Am höchsten bewertete positive Rezension
Good book, but maybe a let-down for Sanderson-newbies
am 12. Juni 2017
The first and most important thing has to be said right away: If you have never read a book by Brandon Sanderson, the chances are high that you either won't like or won't even finish this book. There are better books by Sanderson to introduce you to his style, writing and storytelling, and after you have read and liked those, you can come back and read this novel. Why, you ask?
The first half of this novel is pure build-up- Period. No cool world building, no magic fights, no OMFG character moments. It's more about introducing us to characters and the world they live in, their situation and their ties, to have a nice setup for the second half. Because this is when Sanderson swings his figurative baseball bat at your head and takes the word crazy to a whole new leverl. He does that in every novel of his, but if you haven't read other works by him, know him from a few interviews or something, you simply won't have the trust necessary to keep on reading. Heck, even I was tempted to put this novel away from time to time, after I had a blast with almost all his other Cosmere books. Thank God I didn't. Because in the second half Sanderson delivers like only he can do it. No spoilers here, but this is by far the most uphyping ending of a book I've read so far. Not because of epic battles or something, but because Sanderson shifts POV about thrice per page in the finale. This is one of the moments where you really see at what level Sanderson is in his writing; other authors could easily mess these quick cuts up and give you to less or to much information, don't keep the momentum or leave you confused. This doesn't happen, and it truly is a ride.
So, concerning the magic system ....
This is by far my favourite magic system by Sanderson. Because you don't get a glimpse of it until the 3/4 mark of the book. And this makes the magic more magical, as opposed to mistborn, where you get epic mistborn fights throughout the whole book and at the end of the story, the pure existence of magic is nothing special anymore. But again, isn't this what defines magic; it being magical, mythical?
One of my favourite part about especially the Mistborn Era 1 was that with every chapter we read a part of an in-world text, thus being able to research the world by ourself, and when revelations based on those text appear, you can somwhat nod, and think "yup, I know what you are talking about, bud". A huge part of the book simply raises the question: "Elantris was once great. Not anymore. What happened?" This was my main motivation for the first half of the book: wanting to know what the heck happened to cause a whole city of gods to topple and become the scum of a nation. What could have caused that? And it was the aforementioned trust in Sanderson that left me speculating about the cause, knowing Sanderson will find a good explanation for all thing happening as they do, which he - of course - does in the end.
But no five stars for this one, sadly, but the first half of a book shouldn't be interesting solely on the fact that you want to get to the second.