Wednesday, 24 August 2011

FANTASY REVIEW: Elantris - Brandon Sanderson

Release Date: 11/08/11


Elantris was built on magic and it thrived. But then the magic began to fade and Elantris began to rot. And now its shattered citizens face domination by a powerful Imperium motivated by dogged religious views. Can a young Princess unite the people of Elantris, rediscover the lost magic and lead a rebellion against the imperial zealots? Brandon Sanderson's debut fantasy showed his skill as a storyteller and an imaginer of baroque magical systems to be fully developed from the start.


Sanderson has been a star on the rise since before the estate of Robert Jordan announced that he was to finish the Wheel of Time series, yet having read later novels this is the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to read where it all began, with this his debut.

Released with a spiffy new cover to fit in with his other titles, this is the title that demonstrates the talents behind the later work and whilst its not quite as polished as the more recent titles, its one that shows that the idea’s were there at the beginning and that Brandon has honed his craft with each subsequent title. That’s not to say that this isn’t a great story, it is but when an author proves that they want to make things better as they learn then it lets the reader know that the passion for the story is there.

This tale is in short a tale of two cities as well as three principle players. It’s witty, it has great world building and as you can see from the description is one that works on multiple levels as events change the state of play throughout the world. Add to this some clever plot twists, some almost magical prose accompanied by great dialogue and overall it’s a satisfactory novel. Definitely one to read and one that really did strike a chord with me. Great stuff.

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