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Elantris is my favorite Sanderson work, and the book that got me hooked on Sanderson. I know many criticize it because it was lacking in character back story and had no explanation for the Elantrian’s beliefs, but I don’t think it needed either of those things. In fact I love a little mystery. I haven’t read the Emperor’s Soul yet but will soon enough. Elantris is the one Sanderson book that I will read over and over even above Mistborn though Mistborn is a close second (Elend grated on me enough to say that. I liked Tindwyl scolding him a little too much.) It’s an unpopular opinion, but anyone with me?

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Elantris was the first book of Sanderson I've read and it will always have a special place in my heart. I reread it several times and I will reread again sometime soon. It is my favourite work of him (so far), but I have to admit that it wasn't as good as his later works. Of course he developped the way he writes a lot over the last years, and his characters got more depth, but that's only natural and doesn't make Elantris less than it is.

So I think I'm with you =)

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Interesting. My first introduction to Brandon was his collar in WOT. I was mourning the end of the series because I didn't want it to end. So I then started Stormlight. I have never looked back. By the time I got to Elantris, I loved it. I didn't read the audio version though. Hrathen at first irritated me at the beginning, but towards the middle and end I loved his character. Yeah, as other people said keep in mind Hrathen is the hero. I think it makes it an even more compelling read. Emperor's Soul is amazing!! Just get Arcanum Unbounded. It's worth it and you don't have to get each short story individually. Wait till you get to the Drominad system!!!!! I would recommend rereading Elantris after you have gobbled all his other works up. Here have an upvote!

 

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I just finished reading Elantris and I have to say it is my least favorite novel by Sanderson.  I have to disagree with @The Feruchemist I thought there was too much back story of the characters, especially in the first half, making the story drag for me.  I read it on my Kindle so I can tell you exactly when it picked up for me.  78%.  After that there was so much going on that I felt I had too many questions left.  I've just started Emperors Soul so I am hoping that somethings will be answered here. I was also hoping for more on Hoid but he was briefly mentioned here. I know it was a debut novel of his and Hoid was just being introduced so I won't hold it against him too much!  I'm just glad it wasn't the first book I read by him as I probably would not have been as enthusiastic on reading anymore of his novels!

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Elantris was the the fourth book of Brandon I read (after Mistborn 1-3), back in 2010.
Mistborn was one of my favorite fantasy series at the time and I wanted to read more of this author, and back then, nothing else was out.

I liked Elantris a lot, but I remember that I wasn't quite as into it most of the time as I was into Mistborn from the very first page on. Still, the ending got me (Raoden's temporary fall to the Heod was a tearjerker, damnation!) and I was a big fan of Galladon from the beginning.

I reread Elantris the past few days and I still liked it, I forgot so much that at times I couldn't even remotely remember certain characters and plot points. I didn't even remember who died and who didn't. During the climax, when Raoden revived Elantris, I suddenly thought "Wait, isn't Karata about to die?" and well.

It has its weaknesses (I don't like how Adien was handled for example), but it's still a fantastic book and I liked the characters a lot. Very much looking forward to the sequel we may get one day. For now, I'll settle with The Emperor's Soul which I haven't read at all yet.

Edited by Winds Alight
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Ooh! You will loove The Emperor's Soul!! It's Soo good!

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2 hours ago, whattheHoid said:

Ooh! You will loove The Emperor's Soul!! It's Soo good!

As a matter of fact I finished that yesterday and indeed liked it a lot! I'd love to read more of those characters!

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Me too! I loved readng about the other Investitures on Sel!!

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Okay, okay. I have been pulled in by this conversation.

Listening to Elantris on Audible has definitely tarnished my opinion. The guy who narrates it has a distinctly annoying voice, and the way he narrated Hrathen grated at my sanity badly, especially since I listened to it for the first time on a long, boring car drive without anything to distract me from that voice. 

Raoden and Sarene both bothered me. Even though I’ve listened to this book three or four times, and read it once, I still can barely stand either. 

Raoden is a spoiled prince who liked annoying his father just because. Like Elend, and I don’t like Elend either. When he gets tossed into Elantris, he simply falls into every lucky situation the universe hands him. Galladon shows up, and Raoden gets a free ticket to his new friend’s useful wisdom. 

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good guy with good intentions. He’s reasonably good at a few things. Also, why would he bother to learn Aons so well? That’s another thing that got on my nerves. 

