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Book Review: “Elantris”

Rating: 9.2 out of 10.0

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy

Review: I greatly enjoyed this book, as I have enjoyed any Sanderson book. He is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite authors.

This book is incredibly religious. It does not promote a certain religion or anything like that. Rather, it is one of those rare fantasy books where the plot is not determined by physical might but by religious conversion. The battle is in the hearts, not with swords made by man but with clashing religions. Through and through, Sanderson’s plot is well thought out and full of many interesting and unexpected turns. The start to the book felt a little bit slow to me, but once it picked up the pace, Mr. Sanderson was relentless.

The setting and background of the book instantly piqued my interest. As usual, Sanderson masterfully crafted a world in which magic exists within certain bounds. He created a world in which religion has become the new form of power. Frankly, I love what he did with the setting and how he weaved it seamlessly together with the plot to create an amazing novel.

The characters in Elantris are vivid ones. I have always loved Sanderson’s ability to make characters that are not purely villainous or purely heroic but rather all just men who make good decisions and make bad decisions. He makes it quite clear which ones are good and which ones are bad, but we also can see that the heroes of the story have their flaws too.

There is not much to take off points for in this novel. There are one or two sexual innuendos, which I do not overlook, but they were also not common by any stretch of the imagination and they were not very blatant. Beyond that, there are some darker themes woven throughout the book—the categorizing a certain race as “demons” and burning them alive. There is also a considerable amount of violence towards the end that is described in graphic detail. It is presented as very evil, though—none of the violence is presented as good.

In conclusion this book is infused with rich themes of redemption, leadership, hope, and sacrifice played out through vivid characters in a solid plot placed in an intriguing setting. Once more I tip my hat to Mr. Sanderson.

Favorite character: Raoden

Suggested Age: 13+

Plot- 1.9 out of 2.0
Characters- 1.9 out of 2.0
Setting- 1.9 out of 2.0
Unfavorable content/other- 0.8 out of 1.0
Themes- 0.9 out of 1.0
Dialogue- 0.9 out of 1.0
Quality of writing 0.9 out of 1.0

= 9.2 out of 10.0

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