||A magical curse and an invading army threaten a once-powerful country in this epic standalone fantasy, the debut of author Brandon Sanderson. In days past, the magical transformation known as the Shaod blessed random individuals in the land of Arelon, turning them into Elantrians, beautiful immortal of great magical power. But 10 years ago, the blessing became a curse, and those afflicted by the Shaod are sickly and deformed. The latest victim of the Shaod is Arelon's beloved Prince Raoden, who faces exile to the city of Elantris, formerly the Elantrians' glorious home and now a filthy ruin. While Raoden fights the realities of his new existence, his promised bride, Sarene of Teod, arrives in Arelon. Told that her husband is dead and she is his legal widow, she makes the best of her situation and becomes a political force to be reckoned with. This puts Sarene into direct conflict with High Priest Hrathen of Fjorden, who bears a secret ultimatum from his emperor: if Arelon does not convert to the Derethi religion, imperial forces will annihilate the country's inhabitants.
||Arriving in the kingdom of Arelon to enter a marriage of state, princess Sarene discovers that her intended has died and that she is considered his widow, circumstances that render her a lone force against the imperial ambitions of a religious fanatic. A first novel.
|Editors Note 2
||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.