Review: The Hope of Elantris (Elantris #1.5) – Brandon Sanderson


The Hope of Elantris (Elantris #1.5) – Brandon Sanderson

The Hope of Elantris (Elantris, #1.5)

Title: The Hope of Elantris (Elantris #1.5)

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Release Date: 2006

Publisher: Brandon Sanderson

Format: ebook

Page Number: 25

Source: Brandon Sanderson’s Website

The following is a short story I wrote in the Elantris world back in January of 2006. At that point, Elantris had only been out in stores for about seven or eight months, but I actually hadn’t written anything new on the story or world since 2000, when I’d finished the first draft of the original book. This story was originally posted for sale on Amazon.com; once the contract with them ran out, I posted it on my website.

There were always a few holes in the manuscript where I decided not to include viewpoints or sections of explanation in the name of streamlining, particularly at the end. In the back of my mind, I knew what happened. This story talks about one of those holes; it is meant to be read after you’ve finished the novel and takes place during the events of the climax. In the annotation, I’ve written a further explanation of why I wrote this piece. Some of you may find it interesting to read this ahead of time; I put it in the annotation, however, as I know others would rather enjoy the story without bias beforehand, then read my thoughts afterward. 

Either way, if you haven’t read the novel Elantris, this contains major spoilers. Might I suggest reading the book first? This story won’t work at all for you if you haven’t.

As always, thanks for reading!

4 out of 5 stars


Now I know it may seem backwards that I rated this short story 4 stars when I only rated the first book, Elantris, 3 stars, but it was just so cute!

This is a short story set in the world of Elantris, and Brandon Sanderson published this on his website as he just wanted to have the story out in the world living its literary life.

I loved that we got a little more backstory on some of the events at the climax of Elantris. I loved getting to see Sarene and Raoden again *even though I literally just finished Elantris yesterday morning….* They’re just so cute together and love each other so much. So sweet.

I think getting this story from the perspective of another character was really cool and added a unique twist, because in the book you get three main perspectives. There was also an annotation section from Brandon Sanderson and he named the girl Matisse because he wanted to impress one of his wife’s favorite students. CUTE.

This story made me really excited to read more by Brandon Sanderson!

Series:

Elantris (Elantris #1)

Aubrey Joy

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: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


Gemina(The Illuminae Files #2) – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)

Title: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)

Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Release Date: October 18, 2016

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 663

Source: TBR Pile

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

4 out of 5 stars


I’M SO GLAD I FINALLY READ THIS.

After much too long of waiting to read Gemina after Illuminae, I had to read a summary of the first book before starting this, and I’m glad I did because I would have missed out on lots of the ending. I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait for the next one!

Obsidio comes out on March 13, 2018, so I don’t have to wait a super long time which is nice. I’m going to try and read it right when it comes out, because I waited to read this for over a year… oops.

Gemina follows Hanna and Nik through drug scandals, hot jumpsuits, flirty messages, and combatting the end of two universes. But it’s casual, no worries ;) I enjoyed Gemina more than Illuminae, honestly. I think it was better crafted and I liked the characters more. The ending of this book omg. I was deceased when I was reading this. I was skeptical during one part because I was like wait a second there’s still more book left and this seems like an ending, but oh my goodness it was such a cliffhanger of an ending.

I am all here for Nik and Hanna to be together because they’re perfect. They joke around and he’s overly flirty which doesn’t fit his appearance very well because he’s supposed to be rough-around-the-edges with tattoos. It’s so cute. Also, did I mention the tattoos. I just imagine him to be super hot with dark hair and lots of intense tattoos everywhere and mmm I’m here for it.

This was such a well crafted book because there were so many random little plot points that you don’t notice until right at the end, and it’s just so impressive. The flower corsage. Never saw that coming and then I was like ‘woah dude how did you manage that one,’ then it all ends up making sense. HERE FOR IT.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, but just couldn’t give it 5 stars. I don’t know what it was that wasn’t 5 stars for me. I love the characters and the plot is super cool. I think it was just because I wasn’t DYING to continue reading. When I was reading I was enjoying it and loving it, but when I wasn’t I wasn’t thinking about getting back to it and devouring it, ya know? Idk. I am pumped for Obsidio, though :)

Series:

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)

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!

Review: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) – Sarah J. Maas


Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) – Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Title: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: August 2, 2012

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 404

Source: TBR Pile

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

5 out of 5 stars


Celaena Sardothien, the coolest sassiest assassin you will ever meet.

Throne of Glass stars out with talking about Celaena and her imprisonment in Endovier, the worst death camp. It goes through why she was sent to Endovier, and you find out that she is an 18 year old assassin who is being chosen to participate in the competition to be the King’s Champion. The Crown Prince, Dorian, chooses her to be his Champion in the competition, and brings her to train at the castle with the other Champions.

This book chronicles her training, Tests, and difficult life at the castle during this competition. Love interests are introduced. Friendships are made. Celaena is put to the ultimate test…

You guys. This book. It. Was. So. Amazing. I. Can’t. Even. Explain.

So a lot goes down in this book and it’s hard to talk about it without spoiling anything, but Sarah J. Maas is one of my new favorite authors for sure. The way this book is written is so fast-paced, easy to understand but is actually a quite complex world, and so unbelievably well written. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book and enjoyed every single part of it, but holy hot dang this book is so fricking good.

I didn’t want to give into the hype surrounding this series because I didn’t want to be disappointed, but I’m so glad I read it. I may or may not have already ordered books 2, 3, and 4… Anyway. I can’t wait to see where the rest of this series goes.

I loved the friendship Celaena had with Nehemia. I love reading about friendships, and it was cool to see the two different personalities mesh together so well. I loved this aspect of this book. The friendship is put to the test, but they are still besties by the end *kind of not a spoiler at all.*

This love triangle is perfect. First of all, I HATE love triangles. With a burning passion. I’m all for the idea of “if you fall in love with another person after you’re already ‘in love,’ just choose the second person because you’re obviously not in love with them,” but this book didn’t have that. She is introduced to both of them at the same time. So if you didn’t know, the love triangle is between Celaena, Dorian, and Chaol. Throughout the entire book I’ve been team Dorian because I think he’s perfect, but right at the end. Wow. If you’ve read this you know what I mean. Dorian has some little issues that he shouldn’t have to burden Celaena with, but he loves her so much and she loves him. Ugh oh my gosh. But Chaol is also perfect. He just has a harder outer shell to break through. He’s also more shy, and has always been in the shadows of Dorian because you know, he’s not the Crown Prince. But he’s such an awesome guy. Both Chaol and Dorian love Celaena, but Celaena doesn’t even know the half of it yet. It’s a hard life when the love triangle is so well written that you don’t even know who you like better. Right now I’m leaning towards Chaol, but I still have 5 books…

The magic in this book is super edgy and cool to read about, too. I like that it’s banned, but not completely gone. I cannot wait to see where the rest of this series goes. I’m surprised I’ve dodged all of the spoilers up until now. It’s kind of hard to believe considering I’ve heard so many people rave about this book.

PLEASE READ THIS BOOK! The fantasy aspects aren’t super difficult to pick up, so if you’re new to fantasy, try this one out. Everyone needs to read this. It’s so good it hurts me physically.