- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (May 1 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765311771
- ISBN-13: 978-0765311771
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 102.9 x 611.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 748 g
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #449,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Elantris: Tenth Anniversary Author's Definitive Edition Hardcover – Apr 21 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Top customer reviews
Elantris tells three interwoven stories over the course of approximately three months. Raoden, the heir to the throne of Arelon, has been struck down by a mysterious illness just as his bride Sarene arrives from Teod. She is told that he has died, but she is suspicious that something more is going on. At the same time, Hrathen, a priest from antagonistic and competing religion, has been sent to convert the people of Arelon, or so he thinks. And, at the centre, almost literally, is the mysterious city of Elantris. Once a shinning beacon of magic, hope, and wise rule, ten years ago something terrible happened and it now is a decaying ruin filled with the undying.
Sanderson weaves a fabulous tale around the lives of these three characters, through the fall of a king, the rise of princess, and so much more. Parts of the story are slow, but I wouldn't cut out any of it. And, while it is true that the action doesn't start moving fast and furious until the last hundred pages or so, it makes sense that things happen as they do. It isn't exactly a page-turner, but it is well worth the read by any fantasy fan.
Note: The version I read (with the ISBN 978-0-7653-5037-4), which is what is currently being sold as the Mass Market Paperback edition, is not the 10th Anniversary Definitive Edition. It does not contain the additional text, preface, or afterword.
Elantris was a crisp autumn gust of originality that blew away from my mind the mouldering dust of the insipid string of words that were called fantasy novels. The races are original, the magic logical, the politics truly intriguing, and the best of all, there is no Good and Evil. Even the antagonist, Hrathen, is depicted as a real human being who believes that what he is doing is just and will save countless lives.
And the plot... I could go on about it for days. All I can say is, you will never expect the end, but when it hits you like a maelstrom, you will realise that there had been countless clues that foreshadowed it. I truly believe that Elantris will become a timeless classic. Get your first editions today!
If you can read the opening line of this novel and not keep reading, then you are something special. This book is populated with interesting characters and relatable problems. Although it might not have the same level of hard realism of some of the darker fantasists out there, his innovative magic system and plot twists help make this book a favourite of mine.
I believe the use of plausible-sounding names of places in the story (Fjordell, Jindo, etc) help make the novel even stronger. Sure Fjordell sounds Norwegian or Finnish or some such, but it gives me some sort of idea of what the country might be like, which is helpful. Better than the fantasy cliche of just stringing together an incoherent bunch of letters that don't give any idea of what the country might be like.
In any case, a highly recommended novel.
(Note that if you are looking for a darker and more harshly realistic story there may be other better choices out there, so check my reviews. Sanderson's books have tend to have less swearing, sex, and throat-slitting as some of the grittier fantasy works, so they reach a broader audience. Highly recommended as more accessible fiction.)
Truly a must read for anybody searching for a fresh new direction in the often cliche-heavy fantasy genre.
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