L'Âme de l'Empereur (Elantris) - Download Free Ebook Now
Hot Best Seller

L'Âme de l'Empereur (Elantris)

Availability: Ready to download

Also available in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection. 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, s Also available in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection. 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.


Compare

Also available in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection. 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, s Also available in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection. 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.

30 review for L'Âme de l'Empereur (Elantris)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petrik

    (I read this in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection) Incredible… 105 pages, that’s apparently the minimum amount of pages Sanderson needs to create a fantastic story with strong beginning, character development, great climax and satisfying conclusion. The Emperor's Soul is one of the best NOVELLA of all time for me, it has the quality of a fully fledged novel, it even surpassed a lot of fantasy novels these days. I won’t go into any details on what the plot is, it’s only 100 pages, try to ju (I read this in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection) Incredible… 105 pages, that’s apparently the minimum amount of pages Sanderson needs to create a fantastic story with strong beginning, character development, great climax and satisfying conclusion. The Emperor's Soul is one of the best NOVELLA of all time for me, it has the quality of a fully fledged novel, it even surpassed a lot of fantasy novels these days. I won’t go into any details on what the plot is, it’s only 100 pages, try to jump into this one without knowing anything about the story like I did. The plot dances upon several themes such as human’s personality and about what makes an art truly an art. There’s a lot of beautiful philosophical contemplation to be found here and the story is really well paced. The book also doesn’t waste any time getting into the plot, there’s no info dump, the magic system and world building are all introduced gradually with the plot and character development. Have I mentioned that the main character Wan ShaiLu (or Shai in short) is a really great and strong heroine? Shai Everything about this book is really great but the best part for me will have to be the Asian influence in its fantastic magic system and world building aspects. As an Asian myself, I find it a unique experience to read a great high fantasy story with the high amount of detail to Asian culture and even though this is a short book, Forgery and Bloodsealing, the magic systems, are imbued with intricate explanation and imaginative, as Sanderson’s usual strength. Forgery that relied on Soulstamp (Sanderson’s version of Chinese Seals), settings that reminded me of an older Asian palace, the clothes, everything is highly influenced by Asian culture. The reason for this is that Emperor’s Soul is a novella created based on Sanderson’s experience in Taiwan, thus the reason for all the Asian influence in the book. I need to also mention that although the setting of the world is in Sel, the same world where Elantris (Sanderson’s debut novel) took place in, you can read this novella without any knowledge of Elantris. There are only two or three terms from Elantris mentioned in the story and they served close to zero influence on the story, you probably won’t even realize this book is related to it. Plus, in my opinion, this 100 pages novella is so much better than Elantris 600 pages novel. The Emperor’s Soul is a phenomenal novella, it won a Hugo Award for Best Novella category in 2013 for a reasonable reason. The quality of this short story surpassed a lot of other fantasy novels in the market, it’s impressive, it’s unique, the plot is well paced and the writing is vivid and immersive. I absolutely recommend this novella to anyone who’s looking for a great unique experience in high fantasy. Doesn’t matter if you’re a Cosmere fan or not, you don’t want to miss this reading this one. I’ll leave Sanderson’s quote in the Emperor’s Soul postscript of Arcanum Unbounded as the closing of my review. “You can’t always write what you know—not exactly what you know. You can, however, write what you see.” –Brandon Sanderson And that’s exactly what he did, with brilliance. Side note: If you’re wondering the identity of one of the characters in the book, The Imperial Fool. Read this deleted prologue posted by Brandon Sanderson himself and why he decided to exclude it. Only read it after you FINISHED the book. http://brandonsanderson.com/the-emper... You can also find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at Booknest

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    What if you could create anything? Or more specifically, what if you could change the history of an object and essentially recreate what it believes it is? All you need is a little Titanium White... Ok. Maybe not. Shai is a Forger who got pinched by the Imperial po-po while trying to steal some of their shit, and now, in exchange for her freedom, she's been tasked with recreating the Emperor's Soul! Which, in case you were wondering is why the book is titled, The Emperor's Soul. Now, she's got to do What if you could create anything? Or more specifically, what if you could change the history of an object and essentially recreate what it believes it is? All you need is a little Titanium White... Ok. Maybe not. Shai is a Forger who got pinched by the Imperial po-po while trying to steal some of their shit, and now, in exchange for her freedom, she's been tasked with recreating the Emperor's Soul! Which, in case you were wondering is why the book is titled, The Emperor's Soul. Now, she's got to do this in secret because the dude's been left a vegetable due to a failed assassination attempt. Of course, creating (or recreating, in this case) a soul is next to impossible even if you had years to work on it, and Shai most certainly does not have years. She's got a few months before the Emperor's council need to present him as hale and hearty to the other factions within the government who want to take over. So what's a girl to do? Well, that's one option. But Shai has other plans... This was a really good short story, and if Sanderson's other fantasy stuff is anything like this, then I can't wait to read more!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Iryna (Book and Sword)

