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.

In 2005, Brandon Sanderson debuted with Elantris, an epic fantasy unlike any other then on the market. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Tor is reissuing Elantris in a special edition, a fresh chance to introduce it to the myriad readers who have since become Sanderson fans.

This new edition begins with a preface by author Dan Wells, the first person to read the completed novel, and a new afterword by Sanderson explaining how he came to write the book and its place in the Cosmere, the unified universe of all his Tor novels. 

Also included is an expanded version of the “Ars Arcanum” appendix, with more of the technical details of the book’s magic that fans can never get enough of.

Elantris was truly a milestone both for Sanderson and for the genre of epic fantasy. It deserves this special treatment, something Tor has done only once before, with Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. Sanderson fans old and new will be excited to discover it.


“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 quality, sharp writing and wonderful, robust characters […] The intrigue and excitement grow steadily in this smoothly written, perfectly balanced narrative: by the end readers won’t want to put it down [...] Sanderson is a writer to watch.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“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 runs. 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 collection.”

Library Journal, Starred Review

“In this stunning debut novel, Sanderson has created a completely unique world that enfolds the reader in mystery and wonder right through till the last page. Sarene and Roaden are compelling characters, and it’s wonderful to see a strong female heroine who doesn’t compromise her integrity.”

RT Book Reviews

“A surprisingly satisfying, single-volume epic fantasy that invokes a complex, vibrant world.”


“Fascinating […] [ELANTRIS] is handled with such expertise, you’ll swiftly forget you’re reading a first novel. This is a heck of a debut.”


“ELANTRIS will be enjoyed immensely by those dedicated, advanced fantasy readers who appreciate a complex plot. Sanderson leads his readers through a long and difficult puzzle, but the freshness and inventiveness of the conclusion make the ending well worth the wait for a reader who finds delight in serious fantasy lore.”


“ELANTRIS is a well-told, character-driven story. It’s also that rarest of creatures: a done-in-one-volume fantasy […] although there is room for a sequel. If readers are fortunate, Sanderson will return to Arelon soon.”


“A genuinely interesting setting as well as a good story […] Good reading.”

Science Fiction Chronicle

“A new and fascinating world […] a brilliant first novel.”

Book Loons

“A complicated many-stranded tapestry that Sanderson weaves […] bright, witty and engrossing.”

Fantasy Literature

“Sanderson’s writing is superb […] [he] crafts an intricate fantasy world in ELANTRIS […] The structure of the story is tight and the writing intelligent. In the end, everything comes back to the beginning and is beautifully tied up. ELANTRIS is truly a pleasure just to look at.”

Pages Unbound

" I was amazed by how wonderful and compelling this story was. This is a novel that intimately explores the relationships between piety and righteousness, humanity and savagery, pain and peace."

The Fantasy Hive

“Brought to a satisfying ending, ELANTRIS is a story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.”

World’s Biggest Bookstore

“Brandon Sanderson is the real thing–an exciting storyteller with a unique and powerful vision. ELANTRIS is one of the finest debuts I’ve seen in years.”

David Farland

“While every new fantasy author is hailed as unique, new, and different, Brandon Sanderson’s ELANTRIS does indeed provide an absorbing adventure in a unique, different, and well-thought-out fantasy world, with a few nifty twists as well.”

L.E. Modesitt

“ELANTRIS is a new Ben-Hur for the fantasy genre, with a sweeping, epic storyline and closely personal characters.”

Kevin J. Anderson

“Brandon Sanderson’s ELANTRIS is a marvelous, magic monster of a book, packed full of intrigue and daring, based around a killer high concept. When the city of the gods becomes a city of the damned, who and what do you believe in? The story twists and turns, characters bait traps for one another as they vie for secular and religious power, and no-one is necessarily who or what they seem. Royal houses rise and fall, the fate of all Humanity is in the balance, and maybe, just maybe… the gods are coming back. All this and a genuinely touching love story too. ELANTRIS; the book that put epic back into fantasy.”

Simon R. Green

“Brandon Sanderson obviously has thought about it-and has used a variation on this notion as part of the premise for his excellent first novel, Elantris-except that, in the world he’s imagined, this unhappy state stems from a disease. After you’ve ‘died’ from it, you’re not really dead-but every injury done to you from that point accumulates, along with all the aggregate of pain. And you can never really die [...] There’s more-much more-but I’ll refrain from revealing any more of the ingenious plot twists [...] ELANTRIS, Brandon Sanderson’s excellent debut novel, is marked by vivid and strongly drawn characters (including a memorable female character) and ingenious plot twists that will keep the reader turning pages. Don’t miss it!”

Katherine Kurtz

“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 bring 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.”

Orson Scott Card

Awards & Accolades


Winner Romantic Times Award: “Best Epic Fantasy”


Barnes & Noble Explorations: “#1 Editor’s Pick”


SF Book Club selection