Tag Archives: adult fantasy

Review: Elantris (Elantris #1) – Brandon Sanderson


Elantris (Elantris #1) – Brandon Sanderson

Elantris (Elantris, #1)

Title: Elantris (Elantris #1)

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Release Date: May 30, 2006

Publisher: Tor Fantasy

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Page Number: 622

Source: Barnes and Noble

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.

3 out of 5 stars


You guys. I finally finished this book after reading it for a month!

Elantris follows three main storylines of Raoden, Sarene, and Hrathen. Raoden is the Prince of Arelon, Sarene is from Teod and is to get married to Raoden, and Hrathen is a Derethi priest sent to convert everyone in Arelon to the Derethi religion.

This book is really hard to explain because there’s so much going on at all times, it’s actually crazy. In short, there is a ton of politics, super cool magic, interesting characters, and a slowly developing plot that wraps up nicely at the end.

This is a typical high fantasy in the sense that it is mostly surrounding intricate politics. I really enjoyed this book and was debating between 3 and 4 stars. I would give the first 3/4 of the book a solid 3 stars, but the last 100ish pages would definitely be 4 stars. So I’m going with my gut and saying 3 stars is a solid way to describe the book.

It was such a slow read for me. This could be because I started reading it when I started backpacking around England, so I was a little preoccupied with… literally everything. I didn’t have a lot of time to read during the trip, so that could have also contributed to it feeling a little disjointed. I also just feel like this is a slow-paced book. It was a really good book, but you have to love reading in order to get through it.

I personally really enjoy “slow burn” books where it takes awhile to get everything sorted out and figure out what’s happening, but it’s also kind of exhausting. This book was 622 pages long, so when I was reading it, it felt like it took me forever to make any notable progress. That being said, I think it was a beautifully crafted book.

I really enjoyed the characters of this book, and the story was definitely character driven. There was a lot happening with the plot, but it mostly focused on the characters. I loved Raoden and how he developed this second life when he got sent to Elantris. I think it said a lot about his character and morals because he didn’t just give up or give into the pain he was feeling.

At the time of reading it I REALLY wanted him to tell Sarene who he was once she started going into Elantris, but after finishing the book, he told her at the perfect time. Any earlier and it would have disrupted the story, and any later it would have been too late. I love them together and seeing how much they love each other just makes my heart so happy.

The magic system was pretty cool, but it took so long to actually get to anything dealing with the magic. I honestly think this book could have been at least 150-200 pages shorter. There was a lot of this book that wasn’t necessary to the story to be able to understand and appreciate what was happening.

I’m looking forward to reading more Brandon Sanderson books because I’ve heard that the Mistborn trilogy is AMAZING. I enjoyed his writing style, so can’t wait to pick those up!!

 

Series:

The Hope of Elantris (Elantris #1.5)

Review: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) – Robin Hobb


Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) – Robin Hobb

Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)

Title: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1)

Author: Robin Hobb

Release Date: May 1995

Publisher: Del Ray

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 435

Source: TBR Pile

4 out of 5 stars


FitzChivalry, the Prince’s bastard son. Taken away with the mother, then brought back to the kingdom at age six. The confused six year old boy doesn’t remember his mother’s family. He doesn’t know his father. He’s thrust into this mysterious world full of politics he will take years to fully understand. Taken in by the stable master and cared for with the careful hand of someone good with animals. Later taken in, and trained. Trained to be an assassin.

Although this book took me quite some time to finish, it was so good. I loved reading this, because it’s the start of an epic fantasy series that I know I will love. Robin Hobb is introduced with this debut novel that starts the Farseer world that takes the fantasy realm to a whole new level. I can’t wait to read the next books!

There was so much that happened in this book, and I don’t know where to start because there are so many things that will spoil the ending or the journey to the ending. Oh my gosh. Okay, I’ll do my best here…

Fitz was a wonderful character. He was so innocent at the beginning, and I related to him on so many levels because he’s quiet and shy and doesn’t want to be a trouble to people around him. One of my favorite parts happened near the middle-end of this book while he’s with Prince Verity. Verity cares for him as a nephew, and disregard the fact that he’s a bastard of his brother. It was so sweet and such a turning point in the story for Fitz.

Chade, the man who ends up training Fitz to be an assassin is such an interesting and deep character, and I can’t wait to see his backstory and how he came to be in the position he’s in. No one really knows about him. He lives in the castle along with everyone else, but no one really knows he’s there. He’s silent to everyone. Everyone except Fitz.

Burrich is Fitz’s caretaker throughout his childhood, and they come to love each other in a very strange distant sort of way, but are still family none the less. Burrich is the stable master and cared for all of Prince Chivalry’s animals. He is a loyal follower of Chivalry, and loves him as a friend, and what I feel like is a brotherly bond.

There is so much to talk about, but again, don’t want to spoil anyone. My advice for this. Let yourself take it slowly. There are SO many small and important pieces of information that you will miss if you speed through. This is a slow-going book because Robin Hobb describes everything in such detail, but it’s so worth it. The detail oriented writing style that is necessary to create a great story of fantasy is here. I see so much potential in this series, and I know that I’m going to love the rest of the Elderling Realm series/world.

This is both character driven, and plot driven. The writing is so beautiful, and the last half of this book was amazing. Please give this a try if you love fantasy. You won’t regret it!