Review: The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson

November 28, 2012 5 stars, Book Review 4

Pabkin’s One Liner: So few pages and I couldn’t get enough!

Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson

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.

Brandon Sanderson continually amazes me with his ability to create utterly unique magic systems and The Emperor’s Soul was no different. This magic was called Forgery. Where a Forger, could rewrite an objects history into a stamp they would then stamp onto the object, thereby changing it. For instance a broken window could be made new by changing its history that it was never repaired. That is just a simply example but it was amazing the things that could be done with it. The stamps were based off inspiration from the stamps Chinese artists add to their work once finished. The things a forger could do were amazing. Shai the main character is caught because of a forgery she did and was trying to swap for an imperial treasure. Now her task set by her captors the imperial advisors….is to forge a completely new soul, where one no longer exists in a body, something no forger has ever done before that she knows of. A new soul for the Emperor.

Shai is a thief and super resourceful but in my mind she is an honorable thief. I couldn’t help but like her and I was super interested to see how the forging of a soul would work and how she was also going to try to escape. It was such a well done story even as short as it was. I think it would make an excellent movie too. I highly recommend it to any fantasy fan.

I was super excited to learn in the authors notes at the end that The Emperor’s Soul takes place in the same world as his book Elantris, but in a different country. Woohoo right?

My one and only gripe about The Emperor’s Soul was the price tag. It cost a little over $10 for a paperback that wasn’t even 200 pages! I wasn’t going to buy it at first but I just couldn’t resist, as Sanderson is one of my favorite authors. So the publishers must know that loyal fans are still willing to pay such an unfair price for an author they love.

The Emperor’s Soul

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• This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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4 Responses to “Review: The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson”

  1. [email protected]

    I have Elantris on the shelves, but I still haven’t read it: I can’t imagine why! Because that book also sounds really good.

    Coming back to the story, I’m fascinated by this type of magic. Sounds very unique indeed and I love that! It’s always great when an author comes with something new and refreshing. I’m definitely going to take a look at this one and I’m going to put it on my GR list. Thanks for sharing your lovely review.
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    • Pabkins

      He is seriously one of my favorites. I once drove 2 hours away just to go to a book signing/reading for him. He is such a sweet guy too. I’m so lucky I found him because he is finishing the Wheel of Time Series that was written by Robert Jordan who passed away a few years ago. Luckily because him and his wife knew he was dying they arranged for Sanderson to finish his fantasy series. So that is how I found out about him a few years ago. All of his stuff I’ve read thus far is so amazing! Fantasy genre, he doesn’t do urban – which I’m glad about though.
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