a journey highlighting political machinations, religious conflicts, gender roles, and a romance throughout the entire book. I enjoyed reading Elantris because of its excellent characterization and world building that he has become known for. Elantris was my second attempt in reading a Brandon Sanderson novel, (I tried Warbreaker and it was not my cup of tea.) but it will not be my last. I believe Elantris is the one epic fantasy novel that I recommend non-fantasy readers try out. I would tell those non-fantasy readers to not let the odd-sounding names impede the excellent story that Sanderson creates.

One of my favorite reads of 2017. Highly recommended. ( )
  kammbiamh | Mar 25, 2018 |
4.25/5 stars

I really liked this book! I felt really invested in the story and the characters and I just wanted everything to turn out okay for them. Obviously, this is Brandon Sanderson and everything isn't sunshine and rainbows, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The characters were so well crafted, I even had sympathy for the "bad guy." I liked hoe Sarene was a woman fighting against social norms and breaking free of them, I liked how Raoden had a pretty easy life, but when something shitty happened to him, he worked to make it better and didn't really wallow in self pity. I also really liked Hrathen's struggle with his faith and identity.

The plot was also super intriguing. I liked the idea of Elantris - city of the damned. I enjoyed how all the threads of the story interconnected and became this beautiful thing. Each detail worked and just made the story that much better.

I also really enjoyed the world we got to know. The world building was pretty great, I liked how because a lot of the characters were from different parts of the world, we got to see the cultures and how everything worked together.

Overall, I really liked this and I'm glad I got around to reading Elantris before I really got into Sanderson's larger series (other than Mistborn). The focus on the characters and their journey's really worked for this novel and it was refreshingly different from the world of the Mistborn. ( )
  jdifelice | Jan 20, 2018 |
One can see how Sanderson's characters and pacing have improved when comparing this book to his later series. This book is one exhaustingly long build-up of disasters and hopelessness until almost the very end, when in a whirlwind of action the good guys win (or die) and we all of a sudden find out what has been really going on, sort of. I do wish Sanderson had written further books in this world, since this book sets up a bunch of characters and places, and then just quits. In all epic fantasy, we all know once the grand, magical city is restored and the good guys are reinstalled, the problems the good guys face change, but most definitely continue, and this book sets up a whole system of magic and complex conflicts that goes completely unexplored. As a result this is a fun book, but not very satisfying. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
(New material for 2015) I had a really hard time reading this - I found the jumpy self awareness annoying and the assigning of most women to shallow limited interests too commonly accomplished. ( )
  quondame | Dec 27, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
The author's skill at turning conventional fantasy on its head produces a tale filled with surprising twists and turns and a conclusion both satisfying and original.
added by Katya0133 | editLibrary Journal, Jackie Cassada (May 15, 2005)
A cut above the same-old, but hardly a classic.
added by Katya0133 | editKirkus (May 1, 2005)
A surprisingly satisfying, single-volume epic fantasy that invokes a complex, vibrant world.
added by Katya0133 | editBooklist, Regina Schroeder (May 1, 2005)
The intrigue and excitement grow steadily in this smoothly written, perfectly balanced narrative; by the end readers won't want to put it down.
added by Katya0133 | editPublishers Weekly (Apr 8, 2005)
This a book that if you haven't read already, it should be high up on your list of books to read next. While the steep learning curve and the slow pacing can be a little frustrating at times, the compelling characters and the intriguing mysteries make it so hard to put this book down.

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Creer, JeffreyMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de las Heras, StephanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garrett, JackNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martiniere, StephanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated to my mother,

Who wanted a doctor,

Ended up with a writer,

But loved him enough not to complain

(Very much).
First words
Elantris was beautiful, once. (From the epilogue)

Prince Raoden of Arelon awoke early that morning, completely unaware that he had been damned for all eternity.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Only part 1/2 of Elantris, keep separate from the full work.
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Haiku summary
Elantris, fabled
city of old. Then: Sheod,
doom. Magic restores.

No descriptions found.

Arriving in the kingdom of Arelon to enter a marriage of state, princess Sarene discovers that her intended has died and that she is considered his widow, leaving her a lone force against the imperial ambitions of a religious fanatic.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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