Elantris was built on magic and it thrived. But then the magic began to fade and Elantris began to rot. Now its shattered citizens face domination by a powerful Imperium. Can a young Princess unite the people of Elantris, 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.
©2005 Brandon Sanderson (P)2008 Recorded Books LLC
With the price of one credit and at the length of three normal books it it a great find if you, like me, enjoy long books or series of books. But the downside is that it is slower and not as refreshing as Sanderson's other works. Likable characters with developed individual story arcs helped carry the book along.
The primary story picked up some speed for the last parts of the book and that helped my overall impression.
It was my first experience with Jack Garrett as narrator. I found his pacing too slow to and the length of the breaks between sentences even worse. I almost ended up listening to the book at. x2 speed. If you think this might annoy you, be careful.
I rate this book in comparison with Sandersons other works which I really, really enjoyed. On its own I might have given it an extra star.
This is an excellent book as such, but sadly enough it takes quite some time to get over – not get used to – the readers ridiculous over-dramatization and unnecessarily long pauses. After a while I could successfully ignore this though, and focus on the story. It, fortunately is quite entertaining.
As Sanderson's first publicly released book, Elantris is a good effort. Although the actual style is a little immature, he shows the promise of a great storyteller that is eventually delivered in subsequent novels (and his completion of Jordan's epic series).
If you haven't yet listened to a Sanderson book, this is a good start, but don't be put off by the style and dismiss his other works. They really are a cut above this one and it's nice to see the author's development in writing.
This book displays a lot of classical themes. The outcast hero suffering the trials of an unwanted person, a corruptly led society on the brink of disaster ripe for the picking, deception, betrayal, revenge, questions of faith and responsibility and of course the beautiful, intelligent princess that is a central character to the whole story.
Sanderson's Elantris starts off slow and builds like a tsunami to an inevitable climax with some nice twists along the way. Some of them are predictable and others enlightening, but on the whole he completes the book as he does with his other works by making sure all the loose ends are tied up.
Overall a good work, with a good narration.
Librarian, father, fantasy fool and tech enthusiasts.
I started to write a long and not so positive review, but I changed my mind as I was going through it! Its a good book. Not the best or the worst but more than good enough!
My only problem is that I want The Stormlight Archive NOW!!!! ;)
Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors so not reading his books is actually not possible. Just read it... Its worth far more that 1 credit!
Sometimes it seems that I far behind the wave with my reading . I mean, I read books came out years ago. I don't see it as not being updated what is hot and the newest on the bestselling list, instead I consider it finding gems along the road of my reading journey.
The latest one is Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.
I had previous experiences with his books, I say experiences, because they weren't simple readings. The first book I started to read was the Mistborn book 1. I couldn't finish it, don't ask why. I just struggled with it, picking the book up and putting it down several times. Finally around the middle of the book I said it was not for me. It bothered me, because I'm fan of the Writing Excuses podcast, and I find those guys (among them Brandon Sanderson) funny and helpful. He seems to be a capable author to write a decent book.
So I picked up another book of his, the Way of Kings, this time in audiobook format. Man, I was hooked from the beginning. That is a long one, and a few times it felt like flowing slowly, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
So I purchased Elantris and I was eager to start to listen to the audiobook. And I realised again, I like fantasy pretty much.
Elantris isn't short, and a few times I was wondering if I need all those details or whether the dialogues couldn't be shorter, but by the end these all paid back. The characters became my friends (or enemies), and they were chiselled like the fine carvings on the walls of Elantris.
The idea itself got me hooked in. There was this city, once beautiful, shining, people with godlike powers walked on its streets. Then suddenly the heaven became hell, the glory faded and gave place to mud and slime, pain and suffer. The strange power that earlier made semi-gods from ordinary people now destroyed their humanity making them living dead.
Of course prince Raedon finally solved the mystery of the disappearance of Elantris' power (what would've been the point of the story if he didn't?). The clues were well timed throughout the book.
The magic system is amazing, shining signs in the air channelling power to this world and everything. I wonder how the author comes up with these ideas.
The political system is also well drawn. The throne is weakened, the country is on the edge of collapse, the political forces plot against each other, outside power threatens the kingdom, and even religion comes into the mix. Just like in real life.
There is an important phrase when talking about how captivating a book is: suspension of disbelief. Well, my disbelief was suspended all along the story. I enjoyed it a lot.
"Spoilt by narration"
I tried to listen to this 3 or 4 times and could not get past the first few chapters. The narrator sounds as if he has not read the lines he is speaking, there is no characterisation and his style just gets in the way of what seems to be a good book.
Use Michael Kramer
I could not say as I could not listen long enough to get into it.
If this was redone using Michael Kramer I would buy the new version in a heartbeat.
Fantastic i have listened to it twice because i enjoyed it so much. brilliant story line. I have listen to all the books he as written and would recomend them to anyone. But this one is my favourite. 10 out of 10
"wonderfull meandering fantasy"
For a first time fantacy book it's cool. It pulls you into a world that does'nt hit you over the head with voilence and bloodlust.Politics and pychology, discovering personalities of people one would like to know. A really nice book to listen to.I enjoyed to journey, the voice fit the story.A great driving book.
