The Emperor's Soul

( 74 )

Overview


2013 Hugo Winner

From the best-selling author of the Mistborn Trilogy and the co-author of the final three books of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series comes the tale of a heretic thief who is the only hope for the survival of an empire.

Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Although condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given...

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The Emperor's Soul

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Overview


2013 Hugo Winner

From the best-selling author of the Mistborn Trilogy and the co-author of the final three books of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series comes the tale of a heretic thief who is the only hope for the survival of an empire.

Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Although condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Despite the fact that 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 from the attack of assassins.

Delving 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 her forgery is as much artistry as it is deception.

Skillfully deducing the machinations of her captors, Shai needs a perfect plan to escape. The fate of the kingdom lies in one impossible task. Is it possible to create a forgery of a soul so convincing that it is better than the soul itself?

Winner of the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The forgery was a masterpiece, an almost perfect replica of a priceless work of art. The minor inconsistencies were all but impossible for even an expert to detect. However, Shai had been betrayed. Now awaiting execution, Shai would be reprieved if she could do the impossible. As a Forger, Shai is a skillful artist who can apply complex magical glyphs to rewrite the history of the item to change it completely. Although Forgers are despised, the Empire needs Shai to accomplish the unthinkable: to Forge a new soul for the Emperor. Verdict: Sanderson, the best-selling author of the Mistborn Trilogy and The Way of Kings, has set this novella in the same world as Elantris, one of his earlier novels, but it is totally independent. Fantasy fans will love both the compelling story and the creative magical setting.”
Library Journal

“Sanderson proves to be an exceptionally talented writer in the pages of this book.... The Emperor’s Soul is one of those rare high fantasies that feels fresh and is filled with a sense of wonder.”
—Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction

The Emperor’s Soul is a worthy addition to Sanderson’s bibliography: a new magic system with some interesting implications, a couple of fascinating characters, a focused plot, and a subtle link to the much larger picture he’s been painting for years.”
Tor.com

“With a fascinating study of clashing beliefs, another inventive magic system, and highly entertaining action sequence, The Emperor’s Soul is the book I would recommend to anyone who wants to find out for the first time what Sanderson is all about.”
Fantasy Book Review

“This story had such a wonderful balance with the world, characters, and magic building, that I truly hope the author will explore it more....”
Open Book Society, five-star review

The Emperor’s Soul is fast-paced, clever, and fun....”
Fantasy Book Critic

“This is a fantastic novella set in the Elantris world. Despite it’s short length this story was complex, intriguing, and just absolutely magical and engaging.”
Hidden in Pages

“An excellent fast read, highly recommended for readers looking for unique story worlds and magic systems. It won the 2013 Hugo Award for a Novella, and that really says it all.”
Flight of the Dragon

From the Publisher

"Elantris is the finest novel of fantasy to be written in many years. Brandon Sanderson has created a truly original world of magic and intrigue, and with the rigor of the best science fiction writers he has made it real at every level."  —Orson Scott Card on Elantris

"Fantasy fans will love both the compelling story and the creative magical setting." —www.LibraryJournal.com

"The Emperor's Soul is a worthy addition to Sanderson's bibliography: a new magic system with some interesting implications, a couple of fascinating characters, a focused plot, and a subtle link to the much larger picture he's been painting for years." —www.tor.com

"This story had such a wonderful balance with the world, characters and magic building, that I truly hope the author will explore it more with Shai and the world she lives in." —www.OpenBookSociety.com

"A fascinating study of clashing beliefs, another inventive magic system, and highly entertaining action sequence. . . . This is an easy recommendation to every fantasy reader out there." —www.FantasyBookReview.co.uk

"Sanderson proves to be an exceptionally talented writer in the pages of this book. . . . The Emperor's Soul is one of those rare high fantasies that feels fresh and is filled with a sense of wonder." —Fantasy & Science Fiction (March 2013)

Library Journal
The forgery was a masterpiece, an almost perfect replica of a priceless work of art. The minor inconsistencies were all but impossible for even an expert to detect. However, Shai had been betrayed. Now awaiting execution, Shai would be reprieved if she could do the impossible. As a Forger, Shai is a skillful artist who can apply complex magical glyphs to rewrite the history of the item to change it completely. Although Forgers are despised, the Empire needs Shai to accomplish the unthinkable: to Forge a new soul for the Emperor.

