19 May 2008


I have had a little downtime for the last few days and thought I would read a good book while I couldn't do anything else.  Candace has suggested that Elantris is the best fantasy book that she has read, so I picked it up and read it over the last two days.

Elantris is Brandon Sanderson's debut novel.  For an initial novel I think he did very well.  The story was intriguing and well thought out.  I appreciated it's originality.  I am not a big fantasy reader, but the world that he created seemed realistic and original.  

The novel is written, not from the first-person, but from a limited third-person who focused on three main characters.  This was a different style that took me a while to get used to.  Each chapter switched scenes and main characters.  This abrupt change bothered me until the climax of the book neared.

The characters were developed very slowly.  New perspective into the world and the characters was added until the very last page of the book.  There is no way to guess the end because you don't know enough to guess it until you're there.  That was just fine though.  Nothing was added that was out of line with a very possible reality which made it feel like the characters were real, and reacting to real situations. 

The author created an extreme amount of names that I could not even begin to pronounce.  I just skipped over them connecting that certain set of letters with the character or place described.  This is OK I suppose, it is a whole new world and I was reading to myself, but it was a bit distracting.

There were quite a few one-liners.  Sentences that put forward philosophical or otherwise interesting statements intending to suggest a real world bit of truth.  They seemed a little bit out of place at times but I appreciated them none the less.  If a story doesn't teach you something it's not really worth reading.  Beyond the one-liners there was a good fight between truth, lies and when we should use each.  There was also good discussion on the role of religion in one's life.

Overall, Elantris was an excellent book.  I would definitely recommend reading it if you enjoy fantasy novels. Brandon Sanderson has other novels that he has written now which have also been highly recommended to me.  You can learn more about them on his website.  Brandon is also doing some interesting things with immediate eBook publishing.

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