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Elantris

Written by: Brandon Sanderson
Narrated by: Jack Garrett
Length: 28 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Elantris was built on magic, and it thrived. But then the magic began to fade, and Elantris began to rot. Now its shattered citizens face domination by a powerful Imperium. Can a young Princess unite the people of Elantris and lead a rebellion against the imperial zealots?

Brandon Sanderson's debut fantasy showed his skill as a storyteller and an imaginer of baroque magical systems to be fully developed from the start.

©2005 Brandon Sanderson (P)2008 Recorded Books LLC
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not the best Sanderson???? oh please

I know I know this is not the best Sanderson, its Mistborn, stormlight archive blah blah blah, well the truth is I can't really comment on that, because I my self have just started way of kings. but what I can tell you is how good this book actually is, its gotta cool world and the plot normally focuses on a magic system that is not working. we follow 3 characters, all of which I really enjoyed:1)an ambitious priest who has secrets you can never imagine ( though I didn't really latch on to this character until the near end but later on he really crept on the top) 2)A twisty politician, with quiet many skills( however she IS afraid of heights) and a over the top positive prince who every one thinks is dead.

Elantris is a city, where people are imprisoned if they get affected by the shayod (a certain kind of disease which in the very beginning our prince is also affected by and so becomes an Elantrian) and the same day when the king, his father "claims" he is dead both of our other protagonists arrive in the city and that's where the story kicks of.

I will say that this is very political heavy book especially because we are following 3 different plots with 3 different characters, 2 of them, the one with the politician and priest are for the most part those two scheming plans to overthrow the king. the prince's plot follows him, trying to rebuild the dammed city into something more.

almost till near the end you are not going to get ACTION ACTION ACTION, but if you like politics in your book you will enjoy. there are some things which to me appeared cheesy and clichéd, but I won't comment on that because overall it doesn't really ruin the story.

the only personal thing I'm going to comment on is that I wasn't a fan of how everything went down in the end but aside from that I was really invested in the rest of the story, I guess I just had higher expectations because Sanderson is practically known for giving those gut wrenching- amazing endings, and for me that just wasn't it.

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Brilliant

Loved it totally, the protagonist in this shows how you don't need to be magnanimous to create an impact, it shows a person can be simply honest, decent and humorous to save the day .. Brilliantly written by Brandon Sanderson

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Brilliantly written and narrated

I think this book would appeal to most listeners/readers. The plot is well thought out, characters are relatable and the narration pours life and emotion into it. I guess i'm a Brandon Sanderson fan too, now.

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Beauty surpassing AON DEO

What I love the most is not just the narrative style or the voice modulation for each character or the integrity of story plot or the ability to pull the reader(listener) towards the magical world, but that how all of them comes together without effort and with effect of immense magic.

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4.5/5

The prose isn't perfect, and maybe the ending was a bit rushed (the only reason it's a 4.5 instead of a perfect 5 for me), but you'll grow to love these characters. The first three quarters of the story was delightful, with all the political intrigue and character building. The pacing was just perfect during this part. This is my first Sanderson novel and I don't read too many epic fantasy novels. Maybe that's why Elantris was perfect for me.

Narrator: I thought Jack Garret did a brilliant job. The audiobook format doesn't always work for me. I constantly lose focus, and it's a pain going back to the exact place. It's so much easier with a book. But Jack Garrett's narration style and speed works perfectly for me. In the beginning, his accent or voice might seem a bit unusual, but as the story progresses and you hear more of him and all the characters he brings to life, you'll begin to appreciate the wonderful job he has done.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-11-12

Good value, slow narrator and average fantasy.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

With the price of one credit and at the length of three normal books it it a great find if you, like me, enjoy long books or series of books. But the downside is that it is slower and not as refreshing as Sanderson's other works. Likable characters with developed individual story arcs helped carry the book along.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The primary story picked up some speed for the last parts of the book and that helped my overall impression.

How could the performance have been better?

It was my first experience with Jack Garrett as narrator. I found his pacing too slow to and the length of the breaks between sentences even worse. I almost ended up listening to the book at. x2 speed. If you think this might annoy you, be careful.

Any additional comments?

I rate this book in comparison with Sandersons other works which I really, really enjoyed. On its own I might have given it an extra star.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Christoffer
  • 09-07-13

Very irritating reader

What made the experience of listening to Elantris the most enjoyable?

