In 2005, Brandon Sanderson debuted with Elantris, an epic fantasy unlike any other then on the market. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Tor is reissuing Elantris in a special edition, a fresh chance to introduce it to the myriad listeners who have since become Sanderson fans.
This new edition begins with a preface by author Dan Wells, the first person to read the completed novel, and a new afterword by Sanderson explaining how he came to write the book and its place in the Cosmere, the unified universe of all his Tor novels. Also included is the first book appearance of the short story "The Hope of Elantris", revealing interesting action referred to late in the novel, and an expanded version of the "Ars Arcanum" appendix, with more of the technical details of the book's magic that fans can never get enough of.
Elantris was truly a milestone both for Sanderson and for the genre of epic fantasy. It deserves this special treatment, something Tor has done only once before, with Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. Sanderson fans old and new will be excited to discover it.
©2005, 2015 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (P)2015 Recorded Books
if you already have the original of this then you really don't need this one. unlike other 10 year anniversary versions that have come out that were basically authors cuts. the additions here are at the end of the book. interesting not enough to justify the purchase of the same book twice.
I flew through all 7 Mistborn books in less time than it took me to grind through Elantris. I won't give a synopsis -- since everyone else seemed to do a good job of that -- but I will give my opinion.
It's glaringly obvious that this is Sanderson's first published novel, and that he's grown tremendously since. Don't get me wrong, the plot is interesting, but the writing style doesn't make the story shine, like it should. He has a tendency to "tell" the reader what's happening, rather than "showing" what's happening.
The characters are interesting, too, but only a few of them are meaningfully developed. All of them are predictable. And the dialogue, which drives the narrative, is cheesy and unnatural.
While I normally am very open to different narration styles, I really couldn't stand this guy. Like, at all. He pauses way too long between words that are in the same sentence, for one. Even speeding up the playback doesn't help. He inflects his voice is ways that don't fit the situation. And worst of all, nearly every word he says has soft "h" sound at the end of it, like he was breathing too much into the mic. It was... a bit uncomfortable to listen to.
I cannot possibly express the great writing of Brandon Sanderson. I am buying every book of his and devouring them as fast as I can. I am an old fantasy reader and loved Salvatore, Hickman & Weis, Brooks, etc. I cannot compare these with Sanderson. He is on a level above the others.
I read Rothfuss (which is also fantastic) and on a review of his book started reading Sanderson. I have literally not read any that have equaled Sanderson. I think he could write about mud and it would be totally enthralling! If you have not read any of his books or just not this one, you will enjoy this book thoroughly!
The narrator did a great job as well. At first I was not sure of the characters, but when I got into the story he was spot on! Great job Mr. Garrett!
I'm a big Sanderson fan especially the stormlight archive! I just wanted to say that sandersons writing has gone from great to amazing. The narrator on this was mediocre. Many other narrators add so much to the reading. This is just a flat and uninspiring rendition with few exceptions.
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide)
Ever since I read MISTBORN a couple years ago, I’ve been obsessed with Brandon Sanderson’s writing. His books launched me into the world of adult fantasy when I had been reading nearly exclusively young adult and I’ve been on a mission ever since to gobble up the rest of his books. Every book I’ve read (and every novella) has been enjoyable and I simply cannot get enough. I took advantage of an Audible deal that had Brandon Sanderson audiobooks on sale so I picked up ELANTRIS and WARBREAKER (which I also hope to read soon) and decided to start with ELANTRIS since it was Sanderson’s first published novel and it’s a stand alone.
ELANTRIS was such a good, solid read. At times it felt a bit lengthy and I was anxious for things to get moving but that could also be because I was listening to the audiobook so it did take me significantly longer than if I was reading it in print. I was “warned” ahead of time that the beginning was a lot of set up and character development and the true action and twists didn’t occur until closer to the end so I was all right waiting for that. I also didn’t mind because the characters were just so enjoyable! Since it’s not as action packed as some of his later books, ELANTRIS is able to really dig into characters and let their personalities shine! Raoden was truly as personable as he was made out to be and I loved Sarene’s independence and strength. Each character really brought the book to life and it was so easy to connect with each and every one of them.
