Author: Brandon Sanderson.
Page count: 555.
Release day: May 1st 2005.
Genre: Adult, fantasy.
Rating: 4.5 stars.
What is it about? (Summary from GoodReads)
Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.
Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.
But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.
Average: 8.57 (which means 4 stars!)
I’m having a hard time rating this book.. In comparison to some fantasy books, this should be a 5 star read, but compared to some of his other works that I’ve read, it is more of a 4/4.5 star!
I’m very impressed by how Sanderson can create so many unique worlds and magic systems! Although they are connected in some way, since they are all in the Cosmere world!
And once again I loved so many aspects of this world! Obviously, the world, but also the magic, the characters and the plot!
My main reason for not giving this a five star, is that it took me a bit to get into this world and understand it! I was very confused by the magic in the beginning. Of course, our characters are also not too familiar with it, so it makes sense. But it did make it a bit harder to read for me. However, after 100 pages or something I was fully invested and could not put the book down!
This book is mainly about this city that was once amazing, and only magical people lived there. But 10 years ago it all fell down. And now only people taken by the Shaod are thrown in there to live.
We follow prince Raoden, who is taken by the Shaod and now lives in Elantris. He is, obviously, trying to save the other inhabitants of Elantris and the magic that was supposed to be there. We also follow Sarene, who was supposed to marry Raoden, but she is told he is dead. She is now trying to save Kae from the high priest Hrathen, who we also follow. Hrathen is trying to convert Arelon into a different religion. He does this by trying to say that the Shaod is happening because they angered his god.
All of these characters were so interesting, they all had some great development and I really enjoyed their relations with each other and other side characters! I got shocked by some of their actions, and also some of the side characters, which really kept me reading!
One of the things that always scared me about adult fantasy was the writing, for some reason I was always afraid that the writing would be too difficult for me. But Sanderson has proven to me, once again, that that is definitely wrong! I can fly through his books, partly because they are so intriguing but definitely also because of the writing!
I’ve heard many people say that when you start with Sanderson, you should start with this one. I can see why. I think I would have liked this one more if I read it before mistborn. Nevertheless, this book is still amazing, even after reading Mistborn!
100% recommend this book!