Elantris. Book review

ELANTRIS by Brandon Sanderson. Gollancz £8.99

Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

The once superior city of Elantris has fallen prey to a debilitating disease, its formerly godlike inhabitants left to rot in its wake. Bereft of their magic and forced to dwell eternally in hunger and pain, they are holed up and forgotten. A new capital is formed and life continues outside the boundaries of the cursed city. But this time the disease claims Prince Raoden before his wedding can secure political alliance, and he is cast out into the wreck of Elantris and left to discover its secrets.

Sarene, by an ironic twist of law, finds herself technically married to a dead man that she never met. Refusing to believe the king’s story of his son’s early death, she sets out to discover the truth and unwittingly ends up in a chaos of religious strife and betrayal that lead her to the heart of the mysterious city.

Sanderson’s highly acclaimed debut novel gets its first release in the UK and is a great reminder of just how unique a good fantasy can be. With a multitude of religious conflicts and enough political intrigue to bring this imagined world to life, Elantris is a compelling read, despite being sometimes a bit heavy on the detail, and towards the end I found myself drawn more and more into the different character viewpoints as the stories entwined to a satisfying conclusion.