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Brandon Sanderson
Adult Fiction SANDERS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Sanderson's outstanding fantasy debut, refreshingly complete unto itself and free of the usual genre cliches, offers something for everyone: mystery, magic, romance, political wrangling, religious conflict, fights for equality, sharp writing and wonderful, robust characters. The godlike inhabitants of Elantris, once the capital of the land of Arelon, have degenerated into powerless, tortured souls, unable to die, after the city's magic inexplicably broke 10 years earlier. When the same curse strikes Prince Raoden of Arelon and he's imprisoned in Elantris, he refuses to surrender to his grim fate and instead strives to create a society out of the fallen and to unlock the secret that will restore the city's glory. Meanwhile, Princess Sarene of Kae (Arelon's new capital), who was betrothed to Raoden sight unseen, believes her intended has died. Officially declared his widow, she must use her political savvy and wit to protect Kae from malevolent forces without and within the city, chiefly Hrathen, a leader of the creepy Shu-Dereth faith, who aims to either convert Kae or destroy it within three months. The intrigue and excitement grow steadily in this smoothly written, perfectly balanced narrative; by the end readers won't want to put it down. As the blurb from Orson Scott Card suggests, Sanderson is a writer to watch. Agent, Joshua Bilmes. (May 10) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Ten years have passed since the benevolent, godlike beings who ruled Arelon from their city of Elantris suffered a sudden, catastrophic change that left them little better than the walking dead and their glorious capital city little more than a slime-covered tomb. Now faced with the possibility of an invasion by the religious fanatics of neighboring Fjordell, the rulers of Arelon and the independent land of Teod plan a marriage between Arelon's Prince Raoden and Teod's Princess Sarene, a union meant to join their countries in mutual defense. When the prince falls prey to the Elantrian curse and is exiled to the dead city, the stranded Sarene finds herself faced with an aging king who doesn't want her and the growing threat of a Fjordell takeover led by charismatic priest Hrathen. Sanderson's fantasy debut offers a vibrant cast of characters and a story of faith and determination set against a vividly portrayed world where magic is based on channeling power through the depiction of runes. The author's skill at turning conventional fantasy on its head produces a tale filled with surprising twists and turns and a conclusion both satisfying and original. Libraries of all sizes should add this to their fantasy collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Raoeden of Arelon
Affected by a curse that makes him immortal and powerless; exiled in order to save himself; strives to create a society out of what remains and return glory to his land.

Sarene of Kae
Raoeden's betrothed; believes he is dead; must use her political position and wits to protect her city.

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