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Elantris (2006)

Elantris (2006)

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4.14 of 5 Votes: 1
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0765350378 (ISBN13: 9780765350374)
tor fantasy

About book Elantris (2006)

Sandersonitis Support group a.k.a. Epic Buddy Read starting July 4 With members Athena, Alexa, Armina, Gavin and Desinka4 Stars Only Because I Know the Extra Epicness Brandon Sanderson Delivers in Later WorksReasons Brandon Sanderson (BS) is one of/if not my favorite author1.tStrong Female Characters2.tComplex Heroes and Villians3.tComplicated yet Understandable Magic Systems4.tIntertwining of Religion and Culture5.tMore than one book a year (looking at you Patrick Rothfuss and George RR Martin)6.tHumor7.tPlots twist I never saw coming8.tAnd he always has the best rollercoaster ride possible on the last 20% of each book.I spent thirty minutes trying to explain this book to my husband and son. Why it was cool and all the stuff I liked about it such as a zombie city with intelligent life, a marriage of two people who have never met in person and one of whom is assumed dead, a religious zealot that made my skin crawl, silvery orbs that have a sentient being in them that act as a type of google/skype hybrid, political intrigue, pending doom etc, etc….and I failed miserably all I got from them was…. I’m not even sure that the book’s description does it justice and I may fail here as well but I will give it a shot. This is shown from the perspectives of three different PoVs; Raoden the Prince of Arelon, Sarene the Teoish princess he was supposed to marry and Hrathen a priest from Fjorden sent to convert the people of Arelon. I like this style of storytelling because of the larger picture you see when it is from all the different angles. The story: “The Shaod, it was called. The Transformation... When it came, the fortunate person's life ended and began anew; he would discard his old, mundane existence and move to Elantris. Elantris, where he could live in bliss, rule in wisdom, and be worshiped for eternity.Eternity ended ten years ago.”Now Elantris is a city that is full of walking corpses. Some still have their minds but many have given into the pain and despair and become nothing more than muttering lumps on the side of the streets. Everything is dirty and broken. The city that was once beautiful and full of God like beings with magical powers is now just a shell of what it once was. Raoden was the Prince of Arelon before the Shaod took him and his heart stopped beating. Now he is a walking corpse in Elantris too, but he thinks that maybe he can find a way to make life in Elantris a little better than it is now. ”We’re dead, sule,” Galladon said. “What purpose can we have besides suffering?”“That’s exactly the problem. Everyone’s convinced that their lives are over just because their hearts stopped beating.”“That’s usually a pretty good indication, sule,” Sarene, is a spinster by Teosh standards. She is twenty five and without much hope of finding a husband in Teod she agreed to an arranged marriage with Raoden. They have never met, only corresponded through letters and Seons (that is the silvery google/skype floating balls thingy), but she had hopes that one day it could be more than just a political arrangement. However, when she gets to Arelon she finds that the man she was supposed to marry has died and according to the terms of the marriage contract she is officially married to a man she never met. To save her homeland she will need to play some political games and find some allies in her new home. “The problem with being clever, Serene thought with a sigh, is that everyone assumes you're always planning something.”Finally there is Hrathen the high priest or gyorn in his religion. Sent by his god he has three months to convert the people of Arelon to Jaddeth or his god will conquer the city and none will survive. He caused a serious revolution in another country he tried to convert and hopes to avoid the mistakes he made in the past.This story is where it all begins. The thing I find hard about rating this book is that I have read other Brandon Sanderson (BS) books and so I know how much better his writing is going to get. BS is a fantastic story teller. His characters are complex and imperfect. The heroes have doubts and moments of weakness, the adversaries have good qualities and solid motivations for their actions as well. This is the first book he had published, his characters are still all these things but not as developed as in later works. The magic system created and the political ones are always different and well plotted out. There is a minor discrepancy in this one but it didn’t take away from the overall story me.I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I loved Jumping from Raoden’s chapters that where more action to Sarene’s that are more political intrigue and plotting. I held on hoping and waiting for the two to meet and loved the almost Beauty and the Beast aspect of their initial meeting. Hrathen’s chapters were insightful and disturbing; he went through a lot of planning and misdirection in his zeal to convert the kingdom. BS always creates strong female characters. Sarene is witty and fun. She speaks her mind and can play the political game well, even when she isn’t sure what she is playing at. One thing was clear, however. If the gyorn saw reason to preach against Elantris, then it was her duty to defend it. It was possible to block her enemy's schemes before she fully understood them.Since this is the first book he published it isn’t as polished as his later works and I will say that I knew how the overall ending would work out early on even though I didn’t see the twists and turns to get there. In his later works you have no idea how things are going to work out in the end. BS has really grown a lot in his writing since this novel. If you have never read anything by Brandon Sanderson I’m not sure that this is the book to start with. I say that only because he is one of my favorite Fantasy authors and I don’t want there to be any confusion on how great a writer he is. This is a novel in a greater collection of 36 novels called the cosmos but….DO NOT let that deter you. It reads great as a stand-alone novel as well.If you have never read another Sanderson book I recommend The Mistborn Series (because the first trilogy is complete) or the Stormlight Archives, The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance (because they are my absolute favorites). But if you have already read those pick this up, it is still a great story and you can see just how far BS has come.

