Brandon Sanderson Newsletter for April 2005
Greetings, friends! Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Brandon Sanderson Newsletter. You’re getting this email because you signed up for my mailing list at Brandonsanderson.com. If you want off, just shoot us an email, and we’ll take you off the list.
It’s out! Yup, after years of waiting, ELANTRIS is finally on shelves. It slipped out a bit earlier than we had expected—Barnes and Noble Booksellers started stocking the book early in the week, and Amazon began shipping it even earlier. While my local Borders doesn’t appear to have it on the shelves yet, I have news that it’s out at some other Borders.
A little bit further down in the newsletter, you can find some reviews of ELANTRIS. I’m very pleased with how this book turned out. Not only do I consider it some of my finest work, but the production values Tor put into the volume are incredible. The artistic design, the cover, even the quality of paper—everything about this book looks slick. A lot of people have told me they think it’s worth buying, just for that reason. However, trust me—the story is even better than the packaging!
If you don’t have a copy yet, you can find it for only $16 at Amazon.com. Or, you can hop over to your local bookstore, where you can get a copy for slightly more, but without the wait!
I’ll be attending Conduit in Salt Lake on May 27th-29th. I’ll be doing my first-ever reading on Friday the 27th at 6:30 p.m. This would be a great place to get that shiny new copy of ELANTRIS signed, if you’re in the area.
I’ll also be on the following panels:
[Writing] Dear Heloise: Advice to the Unpublished (Panel, 1 hr) Friday at 1:00 p.m.
If your desk drawer is overflowing with rejection notices or unfinished manuscripts, then you’re probably not happy. Come to this panel, where you will hear advice to help you get published.
[Writing] The Flawed Hero (Panel, 1 hr) Friday at 3:00 p.m.
Heroes who can do everything and never risk failure are about the most boring heroes we can imagine. This panel will discuss how to give your hero those all important flaws, the feet of clay that will keep your reader turning pages.
[Literature] Monsters and Heroes (Panel, 1 hr) Sunday at 5:00 p.m.
The hero is no longer the nice looking character, and the monster is no longer the beast with green skin and fangs. What’s happened to these story telling conventions, and why?
I’ll send out information on booksignings and other events as soon as I know about them. For now, things are looking very good. ELANTRIS is already selling extremely well, and I am very pleased with the reception it is getting critically.
I’ve finished my next two novels—the first two books in a trilogy called MISTBORN. Be looking for the first one on shelves in 2006. (But, of course, you’ll probably hear more about MISTBORN in these newsletters!)
Thank you all for your enthusiasm and support. As always, you can find more information about ELANTRIS at coppermind.brandonsanderson.com. Don’t forget—starting in May we’ll be posting chapter annotations and other ‘behind the scenes’ goodies relating to the book.
Thanks for reading!
Complete Text of the Publishers Weekly Review of ELANTRIS:
Sanderson’s outstanding fantasy debut, refreshingly complete unto itself and free of the usual genre clichés, 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.”
Complete Text of Orson Scott Card’s Review of ELANTRIS:
For those of you who are always on the lookout for excellent heroic fiction of the Robin Hobb and George R. R. Martin tradition — heroism, intrigue, and inventive fantasy world creation — I have good news. For those who are sick of fantasy series that go on and on, never seeming to come nearer to an ending, I have even better news.
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.
What makes this novel unforgettable, however, is the magnificent characters he has created. True heroes who, in the face of adversity, find strength they did not know they had, make mistakes from whose consequences they do not shrink, and sacrifice to save what is worth loving in their world.
Best of all, the story is complete. Oh, there’s room for a sequel — and I hope there’ll be one. But this does not feel like “volume 1,” with all the important questions yet to be answered. Sanderson brings off an impossibly complicated resolution only a few pages from the end of the book, and you finish the book satisfied.
Sanderson writes within a moral universe where people are rarely sure who the good guys and the bad guys might turn out to be. But the difference between good and evil is clear even though it’s subtle and sometimes hard to find.
It’s rare for a fiction writer to have much understanding of how leadership works, how communities form, and how love really takes root in the human heart. Sanderson is astonishingly wise.
I’m glad I didn’t write this book. I’m not the least bit envious. Because if I had written it, I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of letting it unfold before me as this story did, in all its ugliness and beauty and excitement and pain.