Opinionated Women and Elantris


I’ve just finished reading a novel. I usually, or rather I used to more frequently, read non-fiction. Recently I have been trying to relax a little more. Slow down my pace of life; wow, don’t I sound old before my time! As such, I have been reading some fantasy books; fantasy and Sci-Fi are my favourite fiction. I like to escape to another world. Oh, and I also like murder mystery!

Anyway, I have finished Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. I very much enjoyed it. It was a page turner. Some books are slow burning, and you enjoy the character play and wait for it to get exciting at the end. This book hit you with action and excitement from the word go.

It starts with the prince of Areleon, Raoden, being taken by the ‘Sheod’, a transformation that comes on any of the people of Areleon and Teod. This transformation has been malfunctioning for years, and turns the recipients into dark patchy-skinned half humanoids. As a result the prince is chucked into Elantris, which is the relic of a once affluent city. All people taken by the Sheod are cast into Elantris.

Raoden was engaged to be married to a Teoish princes Serene, but he was cast into Elantris before she was able to even meet him for the first time. He is thought dead by the nobility of Areleon, a rumour started by Ieoden the King, lest shame come upon the King’s house.

I will not say anymore, so I don’t ruin it for anyone. I loved the character play the most. Personally, I thought Serene was cast best. Perhaps that’s because I related to her in someways In my teens. Serene is an intelligent no-nonsense woman who is very interested in politics; and she is very skilled in it herself. She has pushed men away by her powerful personality. Men, Serene had discovered, liked women who were not as intimidating as herself, and who did not threaten their role as protector and guardian. She was also a very witty woman. Now this is something I have often wondered, I might even be slandering my own sex here, but: why does it seem that there are more witty men than women!? Anyway, that is an aside.

I don’t relate to Serene because I used to be intelligent or into politics. I relate because I have FELT on occasion that my unreserved character could have sometimes put men off. I don’t claim this is necessarily true, buy just the way I have felt in the past. Sweet, pretty and submissive girls seem to go like hot potatoes! Average-looking, quizzical, have-an-opinion type girls seem to have a harder job of it. I have heard many other girls complain that this is true.

But let’s analyse: is it really that men often overlook the qualities in a woman because of her less-than-beautiful appearance? I’m sure it is sometimes true. But perhaps those women who are left waiting longer mis-judge their competitors? It is possible, surely? Perhaps the pretty girls have a great personality too? Perhaps they are also very intelligent and skilled. ‘Ah! It’s not fair!’ I hear you say. But, as I have always thought, why would any woman want a man so very swayed by appearance? Surely that is the Hight of immaturity and shallowness? I think so.

But again, balance is needed. There needs to be SOME physical attraction. But my issue is with those who are overly interested in appearance. I love it when you meet someone who you wouldn’t describe as a super model, but by getting to know them they become very attractive to you. Isn’t that always lovely?

Conclusion? Well, I guess us women might be better off comparing ourselves to each other a bit less, and perhaps there will be greater understanding between us – and a marked rise in our self-esteem. But I think I’m preaching to the converted, a lot of these things have been said before.


  1. #1 by Gareth on February 11, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    Nice – I might check it out. Have you ever read any China Mieville? it’s excellent!

    • #2 by emmausattwilight on February 11, 2012 - 2:44 pm

      No I haven’t but I’ve been looking for a new book to read. Any particular one by him/her you think I should start with?

  2. #3 by Pete on February 11, 2012 - 10:50 pm

    I am more than happy for women to have opinions… but not to spell Sci-Fi without a ‘c’


    • #4 by emmausattwilight on February 12, 2012 - 3:03 pm

      Ah! Thank you for the heads up! I’m a little dyslexic. (I mention that in my About page). As I said I don’t normally read novels – and obviously haven’t learnt how to spell Sci-Fi! Shame on me ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • #5 by Pete on February 12, 2012 - 5:08 pm

        Aww I feel so mean now for picking on you, won’t do it again!

      • #6 by emmausattwilight on February 13, 2012 - 7:00 am

        Ha! No please don’t feel bad. I’m trying to improve my writing skills – so your comment is really helpful.

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