Sarene. So feminine. So pretty and pink. That grated on me SO MUCH. If Brandon wanted to include some women-empowering content, that’s all right, but the way he did it with Sarene really hurt. She’s a believable character and everything, but I hate masculine female characters that aren’t actually masculine. She’s also spoiled royalty, just like Raoden. They’re practically the same character in opposite sexes. 

Specific examples? Sarene does whatever King Iadon wants, she plays the meek idiot and doesn’t interfere, she doesn’t stand up and fight for what she believes, she just gets lead around. 

Except for that part where she brings food to the Elantrians, I liked that part. 

Now... Hrathen. Hrathen was great. Such a complex character, doing what he believes, then having his beliefs changed. He faces his fears and does what he deems right.

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1 hour ago, AxeliustheGreat said:

Now... Hrathen. Hrathen was great. Such a complex character, doing what he believes, then having his beliefs changed. He faces his fears and does what he deems right.

You probably already knew this, but according to the 2015 postscript to Elantris Hrathen's character grew out of his experience as a Mormon missionary. It is debatable what he means by this, but I think I know what he means and can say (from my own personal experience) that he really nails some aspects from that. Everyone's world views and experience may differ though.

Elantris and Warbreaker feel like Sanderson's most unique books. Sure it doesn't have the glitz, glam and polish of other series, but I still love it despite the flaws.

Edited by Ammanas
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I loved Warbreaker, though. I loved basically everything about that book. 

But TFE is my all-time favorite, since Kelsier is featured in it. Also Mistborn: Secret History.

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Elantris was my first Sanderson novel. Took it with me for a holiday. Biggest mistake of my life. I had to wait until the holiday was over to rush to the library to borrow as many other cosmere novels as I could. One of the less polished of his novels but still very enjoyable. The Emperor's Soul is amazing. 

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Elantris is the most recent cosmere novel I've read, and it's my favorite after Stormlight. It isn't amazing, but it is solid. Consistently solid. The beginning was a bit rough for me, but once the story got underway, I was so intrigued that I read the whole thing in three days (and stayed up until 4AM to do so...). While Raoden and Sarene aren't the most likeable characters, I think they serve the story just fine. And Hrathen is great.

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On 12/30/2018 at 3:57 PM, AxeliustheGreat said:

But TFE is my all-time favorite, since Kelsier is featured in it. Also Mistborn: Secret History.

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Amen. 

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Seriously, Kelsier is just the best.

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1 hour ago, AxeliustheGreat said:

Seriously, Kelsier is just the best.

Shai is superior.

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But Kelsier is even better. Than anyone. 

I don't know why (I'm not kidding anyone, I know), but Kell has just always been my number one. First of all, he'd make a great William T. Ryker (anyone get that one?), but mostly because he's so awesome. He killed the first Inquisitor to have been slain by a skaa in a mortal age, he orchestrated the fall of the most powerful empire on Scadrial… do I need to continue?

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20 hours ago, AxeliustheGreat said:

But Kelsier is even better. Than anyone. 

I don't know why (I'm not kidding anyone, I know), but Kell has just always been my number one. First of all, he'd make a great William T. Ryker (anyone get that one?), but mostly because he's so awesome. He killed the first Inquisitor to have been slain by a skaa in a mortal age, he orchestrated the fall of the most powerful empire on Scadrial… do I need to continue?

It's amazing what a determined Sociopath with no concern for the lives he's trampling can accomplish, isn't it? 

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I know, right? It's really quite remarkable. 

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21 hours ago, 2001Kra said:

Shai is superior.

Bro, fight me.

20 hours ago, AxeliustheGreat said:

But Kelsier is even better. Than anyone. 

 

This is true. Kelsier has a lot of depth. In TFE he's great, especially since you see him mostly from Vin's point of view which makes him this invincible, god-like amazing person. What really sold him for me though was Secret History. I loved seeing him without his mistborn powers and watching him fail over and over and over and over. And then get up. Every. Single. Time. And with Secret History you realize just how great he is in TFE. He's terrified of death. Terrified of anything he doesn't understand really. I think that's why he calls Preservation Fuzz, I'm pretty sure. It makes him feel in charge. Anyway, it just makes his sacrifice so much more meaningful. He cares about people. Sure, he's definitely not without his flaws. But that just makes him more relatable. No one's perfect, least of all Kell. And then there's also some personal reasons why I love him. Let's just say I'm a lot happier 'cause of him. But anyway, we're getting off topic. 

I love Elantris. I've read it three times and it was also the first thing of Brandon's I read. Hrathen is my favorite. 

