Author Topic: My Elantris Review  (Read 673 times)

Kaldric

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My Elantris Review
« on: January 02, 2008, 06:20:07 PM »
I received and read Brandon Sanderson's first published novel, Elantris, over the Christmas break.  I was overall impressed with the story and characters.  I particularly liked the character Hrathen.  He was so much more than the 'evil priest' that we typically see in other works, and I really enjoyed reading his POV and inner conflicts.  The other characters were well written as well; Raoden was likable, and I enjoyed reading Sarene's reflections and concerns.

The rune-based magic was very interesting, and new and different enough from other works.  Other reviewers have commented on the suddenness of the magic that comes into play near the end of the book.  While I don't discount that it was sudden, I felt there was sufficient build-up and explanation as to why, that it didn't really have an adverse affect on my enjoyment of the story.

Elantris is a good standalone novel, with enough leftover plot for a sequel or two.  Not to say that it needs a sequel, but I would certainly leap at the opportunity to read on, should more ever be written.

One small thing that I really like about Sanderson's book is how he has a common thread running through adjacent chapters.  For those who have not read the book (really, has anyone here not?), until the very end, the chapters rotate through POVs of each of the three main characters: Raoden first, then Sarene, and finally Hrathen.  The chapter headings display a common rune, or Aon, as they are called in the book, for the three consecutive chapters.  I didn't make the connection until later in the book, but Sanderson seems to put something related to the Aon in each of the chapters.  For example, I'll share the first I noticed, which was in chapters 13, 14, and 15, where the Aon Deo (the Aon for 'gold' or 'metal') was at each chapter heading.  In chapter 13 Raoden comments on the absence of steel in Elantris; in chapter 14, Sarene selects a metallic-gold dress; in chapter 15, Hrathen pays a guard gold coins.  While this is not earth-shattering, or even an indication of superior writing, I can appreciate the attention to detail that it implies.

Overall, I think this is an excellent first novel by a very talented writer.  There is, of course, room for improvement (when is there not?), and I look forward to more from Brandon Sanderson.
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