Verdict Sanderson, the best-selling author of the “Mistborn Trilogy” and The Way of Kings, has set this novella in the same world as Elantris, one of his earlier novels, but it is totally independent. Fantasy fans will love both the compelling story and the creative magical setting.—William Baer, Georgia Inst. of Technology Lib., Atlanta
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Fantasy & Science Fiction - Charles de Lint
Sanderson proves to be an exceptionally talented writer in the pages of this book. ... His characters are fascinating and fully realized. ... The Emperor's Soul is one of those rare high fantasies that feels fresh and is filled with a sense of wonder.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616960926
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications
  • Publication date: 10/10/2012
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 106,261
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is the New York Times best-selling author of Elantris and the Mistborn Trilogy. In 2007, he was chosen by Robert Jordan’s widow to complete Jordan’s epic Wheel of Time series. The final volume was published in three novels: The Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight, and A Memory of Light. Sanderson received his Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University (where he was a college roommate of Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings). He participates in the weekly podcast Writing Excuses.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 74 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(60)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended!

    Brought to you by OBS reviewer Sammy

    Beware of spoilers!

    Wow, what a lovely well written novella, I loved it ! There was a contest on goodreads that I signed up for when I saw the cover. I know don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but the cover is beautiful and after reading the book it fits perfectly to the story. I didn’t win the contest, I did get lucky and am thankful that it was a book on the OBS list of books to review. This is the first book by this author I have read and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do so.

    One of things with the Fantasy genre for me is, that in other reads in the past there are the over abundance of odd names for people etc. In this story I was able to follow the characters without any trouble, the author made things so clear. With Sanderson’s style of writing when introducing someone into the story you felt like you knew them. The way he describes things makes you see and feel it. Clearly a super skill and one which will have me checking out his other books.

    My favorite character of course was the always observing Shai, her way of looking at things was interesting and very Zen like, in fact the whole book really took on some of the Zen and no Zen differences throughout the whole story.

    “No person was one single emotion: no person had only one desire. They had many and usually those desires conflicted with one another like two rosebushes fighting for the same patch of ground.”
    This concept could be found in one of my philosophical /Buddhist books. All of the prose was strong and made things very visual. The way the author explains the magic is amazing, how Shai was able to change the window back to it’s former glory, how everything has an identity is a great concept. Then there were the ruling people who didn’t look at the full picture and wanted to abuse their power for selfish gains or the soldier who was one dimensional in his passion to protect the Empire and his hatred of Shai. That was great, he never changed in the story. One of my favorite parts, there were many, was when Gaotona fully understood why Shai had to burn the painting. He understood her pain and how she still had to do it.

    This story had such a wonderful balance with the world , characters and magic building, that I truly hope the author will explore it more with Shai and the world she lives. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for future books.

    I highly recommend this book for young adults and to anyone who enjoys the Fantasy genre and magic.

    This review and more at openbooksociety dot com

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 2, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    I love this story. No wasted words, gripping story and a lot of new information to ponder for the Elantris world. The main character is great!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Another excellent work from Sanderson

    This book was the perfect one evening read. If you like Sanderson's other works, you'll enjoy this one too.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    We'll be counting stars!

    I usually don't rate books finding the giving of stars to determine the value of a book or as the source of recommendation for someone to read a book a very tenous business. I'd rather use plain words spoken from one reader directed to another reader validating the expenditure of time on a particular book.
    However, in this case, the "starring" of this book seems to be the quickest and most persuasive way to get my opinion across and to connect to fellow readers who enjoyed this book and desire its discovery by others.
    Read this book my reading-friends, my fellow adventurers, those who believe in deeper fates and larger destinies and minds that can see into the realm of unimaginable possibilites and hearts that encompass the sustainablity of dreams.
    Five stars does not seem quite enough!

    Nute

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2013

    AWESOME book! This is a wonderful story, as always Mr. Sanderson

    AWESOME book! This is a wonderful story, as always Mr. Sanderson weaves an incredible tale. Always new and orginal I have enjoyed reading many of his books and this was no exception!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    The Soul of an Artist

    As a person who has drawn and painted a number of portraits I know first hand what goes into the work is more than just recording what is seen. Sanderson has captured the essence of a master artist and then taken it to a whole new place. While it is shorter than I like.. could a story that amazes you at every page turn ever be long enough? It is proof that the beauty of a creation should never be based on size or length.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    The usual amazing read!

