Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (Book Cover Bingo - Crown/Tiara)

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. Tom Doherty Associates, 2005. 638p. (9780765359374)

I read this book for the book cover bingo game I'm participating in on Goodreads and I'm glad I could read this one for crown/tiara (she has a circlet! which counts). What an interesting story! Especially since it took me over 100 pages in to figure out who I should be rooting for. I only had a friend’s recommendation (from a year ago) and the back of the book to shape my expectations. It was interesting reading a book without having any idea of what it was going to be about.

Which is probably why it took me a while to figure out if I was supposed to cheer for the princess or the priest. The summary on Goodreads and probably elsewhere is very long gives a much better idea of all the characters and the story and plot details, but you’ll have to go look that up yourself. I’m only going to give you what the back of the book says. Makes for a more curious reading experience.

Part of Back of Book Summary:
Elantris was the city of the gods. What power could have cursed it?

Raoden, prince of Arelon, was loved by all, including the preincess he’d never met. Where has he gone?

Hrathen, high priest of Fjordell, will convert the people of Arelon or kill them. How will he decide?

Sarene, princess of Teod, was a widow before she was ever married. Who can stand against her?

Elantris delightfully proves that a great complete fantasy story can still be told in a single volume of action, intrigue, wonder and countless surprises.

My Review:
I really enjoyed this book and didn’t even realize until writing the above that it was over 600 pages. The story started a tad slow, but only because I wasn’t sure if the author was being tricky or if I really could root for the person I wanted to root for. Well and also since there were a lot of people, cultures, relationships and history to introduce.

All of which means that it’s a rich tale and you know that the author put a lot of thought into not just the story we read but the history of the places and characters. I especially liked how it’s more than just a fantasy story with magic, and good and evil battling it out. Those things are in there but the author also looks at human emotion and motivation, politics, and religion. The religious aspect is especially interesting.

The story is told from three perspectives: Raoden, Hrathen and Sarene’s. Which can be frustrating at times, but I liked having a bigger picture and getting to know those three. There were plenty of other characters too and several were quite entertaining and added a lot to the story.  

A number of reviewers on Goodreads gave this book low ratings and a few lowered theirs after rereading the book. Which makes sense since one of the strong points of this book is the mystery of how it will all turn out and the question of what will happen next.

If you enjoy fantasy, opinionated female characters, magical forces, and political/religious drama than you should pick this book up.
four stars means worth the read and the re-read

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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  1. I read this years ago! It's the first book I've read by Sanderson and it hooked me onto his books. It's my favorite of his (also happens to be the only one of his I own that aren't part of the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time Series). I really need to reread this book.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Thanks for sharing Dawn! It's the first book of his that I have read though I did by a series (Mistborn maybe?) for the school library I work at, so maybe next semester I'll read those.
      Hope you enjoy the reread!

    2. The Mistborn ones are good too. I'm a sci-fi/fantasy junkie and read a lot. Orson Scott Card is also really good.


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