Published: August 11, 2011 (First published May 01, 2005)
“… most supposed miracles were either natural or the result of human intervention.”
Elantris was built on magic and it thrived. But then the magic began to fade and Elantris began to rot. And now its shattered citizens face domination by a powerful Imperium motivated by dogged religious views.
Can a young Princess unite the people of Elantris, rediscover the lost magic and lead a rebellion against the imperial zealots?
Brandon Sanderson’s debut fantasy showed his skill as a storyteller and an imaginer of baroque magical systems to be fully developed from the start.
Elantris is the first book that I have ever read from Brandon Sanderson and it will definitely not be the last. This is a high fantasy book with an elaborate world and yet it is very easy to understand. And it has all the elements that I am looking for a book – the politics, the plot, the world, the characters and even the romance. I love it all.
I love every bit of this book that I did not know where to start so let’s talk about the world and the magic system first because I was fascinated by it. Brandon Sanderson has created a very intricate world inside a world where kingdoms and religions are fighting against who holds the power. There is no magic in this world, only armies and allies, or so it seems. There used to be a city that’s full of magic and glory and the people living in it are godlike that have powers to heal or create food and other magical abilities and that is Elantris. But something happened and the city falls and its people looses its magic. And along with the fall of the city, a disease called Shaod arise. This disease has not only the people in Elantris but also some people in Arelon, the kingdom where it is at. So Elantris becomes a place where people are thrown into, like a quarantine, when they were taken by the Shaod. And this book explores the mystery of what happened to Elantris, how it fell, what causes the Shaod and if there is a way to bring back the old Elantris. And we also gets to explore the magic system that the Elantrians used to have and how it works.
We follow three POVs in this book; the first one is Raoden, the prince of Arelon who was taken by the Shaod, Princess Sarene, who was supposed to be his bride from another kingdom and Hrathen who has come to convert the Arelon to a different religion. And as we follow these characters, we get to see the different sides of Arelon and Elantris. We get to see the politics at play and how each characters, main or not, plays a big role in the development of the whole plot and the climax. And each characters in this book is likable, even the antagonist are quite good.
The plot of the book was mind blowing. As we are introduced with the characters and as each of their paths weaved together and collide we get to see how brilliant Sanderson’s mind is. The story is fast paced. The political manipulations in the story and its outcome are on point. There are a lot of things happening, especially in the last 150 pages or so. Revelations after revelations, plot twist after plot twist. And of course, a lot of people died which is sad because like I said, each characters are likable as soon as you get to know them. And the ending deserves a standing ovation, it was everything that I wanted and more. I even have goosebumps while reading it. Sanderson has tied up the whole book so well. But of course, a second book would be nice because I want to see the world and explore the world more.
I highly recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy or high fantasy. It is not that hard to get into, though of course there are terms and the likes to get used to but it is quite easy to remember. Do check this book out, you will not regret it.
That’s all for this review. If you have read a Brandon Sanderson book, let me know what’s your favorite.
Till next time.