Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson

The Emperor's SoulFantasy
Goodreads Summary:

A heretic thief is the empire’s only hope in this fascinating tale that inhabits the same world as the popular novel, Elantris.
Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Though her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new soul for the emperor, who is almost dead.

Probing deeply into his life, she discovers Emperor Ashravan’s truest nature—and the opportunity to exploit it. Her only possible ally is one who is truly loyal to the emperor, but councilor Gaotona must overcome his prejudices to understand that Shai’s forgery is as much artistry as it is deception.

Brimming with magic and political intrigue, this deftly woven fantasy delves into the essence of a living spirit.

The Emperor’s Soul is a fast read at only 170 pages.  It is more novella length than book length but it still tells a complete story.

I loved Shai.  She believes in what she does and considers herself an artist.  When she is given the change to give the Emperor a new soul in return for her life she throws herself into the challenge.  She knows that if she succeeds the people who promised her freedom will kill her instead. It was the challenge that drew her.  No one had ever done this before.  She started a job and she was determined to see it through to the finish.  That did not mean she did not put in some very subtle changes in the Emperor’s personality.

The story needed one loyal man and that was Gaotona.  He really carried for the emperor.  Working with Shai he began to understand the extent of the job she was trying to do.  He had a more open mind that any of the other characters.  He still did not like what was being done but developed an unexpected respect for Shai.

Wondering how everything was going to turn out generated a great deal of tension.  The ending held a few surprises.

If you like Brandon Sanderson’s writing be sure to pick up The Emperor’s Soul.  It is a very entertaining read.

Tachyon published The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson in 2012.

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