The concept of Elantris and its fall was incredibly interesting. For most of the book, no one really knows why the once godlike inhabitants of Elantris fell and why the Shaod continues to take people, turning them into the “creatures” that the cities fear and quarantine. The world-building and background surrounding these questions impressed me and as always, the big reveal was so satisfying. I was really hoping for a bit more history of the magic system because it was so interesting and complex and I’m always anxious to dig into why and how it works! There is an explanation but I’ve been spoiled with the details that Sanderson includes in subsequent books and so I was seeking so many more details about AonDor! I also hoped for a bit more of digging into the creation myths of the Cosmere but since it was Sanderson’s first published work, there was still so much more to come to play around with what this world was, what drove its magic, and how it connected within the Cosmere. I know ELANTRIS was a stand alone (well, it does have a short story but it’s more of a companion to the novel than a continuation) but I would love to learn so much more about this world! I immediately went digging into the Coppermind (the Wiki for Sanderson’s complete works — it’s incredibly detailed!) to get any more info that I possibly could! All it did was make me want another book detailing this planet’s history even more.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sanderson yet (since I’m finally writing a review for a book that’s not a sequel in a series), the Cosmere is Sanderson’s universe and most of his adult works take place on a different planet in the Cosmere. ELANTRIS is the first book set in the Cosmere and takes place on the planet Sel. Each Cosmere-set series is independent of the others but they all take place in the same universe and therefore share the same (incredibly detailed) history. I won’t get into it because a lot of this was explained with MISTBORN: A SECRET HISTORY, which is meant to be read after the 6th book in the Mistborn series and it could be a little spoilery to say more about the Cosmere since I only just discovered it this far into my Sanderson journey. I will say, though, that I’m constantly impressed with the world-building and I’m obsessed with books that are not series that connect. Sanderson is such a craftsman when it comes to connecting the Cosmere books and it may not always be in the most obvious way but when you make that connection, it’s so incredibly satisfying and it is such a delight to observe as a reader!
ELANTRIS was a book that really stuck with me and I keep thinking about it long after I’ve finished! It didn’t have quite as many historical details or action as some of the first Sanderson books I’ve read but I actually enjoyed that because it’s great to see how Brandon Sanderon’s writing style has changed, evolved, and can differ from story to story. I love that the books can feel so unique and yet still have a typical Sanderson feel that I can identify with. I can’t wait to continue my Cosmere binge later on this year!
Source: Purchased from Audible during a sale
Narrator: Jack Garrett
Performance: More books narrated by Jack Garrett, please!
I’m always iffy trying out a narrator that I haven’t listened to before, especially with a favorite author AND an audiobook that’s literally 28.5 hours long. That’s over a full day of my life listening to one person’s voice so it gets intimidating to pick someone new! I’m really glad that I not only liked Jack Garrett but ended up loving him! His narration really embodied each character and each person had their own unique voice. I’m always so impressed with how many different voices a voice actor can do and with a detailed cast of characters, Jack Garrett had no issue making each voice quite unique. His female voices were softer and more feminine but not over the top. Accents were well placed and the general performance of everything was just top notch. I don’t know what other books he’s narrated but I will definitely be seeking out more!
The narration by Jack Garrett takes the cake! Not that the story was lacking at all but the narration kept me drawn in during the dry parts of the novel. I also love how the overall story felt whole to me. I could tell it was very carefully thought out and constructed.
I really loved the story that revolved around a widow princess, lost prince and faithless priest-- All who demonstrate the will to change and be changed in order to bring the tale to a compelling end. The voiced pacing was a little slow for me in the beginning but it grew on me and I appreciated the talent with which the story was read.
Great Story. Was interested all the way through. Narration was good. Even when you think you know what's coming, you are left with some hesitation allowing the narration to take you on the journey. The uncertainty prevents one from jumping ahead of the author and gettting bored. Good pacing. Strongly recommend.
I've enjoyed Sanderson over the course of several years, but never read his first novel. No idea what I had missed! It is one of his best. This is an author with true story telling gifts. And a novel that only gets better as you read/listen.
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