Elantris

Elantris

Book - 2015
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r
Rarro
Nov 09, 2020

Cool to see where Sanderson started. Not really my cup of tea. Read 400 pages of little interest, and then the last 155 were amazing.

ArapahoeTiegan Sep 02, 2020

The first book of Sanderson's Cosmere Universe. Elantris used to be a city of gods - people who had been affected by a power that changed their appearance ethereally and gave them magic powers. Something changed that made that transformation grotesque and access to the magic disappeared. Anyone affected was thrown into the crumbling city of Elantris and left to rot, even though they could not die. The mystery surrounding all of this is wonderful and to discover that a book 2 is planned at some point is exciting, because I would like to see more about what happens in the aftermath of book 1.

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dschirmer
Mar 19, 2020

Honestly, I don't know that Brandon Sanderson could write something I didn't love- fan girl status over here.

Elantris focuses less on the magic and more on the political landscape, but that does not make this book boring. It was a great escape to have while in this strange COVID19 landscape we are in.

PICK THIS UP AND READ IT

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brian_1028
Dec 30, 2019

My favorite epic fantasy book ever.

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N13m4nd
Nov 18, 2019

I enjoyed this book immensely. The tone of Elantris is fairly light adventure, but the novel is not frivolous. In this fantasy, the downfall of a city of demi-gods has opened the way for an oppressive religious empire to swallow up the last two independent kingdoms. The heroine, an indomitable princess, is determined to stop that. I found the characters vivid and interesting, and the story takes many twists and turns. It is a fairly long book and it took me a while to finish, but it never lost my interest. Although a complete novel in itself, not all of the mysteries and background stories are neatly tied off, leaving room for a sequel. So far, there has not been one, but if Sanderson writes one, I’ll read it.

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Rdenholl
Aug 28, 2019

This is a fantastic high fantasy. I read some reviews before I read it, and seriously considered not reading it. I am so glad I did!

While it may be a bit uneven paced, I found that whenever I started getting even a tiny bit bored, there was a twist and I was engaged again. I have never read a book that grabbed me and kept my attention for so long. (It's a huge book!)

I sympathized with all of the characters, was astonished when so many things went awry, and trust me there was 3-4 times it could've ended, but it twisted back and I loved every minute of it. While it is fairly predictable there are also many unexpected subplots, characters and explanations.

One thing I caution though, is if you don't regularly read fantasy, this may not be for you, as I've heard many people complain about its slow pace.

a
Andrew Kyle Bacon
Jan 30, 2019

This is the first book by Brandon Sanderson which I've read, and so far I'm impressed. So impressed, in fact, that I'll need to return for more. Truth be told, as I delved into this book, I wasn't sure I would enjoy it; normally, where the fantasy genre is concerned, I much prefer "the quest" to "the politics," and ELANTRIS is largely a book of politics. But that sells it short in many ways, because it manages to be much more than that, too; it is also a book of mystery, humor, theology, and character, and those characters are definitely what kept the pages turning. Raoden, Sarene, and Hrathen, the three central characters of the story, have plots which interweave with one another throughout, slowly revealing the central key mystery: what happened to the once great city of Elantris where god-like beings ruled? Why do those who become Elantrians now turn into half-dead-but-not-alive, living corpses rather than the magical, divine beings they once were? All of these questions circle around a plot involving religious zealotry, political corruption, romance, action, and magic. ELANTRIS has almost everything you could want from this kind of book. My only complaint is the rather rushed ending. As the plot comes to a boil, Sanderson hops around his various plots, giving the reader brief snippets of action rather than anything detailed or intricate. On the one hand, I believe he did this to try and raise the tension, but on the other hand, it kept me from becoming involved in the resolution to the story. That being said, however, the final words of the novel are still seared into my mind: a very fitting end to the novel. I'm also, contrary to others, glad that ELANTRIS is a standalone novel. It's a book that stands entirely on its own, which is a rare feat in the fantasy genre.

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rmc63
Jan 27, 2019

really enjoyed this story -was disappointed that there is not a series!