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On 12/30/2018 at 1:08 PM, AxeliustheGreat said:

Okay, okay. I have been pulled in by this conversation.

Listening to Elantris on Audible has definitely tarnished my opinion. The guy who narrates it has a distinctly annoying voice, and the way he narrated Hrathen grated at my sanity badly, especially since I listened to it for the first time on a long, boring car drive without anything to distract me from that voice. 

Raoden and Sarene both bothered me. Even though I’ve listened to this book three or four times, and read it once, I still can barely stand either. 

Raoden is a spoiled prince who liked annoying his father just because. Like Elend, and I don’t like Elend either. When he gets tossed into Elantris, he simply falls into every lucky situation the universe hands him. Galladon shows up, and Raoden gets a free ticket to his new friend’s useful wisdom. 

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good guy with good intentions. He’s reasonably good at a few things. Also, why would he bother to learn Aons so well? That’s another thing that got on my nerves. 

Sarene. So feminine. So pretty and pink. That grated on me SO MUCH. If Brandon wanted to include some women-empowering content, that’s all right, but the way he did it with Sarene really hurt. She’s a believable character and everything, but I hate masculine female characters that aren’t actually masculine. She’s also spoiled royalty, just like Raoden. They’re practically the same character in opposite sexes. 

Specific examples? Sarene does whatever King Iadon wants, she plays the meek idiot and doesn’t interfere, she doesn’t stand up and fight for what she believes, she just gets lead around. 

Except for that part where she brings food to the Elantrians, I liked that part. 

Now... Hrathen. Hrathen was great. Such a complex character, doing what he believes, then having his beliefs changed. He faces his fears and does what he deems right.

I think it’s very interesting your opinions on Raoden and Sarene, i don’t find them annoying at all in fact they’re some of my favorite characters. I didn’t see Raoden as anything less than genuine. Sarene’s political expertise was one of my favorite parts of the book, as well as her masculine but still feminine traits. I actually liked him giving her masculine traits without making her totally masculine. I actually hate female characters that seem masculine, and so are completely masculine. Like the idea that a strong feminist woman has to be a lesbian or butch or something. I really connect with the character to be honest I’m a tomboy though not as sporty as her. I also don’t find myself attractive to society’s standards, just as she does. I see Elend differently than Raoden, in fact Elend appeared to be more the spoiled prince type. I liked Raoden’s way of defying his father more than Elend. Elend came off more snobbish I think. I loved Raoden’s positive attitude, and resilience in the face of a hopeless situation. It reminded me of Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning. Elend to me was more unbelievable and I still get triggered thinking he wrote a book of law by himself. It seemed to me like it was similar to the US constitution, which I am a huge fan of, and it took 30 men to write that 30 men who were very different but still NEEDED each other, whereas it only takes one man to do what Elend did? Screw that. That was my impression anyway. 

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Interesting take on Raoden and Sarene! While Sarene is feminine, I didn't get the impression that she was super girly or anything. She came off as a genuine caring person and her political acumen really made her character for me, especially when paired with Roial! Those two in particular were hilarious to me! And Raoden, I really enjoyed he really cared about the common man and at least he had the guts to stand up to his most oft incompetent father. I got the impression that he really got into the Aons at first because he needed a distraction that was big enough from the pain he was in.

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Elantris was also my first Sanderson book and I loved it.  I usually, re-read the story once every 1 to 2 years. I understand that it could be dry to start, I had read some really dry books when I first picked elantris up so it didn’t seem so bad. If you go from something like Skyward/Reckoners to Elantris you will probably be in for a shock.

Genral thoughts:

Raoden was very relatable to me.  I did not find Raoden spoiled at all, unlike Elend, and really wanted the best for the nation. I never got the impression that Raoden annoyed his father just because, it was because his father hated that he felt in adequate compared to Raoden. In terms of being a well liked leader. Regarding Aon training, I agree with @whattheHoid. Raoden is probably the most “perfect” moral character in the cosmere, which can be annoying. 

I loved what was done with Serene. I agree with @The Feruchemist that seeing Serene as both masculine and feminine by choice was something I enjoyed. And the Hrathen versus Serene was fun to interaction for me. If there is one negative, it is probably that Serene doesn’t necessary grow from start to finish.

I’m thrilled to read additional Sel books. And reading more Elantris books would be great. 

Oh, and the audible version is the worst audible read of a Sanderson book. I can hope that we can eventually get a re-recording.

 

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