Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.
Arelon's new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping -- based on their correspondence -- to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.
But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.
A rare epic fantasy that doesn't recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It's also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.
""Elantris is the finest novel of fantasy to be written in many years. Brandon Sanderson has created a truly original world of magic and intrigue, and with the rigor of the best science fiction writers he has made it real at every level.”—Orson Scott Card
“Elantris . . . is marked by vivid and strongly drawn characters and ingenious plot twists that will keep the reader turning pages. Don’t miss it!”—Katherine Kurtz, New York Times bestselling author of the Deryni series
“Outstanding fantasy debut . . . . The intrigue and excitement grow steadily in this smoothly written, perfectly balanced narrative; by the end readers won’t want to put it down.” –Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“A completely unique world that enfolds the reader in mystery and wonder right through till the last page.”–Romantic Times BookClub Magazine
""Brandon Sanderson is the real thing--an exciting storyteller with a unique and powerful vision. Elantris is one of the finest debuts I've seen in years.""--David Farland
""Elantris is a new Ben Hur for the fantasy genre, with a sweeping, epic storyline and well-drawn and sympathetic characters.""--Kevin J. Anderson
""While every new fantasy author is hailed as unique, new, and different, Brandon Sanderson's Elantris does indeed provide an absorbing adventure in a unique, different, and well-thought-out fantasy world, with a few nifty twists as well.""-L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
“Sanderson’s fantasy debut offers a vibrant cast of characters and a story of faith and determination set against a vividly portrayed world . . . filled with surprising twists and turns and a conclusion both satisfying and original.” –Library Journal, Starred Review