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isaachar
Jun 20, 2018

The story of Elantris is a little less harsh than other Cosmere sequence stories, but that doesn't make it any less good. It's also one of the more geographically contained stories. For the most part, it only takes place in 3 cities, 2 of which border one another. The book ends without a necessity for a sequel to 'finish' the story, and most (but not all) of the loose ends are tied up by the final chapter. While the author has indicated that Elantris happens before any of the other Cosmere novels, it isn't as engrossing as any of the 'flagship' cosmere series such as Mistborn or the Stormlight Archive. Two large parts of the story are a giant chasm on the landscape and 'Domi', the god of two of the people in Arelon and Teod. If you've read the three Stormlight Archive books or Arcanum Unbound, you can guess who 'Domi' was and why that chasm appeared. If you hadn't, I'd imagine a reader would wonder why it wasn't addressed. I would probably recommend Elantris to people looking for mostly light fantasy, but not as a primer to other Sanderson works.

Beatricksy Jul 21, 2017

I just really enjoyed this. The magic is super well defined--I wish there had been more playing with it, but what was there was beautiful. The political element is interesting, dragging in ideas that I haven't necessarily seen explored in fantasy before. It's a shame that our swordfighting female protagonist is relegated to damsel at the end, but otherwise it's a delightful romp in a well established universe.

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bpbiblio
Apr 30, 2017

Elantris is an imaginative and interesting story which I enjoyed reading. However, I couldn’t believe that Sanderson just stopped with this one novel – it screams to be continued and made into a series. The book is well written, but I feel that he focuses way too much detail on the political machinations and ignores the fascinating aspects he introduces of the fabled city Elantris and its magic. It feels like we are given only a tantalizing taste of these things, leaving the reader wanting more. For example, I loved the idea of the “Seons,” the intelligent beings that take the form of orbs of glowing light – and yet very little attention is paid to them through the course of the story. We need a sequel or two to flesh out these characters and the mysteries of Elantris’ “gods”…

m
MelanieED
Mar 11, 2017

My son gave this to me for Christmas, a thoughtful gift as he knew I had devoured Bujold's works and was jonesing for missing books from her World of the Five Gods series. For that reason, the book is dear to me. Critically, I liked the book and didn't in almost equal measure--I stopped and restarted it several times when annoyed with what repeatedly jarred to me as characters not acting or speaking as people actually do, or worse, inconsistently within their own characters or action lines as developed--inconsistent motivation, action, and annoying skips in emotional intelligence--or so it seemed to me. I liked much of the magical theory, liked the storytelling very much in parts, and was impressed with a distinct world easy to visualize and remember well after the book is over. I also had a major question I'd been waiting to have answered still unanswered at the end of the book.

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BoogeymanJack
Jun 28, 2016

pretty sure this book is missing a sequel, given how its ending goes.

t
trevorbrightwell
Jan 16, 2016

I really liked this. It is very different from any books I have ever read. I'm looking forward to reading more of his stories.

r
red_cobra_341
Dec 29, 2015

In my opinion, this is the least of Brandon's Cosmere works.

It just seems that all the climax has been put into the ending.

j
JihadiConservative
May 26, 2015

It's rare to find a good high fantasy tale that doesn't span less than half a foot tall. Elantris is an exception. By now, nearly everyone knows who Brandon Sanderson is. You know, author of The Way of Kings, Mistborn, and all those big fat fantasy novels that are selling out quickly at the bookstore.
But the novel that first put him on the map was Elantris, a standalone fantasy novel and arguably one of the most imaginative books in the genre.
While Elantris doesn't do anything new in the genre (and few books do these days), it's a thoroughly enjoyable tale and certainly one of the better high fantasy tales you can find in packed into a single volume.
Elantris proves that you don't have to cut down a wide swath of forest to tell a fantastic fantasy tale -- something that many fantasy authors don't seem to realize. What's surprising is that Fat Fantasy Meister Sanderson started his forest-killing career with an environmentally-friendly standalone.
If you like Sanderson's other books, it's a no brainer to read Elantris. But author pedigree aside, Elantris is a great story with a rather unique (to fantasy anyway) story?
Now why should you read Elantris out of the many other great books out there? The plot is great, the characters well drawn, and it's a fantasy adventure that sucks you in and won't spit you out till you've finished the last page. The book has a strong female protagonist too (something that's quite common in most of Sanderson's books) and a likable, manly hero too.
If you are looking for a standard high fantasy tale to make this list, then Elantris is the stand-in one for that spot. Apparently, Sanderson is working (or thinking about) writing a sequel the book, though the story is completely self contained as it is.

d
dwu10
Jan 02, 2015

Extremely good standalone fantasy novel.

