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Elantris

Tenth Anniversary Special Edition
Written by: Brandon Sanderson
Narrated by: Jack Garrett
Length: 28 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (203 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 2005, Brandon Sanderson debuted with Elantris, an epic fantasy unlike any other then on the market. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Tor is reissuing Elantris in a special edition, a fresh chance to introduce it to the myriad readers who have since become Sanderson fans. 

This new edition begins with a preface by author Dan Wells, the first person to read the completed novel, and a new afterword by Sanderson explaining how he came to write the book and its place in the Cosmere, the unified universe of all his Tor novels.

Also included is an expanded version of the "Ars Arcanum" appendix, with more of the technical details of the book's magic that fans can never get enough of. 

Elantris was truly a milestone both for Sanderson and for the genre of epic fantasy. It deserves this special treatment, something Tor has done only once before, with Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. Sanderson fans old and new will be excited to discover it. 

©2005, 2015 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (P)2015 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A great start to an epic universe

Elantris was an acquired taste for me. I had already read most of the Stormlight archives and Mistborn series before I came to this one, and by those books, Sanderson had developed a different style of writing that I had grown used to. So coming back to Elantris was a bit of a chore. It wasn't as fast pased or exciting as the other series, the magic system is more obscure, and the world and concept is so foreign that you spend most of the first third of the book trying to figure out who's who and what is going on.
But once you are a bit more familiar and things pick up a bit, it's an engaging and dynamic story. One of abandonment, hope in the face of devastation, dogmatic villains questioning their motives, and a permeating magic system that is more complex than you first thought. The characters really grow on you and the world starts feeling alive the more you read.
I think this might be a good book to start for Sanderson's Cosmere, as you will only be more impressed with later books writing and story, but if you read the other books and come back, just be a little patient. It's worth sinking into.
My main gripe is the narrator. He does an adequate job, but something about his performance was distracting and off to me. But I also am comparing him to the amazing Michael Kramer who narrates the other Sanderson novels, so it might be an unfair comparison.
Conclusion, an original and interesting story, with a bit of a learning curve, but one that does not disappoint high fantasy fans.
#Audible1

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Love it! Everything Eye of the World Was Not!

Loved it! A new bar has been set for me for fantasy novels. I love that the world-building and magic system are well-defined yet integral to the story. Nothing feels bloated in its description or irrelevant to the plot and characters. Sanderson is not trying to set up ten novels here and so you can believe that everything matters in this book. There's none of this "Just wait. It gets really good by book three!" The narrative voice is a compelling and engaging from minute one.

Although Sanderson and Robert Jordan have a connection I'm so glad I didn't assume they had the same writing style and sensibility. I absolutely hated The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time #!). And I loved Elantris for everything that EotW was not! Looking forward to reading more from this author.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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a must read or to listen

what a fantastic story I've couldn't stop listening to it and look forward to every time I did the story The Plot characters or just so well done you were able to picture yourself so so much that you thought you were there I would love to read another one of his books and the narrator you could tell he put his heart emotions into the story it's worth anybody to listen

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Fantastic!

Great story! I'm usually pretty good at guessing plot twists but definitely not this time. Kept me guessing interested and entertained. Wonderful narration by Jack Garrett too with voices and flow I will look for more books with him as narrator. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

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it's alright.

some of the minor characters had a strange progression at the end. it's like they were strangers but there was an insinuation of intimateness among them with the protagonists that threw me off.

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Fantastic

Story starts off a little slow but it builds and builds until you don't think it can get any better then there is more a twist and you just can't stop listening. #Audible1

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A wonderfully executed story

I loved listening to this book. I found that the conservation of plot elements was complementary to the flow of the story. I also found it to almost be the inverse of Mr. Sanderson's later work the Way of Kings in density of world building, although I do not consider this a negative for this book.

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Great for Sandersons first book!

I agree with other reviews that it was a bit slow till over half way through BUT still fairly entertaining throughout. it all came together wonderfully and picked up pace towards the end.