This is an excellent book as such, but sadly enough it takes quite some time to get over – not get used to – the readers ridiculous over-dramatization and unnecessarily long pauses. After a while I could successfully ignore this though, and focus on the story. It, fortunately is quite entertaining.

5 people found this helpful

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  • jonefuroy
  • 03-09-12

I know what Mr. Sanderson can do.

I started to write a long and not so positive review, but I changed my mind as I was going through it! Its a good book. Not the best or the worst but more than good enough!

My only problem is that I want The Stormlight Archive NOW!!!! ;)

Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors so not reading his books is actually not possible. Just read it... Its worth far more that 1 credit!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Gyula Mészáros
  • 06-12-13

I want to draw Aons

Sometimes it seems that I far behind the wave with my reading . I mean, I read books came out years ago. I don't see it as not being updated what is hot and the newest on the bestselling list, instead I consider it finding gems along the road of my reading journey.

The latest one is Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.

I had previous experiences with his books, I say experiences, because they weren't simple readings. The first book I started to read was the Mistborn book 1. I couldn't finish it, don't ask why. I just struggled with it, picking the book up and putting it down several times. Finally around the middle of the book I said it was not for me. It bothered me, because I'm fan of the Writing Excuses podcast, and I find those guys (among them Brandon Sanderson) funny and helpful. He seems to be a capable author to write a decent book.

So I picked up another book of his, the Way of Kings, this time in audiobook format. Man, I was hooked from the beginning. That is a long one, and a few times it felt like flowing slowly, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

So I purchased Elantris and I was eager to start to listen to the audiobook. And I realised again, I like fantasy pretty much.

Elantris isn't short, and a few times I was wondering if I need all those details or whether the dialogues couldn't be shorter, but by the end these all paid back. The characters became my friends (or enemies), and they were chiselled like the fine carvings on the walls of Elantris.

The idea itself got me hooked in. There was this city, once beautiful, shining, people with godlike powers walked on its streets. Then suddenly the heaven became hell, the glory faded and gave place to mud and slime, pain and suffer. The strange power that earlier made semi-gods from ordinary people now destroyed their humanity making them living dead.

Of course prince Raedon finally solved the mystery of the disappearance of Elantris' power (what would've been the point of the story if he didn't?). The clues were well timed throughout the book.

The magic system is amazing, shining signs in the air channelling power to this world and everything. I wonder how the author comes up with these ideas.

The political system is also well drawn. The throne is weakened, the country is on the edge of collapse, the political forces plot against each other, outside power threatens the kingdom, and even religion comes into the mix. Just like in real life.

There is an important phrase when talking about how captivating a book is: suspension of disbelief. Well, my disbelief was suspended all along the story. I enjoyed it a lot.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 12-06-13

Slow, but engaging story

As Sanderson's first publicly released book, Elantris is a good effort. Although the actual style is a little immature, he shows the promise of a great storyteller that is eventually delivered in subsequent novels (and his completion of Jordan's epic series).

If you haven't yet listened to a Sanderson book, this is a good start, but don't be put off by the style and dismiss his other works. They really are a cut above this one and it's nice to see the author's development in writing.

This book displays a lot of classical themes. The outcast hero suffering the trials of an unwanted person, a corruptly led society on the brink of disaster ripe for the picking, deception, betrayal, revenge, questions of faith and responsibility and of course the beautiful, intelligent princess that is a central character to the whole story.

Sanderson's Elantris starts off slow and builds like a tsunami to an inevitable climax with some nice twists along the way. Some of them are predictable and others enlightening, but on the whole he completes the book as he does with his other works by making sure all the loose ends are tied up.

Overall a good work, with a good narration.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lucas Andrade
  • 29-03-20

Very good

For many people this is still their favourite book from Sanderson. I have enjoyed more some of his other works but this is still great.

