‘The Emperor’s Soul’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2018 4/200


The Emperor’s Soul By Brandon Sanderson

eBook Edition

Finished on 11/27/2017


Description: 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.

Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Novella

Shai has 100 days to complete 3 impossible tasks: create a man’s soul, escape from the Rose Empire’s Palace and befriend a man who views her as an abomination.

Spoiler-tastic review

This is a re-read for me. I decided to re-read it because I’m reading ‘Oathbringer’ soon.

If anything this book is stronger now during a re-read than it was the first time I read it. Sanderson is (in)famous for his voluminous, voluminous prose, so when this novella came out five years ago it was a refreshing surprise from everyone. It contains all of Sanderson’s strong archetypical characterization as well as his eye for plot. Coupled with that is his eye for creating a deep world, even though the book itself only ever scratches the surface of the planet Sel.

This is a good place to enter Sanderson’s Cosmere. ‘The Emperor’s Soul’ is the refined essence of all of Sanderson’s good writing traits, while all the negative aspects of his style (see voluminous, voluminous prose) are left at the wayside.

My one nitpick is that this book contains a little purple prose.

Highly recommended.

Stay Sunny!



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