Elantris was a promising debut from little known fantasy author Brandon Sanderson....But really though it was definitely a good debut and a pretty strong read in it's own right. The world-building, especially the set up of 2 religions warring for the hearts and minds of a people with the ruins of a fallen utopia in the background, was awesome and the characters were overall pretty likeable and occasionally intriguing. This is my first Sanderson book so I'm definitely psyched to see how he develops his craft from this strong debut.The setting in this book was pretty strong. The specter of a fallen utopia in the background of a thriving city was a really striking image, although I found it kind of eye-roll inducing that the Elantrians (the race of magic people that inhabited the old city) were seemingly perfect in every way before being undone by chance. I know this is fantasy but it was still unbelievable. My favourite part of the world-building by far was the conflict between 2 schools of religious thought, and how that conflict motivated schemes, warfare and bloodshed around the world. This was explored particularly well in Hrathen's sections. A complaint I did have about the world-building was how a once sophisticated society that was pretty much a magical utopia turned almost instantly into a feudal-style society with clearly defined social positions (serf, lord) and how this society was shown in a really clumsy way to be evil and inefficient (when kind-hearted princess and MC Sarene rolls in, frees the peasants and everyone is so happy that productivity skyrockets). The story is told through the POV of 3 main characters: Raoden, Sarene and Hrathen. Raoden is a former prince thrown into the zombie infested ruins of Elantris. Only instead of eating brains and doing cool zombie stuff most of the zombies sit around complaining about how sad/hungry they are. Instead of doing the right thing and going all Dead Rising (i.e. getting a skateboard and riding through clumps of zombies, somehow killing them while remaining unharmed. Dang, that game was awesome I should really re-play it) on their zombie asses he tries to lead the emo-zombies into forming a hippie commune. Raoden's were probably my least favourite sections. The lack of interesting stuff going on and initially slow pace was compounded by the constant references to how the residents of Elantris were constantly on the brink of going mad from hunger/pain. It really killed my vibe. The highlight of Raoden's parts were undoubtedly his attempts to unravel the mystery of how Elantris fell. These sections posed an interesting mystery and had an awesome payout at the end of the book. Sarene was at times a pretty boring character. Much like Raoden she often came across as a pretty bland protagonist, however unlike Raoden she was at least doing interesting stuff. Her attempts to being down a corrupt monarchy were interesting and her ongoing battle of wits with Hrathen, as she tried to stop the spread of his violent religion, made for some really interesting conflict. Hrathen for me was by far the most interesting of the main POV characters. A priest of the Derethi (bad guys) religion he aims to convert the people in a desperate attempt to avoid a bloody conflict between the 2 religions. Throughout the story Hrathen is shown to be both a badass warrior and a subtle political operative, however my favourite part of his arc was his attempts to work through a crisis of faith and justify his often horrific actions through a mixture religion and logic. The plot of this book was pretty meandering and some parts seemed to go very slowly (this was especially true of many of Raoden's parts and a few of Sarene's) however the ending more than made up for it and managed to raise this book from a 3/3.5 star rating to a solid 4. Without going into any spoilers a load of the plotlines that were set up throughout the book and the storylines of most of the characters converged in an epic action packed finale that was Erikson-esque in it's intensity. (view spoiler)[ Raoden finally being able to cleanse the Dor and open up a can of whoop-ass on the Derethi demon-monks was easily the most fist pump inducing moment of the book to that point and almost enough to single-handedly make up for how boring the rest of his arc was. Hrathen's ultimate decision to turn against the religion he increasingly viewed as evil and brutal was also a great (and appropriate) ending to his storyline while his slaying of the fanatical (and evil as fuck) head priest was an extremely close second to Raoden's earlier moment of awesomeness. Hrathen's final thoughts: Lamenting that he never got the chance to tell Sarene, his rival throughout the book, that he loved her combined with the memorial erected to him were by far the most moving moments of the book. (hide spoiler)]

Do You like book Elantris (2006)?

