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
"Good value, slow narrator and average fantasy."
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.
"I want to draw Aons"
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.
"Very irritating reader"
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.
"I know what Mr. Sanderson can do."
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!
"Slow, but engaging story"
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.
"Characters suffer from mediocre narration"
The world is very cool, the mysteries of what happened to Elantris and its inhabitants are intriguing and managed to make me want to figure out the puzzles on my own.
The main antagonist (Hrathan) is a rather complex and interesting character.
Most scenes that might have been humorous are somewhat ruined by a mediocre delivery - I'm not sure if it's the narrators fault, but there were a number of dialogue lines that sounded very cheesy and I believe they didn't have to.
My favorite author if all times! Great story. Great characters! Took me some time to get into but once I was hooked I could stop!!!
"Mystical and engaging"
This is a fantasy epic with mysterious magic, a Sanderson twist on zombies and traitors aplenty.
I enjoyed the yarn, the audio is great, an impressive performance... Some minor issues with the audio editing in the audible version (legacy elements like one or two 'change cd markers' and too long or short edit gaps... Not enough to degrade the ranking, yet enough to break me out of the story when they happened).
This was my first Sanderson book and it took some time to get into the story but when it clicked it hit big time!
Beautiful narrated and captivating until the end.
"Original and brilliant"
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson is both original and brilliant. Elantrians are considered to be a diseased race and have been outcast, living on scraps and fighting each other for survival, or what they consider for survival. Meanwhile in the country of Arelon, and its new capital Kae a high priest from Fjordell has come to save the souls of its people and claim the country for his emperor Wyrn. Elantris s a standalone novel which is great as you don't have to wait a year or even years for the next book or a complete series. The story is well crafted and Jack Garrett narration is excellent.
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
I have never read a fantasy book before and after listening to Elantris I am sold! Exciting from the very beginning to the very end.
Raoden. He was the true hero of the story.
I was slightly put off initially by the American accent, but once into the story I stopped noticing it. Great storyteller.
Yes, it made me laugh, cry and everything in between. Very thought provoking and I found myself thinking about it throughout the day and even now although I finished it several weeks ago. I will definitely go back to it one day.
Take a chance and get it, you won't be disappointed!
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).
"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.
"Early work, author finding his feet"
The characterisation in Elantris was shallow and while I loved the idea behind the book, the execution was weak. Sandlerson learned a lot from the experience of publishing this because all his other books so far have been amazing and compelling
The overriding theme of compassionate leadership was a powerful theme.
The narration was pretty good given the subject matter
Fewer adjectives, more action, better developed characters (less pastiche)
Read anything else Brandon Sanderson has written. Very clever writer, sharp incisive style and his imagination brings to life amazing worlds with untold possibilities. Great escapes.
Yes, I enjoyed the story and the narration captured me from the get-go.
Serene, a strong personality.
The narration was great. From the beginning the narrator was interesting and captivating.
No, over some days.
A great read! Would recommend!
"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.
"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.
There might have been a reasonable story here but I found the narration terribly distracting. Certain characters sounded similar to George Takei ("oh my!") and others like Zapp Brannigan from Futurama.
The characters are also very two dimensional. The heroes are impossibly noble and the villains ridiculously evil (except for one who finds redemption at the end).
I played this whilst commuting to work, just to get it over with. The story ends, hooray, and then there's another hour with alternative chapters and the author patting himself on the back (aargh!).
Maybe it's just me, perhaps I'm being unfair, but I didn't enjoy this much and I usually love fantasy.
"A great listen"
I was new to Brandon Sanderson before I got this book. Seeing as most of his books are trilogies, I thought I would give this book a listen.
A fantastic story with great narration and most definitely a brilliant introduction to Brandon Sanderson, I am now officially a fan.
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