    "The Emperor's Soul" deserves all of the stars. All of the praise. “There was rarely an obvious branching point in a person's life. People changed slowly, over time. You didn't take on step, then find yourself in a completely new location. Then you stopped paying attention as you drifted farther and farther away. ” You know what this book's only flaw is? It's way too short. Oh, don't worry, the story is all perfectly wrapped up and beautiful. There just needs to be more of this because "The Emper "The Emperor's Soul" deserves all of the stars. All of the praise. “There was rarely an obvious branching point in a person's life. People changed slowly, over time. You didn't take on step, then find yourself in a completely new location. Then you stopped paying attention as you drifted farther and farther away. ” You know what this book's only flaw is? It's way too short. Oh, don't worry, the story is all perfectly wrapped up and beautiful. There just needs to be more of this because "The Emperor's soul" is a masterpiece. I could easily read 500 more pages of this. That said, this is the best thing I've read this year and it's only 175 pages. The novella is a Hugo Award Winner and I definitely see why. ​175 pages to develop a page turning story with deep background and great characters. 175 pages to create one of the best female main character ever. 175 pages to have reader guessing the next turn and twist. 175 pages apparently was all Brandon Sanderson needed to blow my mind. “She took a deep breath and let herself become someone else. An imitation of herself who was calm, even in a situation like this.” Sanderson has an uncanny ability to write amazing female characters. I've noticed that since the very first pages Vin (Mistborn) was introduced, and once again from the very first pages of Shai in this book. First of all Shai wears glasses! Hello, I haven't ever read of a girl in a book, let alone fantasy book, who wears glasses! So, as a fellow glass wearer, I approve of this a 100 percent. Shai is both overly confident and the most humble. She is brilliant. Yes, some of her morals might be askew, but she has a big heart and a shining soul. What I find absolutely refreshing from Sanderson's books is that he never focuses on his character's appearances. It doesn't matter what a person looks like - what matters is how they behave themselves, how they present themselves and what their skills and talents are. I feel that this is a very important message to deliver in a world where everyone and everything is judged by looks. “People,” Shai said, rising to fetch another seal, “by nature attempt to exercise power over what is around them. We build walls to shelter us from the wind, roofs to stop the rain. We tame the elements, bend nature to our wills. It makes us feel as if we’re in control.” Since this is a short novella I don't want to write anything that might give something away. All I'm going to say is - do yourselves a favor - read it. If you are not into fantasy - read it. Who knows, this might be the book that will get you into it. And if you are Sanderson's fan, but haven't read this yet- you are missing out big time. "The Emperor's Soul" is going on my all-time-favorite-books shelf and it will stay there forever and ever. My WEBSITE My INSTAGRAM My WORDPRESS BLOG

