I have read almost all of Sandersons books. Huge fan.
Elantris shows early signs of Sanderson's narrative gifts. The entire concept of this story is used again in novels he would write years later. However, this book is really bad.
A lot of this story revolves around politics. They are goofy and childish. The romance here is decent, I enjoyed the primary characters, but they cant overcome the bland predictable plot.
A fantastic cast of characters, mysteries that leave you up till all hours of the night needing to know their answers, a subtle but beautiful love story and a protagonist with more identities and disguises than you can keep up with. This was a great book! From the first scene you are hooked and the three varied points of view converge at exactly the right points in the right ways to drive the reader absolutely mad. What a fun read.
I like Sanderson. A lot. This was pretty obviously one of his first works though as it was almost too obvious what he was doing and the characters were pretty duff.
That said, I like the narrator in more recent Sanderson audios. This guy though, I think at times he just could not be bothered. It kind of oozed sarcasm in places. The dialogue did invite it reasonably often but that's not the point.
Yes, I have enjoyed several by both
It is mostly up to his high standards
Brandon Sanderson is a great writer. He writes a good solid story. Having said that, this book falls into the trap of Fantasy/SciFi where every proper noun and name is a conglomerate of noises that have never been strung together before in any language. Add to this so many of them are identical except for the first letter.. (phonetically written) A-Ene, C-Ene, D-Ene, I-Ene, C-Own, A-Own.. Those examples of different names for characters or things. It's almost funny when there's a bunch of these in the same passage. I'm assuming when they are printed there are lots of beautiful apostrophes. Nevertheless, as an audio book, it is difficult and sometimes frustrating to try to remember who (or maybe what?) that non-specific, seemingly overused, set of vowels and consonants is.
As with all the Brandon Sanderson books I have encountered, expect another great story. The narrator was monotone and boring in the beginning, but as the story heated up and became thoroughly intriguing the dull narration wasn't an issue anymore.
I liked one of Sanderson's other books. But I couldn't engage with this one. I'm not sure whether it's the environment (Elantris is disturbing, but not really that interesting), the characters (I don't find any of them really that interesting; they're basically archetypes for heroes and villians IMO); the plot (I couldn't really find it, even after listening for about 8 hours) or the generally irritating read in which the dialogue never really gets off the ground.
I think another reader might make a big difference. Yes, of course it's not all hopeless, and some of it is interesting, but much of it reminds me of namby-pamby nitwits running around old castles throwing things at butlers.
I got quite tired of hearing "coulo" pronounced as an interrogative at the end of every sentence when the characters interacted in Elantris. I have no right to take issue with the reader's interpretation of the printed word, but I thought the performance was lackluster.
I wish I could say it was.
I'll probably go back in a couple of months to try it again. I've listened to several books that really didn't get off the ground until the 10th hour (e.g., Anathem), so maybe this is one of those that deserves another chance.