Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
# of Pages: 489
Favorite Quote: "Prince Raoden of Arelon awoke early that morning, completely unaware that he had been damned for all eternity."
I heard so much about this book from two people whose opinions I highly respect, that I had to pick it up and read it. Epic fantasy in one volume? Sign me up!
Elantris takes place in Arelon, a land which, until ten years ago, was ruled by demigods from the city of Elantris- people who had been ordinary until the day the Shaod took them and made them extraordinary. Ten years ago, however, Elantris mysteriously fell, and the gods, rather than being silvery, magical beings, began to resemble something like lepers who would not die. Prince Raoden, heir to the throne of Arelon, is taken by the Shaod just before his wedding. Thrown into Elantris to rot away the rest of his life, he instead tries to make a productive society in the city. Meanwhile, the wife he’s never met, Sarene, arrives in Kae, capital of Arelon, to find herself a widow and the city under the dual turmoil of an ineffective king and a foreign religious leader attempting to convert the country. Sarena and Hrathen, the Fjordell religious leader, clash time and again, one trying to save her culture and the other trying to save the souls of Arelon.
Sounds like the sort of plot many fantasy authors would spin out over a trilogy, at least. But Sanderson does it in one book, and that in itself is worthy of a high rating! There are flaws in the book- sometimes the humor seems a bit too forced, and some of the characters are stereotypical and one-dimensional to an extreme. But this is Sanderson’s first novel, and I think he will be a strong figure in fantasy novels to come.