The Hope of Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

I recently read The Hope of Elantris by Brandon Sanderson as it has recently been released in the anthology book, Arcanum Unbound: The Cosmere Collection. 

The Hope of Elantris follows a group of citizens of Elantris as the final events of Elantris unfold. It is a behind the scenes look at a group of children and their caretaker, Matisse, from inside the city of Elantris during the final battle of Elantris.

As the soldiers attack Elantris, Matisse is able to take the children of Elantris to safety and is able to use her wits to keep them safe. Matisse was able to distract the soldiers by drawing an Aon that drew their attention and they began to pursue Matisse instead of the children. Just as the soldiers were about to hurt Matisse and make her Hoed, all Elantrians were healed and they were able to defeat the attacking soldiers and emerge victorious.

The story was quick and easy to read, and while didn’t provide much additional information to the overall story of Elantris, it was good to revisit the story. I read it right after finishing Elantris and felt that while it added something to the overall story of Elantris, if you were to never read The Hope of Elantris you would be just fine too.

I recommend the story if your able to get your hands on it, as it would take about 20 minutes to read it.


The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson



Return to the Cosmere world of Sel in the novella of The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson. The story of Elantris and this one both take place on Sel, but are not overtly connected and don’t rely on each other narratively (at least at this point). This novella was recently released in the collection of stories, Arcanam Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson.

In The Emperor’s Soul we are introduced to a new magic system and a new civilization. We meet Shai who is a thief and a Forger, who is being held captive for theft by a group of nobles who need her to restore the Emperor’s soul to him. The Emperor was attacked by assassin’s, and while he still lives, he is in a coma and unable to speak. A bargain is struck with Shai that if she is able to restore the Emperor, they will let her go.

The magic system that Shai is able to use is called Forging. This requires that the Forger learn all she can about her subject and recreate memories, habits, opinions, etc. and put them into a soulstone stamp so that the individual can use this soulstamp on a daily basis to remind them of their lost memories.

Most of the story takes place in Shai’s room that she is being imprisoned in while creating the soulstamp for the Emperor. While this sounds kind of boring, it’s actually filled with great character development, political intrigue, and interesting world building. The story takes place over a period of 90 days, but moves really fast and has great pacing.

While The Emperor’s Soul is only a novella and takes place in such a confined area, there is so much information learned about this newly introduced Rose Empire of Sel. The devil is in the details as they say. I guarantee you’ll be reading this one over and over to try and figure out how it not only connects with Elantris, but the rest of the Cosmere.


Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Step into the world of Elantris, a city where the dead go to die. Once considered gods, Elantrians are now shunned and locked away in hopes that they will be forgotten.

Elantris of today is in shambles and is considered a city of the dead, however 10 years ago it was the city of the gods filled with luminous beings, amazing technology, and was a center of learning. Ten years prior to the story, the Reod occurred which led to the downfall of Elantris and the Elantrians. No one was able to figure out why things changed, until now.

In reading Elantris we follow one of our heroes, Raoden, as he is able to unravel this mystery, with the help of new friends. We also follow the adventures of Sarene, a princess from another realm who is now a part of the story, as she tries to uncover the mystery of what happened to Raoden. Unbeknownst to them, Raoden and Sarene are able to work together to bring about important social change, political change, and their own personal salvation.

We are introduced to the magic system of this part of Sel, the AonDor. The AonDor is part of the Dor, the magic of Sel and something not fully explained yet, and the AonDor is what gives Elantrians their power and long lasting life. We see how when the AonDor manifests itself in a person, they are chosen by the Shaod, and undergo physical changes are transformed into Elantrians. However, due to the Reod, this process was perverted and became a curse instead of a blessing. We are able to discover, through Raoden, how this process occurred and what, if at all, can be done to reverse the Reod.

When I first read Elantris many years ago, it was presented to me as a standalone story. A story that is self contained and doesn’t rely on other stories or isn’t part of a long series. While this is somewhat true, and was the case at the time I read Elantris, there is so much going on in this story that is only now being revealed and connected to other stories in the Cosmere. There will be more connections and more stories of Elantris in the future and for this I am happy that this didn’t end up being a “one off” and that the story continues!