Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson, is a stand alone fantasy novel. I have to admit, I am glad to be able to read just one book, don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of great epic fantasy literature (can we say David Eddings?!) but sometimes it is nice to be able to finish the story in one novel. Elantris is the first of Brandon Sanderson novels that I have read and I really enjoyed it. The world Sanderson created is believable in that he has carefully thoughtout rules that everyone has to follow, especially regarding magic and the laws of physics.
Sanderson also plays with concepts that I haven’t seen authors do recently. Elantris is a city where individuals who were “gifted” with a special power went to live and then something went wrong and these gifted people, who were treated like gods by the general population, were suddenly almost walking corpses. Sanderson’s take on how the general poplulation reacts in such a situation is right on, in my opinion. How the fallen react to this change in status, how they are now treated, and how do they deal with how they are treated makes this book a fabulous read.
I enjoy Sanderson’s style of following several main characters to get the full story of what is going on in the city. His ability to make his protagonist sympathetic is wonderful and makes me, as a reader, much more understanding of how events unfolded based on this characters’ motivations and thoughts.
I highly recommend this novel, and his other books, to any fantasy reader. Of course, his popularity has grown significantly with the announcement of Sanderson being chosen to finish the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series but, obviously, Robert Jordan’s widow would not have chosen Sanderson if his writings were up to Jordan’s standard.