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~

    My only complaint about this book is that it should have been longer! Shai is a forger, meaning that she can rewrite an object's history, thus making it into a new object. Such magic is considered taboo within the Empire, that is until they find themselves enlisting Shai's help to try and forge the soul of their fallen Emperor, Ashravan. I don't know why I loved this so much, I think I was just completely entranced by the magic system. It depends wholly on the plausibility of any given thing to b My only complaint about this book is that it should have been longer! Shai is a forger, meaning that she can rewrite an object's history, thus making it into a new object. Such magic is considered taboo within the Empire, that is until they find themselves enlisting Shai's help to try and forge the soul of their fallen Emperor, Ashravan. I don't know why I loved this so much, I think I was just completely entranced by the magic system. It depends wholly on the plausibility of any given thing to be another thing, it's a mystical power that's rooted in an object's potential, and that is so cool to me. Even though this book was only 175 pages, I was able to get such a clear sense of the characters. They were so genuinely written, like I could absolutely go out into the world and find similar people. When a character feels real, their motivations become important to me as a reader. I love the process of feeling an author breathe life into their words. I'll say that if you're reading this and hoping there will be throwbacks to Elantris, don't. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there isn't really much that ties this book to Teod or Arelon or Elantris or any of the countries/cities previously mentioned. The Jindoese people pop up briefly but that is mostly it. Anyhow, another wonderful installment from Brandon Sanderson!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    Audible Daily Deal Sale until 28Jan18 $1.99 Buddy read with fellow Sandersonitis afflicted friends Athena & Alexa, and newly wrangled in buddy reader Katie 4.5 Soulful Stars Just a reminder that Brandon Sanderson is probably my favorite fantasy writer I’ve read 9 full length books by him and 2 novellas, he consistently never disappoints so I might be a little biased, but deservedly so. His worlds, his imagination, his magic systems, his surprise twists always amaze me. The Emperors Soul was no Audible Daily Deal Sale until 28Jan18 $1.99 Buddy read with fellow Sandersonitis afflicted friends Athena & Alexa, and newly wrangled in buddy reader Katie 4.5 Soulful Stars Just a reminder that Brandon Sanderson is probably my favorite fantasy writer I’ve read 9 full length books by him and 2 novellas, he consistently never disappoints so I might be a little biased, but deservedly so. His worlds, his imagination, his magic systems, his surprise twists always amaze me. The Emperors Soul was no different, it is a complete story with another strong female character and I was totally drawn into the story immediately. Even though this is set in the Elantris world it stands on its own. You could read this without knowing anything about the Elantris story line and be okay and probably enjoy it just as much. Again Sanderson made up an entirely new magic system and showed it beautifully throughout the story. He made characters that were complex and interesting as well as sympathetic. Shai is another strong female character and I loved getting to know her in this. No matter how good you were, someone was better. Live by that knowledge, and you would never grow so confident that you became sloppy. Shai is a forger, she has been trained to use specialized images in stamps to rewrite the past and change things in the present. The Emperor has been damaged beyond repair and Shai is the only hope to create a new soul for him. It is the hardest task she has ever been given and if she fails her life will be forfeit, hell if she succeeds they will most likely kill her too. Shai must figure out how to finish her task and stay alive. “We may feel in control, but we never truly are unless we understand people. Controlling our environment is no longer about blocking the wind, it’s about knowing why the serving lady was crying last night, or why a particular guard always loses at cards. Or why your employer hired you in the first place.” Again another great story from BS, I could hardly pull myself out of the story to even submit a status update. If you have never read a Sanderson book and you are wondering ‘would I like this author?’ this is a great book to try and just get a taste of how wonderful the magic, worlds and characters he creates are.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Haïfa

    I read this novella in the Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection along with my fellow brigdemen (and bridgewomen?) : Celeste, Petrik, Sarah and Mary No matter how good you were, someone was better. Live by that knowledge, and you would never grow so confident that you became sloppy. This is a re-read of the Emperor's Soul and while it was just good the first time I read it, this time I found it to be an exceptional masterpiece!! I'm truly speechless and I never experienced this feeling bef I read this novella in the Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection along with my fellow brigdemen (and bridgewomen?) : Celeste, Petrik, Sarah and Mary No matter how good you were, someone was better. Live by that knowledge, and you would never grow so confident that you became sloppy. This is a re-read of the Emperor's Soul and while it was just good the first time I read it, this time I found it to be an exceptional masterpiece!! I'm truly speechless and I never experienced this feeling before! But this time I truly took my time, savored every word, paid attention to every detail and put the book down from time to time to ponder some retorts or deep thoughts. This was one of the most quotable books I've ever read ! With his simple, yet elegant writing, Brandon Sanderson delivered a remarkable reflection on the complexity of human nature, on the passions that stir; forge or define a person, on the passing of time and how it changes us, remodel us and stifle the fire and dreams of our youth. There was rarely an obvious branching point in a person’s life. People changed slowly, over time. You didn’t take one step, then find yourself in a completely new location. In a little over 100 pages, Sanderson created a new Empire, a new magic system, new complex and compelling characters, and managed to include a brilliant philosophical reflection and detailed explantations and links to the Cosmere. My only complaint about this book is that it is short ! Too short ! And I think my frustration at its length was what made me give it 4 stars the first time I read it. But if you can write 100 pages and include this amount of information, details, complexity, thoughts and feels, than you deserve all the stars, and all the praise that can be given !! “I suspect,” Gaotona said, “that a life full of lying makes reality and falsehood intermix. I don't want to say more about the magic or the characters lest I spoil the surprises of the novella but really if you're fan of Sanderson and his Cosmere, this is an absolute must! And if you love philosophical reflection in your Fantasy, or if you're fond of Fantasy with complex and original magic system, this book is for you!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eric Allen