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  • Tatras
  • 14-02-20

Standard, but entertaining and original also

This is the first audiobook from many in which I set speed to 1,25x and it was accurate... First reminiscence was the curse in Dark Souls (computer game series), somewhat similar to Sheod and the corrupted dieing world is similar too - I really liked that picture/mythology. And Elantrian magic resembles sort of a scripting language. Those microbes covering Elantris resembles those from Star Wars that allowing to use force. Elantrian are somewhat similar to Divas in corean MMORPG Aion too. AonDor resembles Sanskrit and his language mysticism. - interesting inspirations (if I am not mistaken). I expected that this book would be somewhat worse, since its Sandersons first work, but I perceived it on same level as his other works with that bonus I really liked that theme of lost city. I that eternally stabbed toe is funny, its like stepping on Lego parts and never get rid of the pain... The magic system is partly not that good as in other books (I personally liked magic system in bistborn series), but worldbuilding is still great and original! Brandon Sanderson got supreme world building, plot is somewhat epic standard for me, only from his characters I've got a feeling of sort of naivity, bit simpleness and bluntness, not that they don't have full and diverse life, but probably the inner life is actually - quite normal? Not great, not terrible. Sandersons books are philosophically shallow for me, sort of staying on mechanical level or "enlightement period style" (not that there isnt some interesting ethical questions). I still credit this to Brandon's Mormon faith, which from my experience sort of simplify ones worldview - but I dont know Brandon personally of course (and his work is still epic!). Nevertheless I I read almost all his main lines and I want to read all his work, overall I find it very entertaining. Would Brandon have even more delicate and deep worlds if he wasnt bound by his Mormon faith or perhaps he wouldn't have discipline, therefore not creating that much or even nothing?

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  • LARDENOIS Adrien
  • 29-11-19

not My first by Him but The first Sanderson

a Magic story with practically no magic till the end , it let's the characters shine by their strong will and morals , not by being overpowered , yet it still is fantasy ! really a must read , it's a masterpiece

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  • Cliente Amazon
  • 25-08-19

Un libro genial

El libro me ha encantado, de este autor solo había leido el primero de mistborn, pero pienso continuar. El narrador me ha gustado en general, aunque hay otros que cuando tienen que poner voz femenina les sale más natural pero bueno tampoco pasa nada

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  • SleepySparky
  • 30-05-19

Slow to start

Not one of Sanderson's best books, too slow and too fast at the same time.

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  • BM
  • 19-11-14

Awesome!

Where does Elantris rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have never read a fantasy book before and after listening to Elantris I am sold! Exciting from the very beginning to the very end.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Raoden. He was the true hero of the story.

What about Jack Garrett’s performance did you like?

I was slightly put off initially by the American accent, but once into the story I stopped noticing it. Great storyteller.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, it made me laugh, cry and everything in between. Very thought provoking and I found myself thinking about it throughout the day and even now although I finished it several weeks ago. I will definitely go back to it one day.

Any additional comments?

Take a chance and get it, you won't be disappointed!

29 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 28-10-12

Elantris

Fantastic i have listened to it twice because i enjoyed it so much. brilliant story line. I have listen to all the books he as written and would recomend them to anyone. But this one is my favourite. 10 out of 10

25 people found this helpful

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  • Ozzymandias
  • 26-09-13

A well crafted story

I wish Brandon Sanderson would start writing science fiction. I 'd love to see his masterful development of characters and scenes being transferred to the science fiction genre depicting starry nebula, different worlds and the intricacies, designs and workings of future tech.

This guy can write, the listener/reader is drawn into the story and immersed in a tragic situation. We are invested in the characters and both they and the scenes are depicted and developed in exquisite detail. There is thorough description of the history and mysticism of the lands, you can feel and see in your mind what it is like to be there. He brings tension to every part where a significant event action takes place, you are on the edge of you seat vying for the heroes, or frightened about what may creep up on them - literally or figuratively.

Some of the book deals with religion, in its positive and negative influences, what happens when someone believes something so much that they will do ANYTHING to justify these beliefs? About how it is possible to use religious fervor to whip up a mob to do horrible things. It is also a love story but not cheap and cheesy.

He creates beings a that seem a bit like a zombies but without the usual shoddy nonsense we are too-often exposed to. There are other interesting inventive creatures.

Why only four stars? For the plot I felt that the book was a little long at just under 28 hours, parts of the middle felt a little slow. It would have been better if some of the middle was sped up and more time spent resolving the end - which is very dramatic, dynamic, and full of tension. A sequel has been planned so maybe that's the reason there wasn't an absolute resolution. The book certainly left me wanting more.

