Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Elantris/Guess Whose Mii #2

I finished Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. It's been a while now, but I should be able to give it a good review.

So, it started off slow, as most fantasies do--although it wasn't so much the beginning as what came immediately after. At first it was actually like most other books, starting off with some kind of hook. That is, it starts with Raoden, prince of Arelon, being taken by the Shaod. The Shaod is the force  that changes people into Elantrians, beings who used to be glorious and were sometimes worshiped as Gods. But for the past ten years, it's basically turned them into zombies. Their heart doesn't beat. Their hair falls out. Pain from a wound stays with them. And even if their body is bashed in (as we see in Raoden's first day in Elantris) they continue to live.

After this little gem, we go to Sarene, a clever princess from Teod who finds out her husband to be, Raoden, is "dead". She doesn't know Raoden has been taken to Elantris--it's been covered up. And then there's Hrathen, a gyorn (high priest) from Fjordell, a religious militaristic country bent on holy war with Arelon. And Hrathen thinks he's going to convert everybody to keep that from happening in three months time.

After the introduction of all three main characters is when the story lags. Raoden does his thing in Elantris, Sarene uses her political skill to worm her way into the system, and Hrathen starts preaching. And it pretty much goes on like this for a long time without any serious happenings. 

The most interesting part of the story is definitely Raoden's. Simultaneously trying to build a New Elantris and figure out what happened to the city and the Elantrians, this area of the story moves at a good pace, revealing little clues and introducing characters naturally. The mystery revolving around Elantris is fully realized near the end, and it left me satisfied. 

The part I had the hardest time with was actually the last hundred pages of the book. Although it remains faithful to Raoden, Sarene, and Hrathen as the POV characters for most of the book, it suddenly switches to several views not present earlier in the book. Lukel. Dilaf. (I'd name others, but I can't even remember who they were!) And it's this kind of change that threw me out of the world and back into my apartment. Along with the POV change, there were two places where action was occurring, and I got confused as to who was in what place for several pages.

But in the end, my liking for the beginning and later half of the book won, and I finished. Although there were definitely places where the book could have improved (what book couldn't improve? they're never done, just abandoned...) I definitely had fun staying up late to read it. It's been a while since I've been able to do that with a fantasy (since The Last Dragonlord, actually).

I rate it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. ***^


So, Mii #1 was Tsira. I'm sure you were trying to let others guess, but I was hoping for you to answer in the comments so I can award points. :)

Anyway, here's the next one. Who is this?