Yes, I know, I’m a bad librarian. It’s been almost two weeks since my last review. My weak defense is that I had final exams so I could graduate, and then had to make the transition the day of my finals to working full-time. Instead of reading when I got home at night, I decided to be lazy last week and enjoy the feeling of not having homework. I didn’t realize just how much I missed reading until I devoured this 600 page book in roughly two days. The first novel by Brandon Sanderson, Elantris was an amazing and highly emotional book I couldn’t bring myself to put down.

Elantris

I actually read another series by the author before reading his first book. I read Mistborn before I started this blog, and have thought several times of reviewing the books anyway. So when I finally decided to stop being lazy I easily decided to read another of Sanderson’s books. Along with having read some of his later works, Sanderson is also the author who was selected to finish the Wheel of Time series after Robert Jordan’s death. Arguable one of the best sci-fi/fantasy series ever written (or the most confusing and drawn out one ever), it was a huge honor for a relatively new author to be selected to finish these books. Between books I already knew and a series I’ve been waiting years to end, I knew Elantris as a debut novel had to be good.

Sanderson didn’t disappoint. Yes, there were some rough spots and small errors common to first novels of this genre, but overall it was one of the most impressive books I’ve read. The characters were some of the most lovable I’ve read in a long time, so much so that even I did not mind the constant switching between narrators. The book is about a nation falling apart, torn between a failing monarchy and a dead religion. Sarene, the princess and main character, was one of the least annoying princess I’ve ever read. She is passionate, yet logical and highly driven to save her people. Her struggles as a strong-willed woman trying to succeed in the highly masculine royal court system mirrored the struggle of women to achieve equality and respect in the workforce, a struggle I could identify with. Raoden, her prince, was so lovably  optimistic and hopeful that I couldn’t help but support his plans to overthrow his father and take the throne himself.

Overall, Elantris was well worth the small headache that comes with obsessive hours of reading instead of sleeping. The characters were well thought out, the magical system highly complex and detailed, and the religious and political struggles well-developed. After reading this book, I cannot wait until I get a chance to read another Sanderson book.

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