My question is when is Brandon Sanderson going to start writing science fiction? I'd love to see this writing style in the scifi genre.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aaron
  • 24-10-12

Excellent

I had never heard of Brandon Sanderson until I downloaded this and it was not what I expected from looking at the front cover but wow what a book. The story moves along nicely and the narrative is exellently done. I found myself looking forward to getting some free time just to get back to the book. One of the best stories I have had the pleasure of reading (listening to).

21 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 02-04-16

A great listen

I was new to Brandon Sanderson before I got this book. Seeing as most of his books are trilogies, I thought I would give this book a listen.

A fantastic story with great narration and most definitely a brilliant introduction to Brandon Sanderson, I am now officially a fan.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Liz
  • 01-11-14

Thoroughly enjoyed!!

Would you listen to Elantris again? Why?

Yes, I enjoyed the story and the narration captured me from the get-go.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Serene, a strong personality.

What does Jack Garrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The narration was great. From the beginning the narrator was interesting and captivating.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, over some days.

Any additional comments?

A great read! Would recommend!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • gordon
  • 24-12-12

wonderfull meandering fantasy

For a first time fantacy book it's cool. It pulls you into a world that does'nt hit you over the head with voilence and bloodlust.Politics and pychology, discovering personalities of people one would like to know. A really nice book to listen to.I enjoyed to journey, the voice fit the story.A great driving book.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Marcus
  • 03-11-14

Early work, author finding his feet

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The characterisation in Elantris was shallow and while I loved the idea behind the book, the execution was weak. Sandlerson learned a lot from the experience of publishing this because all his other books so far have been amazing and compelling

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The overriding theme of compassionate leadership was a powerful theme.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration was pretty good given the subject matter

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Elantris?

Fewer adjectives, more action, better developed characters (less pastiche)

Any additional comments?

Read anything else Brandon Sanderson has written. Very clever writer, sharp incisive style and his imagination brings to life amazing worlds with untold possibilities. Great escapes.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Laura
  • 23-11-18

wonderful book - painfully slow narration

I had to put the speed up to 1.25 to make it listenable. As expected from Brandon Sanderson, this is a great book though!

3 people found this helpful

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  • sam57carr
  • 02-10-16

Way way too long.

Unfortunately this turned into a 'got to finish' book so it took the enjoyment out of it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jenifer
  • 04-12-17

Woeful narrator.

The drole narrator made the story impossible to bear.
I have tried and tried to listen but can’t bear it beyond chapter 3

11 people found this helpful

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  • MR
  • 14-04-17

Disappointed

What disappointed you about Elantris?

I'm normally a big fan of Brandon Sanderson however this story was too long and not that intriguing. There was not enough magic or action during the story. Everything was left to the ending which was somewhat predictable. I like the princess's character but the other characters were average. Also I was not impressed by the narrators voice although it did grow on me by the end of the book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Matt
  • 14-02-17

I can't get past Jack Garrett's voice.

It feels like being read to by Troy Mclure.

Story is okay so far. I'm going to get the book as I can't stand the voice acting.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Oliver
  • 27-02-19

Childish when I was expecting nuanced

The plot was a bit slow and had some minor holes but what really annoyed me was the childish one dimensional characters. There was no nuance or exploration of interesting motivations or anything other than what I'd expect from an early teens fantasy.

Other than that, an interesting premise and a fairly so-so narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-02-19

I grew to love it! as is BS style.

It was well worth it!!
I was put off by the other reviews in regards to the voice actor. While I agree the voice actor isnt the best choice. I think his accent and the multitude of similar sounding names like Rayoden, Raythen and Aoden (not sure on spelling) can be hard to follow at the best of times but he dose his best.
Not long into it and the story shines through~ plus BS style is to keep you hanging till the last few chapters to wrap it all together in a perfect bow. By that point you feel enthrawled by the world and it's that much more heart breaking when it's over. So don't miss out and give it a go! You won't be sorry.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-12-18

This book tasted like a friendly person

Elantris is, essentially, a book about humanity, being a good person, and what that even means. It was one of Branderson's earlier works, and there are a few edges that are a little rougher and less refined than fans of his later works might be used to, but that's not to say it isn't a solid and recommendable work. The world (Sel, another Shardworld for those Cosmere fanatics out there) isn't as alien or unique as some of ol' Brandy's other worlds (lookin' at you, Roshar) but its got its own charm, and several systems of magic that, in opposition to Bran's usual style of meticulously logical and systematic magic, are rather undefined in many ways, and instead of that solid analytical crunch they inspire a sense of wonder, whimsy, fear, and, once or twice, genuine horror.

