Monday, August 31, 2009

Review | Elantris By: Brandon Sanderson


By: Brandon Sanderson

**** please click on the Elantris link to Amazon in order to read a synopsis of the book*****

I am no longer a Sanderson virgin. Honestly I would probably never have picked up his books or ever been aware of him as an author if he was not the one to finish the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series. Maybe, I would have stumbled on him at a raid at the library… maybe.

I am glad I picked him up. I will admit that his books felt very PG. Violence wasn’t as flushed out as it could have been, but I am okay with that. I normally try to get through the violence as quick as possible, so this worked for me.

However, another slight glitch were the character clichés. Our hero and heroine were terribly stereotypical. However it was rescued by an antagonist struggling with his own demons – perhaps that too could be classified as a clichéd. However, even with that minor fault I was still able to loose myself in the magic of the book.

It is a single volume epic fantasy, however I can see were it has the potential to be fleshed out into a trilogy. There were scenes I thought that could have been written that would have strengthened the book. However, it would also require the POV of several other characters. I am a character driven reader, and thought that this would have made the book much more complex. I would have liked to see the Elantrian adults meeting the Elantrian children for the first time, and how it effected them. I thought that had the potential to be a very powerful scene that was never written.

However, at a different end of the same complaint, is possibility. Now the scene although suggested, will forever be exactly how I imagined it. It will be perfect in my view, powerful and moving. There are enough moments like that in the novel that leaves the reader to flush out the details for the events mentioned but not written. And this too can be a very powerful tool.

I also really enjoyed his magic system. I liked the runes as a manifestation of channeling the earth’s natural magic. I also liked how at the end we find out that the Elantrians are not the only race that has taped into how to channel the earth’s magic. This leaves plenty of room to further explore in this world.

It is a good place to start with Sanderson. I will read his other material and I have great hopes for them. I hear they get even better. Perhaps after I am done with all his work I will have a better suggestion for a starting point with his materials, however at this point I believe that Elantris is an excellent self contained story. There are enough open ended questions left to create some more interesting works in the same world. I look forward to more works in this world as by this author.


Izyk said...

Here's how I usually suggest starting points for reading Sanderson.

If someone hasn't read much fantasy, I suggest Elantris. If they're a fantasy fan already, I suggest Mistborn or Warbreaker.

Can't wait to read his take on the Wheel of Time come October! Very good review, by the way, of Elantris.

Book Minstrel said...

Thanks for the comment on liking the review. I am a huge Wheel of Time Fan. Fan being the operative word. I have the latest installment waiting for my time after NaNoWriMo is complete.