A standalone epic fantasy novel is a rare thing in publishing these days. (I do know that Sanderson wrote a novella in the same world but it is not connected to Elantris). Reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson and not having to wonder what will happen in Book 2 is a welcomed delight for this reader. Also, Elantris was an excellent book to finish my 2017 reading year.
Elantris was the jeweled city in the world of Arelon and now has been cursed. Prince Raoden, the beloved future king of Elantris is considered dead and has created a vacuum in the city’s leadership. Princess Sarene of Teod lives in the new capital of Arelon, Kae, was betrothed to Prince Raoden and declared a widow. Sarene has been placed in the forefront of keeping Kae from falling into the wrong hands. Malevolent forces determined to take control of Kae by a two-pronged front of religious conversion from Hrathen, leader of the Shu-Dereth faith and King Iadon, the current ruler of Kae, who wants to consolidate his power through commerce.
Sanderson takes the reader on a journey highlighting political machinations, religious conflicts, gender roles, and a romance throughout the entire book. I enjoyed reading Elantris because of its excellent characterization and world building that he has become known for. Elantris was my second attempt in reading a Brandon Sanderson novel, (I tried Warbreaker and it was not my cup of tea.) but it will not be my last. I believe Elantris is the one epic fantasy novel that I recommend non-fantasy readers try out. I would tell those non-fantasy readers to not let the odd-sounding names impede the excellent story that Sanderson creates.
One of my favorite reads of 2017. Highly recommended.