The book follows the struggles of the kingdom of Generic Fantasy Kingdom Name: Arelon. It is a country that built its power and prestige around the city of Elantris, a magical walled city in which powerful Elantrians lived and were worshiped by the people of Arelon as gods. You notice I was using past tense for that sentence? Yup. That's cause Elantris fell. Nobody knows why, but a while back all the magic stopped working and the Elantrians lost their powers and became... basically zombies, as far as the people of Arelon are concerned. No one has any clue why, their best guess is that is has something to do with them being heretics maybe? Either way. This is pretty bad, for a number of reasons, not least of which is that they now have no powerful god magic Elantrians protecting them from the powerful Fjorden Empire. The Fjornden reckon its their divine duty to make all the world follow their religion, and they're perfectly happy to kill anyone who doesn't submit. Now in order to resist the Fjorden Empire, the neighboring country of Teod wants to form an alliance with the country of Arelon so they can combine their forces, or whatever. So they make a treaty in the standard way; the king of Teod sends his daughter to marry the prince of Arelon. Seems reasonable? Sure. But there's some stuff going on in Arelon, and the prince might not be in a state to do much at all, let alone marry some random chick. Also, the Fjorden have their eyes firmly set on Arelon, and they aren't going to let it wriggle out of submission. So, they put their best man to the job of converting the whole place, otherwise they'll have to send soldiers or whatever. This best man is a bloke by the name of Hrathen, and he is one of my favourite anti-hero's in all of fiction. Like, he's just cool. In a serious, no nonsense, I'm not sure I have a sense of humour sort of way. Anyway, so Hrathen's there, ready to convert everyone. Serene (the Teod princess) is there, trying to work out what she's even supposed to do (she's also, like, a political genius btw). Raoden, the crown prince, is... dead? Don't worry about that; he still gets to have load of fun adventures. In a "oh god when will this horrible adventure stop" kind of way.

The characters are well written, although the female lead feels a little flat at times, an issue The Bran himself has pointed out in the past. Three characters share the spotlight, and alternate chapters between them in an interesting way; the next chapter often begins slightly before the previous one ended, thus letting you see the same scene from multiple perspectives. Far from being boring and repetitive, this technique is employed as a pretty neat tool to contrast the characters with one another; all of them are understandable and relatable, even the more villainous one as we get to know him, but they all have very different perspectives on many of the issues raised in the book, and seeing them disagree in one of the most satisfying ways to grow to understand them.

The narrator, Jack Garret, is solid enough. He doesn't bring anything awe inspiring to the work, but nor does he in any way detract from it. Just think "generic white guy voice". That's what he sounds like.

Anyway: in conclusion, this book is pretty good. It works very well stand alone, and is probably one of the better introductions to the Cosmere (Branner's big universe whatsit thingo that all his worlds are in) as well as Sanderbran in general. You should buy it right now and read it, unless there's a version of this audiobook read by Michael Kramer out there, in which case you should buy *that* and right *it*.




2 people found this helpful

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  • Esther Dittmar
  • 08-10-17

The narrator makes all the difference

Admittedly, I can't really review the story itself as I didnt listen much beyond the first couple of chapters. The writing was okay but a bit formulaic but the real reason that I couldn't get into the book was that the narrator's accent and voice ruined it for me. It didnt suit the style of the book at all. It seemed more suited to an action book like Matthew Reilly than a fantasy.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • David Mountain
  • 18-10-19

Sorry I can't put up with the voice

I love Brandon Sanderson but whoever thought this voice was a good idea needs their head examined.

The whole book is read in the tone of a blockbuster movie announcer voice

1 person found this helpful

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  • patricia
  • 24-02-19

Long winded

Too much conversations going round in circles. Plot takes forever to unravel. Story hard to follow because of too many changes. Not for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-01-19

Always fantastic

Good reading, fantastic story, thanks! Tho, the forward makes me want to read the story's Mr Sanderson wrote with no big world shattering events. Just emersing myself in the day to day life of these worlds is a wonderful experience.

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