    The Emperor's Soul By Brandon Sanderson A Review by Eric Allen Due to his work on The Wheel of Time, Brandon Sanderson has not had much time over the last few years for working on his own books. As such, he has elected to write several novellas as sequels to his already published works to tide his fans over until he is freed up from his obligations to the Wheel of Time, and can put his focus entirely back into his own works. The Emperor's Soul is one of these books. Though not actually a sequel, it The Emperor's Soul By Brandon Sanderson A Review by Eric Allen Due to his work on The Wheel of Time, Brandon Sanderson has not had much time over the last few years for working on his own books. As such, he has elected to write several novellas as sequels to his already published works to tide his fans over until he is freed up from his obligations to the Wheel of Time, and can put his focus entirely back into his own works. The Emperor's Soul is one of these books. Though not actually a sequel, it takes place within the same world as Elantris, though in a distant land, and with none of the same characters. Shai is a forger, a person able to create exact copies of anything through magic and an understanding of its history and its pieces. Imprisoned for the theft of priceless artifacts, leaving fakes in their place, Shai awaits the day of her execution. When the Arbiters, those who rule in the Emperor's name, come to her with a proposition, she has little choice to accept. The Emperor has been attacked in an assassination attempt, and though his wounds have been healed, his mind is gone, empty, like a blank slate. Shai is given the task of making a forgery of the Emperor's soul to replace the one that was lost in the attack, and she must finish within one hundred days. Additionally, she must find some way to escape in that time, because it is doubtful that she will be allowed to keep her life with the knowledge that the Emperor himself is a creation of hers. As she delves deeper into her work, it begins to consume her. She puts her all into it, though her life is in danger, because she needs to find out if she is capable of such an awesome task, unable to leave without finding out if her forgery will work or not, not even to save her own life. The Good? This book is short and sweet. It doesn't waste any time getting into the story and the characters. Sanderson has done a very good job of developing Shai as a person through her studies of the Emperor's life, and her philosophical discussions with those who hold her captive. The book is also has a very clever and well hidden message that I believe is a very important one. I'll allow you to find it on your own, if you are able to. The world feels real, the characters feel real, and they do things for very real motivations. The forgery magic system, and the religion of the Empire that teaches that it is an abomination are both very interesting, and allow for some very interesting discussions on morality and points of view. Shai's motives and desire to do what no one has ever done before are very well explained in her actions, and her diving deeply into the the task that has been placed before her makes for a very interesting and entertaining character. The Emperor's Soul is very well written. One of Sanderson's biggest criticisms is that his writing feels very stiff and sometimes lacking in emotion or passion. And though I do enjoy many of his books, I can see where that criticism's roots lie. But this book had none of that in it. It flowed along perfectly, and with the right emotional connections at the right places. Another of his greatest criticisms is that his stories are basically vehicles to show off his ingenuity with magic systems. While a great deal of this book deals with the magic system, and it's morality, the story itself is more about Shai and her motivations as a character this time around. And as such, I found this book to be a lot more entertaining than a lot of Sanderson's previous works. The Bad? This is actually a first. I don't have anything bad to say about this book. There isn't anything I can complain about. I might count its short length as a negative, except for the fact that the story was exactly the length it needed to be. Adding in more scenes would have been unnecessary and would have clogged the story up with things that the plot just didn't need. In conclusion, though this book was short, it was very good. It has an excellent message in it, and a great climax at the end. I very much enjoyed the discussion on morality that this book brings up, and found the dialog to be witty and clever. There is very little external action, but the book is no less entertaining for it. It's a great book for its size and I think anyone who likes the Fantasy Genre will highly enjoy this. Check out my other reviews. **It has come to my attention that Brandon Sanderson has won a Hugo Award with this book. It is well deserved, and I offer him my congratulations on such a prestigious award.**

