Elantris is one of those books you have to read, or listen to, a couple times. I can't count the number of times I've re-read or re-listened to this book. Elantris is a place, like heaven, that's fallen; and the people, once glorious and happy, are miserable and live in pain. Those who become Elantrians wake up one morning and their bodies are taken by the shaod, a transformation that leaves them immortal but bald and discolored. Scrapes and bruises never heal and their plain lasts for all eternity.
It's a must read.
I can't do it... 23 more hours of this is unthinkable, so I have removed it from my device. I've read better verse in obits. Can't tell if it's the "Garrett" effect or the material, or both. It's just no good, period.
Being a fan of the Wheel of Time and having enjoyed The Gathering Storm and the Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, thought I might try reading some of Sanderson's other works. I had already read Sanderson's short story, "Firstborn", on the TOR website and thoroughly enjoyed it. Therefore, I had high expectations when I began to read Elantris and was why my disappointment was so bitter by the time I finished it.
The concept for the magic system was interesting and unique and a good example of what a high fantasy novel should be developed around. The worldbuilding was also well thought out and the settings were so well described and vivid that I could easily imagine them in my head. My only real complaint about the writing was the characterization. The characters didn't really strike me as all that believable with maybe the exception of the main protagonist, Raoden. The point of view for each chapter cycles through three main characters throughout the novel and I felt myself looking forward to Raoden's chapters and fealing like I have to trudge through the others. The dialogue between the other characters bordered on trightness at times and didn't feel natural. Don't get me wrong, for a first novel, Elantris was pretty decent. I have yet to read any of his other works, so I can only hope that his more recent books are better.
The biggest gripe I had about this story, though, was the narrator. His style of narrating might lend itself better to a Tom Clancy novel, or a Clive Cussler adventure, but not a high fantasy. The characters all sounded too similar to each other and he emphazised all thoughts by the characters so they always seemed to making some great internal revelation. It became tiresome after a while because when a character actually did make an important revelation, it didn't feel very important.
My conclusion is try reading the book on your own and skip the audio version. You'll probably read the story better than the narrato
I can't say if the book gets any better after the first 25% but after reading Sanderson's other books I can't believe this is the same author. The listen was so achingly boring after the initial episode! The beginning lacks cohesion and feels pointless. It may be better as a book-read as you could skip the slow parts. A great listen for taking a nap to!
Great story, pathetic narrator. The narrator starts this story like he's climbing a hill. This is really a great little fantasy tale but I got so distracted waiting on the narrator to read the next line. Then there is no distinction between any character's lines. Females, soldiers, floating orbs of light, all sound the same. The ending was a bit of a let down. I felt like the author could've made a statement there about allowing decay to creep in and how it takes work to straighten things out, but he chose end it with a "quick-fix-and-everything-is-all-better" ending. Dropped the ball on that I think. Still story has such good characters and plot twist that it deserves more stars than the narrator allows.
I did enjoy this book even though fantasy is not my preferred genre. I am an avid audio book listener so I search for the long books or I am left waiting for credits or having to buy. It had an interesting plot that kept me entertained and listening for hours. I wouldn’t say it is especially great but it was worth listening to. I don’t like fantasy books where the explanation of the ‘new world’ becomes tedious and this book didn’t have that effect. The ‘made up’ names of the characters seemed to all sort of blend in my mind Raoden and Rathen for two main characters kept me mixing them up until what was said helped me figure it out. The narrator was ok- and the female characters didn’t get on my nerves (I hate it when they are portrayed as silly and frivolous).
The idea had potential but crashed and burned hard! It is poorly written and the narrator should have his vocal cords removed. This book will only dumb you down.... avoid Warbreaker as well .. it's just as horrible. Now.. the Mistborn series and the Stormlight archives are good reads... I'm eagerly awaiting the second book to the Stormlight Archives! Brandon has also done a good job on finishing the Wheel of Time Series... but don't waste your time on anything he has written before the Mistborn Series!
Absolutley Fantastic....hooked right away and I found myself frustrated that I did not have a hardcopy so I could peek at the pages ahead. Very good characters and we arent overwhelmed with back history, there is some jumping back and forth but it works, evil protagonists, good twists and the end didn't feel rushed but it left me really wanting a sequel....
Dr. Jim Fox -- Former College Professor and Mental Health Therapist
The book is long -- but it holds your attention for more than 20 hours! I loved it. It was well narrated also, which is quite important. Some of the names are close. Without great narration, this book would be hard to follow. I wholly recommended it. Nearly keep me awake for nights on end.
With work, family, and my own aspirations at a future writing career, I find very little time for reading. I love audio-books because I can listen to books on my way to and from work.
This was the first book I read by Sanderson. I like the way his brain works, and I am a new fan. The book is worth a credit and the length of the story makes you feel like you're not wasting a credit.