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Just amazing

While this is Sanderson’s first published work, it in no way falls short. I fell in love with the complex worlds he created in the cosmere (and out) and his unparalleled prose, and I lust for them at every opportunity. Elantris is no different.
He wove a spellbinding tale that kept me guessing and wondering the whole way through. He creates flawed and interesting characters. Raoden, Serene, And Hrathen had me captivated the whole way through. Not to mention the rest of the cast of characters.
A must read for any fantasy lover looking for a new author to fall in love with.

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just wonderful 👌👌👌👌

not my favorite but still an amazing listen! can't wait to start my next Sanderson book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 2016-01-28

For the superfan or new listener

if you already have the original of this then you really don't need this one. unlike other 10 year anniversary versions that have come out that were basically authors cuts. the additions here are at the end of the book. interesting not enough to justify the purchase of the same book twice.

73 of 78 people found this review helpful

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  • Brittany
  • 2016-09-01

Just love Jack Garrett's narration!

Ever since I read MISTBORN a couple years ago, I’ve been obsessed with Brandon Sanderson’s writing. His books launched me into the world of adult fantasy when I had been reading nearly exclusively young adult and I’ve been on a mission ever since to gobble up the rest of his books. Every book I’ve read (and every novella) has been enjoyable and I simply cannot get enough. I took advantage of an Audible deal that had Brandon Sanderson audiobooks on sale so I picked up ELANTRIS and WARBREAKER (which I also hope to read soon) and decided to start with ELANTRIS since it was Sanderson’s first published novel and it’s a stand alone.

ELANTRIS was such a good, solid read. At times it felt a bit lengthy and I was anxious for things to get moving but that could also be because I was listening to the audiobook so it did take me significantly longer than if I was reading it in print. I was “warned” ahead of time that the beginning was a lot of set up and character development and the true action and twists didn’t occur until closer to the end so I was all right waiting for that. I also didn’t mind because the characters were just so enjoyable! Since it’s not as action packed as some of his later books, ELANTRIS is able to really dig into characters and let their personalities shine! Raoden was truly as personable as he was made out to be and I loved Sarene’s independence and strength. Each character really brought the book to life and it was so easy to connect with each and every one of them.

The concept of Elantris and its fall was incredibly interesting. For most of the book, no one really knows why the once godlike inhabitants of Elantris fell and why the Shaod continues to take people, turning them into the “creatures” that the cities fear and quarantine. The world-building and background surrounding these questions impressed me and as always, the big reveal was so satisfying. I was really hoping for a bit more history of the magic system because it was so interesting and complex and I’m always anxious to dig into why and how it works! There is an explanation but I’ve been spoiled with the details that Sanderson includes in subsequent books and so I was seeking so many more details about AonDor! I also hoped for a bit more of digging into the creation myths of the Cosmere but since it was Sanderson’s first published work, there was still so much more to come to play around with what this world was, what drove its magic, and how it connected within the Cosmere. I know ELANTRIS was a stand alone (well, it does have a short story but it’s more of a companion to the novel than a continuation) but I would love to learn so much more about this world! I immediately went digging into the Coppermind (the Wiki for Sanderson’s complete works — it’s incredibly detailed!) to get any more info that I possibly could! All it did was make me want another book detailing this planet’s history even more.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sanderson yet (since I’m finally writing a review for a book that’s not a sequel in a series), the Cosmere is Sanderson’s universe and most of his adult works take place on a different planet in the Cosmere. ELANTRIS is the first book set in the Cosmere and takes place on the planet Sel. Each Cosmere-set series is independent of the others but they all take place in the same universe and therefore share the same (incredibly detailed) history. I won’t get into it because a lot of this was explained with MISTBORN: A SECRET HISTORY, which is meant to be read after the 6th book in the Mistborn series and it could be a little spoilery to say more about the Cosmere since I only just discovered it this far into my Sanderson journey. I will say, though, that I’m constantly impressed with the world-building and I’m obsessed with books that are not series that connect. Sanderson is such a craftsman when it comes to connecting the Cosmere books and it may not always be in the most obvious way but when you make that connection, it’s so incredibly satisfying and it is such a delight to observe as a reader!

ELANTRIS was a book that really stuck with me and I keep thinking about it long after I’ve finished! It didn’t have quite as many historical details or action as some of the first Sanderson books I’ve read but I actually enjoyed that because it’s great to see how Brandon Sanderon’s writing style has changed, evolved, and can differ from story to story. I love that the books can feel so unique and yet still have a typical Sanderson feel that I can identify with. I can’t wait to continue my Cosmere binge later on this year!

