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.
I finally picked up a Brandon Sanderson book! I’m not gonna lie, I was very intimidated to read anything by him. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to understand anything and I thought I was going to get lost on every page. Boy, was I wrong! I even posted on Twitter how easy it was to understand everything that’s going on, and a couple of people agreed as well!
I believe Elantris is Sanderson’s debut novel? Please correct me if I’m wrong. From what I’ve read, it’s also his weakest book. Which makes sense, right?
Why am I not rating this higher than a three star rating? Well, that’s because it was a lot of build up to almost four or five chapters of craziness. Every now and then, Sanderson would throw in a little twist. Just not enough for me to enjoy this book 100%. I also had a bit of trouble with two of the characters names. They sounded pretty similar and I didn’t realize they were two different people until halfway through the book…
This book is unique in so many ways. It’s definitely unlike anything else I have ever read. It’s really promising. I cannot wait to see what else I have in store from Brandon Sanderson.
Elantris is centered mostly around politics, so if you don’t care about reading political type books, this isn’t for you.