Sanderson creates an amazing fantasy world with believable, complex and likeable (or hateable) characters. Character development was very well done in this book and I could feel the goals and motivations of Raoden, Sarene, Dilaf, Hrathen and the rest as the pursued their goals and schemes.

Well mapped out world, clearly thought out system of magic and powers and great story!

4.5/5.0

k
keelgin
May 03, 2014

This is an excellent and unusual standalone fantasy novel by Sanderson. It combines fantasy/,magic with ideas on religion, politics, economics and social issues. I found the ideas thought-provoking while Sanderson maintains a non-pedantic exploration of such issues through his story. The characters were well-formed and very likeable with an immersive fantasy world. The language is evocative and simple enough for most ages to enjoy.

BookDrunkSloth Nov 15, 2013

This is absolutely my favorite book of all time! I have recommended it to more people than I could ever count. This book has it all: action, mystery, romance, magic, religion, politics, comedy, and so much more.

It is different from the typical Epic Fantasy in that there really isn't a physical quest to find any talisman or complete any action. Almost the entire story takes place in the area of two cities that are very near each other. At the time I first read this book, I found this bit to be so refreshing.

The magic system is trully unique, and discovering some of its mysteries is a key part of this whole book. Following the progression of the discoveries was absolutely fascinating.

Sarene (the female lead) is an amazing woman. She is courageous, intelligent, and strong of character. She does many amazing things and pushes herself to help others. She's just awesome!

Raoden (one of the male leads) is the perfect man for Sarene. He is also intelligent, courageous, and strong, but he also trully sees people. I find this quality spectacular in people as they can really accomplish things, and they tend to be really good people.

Hrathen (the other male lead) has a strong character as well. His character grows a lot throughout this book, and I really like that he thinks for himself. His side of the story really focuses on religion and his mentality was interesting to learn about.

There is a bit of romance in this book as well (for all the ladies out there!) which really added to everything.

The fact that this is Sanderson's first book, showed his true potential as an amazing writer. I first read this when it was his only book out, and he became my favorite author. I have read everything his has published since then and I have never been dissapointed.

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Oddoneout
Oct 05, 2013

Although it does have it's flaws. For what it is - which is a debut novel- it is not bad. Nothing comparable to his later works, The ideas were there and it has some interesting concepts although it does need to be a bit more developed in some areas and less obvious in others it is not that bad. Of course as always, it has a unique system of magic for us to explore.

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W_Sugden
Sep 04, 2013

Not a bad read, though it pales in comparison to Sanderson's later novels. The final act of the book was my least favourite of the three, as it seemed to completely ditch the machinations and maneuvering that characterize the rest of the story and felt too rushed instead of climactic.

forbesrachel Apr 01, 2013

The debut novel of what is one of Fantasy's greatest authors. In a race against the clock, Raoden must uncover the mystery of Elantris and its people that disappeared. As it is Sanderson's first work, it is not his best, but it still bears his trademark unique magic.

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EKML
Feb 12, 2013

This is one of the most embarrassingly bad pieces of writing recently published in the writing. I honestly do not understand what the editor was doing or how this landed publication with Tor. The author has a tremendous amount of great ideas but he simply does not know what to do with them: in fact, he does not know how to write. The subplot is hilariously contrived. The writing itself is stacked with adverbs, adjectives and similes. There is not a single paragraph that does not need some form of reworking. Some sentences are shockingly poor. On average, this book has the tone of a slightly confused writing exercise, and I exemplify:

Then, realizing in full what he was holding in his unworthy hand, he dropped the parchment to the desk with a quiet yelp."

I wish the author had been assigned a competent editor who is not afraid of using a read marker because the ideas are there. But the writing? Atrocious.

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timidmagick
May 06, 2012

This book is not part of the hero of ages series. It is a stand alone book as far as I can tell. It's very, very good.

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dprodrig
Jan 20, 2012

Well writen, engaging, and includes a couple of plot twists / deceptions that really throw you for a loop inside the obvious conclusion of the book that the girl and the boy will end up together. Was disappointed to realize that this was a stand alone novel. On the other hand, maybe that's a good thing because I read it in less than two days and I really should catch up on my sleep. (:


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