In Elantris, the world Sel’s most prestigious city, something has gone horribly wrong. People used to be chosen by an unknown source for glory and wealth, their skin turning silver and their hair turning white. Now, whoever is chosen is turned into something else. Their hunger is persistently maddening, and any injury never heals, the pain never going away. Worst of all, the magic that held Elantris’ country together disappears, Elantrians no longer able to wield it.
It is in this world that Sarene finds herself suddenly widowed before even being married. Hrathen must convert a whole country or see it be destroyed by a growing religious army. And in the heart of the fallen city Elantris itself, Raoden builds a city and improves life, before everything spirals farther out of control.
Elantris is Brandon Sanderson’s first published novel, and you can tell. The first half is slow, only Raoden’s chapters interesting, but hold on, because the second half is worse (or is that better?) than a roller-coaster ridden in a storm. The whole book is a wonderful mix of fantasy and political scheming. As always, Sanderson manages to create a world all its own, with a complex and precise magic system. However, unlike some books with magic, this magic is a tool, never a solution.
Rated: Moderate (for plenty of violence, some gore, and some disturbing images)