Author Topic: Elantris (surprise!)  (Read 748 times)

Zorana

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Elantris (surprise!)
« on: December 12, 2005, 04:01:49 AM »
Hey to Brandon, and to all his forum groupies.

I met Brandon and David at PentaCon in Ft. Wayne, IN where they dropped by to speak at an author's panel before doing their book signing.  I can even be fairly certain I'll be remembered - not only did I buy Elantris, but I was one of three audience participants... I'd be the one with the disgustingly shiny purple notebook with two friends living vicariously through my notes.

Regardless, I was given the website and promised to give my opinion of the novel once I had read it.  I finished it some time ago, but this was my first chance to drop by and give my opinion, my kudos, etc.

Firstly, this still holds true - I told Brandon that one of the reasons I bought his book was the cover art, and I really did.  I spent the whole panel staring lustfully at the copy he had with him, and ran straight to the bookseller afterwards to look at it.  I wouldn't have bought it, however, if the text on the jacket hadn't been so engrossing, so brownie points for both - they went over well for me.  I also really liked the interior formatting, with the Aons at the beginnings of chapters.  I was simultaneously peeved and pleased when I found the glossary right after I'd finished the book, because I loved knowing which Aons were what and hated that I could have had little 'triad' insights when I realized that some of the Aon meanings implied something about the contents of the trio of chapters.  Good going on that, too.  I was subtle and I liked it.  Plus, they were pretty.

But, now to the meat of this long mess - I really liked the book, the whole thing, and all of the characters.  The secondary and tertiary characters meant, in a way, as much to me and the story as the three main characters did.  At first I was, like many, annoyed at the varied viewpoints, because I first enjoyed Sarene more than Raoden and Hrathen, but as I became more and more engrossed with their various struggles, I began to realize that I looked forward to each chapter even more than I had the previous chapters, regardless of whose POV each chapter was told from.

I am hard pressed to pick a favorite of the three main characters.

I loved Hrathen as a villian - like my favorite sort of villain (and the one I can't help myself and tend to write about before I realize what I'm doing) he both was and was not a villain.  He was a brilliant antagonist, but he was a character with both dark and light sides, with sympathy for people and a faith long lost to him.  Plus he was a manipulative bastard, and I loved that.

Sarene was convincing as a female, though I thought it entertaining that she did remind me of a female that would be viewed as masculine.  What I mean is, if she were born in this era, she may have been a tomboy as a child, but to counterbalance those aspects of her personality, she has an amusing fascination with clothes (so of course no real tomboy), a very feminine self-flagellating view of herself, and the occasional amusing girlish outburst.

Raoden, of course, is a hero.  But, not just any hero, he is a wounded hero - a truly noble man who gets kicked where it counts more times than he deserves, and even through all the pain, he manages to get back up and win.  I liked him, true, but that may come from a secret wish that I could meet someone who was -really- like that.  No luck there, but I really wanted -Raoden- to win.

I didn't feel that Sarene's political manipulatings were forced, but I enjoy suspending my disbelief in cases like this.  I really like political messes and novels that include good complicated ones like this encourage me to do so.  I liked them.

My favorite minor characters were, I think, Karata and Kiin, but I thought all of them added depth to the story and was glad for it.  Even the little twists, like the first arteth becoming an assassin and making a cameo in a chapter near the end, and the very poetic and well-timed deaths of the various characters who croaked.  Stories about Dreok Crushedthroat are, of course, encouraged!

I also really liked the Aons.  It added a little bit of a new flavor to something very old - magic.  I'd love to know what the Seons are and how they were made (or even if they were).  It bugged me the whole book.

I really liked the Shaod, too.  -That- was really a new concept for me.  I found it interesting that in one of the comments somewhere on the webpage, Brandon said that he had originally planned the city based on the disease, when I thought perhaps it had originally been planned based on the enticing idea that any person, no matter their station, could wake up one morning and find themselves a god.  Cool premise.  Even cooler to imagine what would happen when that went wrong.

Anyway, before I keep going with this (because I will...) I'll just say again what I've been saying the whole time - I really enjoyed the book.  I thought it was well-plotted, the pacing was very good, the tension was high, I liked all the characters, and thought the Shaod was very original.  Plus it had a pretty cover.

I really look forward to someone (maybe even himself) convincing Brandon to write a sequel, even if it is with Aiden, Kaise, and Daorn as main characters.  I'd love to see Sarene and Wyrn butting heads.  That would be the highlight of my.. oh, week at least.

In any case, I'm looking forward to Mistborn, with my hopes high for another great novel.

Consider me a fan.

~Monica
« Last Edit: December 12, 2005, 04:06:22 AM by Zorana »