Book: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
For: F2F Book Club and TBR Challenge
Last May, I was at an event at the library where I met Brandon Sanderson and bought this book so I would have something for him to sign. At the time, I had read Mistborn and loved it, and was a huge fan of his Writing Excuses podcast. Since then, I've been very anxious to read Elantris, but when the book club decided to read it, I decided to wait patiently for this month to roll around so I could read it along with them.
The story is about a kingdom that has been dominated by this amazing city called Elantris, which was ruled by the "gods." The gods were actually normal people who had been "blessed" with a transformation causing them to have great powers and various other advantages. However, ten years before our story begins, the "blessing" suddenly turned into a curse and those who were struck down became monsters instead.
At least that's what everyone thought. They didn't really know what happened to them because once the curse found them, they were thrown into the now decaying and disgusting city of Elantris.
Our story opens with the handsome prince being struck down by this curse and thrown into Elantris. His bride-to-be is on her way to marry him, and when she gets there, she is told he is dead. Meanwhile, a high priest of sorts who intends to convert the whole kingdom to his religion, or else destroy them all, has also arrived, and has plans to use Elantris to help him in his quest.
Thus begins the story, told from the viewpoints of these three people. As it progresses, we learn about all kinds of secrets, and about all kinds of corruption going on every where. We learn about some amazing strengths that the characters possess and how they use them to fight all their different battles.
Even with its slow start because of the necessary telling of all the political and religious background, and even with some quite hard names to remember and pronounce (worse than War and Peace I'm thinking!) in the end, I loved it all. It turned into one of those books that I couldn't wait to get back to when I had to put it down. I thought about the characters when away from them, and generally became attached to them. The ending itself was very climatic and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
Brandon Sanderson definitely has a talent for creating amazing, yet believable worlds, complete with magic systems that blow me away. Where does he come up with this stuff? Truly fascinating.
Next up on my Brandon Sanderson list: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn#2) and Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians #2. Also, I've got to read the Wheel of Time series so I know what THAT'S all about! But that will take me years.