The Emperor’s Soul is Brandon Sanderson’s newest novella and I have to tell you guys – it blew me away. I loved it all: from the awesome characterization to the brilliant setting to what Brandon Sanderson does best – world building. My little fantasy-loving heart is still fangirling several days after finishing.
Shai is an expert Forger – she can recreate pretty much anything by using magic to rewrite something’s history. From paintings to walls to…souls? When she gets caught stealing, she is sure it is an instant death sentence. Luckily for her…the emperor’s council needs her help. Emperor Ashravan’s soul is gone and they want Shai to create a copy before anyone notices that he is out of commission. Since Shai’s mama didn’t raise no fool, she doesn’t immediately laugh in their faces like “HAHAHAHA YEAH RIGHT, MORONS.” She just agrees to do it while immediately working on an escape plan for when she can’t actually manage to do it.
As Shai digs into Ashravan’s life to try and Forge his soul – she learns a lot about his true nature she wasn’t expecting and becomes more and more determined to succeed. She also has a choice – will she exploit the opportunity and create a way for herself to gain a measure of control over the emperor?
You guys – there is so much packed into the 175 pages of The Emperor’s Soul. How awesome does that plot sound? I love the political, moral and legal questions woven deftly into the story. I was wondering about the implications of an emperor with a counterfeit soul right along with Shai and the council members. She had so many decisions to make about what to include in his personality stamp – and what to leave out.
The concept of Forging is gold. Brandon Sanderson always comes up with the coolest magic systems. If I could read an entire series of books revolving around Shai and her abilities, you better believe I would be all over that. Also, there is a very cool author’s note at the end about where the idea came from that I, as a total nerd, found fascinating.
Also – the cover. YOU GUYS. I love it. It is so true to the story and to Shai. I loved having that as the picture of her in my head while reading.
Seriously, The Emperor’s Soul is absolutely brilliant. I would have devoured it gladly if it had been 800 pages long, but I can definitely appreciate how detailed and complete it felt contained at under 200 pages.
To Sum It Up:
- Every single thing about this book is exceptional – the characters, setting and world building all knocked my socks off.
- THE MAGIC SYSTEM IS BEYOND COOL. Seriously, the concept of Forging? Brandon Sanderson, you are the man.
- It asks all sorts of important political and moral questions without actually asking them. Lots of food for thought here, folks.