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Annotation Elantris 61-2

You are reading author’s annotations that relate to a specific chapter of the book ELANTRIS. Note that the following is NOT the text of the actual chapter, but a companion to the chapter, revealing “behind the scenes” information. If you have not read the book up to–and including–this chapter, you risk serious spoilers! Please, if you haven’t read ELANTRIS, go visit the sample chapters, or perhaps purchase the book via Amazon. Note–thoughts about the chapter that might spoil events in later chapters have been hidden. You can reveal them via the button on the left, and they will appear in red. Not all chapters have hidden text–in fact, relatively few of them do. Thanks!

Chapter Sixty-one Part Two


The several mentions of the ChayShan, along with both of the scenes where Shuden performs it, were added to the book to give a feeling of scope. I wanted the reader to understand that there are things in this world that are different from the increasingly-familiar magic and society of Arelon.

We’ll talk a little bit more about this event in the text. However, realize that the ChayShan wasn’t ever intended to be effective or successful–it’s not a Deus Ex Machina for the people trapped inside Elantris. It is a hint of things I plan to do with the future of this world.


Talk of the ChayShan leads us into the scene where Sarene’s women decide to fight back. Like the ChayShan, this plotting element wasn’t intended to be anything spectacular, or to provide last minute salvation. In fact, the actual battle is kind of short. (My editor, by the way, thinks that I should have expanded this scene, letting the women be a little more heroic. I didn’t necessarily disagree, but that edit just never found its way into a revision.)

The women attack because it fulfills the form of this novel. This is a book about people who resist despite hopelessness, and it is about making use of you limitations to overcome your hardships. It’s about the spirit of mankind.

Not everyone who does things like this, however, is going to be as successful as Raoden. I wanted the women to fight back here–I wanted them to give a nod to the theme of the book while at the same time fulfilling Sarene’s ‘fencing plot’ cycle. The women did her proud–the fought back while their men waited to be slain.

Interestingly, this Lukel scene fulfills the opposite function of what his previous one. Instead of offering a bit of hope when all the other viewpoints look dark, this one turns down while the others are having success.

|   Castellano