Monday, November 24, 2008

Rachelle’s Book Club: Review on Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris is a 5-star book and was the debut book by now famous author, Brandon Sanderson. I was privileged enough to purchase this book at the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s BYU Writer’s Conference and to have it signed by Brandon.

The story of Elantris is incredible with layer upon layer of the most delicious detailed plot I’ve seen for a while. I think I could easily compare it to the delectable layers of a rich German chocolate cake, (at least the way I’ve learned to make it from my mother-in-law) that my husband devours because that’s what I did from the first few pages of this book. I devoured it and enjoyed every bite!
I tried to think of a way to share what this book was about without giving away any details, but this is all I could come up with because the mystery of Elantris is so finely woven into all the details of this book.

Elantris is a fantasy novel about Prince Raoden and the mysterious “fallen” Elantrians. Elantris used to be the city of the Gods filled with all kinds of magical power, but ten years ago the city fell. Lady Sarene is engaged to marry Prince Raoden and arrives in Arelon to disappointing and confusing news. Is her Prince really dead? And is the zealot missionary really out to cause problems?

Brandon Sanderson is a genius and I hope that many of you will have the opportunity to read this book. In the epic fantasy novel Elantris, Sanderson creates a world so real that you will feel you have actually visited it. He even has different religions and languages so masterfully woven into the story that after reading the book, I kept wanting to say “Kolo?” when I was talking to my husband. The best way to describe “Kolo” is to compare it to how the Canadians say, “Eh or Hey,” to end many of their sentences or how American’s say, “ya know.” It’s funny, ya know, but I loved the character, Galladon, who always said “Kolo?”

Which brings me to another point about the quality of Elantris—Sanderson created several characters whom readers are able to know intimately. They aren’t just the stand-up cardboard, fill-in the blank kinds you’ll find in many novels or the lame sidekick. They were real, living breathing people—at least they seemed to call to me from the pages when I should’ve been sleeping. But since I was up taking care of my newborn and couldn’t be sleeping, why not read, right?
Here’s the first line from the book, just try to tell me you wouldn’t keep reading!

“PRINCE Raoden of Arelon awoke early that morning, completely unaware that he had been damned for all eternity.”

Click here to see reviews on Elantris

My only complaint and this would be for pretty much any fantasy writer is that I wish they would include a pronunciation guide for all of the names and words they choose to invent for their books. I know I’m weird but I like to know that I’m “saying” the name right when I’m reading the book.

Let me know if you’ve read this book and check out Sanderson’s new series for children too! Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians was a great read with some great humor too!

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