    Sanderson continues his fascinating habbit of coming up with unique and mind blowing magic systems. Being more of a novelette, The Emperor's Soul is a fast yet exceedingly satisfying read...one of Sanderson's best...which incidentally he says so too on his blog!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Great short story. Typical brilliant exposition by this author.

    Great short story. Typical brilliant exposition by this author. Innovative and exotic magic system. Fabulous characterization for such a short novella. Easy to read. Eventual outcome was somewhat expected but the method of getting there was not at all easy to anticipate. So, the tension remained high until the very end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2012

    Good short story

    Good short story

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    A great read

    A great little book for an evening's read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2012

    This is a very good book. Great detail for a short story. I can'

    This is a very good book. Great detail for a short story. I can't add anything that the other reviews haven't already stated.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    Fantastic

    A must read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    Engrossing

    If you need a little snack. A light morsel to tide you over between two bigger books. Dive right in.

    This is classic Sanderson. A new magic systems that draws you in. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and I HIGHLY recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2012

    I loved this book

    I loved this book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2014

    Good read !!!

    Really enjoyed this book !!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    Wonderful

    Wonder-full

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Great intro to Sanderson!

    This was the first book I read by Brandon Sanderson. One of my close friends recommended it to me and I could not put it down! It is short but the world he's created is so fascinating and bizarre that I just wanted to know everything.

    I won't even bother writing a summary. If you are interested in something quick and mind-blowing, this is the book for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2013

    Interesting and cool

    I've not read anything before by this author, but I will try to in the future. This was a good, short read with interesting ideas.

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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    Such an amazing world built in so few pages. I have not read Ela

    Such an amazing world built in so few pages. I have not read Elantris, I need to get it now. I hope Mr. Sanderson writes more about this world -- I would love to spend more time in it.

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  • Posted June 8, 2013

    A fantastic read.

    The Emperor's Soul is a novella that takes place in the same world as Brandon Sanderson's debut novel, Elantris. It focuses on a master criminal named Wan ShaiLu who's found herself on death row unless she can fulfill a forbidden task appointed to her. === Book Description: When Shai is caught replacing the Moon Scepter with her nearly flawless forgery, she must bargain for her life. An assassin has left the Emperor Ashravan without consciousness, a circumstance concealed only by the death of his wife. If the emperor does not emerge after his hundred-day mourning period, the rule of the Heritage Faction will be forfeit and the empire will fall into chaos. Shai is given an impossible task: to create—to Forge—a new soul for the emperor in less than one hundred days. But her soul-Forgery is considered an abomination by her captors. She is confined to a tiny, dirty chamber, guarded by a man who hates her, spied upon by politicians, and trapped behind a door sealed in her own blood. Shai's only possible ally is the emperor's most loyal councillor, Gaotona, who struggles to understand her true talent. Time is running out for Shai. Forging, while deducing the motivations of her captors, she needs a perfect plan to escape… [Book Description End] === Sanderson introduces a new magic system in this story, called Forging. It has to do with the carving of "soulstamps," which can rewrite an object's history. The entire process is very hard to explain, and in the novella itself Sanderson explains it over a decent amount of time. While Forging is very hard to do successfully, if someone with the right skill works for enough time—usually over years—they can Forge something as ridiculous as a human soul. Shai is forced to Forge the soul of the most well-known man in the entire Rose Empire in only one hundred days, which is virtually impossible. Thankfully, her captors don't know the slightest thing about Forging, so over this amount of time she can plan her escape without the others knowing what she's up to. The Emperor's Soul is about what transpires during those one hundred days. The narrative of the book is almost entirely from the point of view of Shai, allowing the reader to get to know her and sympathize with who she is. Though the world may not approve, there's a reason she does what she does. As always, Sanderson delivers with his amazingly well-crafted world and characters. During Shai's captivity, she begins to develop a fondness of the arbiter Gaotona, some of her guards, and even the emperor himself. An emotional aspect of the story is that even if Shai truly can Forge the emperor's soul in such a short time, he won't actually be the emperor that once was. He'd just be a copy, no matter how real that copy was. In the end, The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson is a fantastic read. For a short tale, it's very well-developed and makes the reader feel at home in the fictional world. If you can spare a few dollars, I very highly recommend it.

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