Reviews

Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson

bibiyaneva's review against another edition

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5.0

I loved it! Fascinating characters, captivating plot, very enjoyable to read. When you finish a book and start missing its characters, you know it is a 5 star

minnavia's review

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3.0

Elantris is a prime example of Sanderson's way of storytelling. The character archetypes, the plot twists, the themes. And Hoid. They are all here, ready to give life to the fantasy marvel known as the Cosmere. Perhaps the writing isn't as polished or the characters as original, but who cares? It's still Sanderson doing his thing. And so we love it anyway.

justin_isabella's review against another edition

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix

5.0

fenny_42's review against another edition

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5.0

The story takes place ten years after the pristine city Elantris, and its god-like inhabitants–Elantrians–have fallen. Elantris was once the capital of Arelon, and a huge hub of activity, as the Elantrians could perform magic of sorts to heal and feed the people of Arelon. However, one day the shining silvery people of Elantris started losing their white locks, started losing their shine, and started developing black spots on their skin and aches and pains that would never cease. The people of Arelon condemned the Elantrians to stay in Elantris–once a beautiful city, now a large prison. The unfortunate thing about being an Elantrian is that you aren’t born one, you can’t decide to become one–you are instantly transformed into one randomly in the middle of the night. It is uncontrollable and unpredictable, and once you show the telltale signs of darkened skin and hair loss, you get thrown into the guarded city.

This story follows three main points of view. The first is of Arelon’s fallen prince, Raoden, who was taken by the Shaod (the Elantris transformation), and was pronounced dead by his kingly father and thrown secretly into Elantris; the second is of Sarene–a princess from another nation who was the intended wife of Raoden in a political marriage who now finds herself widowed to a man she never met in person; and third, Hrathen, a Shu-Dereth priest, who is sent to Arelon to convert the citizens to Shu-Dereth within 3 months, or face their extermination at the hands of his religion.

The setting and the multiple nations were really interesting to read about. Sarene was brought from her home country of Teod in order to enter a political marriage to Raoden that Hrathen’s religious advances put into jeopardy. Sanderson does a fantastic job of entwining the three points of view and bringing the story together. The separate POVs also allow for some much needed movement for the plot, which is a tad slow in some areas. However, the characterization and relationships between major and minor characters makes up for that. For one novel, an incredible amount of change happens to each character.

Just like Sanderson’s Mistborn series, this book has well developed characters, an interesting magic system (though not as thoroughly discussed as Final Empire’s magic), and a magnetic pull that won’t let you put it down until you finish. Raoden and Sarene were both incredible characters that I loved to watch learn their surroundings and adapt in order to lead. Hrathen was a great character to hate, in a deeper way than just being the “bad guy.” It is honestly surprising that this was Sanderson’s first novel, as it is well written. Although there are some bumps in the pace of the plot, overall, it is a fantastically deep read for how quickly it goes. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy, politics, magic, or Brandon Sanderson novels.

niamhmcgill's review against another edition

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adventurous dark hopeful slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

drzephy's review

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adventurous emotional hopeful mysterious tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

fantasyaddict's review

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3.0

This was a reread for me. This is a good book with lots of mysteries that I enjoy reading, but there are some flaws as well.

We get to know Arelon and its capital Kae where Elantris is situated. Some 10+ years ago the magic of Elantris disappeared, leaving the country in shambles. Now Arelon and its neighbor Teod is threatened by Fjordell who has sent one of their greatest weapons to Arelon to convert its citizens to their religion. To counteract this, Princess Sarene of Teod and Prince Raoden of Arelon are getting married.

In regards to the plot, world building and magic system, I think Sanderson has done a great job. Its engaging, the world building with political tension and religious fanaticism is described in great detail. The plot is simple, sometimes maybe too easy to understand and other times to over explained, but engaging. There are some mysteries that needs to be solved and I enjoyed the execution of it.

The main issue I have are the characters. We get three POV's in this, Sarene, Raoden and Hrathen.

Sarene is described as an assertive and strong woman, which is why she's an unmarried spinster at 25 without any friends because she is also smarter than everyone else, which is apparently intimidating. We're told this throughout the book and it becomes rather repetitive and overused long before the end. She gets all the flaws while her counterpart, Raoden, is considered perfect.

Raoden's chapters I found interesting because he is the one that shows us Elantris. Through his POV we get to see the inside of this city, get to know the mysteries of the Reod and what happens to everyone that gets thrown into Elantris. Other than that, Raoden as a character is rather boring because he is perfect.

Hrathen is the final POV and as a character he is the most interesting. There is much conflict in him and he is trying to find out what he believes and what he is willing to sacrifice for his belief. I also like how he and Sarene goes up against each other and try to outdo the other.

Overall, it’s a good book, and I always enjoy a mystery.

wildefine's review against another edition

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adventurous slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

butterfliezzinstead's review against another edition

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4.0

Hallelujah! I finally finished this book after 4.5 months!

Don't get me wrong, the book is very good and the plot is interesting, but the first half-ish of the book is moving really slow plot-wise, although still filled with interesting politics.
I felt like most of the action happened after around 80%+-, and the real action that leaves you on the edge happened between 90%-98% of the book.

Other than the slowness - this is a really great book. The world is interesting, with plenty of politics and interesting characters.

I give this book 4 stars and not 5 solely because of the slow pacing.

Read (originally, though I couldn't keep up) as part of the cosmeralong.

lambofhisflock's review against another edition

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4.0

This was Sanderson's first work and well done for a first book. It grabbed me in the beginning but had moments that seemed slow especially as he worked through the politics. Other parts seemed self-indulgent and unnecessary. Then it sped up as the end approached. At one point near the climax I was calling out no no no.... and felt like cheering at other moments. Definitely a good read, if not my favorite Sanderson. (My husband was less kind.... finding it twice as long as it should have been.)

I am eager to re-listen to Mistborn but this time with my husband.... who I hope enjoys it as much as I did. :D