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Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Brandon Sanderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,1511571,782 (4.02)4 / 392
Authors:Brandon Sanderson
Info:Tor Fantasy (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 656 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Green Dragon, Fantasy, Magic, Religion

Work details

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (2005)


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English (146)  Dutch (5)  Spanish (3)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  English (156)
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
Brandon Sanderson is becoming one of my favorite authors, this is one of his early works.

A little rough and slow in places, but overall interesting. ( )
  oswallt | Nov 25, 2016 |
This is an excellent read with wonderful characters and a fun story. The only criticism I have is that the characters seem to miss the obvious a bit too often, which drives the plot forward at the expense of believability. In some cases, this obliviousness can be seen as a case of the character's world view preventing them from recognize what is in front of their face, but not always.

The final resolution to the overriding crisis in the book was actually well handled, though it took Raoden far too long to make the obvious connection after Sarene gave him the clue he needed.

The character of Hrathen is a wonderfully complex and well developed character. It was extremely gratifying to see him change as the story progressed. ( )
  Zensunni42 | Nov 15, 2016 |
This is my favorite book of all time until now. Raoden and Sarene are just supergood charakters :) The only other charakter in a book I liked more is Matt from Wheel of Time.
I just love the situations they find themselves in, the world and its political makeup.

Yes the magical system is not my thing entirely but seeing that it doesn't really push into the foreground until late in the book it's totally fine :) ( )
  Zoiber | Oct 10, 2016 |
I had 3 coworkers and another friend tell me that they could not finish this book, because it reads like a first time author. So, I've been putting it off and putting it off, reading everything else Sanderson. Eventually, it came on sale for $2.99 without DRM, so I snatched it. It was a 10th anniversary edition, and the cover mentions that over 10,000 words have been added since the initial release. However, I really, really liked this story.

The book does start off sort of difficult. Sanderson is a bit overly redundant is describing who is speaking, and it takes some time to discover the plot. When the plot is discovered, it isn't hooked in real strong, so you're reading it more for the commitment of reading than the story. At least, that's about half of Part I. The latter half of Part I however really picks up, and the end of Part I comes to an abrupt conclusion that leaves you hooked for jumping into Part II. In fact, in Part I, chapter 13 is my favorite chapter, with chapter 16 taking second. Those were both phenomenal chapters.

Part II opens with a Big Reveal, which raises your suspicions, and makes you start calculating how the rest of the book is going to play out. By this point, you love Sarene, Raoden, and the nobles and lords, and hate with a deep passion Hrathen, and you're suspicious of Dilaf and Telrii. Before you realize it, all the characters in the story have become amazing Sanderson characters that you always love and love to hate. They each have their own strong and unique personalities, they each have their own back stories that some are explained, others not. Part II also ends when the momentum is in full swing, requiring you to start Part III, even if your wife is telling you to mow the lawn.

Part III is short, compared to the other two, but loaded with detail. In fact, I had to reread one chapter twice, so I could catch what exactly was happening. But it wasn't a disappointment. By the time I finished the book, I realized that I had stopped looking for the difficult writing style of Sanderson's book, and was completely immersed into the story.

Looking back, the book did start with some rough edges, that were plainly visible. Some dialogue was hard to work through, some descriptions of the world and characters were either spotty or incomplete, where other descriptions are over the top. But somewhere around 1/4 to 1/3 of the way through, the style changes, and it reads more like a standard Sanderson book. Almost as if Sanderson struggled starting off the story, but found his rhythm as he went, and found it quickly. I later learned there is a writing term called "stylistic drift", where the style of an author will change as he continues through the book. It happens with Elantris, and thankfully, in a good way, and quickly.

I loved this book. Again, maybe because it had 10,000 words added to improve the writing style of the story, but I couldn't see what my coworkers or friends are complaining about. I have read books that really are hard reads to work through, such as Les Miserables or most of Louis L'Amour books. This reading was a breeze, and I highly recommend it to any fantasy reader. ( )
  atoponce | Oct 7, 2016 |
The fall of Elantris signalled a change in the world -- what caused it? who was behind it? Raoden is the kind of king that you wish all kings could be and Sarene is his perfect queen. Hrathen has the biggest realization of all. ( )
  bgknighton | Jul 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (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 (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Garrett, JackNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martiniere, StephanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important places
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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
Publisher's editors
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary
Elantris, fabled
city of old. Then: Sheod,
doom. Magic restores.

No descriptions found.

"Elantris: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities to benefit all the people of Arelon. Yet each of these godlike beings had been an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Then, ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, feeble, leper-like creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling. The Shaod became a curse." "Arelon's new capital city, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris, which its people do their best to ignore. Princess Sarene of Teod has come to Kae for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping - based on their correspondence - also to find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died, and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. Sarene decides to make the best of a sad situation and use her position to oppose the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god." "But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspects the truth about Prince Raoden's disappearance. Taken by the same strange malady that struck the fallen gods of Elantris, Raoden was secretly imprisoned within the dark city. His struggle to create a society for the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps even reveal the secret of Elantris itself."--book jacket.… (more)

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