~ Buddy read with Giovanna & Sibil ~“It’s so easy to see the answers once the puzzle is solved, Sarene.”Elantris is the first book written by Sanderson and indisputably revealed how amazingly talented he is.In fact, in this first book you can already find the essence of Sanderson’s writing: • an unique idea• a complex plot• well-developed dimensional characters (bonus point #1: Sarene is a fantastic strong female MC; bonus point #2: I loved how Sanderson characterized even the antagonist, Hrathen)• the intertwining of history, cultures and religions• a “sense of continuity”, of “circularity”, a link between the beginning and the end of the story that makes you appreciate the book even more and, stunned, makes you say: “this man doesn’t really leave anything (not a single word!) to chance” Of course this book is not flawless: the plot, especially at the beginning, is somewhat confusing and the world-building and the magical system are not so refined as in his later works (eg. Warbreaker or Mistborn).But I think it’s a good news. It means that dear Sandy is human after all (and not the legendary monster that he seems to be) and he has grown as a writer book after book (well, masterpiece after masterpiece).

Lectura conjunta Buddyreads en Emma's tea party con: Denisse, Mitticus, Nanu, Lizet, Liz*, Xime, Cati, Violante, Ro, Majo, Yolanda, Andrea, CalypK, Bianjie, Betza, Alejandra, Christina, Jessica, MarivlComo empezar a describir este libro… veamos, ¿alguna vez les toco desenredar las luces de navidad? ese amasijo de cables y foquitos que estuvieron un año haciéndose nudo entre ellos, te dices a ti mismo que puedes hacerlo, ¿Por qué no? Has estado practicando todo lo que va de año con tus audífonos, estas son las finales, te sientas respiras profundo y comienzas…. Pasa una hora y a penas has logrado desenredar algo, estas empezando a perder la paciencia pero sigues tratando, pasa un tiempo y ves que no progresas, empiezas a perder la paciencia, ni siquiera has encontrado el enchufe, te estresas y mandas todo al carajo, buscas unas tijeras, un cuchillo o en su defecto un hacha, y con una mirada psicópata empiezas a hacer picadillo de navidad, gritando ¡Con que no se querían desanudar eh! Terminas desestresado con una media sonrisa en tu rostro y con muchos, muchos cabos sueltos Eso es Elantris un libro genial, una experiencia liberadora, que me dejo con una sonrisa pero que tiene casi la misma cantidad de cabos sueltos. Ahora con más detalle les hablare un poco más del libro, el prologo lo describe tan bien que me parece inaudito no citarlo. Elantris fue hermosa, en otro tiempo. La llamaban la ciudad de los dioses: un lugar de poder, esplendor y magia. Los visitantes dicen que las piedras mismas brillaban con una luz interior, y que la ciudad contenía maravillosos portentos arcanos. De noche, Elantris resplandecía como un gran fuego plateado, visible incluso desde una gran distancia.Sin embargo, por magnífica que fuera Elantris, sus habitantes lo eran todavía más. Con el pelo de un blanco esplendoroso, la piel casi de un plateado metálico, los elantrinos parecían refulgir como la ciudad misma. Según las leyendas eran inmortales, o casi. Sus cuerpos sanaban rápidamente y estaban dotados de gran fuerza, sabiduría y velocidad. Podían hacer magia apenas agitando la mano; los hombres visitaban Elantris desde todo Opelon para ser objeto de curación, recibir alimento o conocimientos elantrinos. Los elantrinos eran divinidades.Y cualquiera podía convertirse en una divinidad elantrina.La Shaod, se llamaba. La Transformación. Golpeaba al azar, normalmente de noche, durante las misteriosas horas en que la vida se detenía para descansar. La Shaod podía tomar a un mendigo, un artesano, un noble o un guerrero. Cuando llegaba, la vida de la persona afortunada terminaba y recomenzaba; descartada su antigua existencia mundana, se marchaba a Elantris. A Elantris, donde podía vivir bendita, gobernar con sabiduría y ser adorada por toda la eternidad.La eternidad terminó hace diez años.Con esa magnífica descripción comenzamos, la Shaod antes una bendición ahora se convertido en una maldición aquel que la reciba está condenado a ser un muerto en vida, algo así como The Walking Dead, solo que conservas tu conciencia o al menos por un tiempo, pasa que cuando sufres la shaod cada que tengas una herida esta no sanara y estarás condenado a sentir ese dolor por siempre o hasta que tu conciencia finalmente se quiebre. Por si esto no fuera poco seras apartado de toda tu familia y amigos y enviado a Elantris la que antes fue la ciudad de los dioses es ahora una prisión para los condenados.Habiendo dicho eso les hablare sobre los personajes, el libro se nos presenta a través de tres:Raoden El príncipe benévolo, Raoden el príncipe amado de su pueblo despierta un día y descubre lo terrible, la shaod lo ha alcanzado, lo que significa que recibe un ticket de ida inmediata para Elantris, al llegar conoce a Galladon con quien pronto entablara amistad, este le mostrara que tan cruel es su situación, pero Raoden no se dará por vencido así como así, su meta será volverles el “espíritu” a los elantrinos y la esperanza Raoden ha escalado a la posición principal de mis personajes favoritos de Sanderson, el no es el héroe común, usa su ingenio para motivar a todos y mejorar en lo que pueda todo este embrollo. Sarene la astuta mandona, el segundo personaje que se nos presenta es Sarene la princesa prometida que según su contrato de matrimonio está casada con Raoden. Sarene se encuentra un reino conflictivo y con que su nuevo padre el Rey Iadon es un inútil gobernando, ella buscara lo mejor para el reino y empezara a jugar el juego de tronos peligroso de la política Hrathen el religioso caradura el tercer personaje narrador es Hrathen el ha llegado a Kae con una misión religiosa, debe convertir a todos los ciudadanos a su religión en un plazo corto de tiempo, o el Wryn, su líder religioso piensa enviar soldados a acabar con esta ciudad impía y hereje Lo bueno, como siempre Brandon Sanderson revoluciona en lo fantástico, con sus sistemas de magia en este caso los aones y sus criaturas fantásticas como los Seones que son bolitas de luz flotantes parlantes que sirven también para comunicarse a través de largas distancias estilo skype Aunque yo siempre me los imagine asíLo malo tenemos dos de los personajes más amados de Sanderson la religión y la política y todos los conflictos que ella genera, normalmente esto me gusta pero acá tienen el papel estelar y la magia queda de ladoAdemas el final de uno de los personajes no me gusto para nada (view spoiler)[ Hrathen estaba enamorado de Sarene ¿como? y por eso la salva ¿? eso no tiene sentido (hide spoiler)]

