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Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Brandon Sanderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,8121732,000 (4.01)4 / 425
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 (162)  Dutch (5)  Spanish (3)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (172)
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
My first venture into Sanderson's epic Cosmere, I loved the originality and intimacy of this story. In the city of Elantris, magic has turned on itself, and the once god-like citizens who lived there are now walking corpses. Around this premise swirls all the expected fantasy-culture details and political intrigue between kingdoms, as well as the love story of Raoden and Sarene, two royals who have never met but agree to wed for the good of their countries.

It slogs a bit in places, especially those covert political dialogues as people tell each other information. The prose is mostly flat. But this is a debut: having read the Reckoners trilogy, I know Sanderson has grown in both these areas. And while he is now able to write a tighter plot, he never sacrifices character depth to do it. Ultimately, Elantris succeeds not because of cool worldbuilding (though it has that too) but because Raoden and Sarene matter to the reader. Their ambitions, their insecurities, their losses and their loves--this book belongs to them. As it should. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
God this was poor.

There are some great fantasy ideas and the ground plan for an intricate plot of conspiracies and politics, but nothing like the ability to carry them off.

What there is a lot of is abysmal dialogue (veering between the sententious and smug depending on who's talking), padding, exposition, unnecessary explanation (no one has a thought that is not expressed), and unearned attempts at emotion and revelation. A key moment near the end relies on one character suddenly remembering something from childhood; the book then ties itself in knots trying to explain why none of the better informed characters were aware of this key bit of information.

In one of the appendices to my edition, Sanderson describes himself as a one-draft writer. It shows.

A lot of people clearly get a lot out of Brandon Sanderson and his books, and I'm very glad for them. I really wish I could see it. But, for me, Elantris is overlong, underwritten and flat out bad. ( )
1 vote m_k_m | Feb 19, 2019 |
A great book to pass along a few days of pleasant reading. A lot of fantasy mixed with love and tension.
The author creates a new and original world in the unique religious and magical system, and also, shapes the characters in a real way so that the book also has interest and novelty from the fantasy, but also a human and exciting plot for each reader. The only thing to say negative is that I came out with the feeling that there was a place for the development of three books instead of one regarding its plot. The three stories in one book forced the writer a few jumps and shortcuts and sometimes lack of development of characters and topics that are intriguing and lack depth.
This book is not an ordinary fantasy - it is also enjoyable to read from the flow of the plot and the relationship between the characters and exciting as a challenge in the knowledge of a new world that slowly revealed. ( )
  Johenlvinson | Jan 13, 2019 |
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 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 162 (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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Only part 1/2 of Elantris, keep separate from the full work.
Publisher's editors
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Canonical DDC/MDS

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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
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)

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