I had never heard of Brandon Sanderson until I downloaded this and it was not what I expected from looking at the front cover but wow what a book. The story moves along nicely and the narrative is exellently done. I found myself looking forward to getting some free time just to get back to the book. One of the best stories I have had the pleasure of reading (listening to).
I liked the twists and turns in the plot. There were quite some surprises as the story unfolds and some clever ideas.
The end is fairly predictable. However, it was interesting to see how the author would get us there.
Yes. I didn't have problems identifying which characters were speaking - and there is quite a cast list. He also didn't make the women sound silly which can be a problem with male readers.
It's not great literature but it's an interesting diversion.
"A wonderful, fascinating idea well explored."
The whole idea of a city of "dead people who cannot die but live in enduring suffering" sounds like a nightmarish horror, but Sanderson creates a fascinating world of a "post-magical" kingdom which is more poltical warfare than zombie horror.
I believe it was the uncle of the female lead who seemed to have a consistent Jimmy Stewart drawl. Was quite charming.
The story weaves three different threads into one epic story. Each thread is interesting in itself, even if I found myself constantly wanting to get more about the central world of Elantris both its history but also what was going on in there now.
The author clearly has created a fascinating, massive background to his world, but in contrast to so many other fantasy writers who would have made this a 5-book series he's kept focus on the story not the setting.
The author does a great job of weaving the threads together, keeping things moving apace and to a satisfying conclusion.
"A well crafted story"
I wish Brandon Sanderson would start writing science fiction. I 'd love to see his masterful development of characters and scenes being transferred to the science fiction genre depicting starry nebula, different worlds and the intricacies, designs and workings of future tech.
This guy can write, the listener/reader is drawn into the story and immersed in a tragic situation. We are invested in the characters and both they and the scenes are depicted and developed in exquisite detail. There is thorough description of the history and mysticism of the lands, you can feel and see in your mind what it is like to be there. He brings tension to every part where a significant event action takes place, you are on the edge of you seat vying for the heroes, or frightened about what may creep up on them - literally or figuratively.
Some of the book deals with religion, in its positive and negative influences, what happens when someone believes something so much that they will do ANYTHING to justify these beliefs? About how it is possible to use religious fervor to whip up a mob to do horrible things. It is also a love story but not cheap and cheesy.
He creates beings a that seem a bit like a zombies but without the usual shoddy nonsense we are too-often exposed to. There are other interesting inventive creatures.
Why only four stars? For the plot I felt that the book was a little long at just under 28 hours, parts of the middle felt a little slow. It would have been better if some of the middle was sped up and more time spent resolving the end - which is very dramatic, dynamic, and full of tension. A sequel has been planned so maybe that's the reason there wasn't an absolute resolution. The book certainly left me wanting more.
My question is when is Brandon Sanderson going to start writing science fiction? I'd love to see this writing style in the scifi genre.
"For fans of Mistborn - very good narration"
I bought this book after listening to, and enjoying, the Mistborn trilogy. Brandon Sanderson has yet another unique magic system - but this time it is less prominent, only really showing it's full extent towards the end
Story – 4/5
Another unique magic system from Brandon Sanderson (although I guess this was his debut novel - therefore his first magic system). It was more subtle in this book than others, but still very interesting. This far exceeds many other debut's out there, but Sanderson definitely improves as he goes along.
Characters are very interesting and you are genuinely concerned for a lot of them. The story dragged on at times, and became predictable - but the last 2 hours of it really blew me away. The ending I had predicted didn't happen, and it was absolutely action packed. I would say it was a slog to the end, but it was well worth it so I highly recommend this novel for Mistborn lovers.
Performance – 4.5/5
Jack Garrett is very good - very similar to Michael Kramer actually, so if you like the narrator for Mistborn or Wheel of Time you will get on well with Jack.
His deep voice was very good at creating an atmosphere in the big scenes - and he also did an excellent job at making all of the characters subtly distinctive.
Overall – 4/5
Apologies for the star ratings not matching the written review, I am forced to round halves on Audible.
"Wont let you go."
Its seems like quite an old story, but unlike so much new stuff I read where I know what is around the corner, this (almost) always did it differently. Imaginative, well read, and ... long! A good story that will companion you for a long time, even after you've finnished it. Enjoy.
I picked up this book, because I have enjoyed the other works of Brandon Sanderson, and boy was I glad I did. It is an interesting twist to a familiar story, set in a fascinating world that I wouldn’t mind hearing about again. I enjoyed every minute of listening to the voice of Jack Garrett, who did an excellent job narrating the story into life. The reason why I only rated this book with four out of five, is probably due to the fact that I read it after his other novels and I enjoyed them a bit more. That said, this is an excellent book and definitely worth your time and money, so please have at it, enjoy!
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