Oh, Elantris, why must you torture me so? Why must you force me into conflict with the library, my favorite supplier? They claim I owe them, and they aren't going to leave me alone. I'm afraid to go to the corner dropbox at night in case a librarian is lurking. I've stubbornly held onto their copy of Elantris hoping that I would become inspired to re-read and provide a more thorough review. Alas, no. You will have to read my generalized dislike instead of many specific examples. For no clear reason, I was completely unable to sustain interest in Elantris despite leaving the library copy on my physical 'currently reading' shelf for months. While there is an interesting vision of a magical system, magic isn't enough to save the story, especially as the re-discovering of Elantrian magic is so slooow in the making. Out of the triplicate storyline, the destroyed Elantrian city was the only plot that really sustained my focus. Perhaps part of it was a difficulty connecting with any of the characters who were mostly out of the Campbellian Mythical Archetype lineage. Prince Raoden has been declared dead, but has actually been thrown into slime-coated Elantris. He has undergone the random but incomplete transformation into an Elantrian. However, he brings his royal training, knowledge of various Arelon citizens and unflagging optimism to the destroyed city and starts gathering the hopeless citizens into a band of survivors. He has a vision--plans to forge them into a populace with pride. He is going to scrub the slime from the buildings and recognize that even the street-sweepers have value in society. He's going to study, at least the books that haven't been eaten by the starving populace. He's going to make friends with a Jamaican friend and adviser, Galladon. He's going to fix things.A second storyline is focused an an annoyingly plucky young heroine, Sarene (subtle much?)--saved from being a Mary Sue because, you know, she can't draw. Or sing. I think. She's been betrothed to the prince of Arelon as part of an alliance between her kingdom and his. She faces somewhat predictable kingdom politics, as well as--gasp--overt sexism from her father-in-law and the generally patriarchal Arelon society. But don't worry--she'll modernize them and teach them that real princess can fight using swords. The final storyline is focused on Hrathen, a high priest from Fjordell who is in a mission to convert the godless in Arelon before his emperor invades. He's actually one of the most layered characters because he has the zeal of a believer tempered with flawed insight. Though he thinks he knows the politics, he's frequently outmaneuvered by everyone around him, from Sarene, to his recruit, to the emperor. However, the subtlety of his characterization is based on overly-fuzzy political details, so there is a tremendous amount of info-dumping whenever he is in a scene, likely one reason a number of readers label it their least favorite storyline.I just didn't feel the heart here, ultimately leading it to a two star read for me. It felt a little too self-conscious and 'I'm-avoiding-formula-by-changing-two-things' on Sanderson's part. There are a couple of unsolved questions, at least as far as my half-a-brain effort could tell, but I'm not sure there's anything worth potential conflict with the library. After all, I have to stay on the good side of my dealer.Cross posted at

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