AUDIOBOOK IMPRESSIONS

Source: Purchased from Audible during a sale
Narrator: Jack Garrett
Performance: More books narrated by Jack Garrett, please!

I’m always iffy trying out a narrator that I haven’t listened to before, especially with a favorite author AND an audiobook that’s literally 28.5 hours long. That’s over a full day of my life listening to one person’s voice so it gets intimidating to pick someone new! I’m really glad that I not only liked Jack Garrett but ended up loving him! His narration really embodied each character and each person had their own unique voice. I’m always so impressed with how many different voices a voice actor can do and with a detailed cast of characters, Jack Garrett had no issue making each voice quite unique. His female voices were softer and more feminine but not over the top. Accents were well placed and the general performance of everything was just top notch. I don’t know what other books he’s narrated but I will definitely be seeking out more!

106 of 114 people found this review helpful

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  • Fade75, Iowa
  • 2016-01-26

Great first novel

I'm a big Sanderson fan especially the stormlight archive! I just wanted to say that sandersons writing has gone from great to amazing. The narrator on this was mediocre. Many other narrators add so much to the reading. This is just a flat and uninspiring rendition with few exceptions.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephanie
  • 2017-12-10

Great story but terrible narration

I enjoyed the book but really disliked the narrator. It was hard to tell some of the different voices apart from each other and his voices were so over dramatically done. It was a struggle to keep listening at times. Thankfully the story was great so I stuck with it. The story really took off about 1/3 of the way through the book.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike Mitchell
  • 2016-03-06

Not his best work

I flew through all 7 Mistborn books in less time than it took me to grind through Elantris. I won't give a synopsis -- since everyone else seemed to do a good job of that -- but I will give my opinion.

It's glaringly obvious that this is Sanderson's first published novel, and that he's grown tremendously since. Don't get me wrong, the plot is interesting, but the writing style doesn't make the story shine, like it should. He has a tendency to "tell" the reader what's happening, rather than "showing" what's happening.

The characters are interesting, too, but only a few of them are meaningfully developed. All of them are predictable. And the dialogue, which drives the narrative, is cheesy and unnatural.

While I normally am very open to different narration styles, I really couldn't stand this guy. Like, at all. He pauses way too long between words that are in the same sentence, for one. Even speeding up the playback doesn't help. He inflects his voice is ways that don't fit the situation. And worst of all, nearly every word he says has soft "h" sound at the end of it, like he was breathing too much into the mic. It was... a bit uncomfortable to listen to.

63 of 70 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-08-02

Great characters, engaging story, satisfying end

I really loved the story that revolved around a widow princess, lost prince and faithless priest-- All who demonstrate the will to change and be changed in order to bring the tale to a compelling end. The voiced pacing was a little slow for me in the beginning but it grew on me and I appreciated the talent with which the story was read.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael McDonnell
  • 2016-02-10

Fantastic & Superb!

I cannot possibly express the great writing of Brandon Sanderson. I am buying every book of his and devouring them as fast as I can. I am an old fantasy reader and loved Salvatore, Hickman & Weis, Brooks, etc. I cannot compare these with Sanderson. He is on a level above the others.

I read Rothfuss (which is also fantastic) and on a review of his book started reading Sanderson. I have literally not read any that have equaled Sanderson. I think he could write about mud and it would be totally enthralling! If you have not read any of his books or just not this one, you will enjoy this book thoroughly!

The narrator did a great job as well. At first I was not sure of the characters, but when I got into the story he was spot on! Great job Mr. Garrett!

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • EBG
  • 2016-05-18

wonderful!

Great world! Really unique story. Strong characters. Loved it! You'll get sucked in soon enough!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Sydney
  • 2016-06-14

Yes.

Didn't love the narrator. Story was AMAZING. Many unexpected twists. It was a great introduction to Brandon Sanderson.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Luke
  • 2017-12-15

speaker sounds cheesy

I liked the book. plenty of intrigue and unique fantasy but the reader was hard to listen to

3 of 3 people found this review helpful