Friday, July 15, 2011
Elantris - Brandon Sanderson
By: Brandon Sanderson
Audiobook Read by: Graphic Audio
My rating: SPECTACULAR
I was reading a post by my friend Jamie over at Mithril Wisdom and he mentioned a few authors including Brandon Sanderson. When I was checking him out I ended up getting this book. I have to say a hearty thank you to Jamie for this one! It was GREAT!!
Prince Raoden is nothing like his father. His desire is to see his country prosper and grow strong. Since the fall of the great city of Elantris, Arelon has fallen into disarray. The king, being a greedy merchant before being crowned, is not helping. The people were so accustomed to getting everything they needed from the magical Elantrians that now they don't know how to take care of themselves.
To make matters worse, there is a serious threat from the religious order of the Derethi, who's power is vast and who's forces are ruthless. Between the king's stupidity, the people's confusion, and the impending religious jihad, there doesn't seem to be much hope, but Raoden has a plan. Little does he know that the Shaod will be visiting him, dooming him to the cursed city of Elantris and pulling the rug out from under all his plans to save Arelon!
What nobody was prepared for was the tall, red-headed princess from Teod! Sarene, arrived in Arelon ready to marry a man who is now dead. Most women would have been hysterical about it but Sarene takes control of her situation and picks up where her betrothed husband left off. Sarene is a woman to be reckoned with, and like it or not, Arelon has to deal with her now! Can Sarene's determination and Raoden's studies of Elantrian magic be enough to save them? It certainly doesn't look very hopeful!
I loved the depth of this book! Brandon has developed a very complex society here complete with religious controversies, cultural complexities, and magic that is powerful yet vulnerable to the laws of nature. The characters are well developed and their struggle to understand the world around them is very easy to relate to. The religious conflict was equally interesting. There were two distinct religions that were at work in the story, each having their own deity but each also having some similarities as well. The protagonist of the invading religion is a man of values and is surprisingly respectable despite being bent on domination.
When I looked for this book in audio format I found a traditional audiobook read by a single narrator as well as Graphic Audio's production done by an entire cast of actors. I contacted the company to see how much abridgement the story underwent during production and was informed that nothing was cut out except what was made unnecessary by the way it was produced. I decided to give it a try and was very impressed. I followed along in the book for a few pages to see how accurate it was and as far as dialog went, it was pretty much verbatim. There were a few omissions that were along the lines of descriptions and such but overall I enjoyed it very much.
If you are a science fiction/fantasy buff you'll love this one! It is very complex and keeps you interested from beginning to end!