Elantris Reading Group Questions
Several people have asked for a list like this, so I wrote it! If you have a local book club, please consider suggesting Elantris to them. Then, you can use questions from the author himself to guide your discussion!
1) Most people who read the book find themselves gravitating toward one of the three characters. Which was your favorite, and why? Did you find yourself disliking the time I gave to other characters, and if so, which one was your least favorite?
2) The format of the book is a little bit unique. I use a ‘chapter triad’ system, where I rotate through the three viewpoints covering roughly the same period of time thrice over. How do you think this enhanced/detracted from the book? Did you even notice?
3) Some of the cultures in ELANTRIS were based, obviously, on ones from our world. (JinDo, Duladel.) Others were developed specifically for the book. (The Elantris society, most of Fjordell society.) Which culture felt the most real to you, and why?
4) The ending of the book was devised to stand out from the rest of the work. The chapter triad system broke down, the tone changed from ‘political intrigue’ to ‘outright warfare’ and the viewpoints began to speed up, moving in quick rotation. Did you like the rushed feeling of the ending, or did you find it too overwhelming? Why? Which of the twists were your favorite? Which ones did you see coming, and which ones surprised you?
5) The magic in ELANTRIS was designed to be one of its more unique points, which makes it ironic that for most of the book, it doesn’t work. What were your thoughts on this? Did you like the scientific approach to magic, or would you have preferred something more mystical? What parts of the magic system and its plotting did you like, and which did you find unimportant?
6) Hrathen’s death has been discussed very extensively in several groups I know. What were your opinions on his demise?
7) Where do YOU think the Seons came from, and how do they relate to the magic of AonDor?
8) Elantris was written as a stand-alone book. That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m not planning to eventually do more in this world. What would you like to see in a sequel?
9) Speaking of sequels, here’s what I’M planning. A book that takes place ten years after the events of ELANTRIS. It would occur in the capitol city of Fjorden, and would star Kiin’s children as viewpoint characters along with a Seon viewpoint character. The plot of the book: Wyrn has declared that Jaddeth, the Derethi God, is going to finally return. (A new interpretation of the scriptures says that he’ll return when everyone east of the mountains converts, so they don’t have to worry about Teod and Arelon.) Kiin’s family, ambassadors to the Fjordell state, has to deal with the chaos of this announcement, and investigate the truth behind the Dakhor magic. Thoughts?
10) Would you read any more of Brandon Sanderson’s books? (Hint: Mistborn is already out, and it’s really good!)