  8. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

    Original review can be found on Booknest. I am an unapologetic Sandersonite. I’m completely in love with the Cosmere Brandon Sanderson has created, and so far I’ve adored every story he’s crafted that is part of that greater whole. One of the things I love so much about his writing is the size of the books, and the knowledge that he’s a prolific writer, so I never have to wait too terribly long for more of the story. And yet, somehow, this tiny novella is now one of my favorite things he’s writte Original review can be found on Booknest. I am an unapologetic Sandersonite. I’m completely in love with the Cosmere Brandon Sanderson has created, and so far I’ve adored every story he’s crafted that is part of that greater whole. One of the things I love so much about his writing is the size of the books, and the knowledge that he’s a prolific writer, so I never have to wait too terribly long for more of the story. And yet, somehow, this tiny novella is now one of my favorite things he’s written, right after The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance. It was beautiful and profound and made me think deeply. I just wish there had been more of it. This is going to be less of a review than a “deep thoughts inspired by a story” session, so bear with me. Shai is a Forger, a woman who can “flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic,” according to the synopsis. And she is the very best at what she does. The story follows Shai as she attempts an impossible task. It made me question everything I believe about what makes art worthy of praise and what defines a person or object. Is a skillful forgery any less lovely and awe-inspiring simply because it isn’t an “original”? It requires just as much talent and even more attention to detail, along with research and study that the original artist never had to consider. King Solomon claimed that “there is nothing new under the sun,” so what constitutes originality? Art has always been incredibly important in my life. Should I not sing or write or play guitar unless I have something entirely new to say? The most we can hope for as artists is to say something that’s already been said countless times but in some new way. Because nothing is ever said quite the same way twice. There can be no perfect forgeries, not really. When you pour yourself into something, when you give your art everything you are, your blood and sweat and tears and heart and soul, there will be some originality there, in spite of what critics may say. There has to be, because you are an original. There has never been and never will be a copy of you, and thus everything you create bears the unique imprint of your fingertips, your soul, your self. These were the tears of a man who saw before him a masterpiece. True art was more than beauty; it was more than technique. It was not just imitation. It was boldness, it was contrast, it was subtlety. In this book, [he] found a rare work to rival that of the greatest painters, sculptors, and poets of any era. It was the greatest work of art he had ever witnessed. Without getting into the story itself (because it’s a tiny thing and everyone should read it. If you’ve never tried Brandon Sanderson before, here is a fantastic place to dip your toes in the waters of his writing.), Shai’s power comes from her understanding of the three different Realms: the Physical, the Cognitive, and the Spiritual. Everything exists in all three realms. In order to influence an object in the Physical Realm, you must understand how it views itself in the Cognitive Realm. Following this line of thinking, all things have some sort of self-awareness, whether animate or inanimate. This fascinated me. I’m a Christian, and as such I believe that God created us in three parts as He Himself is Triune. We are body, soul, and spirit, our own self-contained imitation of the Holy Trinity. Thus, in order to truly understand ourselves, we must understand all of our components. If I’m physically as in shape as an Olympic athlete but am depressed and suicidal, am I completely healthy? No! I have to have my mind and my body and my heart all working as one to be happy and healthy and at peace. Sanderson has taken that idea and applied it to everything in Shai’s world. Others in that world find this belief system pagan and disturbing, but their opinions don’t shake Shai’s views. She’s quite possibly my favorite character Sanderson has created so far. At the very least, she’s in my top five. She’s an artist who sticks to her beliefs and cannot be swayed, which I respect immensely. There were so many other deep questions that vied for my attention as I read. What makes us who were are? Are we just the sum of our experiences, or are we more? Is a person’s personality and soul quantifiable? How well do you know those around you? Do you pay attention only to what benefits you, or do you observe people for their own sake? Do you admire art for what it is, or simply because it’s popular at this moment? Sanderson crafted a beautiful addition to his Cosmere with Shai’s story. And, though this is set in the same world as Elantris and not The Way of Kings, it helped me understand Soulcasting much better, even if it’s not quite the same magic system. There’s a lot to love in this novella, whether you’re already a hardcore Sanderson fan or if you’ve never read a word he’s written. Give this a try, and let Shai’s story leave her stamp your soul. Read in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection as a huge buddy read with Sarah, Petrik, Haïfa, Mary, and Tweebs.

