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Starred Review. Sanderson's outstanding fantasy debut, refreshingly complete unto itself and free of the usual genre clichés, offers something for everyone: mystery, magic, romance, political wrangling, religious conflict, fights for equality, sharp writing and wonderful, robust characters. The godlike inhabitants of Elantris, once the capital of the land of Arelon, have degenerated into powerless, tortured souls, unable to die, after the city's magic inexplicably broke 10 years earlier. When the same curse strikes Prince Raoden of Arelon and he's imprisoned in Elantris, he refuses to surrender to his grim fate and instead strives to create a society out of the fallen and to unlock the secret that will restore the city's glory. Meanwhile, Princess Sarene of Kae (Arelon's new capital), who was betrothed to Raoden sight unseen, believes her intended has died. Officially declared his widow, she must use her political savvy and wit to protect Kae from malevolent forces without and within the city, chiefly Hrathen, a leader of the creepy Shu-Dereth faith, who aims to either convert Kae or destroy it within three months. The intrigue and excitement grow steadily in this smoothly written, perfectly balanced narrative; by the end readers won't want to put it down. As the blurb from Orson Scott Card suggests, Sanderson is a writer to watch.
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Until 10 years ago, Elantris was the capital of Arelon, inhabited by ordinary humans transformed into magic-using demigods by the Shaod. But the magic failed, Elantris started to rot, and its inhabitants turned into powerless wrecks. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives in Kae, the new capital, close enough to Elantris to constantly remind of faded glory, prepared for a marriage to ally Teod and Arelon against the religious imperialists of Fjordell. But, she is told, her fiance, Prince Raoden, is dead. She and a recently arrived high priest of Fjordell, Hrathen, clash. Sarene tries to retain the freedom of Teod and Arelon, Hrathen tries to incite the populace to convert so that Fjordell can take over. Neither suspects the truth about Raoden. Taken by the Shaod, he struggles to unite the crippled Elantrians and discover why the magic failed. The unrest comes to a head as governments topple, the Elantrians' secrets are revealed, and Fjordell's forces arrive. A surprisingly satisfying, single-volume epic fantasy that invokes a complex, vibrant world. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Very enjoyable, but the end, while satisfying, sets up for a sequel that doesn't exist.Published 2 months ago by Sean Hunter
Excellent novel. The characters havr thier own voice and for the most part are complex and interesting. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tammy L Monds
One of the most vivid and intriguing worlds I have ever dove into. Every character is dynamic and each chapter leaves you wanting more. Can't wait to read the next one.Published 6 months ago by Mack H.
Sanderson at his best,well thought out,fast paced with a cast of human characters with human problems and feelings. Great job!Published 9 months ago by Barb Farmer
Well written, well integrated story with a few concurrent plots. I picked this up after reading a few chapters online via a link from Tor books, and enjoyed it. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Tony Bailey
My daughter told me to read this. She'll get a special present now - I've discovered my new favourite author!Published 20 months ago by seekerHAP
Brandon Sanderson and I have a strange relationship: I read his books, love them, and then I'm terrified to pick up his next book. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Lucas
Don't forget to go to Sandersons website when you're done to read a free short story that goes along with this one.Published on Oct. 18 2013 by Steven Easton
Brandon Sanderson has become one of my favourite authors. Once I start reading I can't stop, and then I'm disappointed that I don't have anohter one.Published on June 21 2013 by Laura Passenger