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Elantris - Book review


Publishing date : 2005

Genre : Epic Fantasy

Pages : 552 ( paperback)

Rating on goodreads : 4.18

My rating : 4

Elantris was my first reading for 2020, and also my 1st book by this author. It was a good start as a matter of fact. It is Sanderson’s first published book, so a lot of people say it’s less interesting in comparison to his other writings. Still, it won the “Reviewers’ choice best book award” for the best epic fantasy novel in 2005.

Let’s start things at the very beginning, which is 10 years before the events of the book. Elantris was the capital of Arelon, and it held magic. People who were from Aonic descent were occasionally taken by a transformation process called the Shaod that turnes them into Elantrians, and gives them the ability to draw Eons (like alphabets) that had different magical powers. Well, All was good till the Reod (some kind of an earthquake) had created a chasm in the south of Arelon. This caused a perturbation in the magical system which led to the fall of Elantris. The god like people lost all of their magic and started to look like Zombies. When that happened, the city of Kae became the new capital, and Iadon (a merchant) had taken the throne.

Now, that you know the pre story, I can give you a brief intro to what the book is about. It is simply about a political (based on religion) conflict. The book has all those great passages of political conversations that you’ll enjoy and get excited by. The story has a sort of two lines, one followed Sarene, a strong witty princess (of Teod), and the other followed Raoden, a prince (of Arelon) that was loved by everyone before he was taken by the Shaod. Both those characters were interesting, although Raoden was more of a no mistake man, he had the ability to do anything, and the book made him look like a perfect hero (which I personally don’t like). But Sarene was more realistic and we could see that she developed a little during the book. They were actually married to each other, a sort of a political marriage and they meet later in the book. The 3rd main Character “Hrathen” was the gyorn (a higher rank of priests) who was sent to convert the people of Arelon and he was actually one of my favorite characters. I can’t tell you why. But you’ll know while reading the book.

All in all, I loved the story, it had a fast pacing which I always like, and the plot didn’t take long to start. Although the world building wasn’t much, I liked the authentic idea of Elantris and how the magical system worked. The writing style is a masterpiece and the twist at the end is just breathtaking (the ending is just brilliant and well done). Sanderson has planned a sequel to this book, so I’m just gonna wait for it. Meanwhile, I’ll definitely read all of his work.

Few passages from the book:

- eventually. Right now, we will use them. You’ll find that hate can unify people more quickly and more fervently than devotion ever could”

- “It is human nature to believe that other places and other times are better that the here and now

- “She had been involved in politics far too long to take the holding of secrets as a personal offense

- “well, Raoden said defensively, she is my wife.

And do you ever intend to inform her of that fact?


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