  9. 5 out of 5

    ☽Luna☾

    5/5 “Her aunt Sol had once told Shai to smile at the worst insults and snap at the minor ones. That way, no man would know your heart.” I know this quote is so over-used however it is my favorite quote from this book and quite possibly one of my favorite book quotes ever. One of my favorite short stories by Brandon Sanderson. It's literally only 105 pages long so it is very short. I can remember reading it for the first time and loving every second of it, on the reread I noticed a few things I 5/5 “Her aunt Sol had once told Shai to smile at the worst insults and snap at the minor ones. That way, no man would know your heart.” I know this quote is so over-used however it is my favorite quote from this book and quite possibly one of my favorite book quotes ever. One of my favorite short stories by Brandon Sanderson. It's literally only 105 pages long so it is very short. I can remember reading it for the first time and loving every second of it, on the reread I noticed a few things I had missed and it was exceptional to read again. I seriously can't recommend this story enough. One of my all time favorite books. The feels are real and this story is filled with raw emotion. "If you were the wall, what would you rather be? Dreary and dull, or alive with paint?" "Walls can't think!" "That doesn't stop them from caring.” Shai is fucking awesome. I love her. Image from Tor hardcover edition of Arcanum Unbounded The writing is everything you would expect from a Sanderson, it's mind blowing and full of beautiful vivid imagery. The magic system is unique and different from his normal type, I love the whole concept of making a 'new soul'. I swear I just love Sanderson so much. And I love this book. Please everyone go and read it! It's so wonderfully glorious. side note: this book is set in Sel (same world as Elantris, you do not need to read Elantris first) “He found himself weeping. Not for the future or for the emperor. These were the tears of a man who saw before himself a masterpiece. True art was more than beauty; it was more than technique. It was not just imitation. It was boldness, it was contrast, it was subtlety.” Funnily enough I find myself weeping at the end of Sandersons novels for the exact same reasons. Recommended to all fans of Sanderson. You do not need to read his other books before this one, unless you buy Arcanum Unbounded then I suggest reading Mistborn 1-6 first and also Stormlight Archive 1-2. Read in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection anthology.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Obida

    Each person was a puzzle. My first official read of 2018, read this first cause I know I'll love it and I wanted to start the year with something I'll love. This book is perfect, am still marveled by the fact that its even a novella, the way the plot unravels, and that ending, I did not see that coming, then again its Brandon Sanderson, I shouldn't be surprise, he is a genius. World building and Writing Once again Brandon Sanderson wowed me, the world is so well depicted even though its a novella Each person was a puzzle. My first official read of 2018, read this first cause I know I'll love it and I wanted to start the year with something I'll love. This book is perfect, am still marveled by the fact that its even a novella, the way the plot unravels, and that ending, I did not see that coming, then again its Brandon Sanderson, I shouldn't be surprise, he is a genius. World building and Writing Once again Brandon Sanderson wowed me, the world is so well depicted even though its a novella of just a few pages. I love the magic system in this book so much, its a but similar to soulcasting. But with this, runes or symbols are carved on stones then stamped on the object to be changed, or on someone to change personality, past, get abilities and the like. The writing is explicit and easy to understand, the book is written in third person multiple POV, but 80% is in Shai’s POV. Characters Shai is just the perfect female protagonist, she is smart, intelligent, confident, manipulative and also a forger. what we have before us is a master trickster, liar, and thief. Your best guards would eventually become clay in her hands.” “Thank you,” Shai said. “It was not a compliment. Despite her career of choice, she is also kind and a great artist that makes people wonder why she forgers instead of making her own art. Gaotona was a mystery for 80% of the book, I had no idea what side he is but am glad for what I found out. I also like Ashravan the emperor, Frava and Uru got exactly what they deserve.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nimrod Daniel

    Rating this book would be difficult, especially because it's a short novel so I'll go through some points: Characterization – the book is focused on two main characters, and that's probably what made it possible to portray them so well. The characterization in this book is superb, sanderson even managed to develop these two characters throughout the book in a very believable way, and considering the length of the book he did an excellent job. Just don't look for humor, as there's no funny characte Rating this book would be difficult, especially because it's a short novel so I'll go through some points: Characterization – the book is focused on two main characters, and that's probably what made it possible to portray them so well. The characterization in this book is superb, sanderson even managed to develop these two characters throughout the book in a very believable way, and considering the length of the book he did an excellent job. Just don't look for humor, as there's no funny character here, unlike other books by Sanderson. There're a lot of witty dialogues though :) Definitely 5 stars here. Magic system – This book has a unique and very imaginative magic system. For the matter of fact, throughout the first half of the book there're a lot of explanations of how forgery works and there're also some explanations about its mechanics in the second half. Forgery is relatively a complex magic system (it's more complicated than Allomancy or Feruchemy for instance), and it would have benefited being included in a longer novel, as Brandon could have developed it more than what could be done in 170 pages. 4.5 stars (It's a 5 stars magic system, and any other author would get the fully 5 stars here for being imaginative, but considering what Brandon could have done with this magic system in a longer book I reduced half a star). Plot – it's a short novel and it includes a relatively complex magic system, so the plot that can be squeezed in a 170 pages is quite limited, though the storyline here is good. Most of the book occurs in one room so don't expect for too much action. The story has a fully closed ending (unlike Legion), and it's a very good one. 4-4.25 stars here. The Verdict – This story is more about characterization than anything else, and it's very well written. It's so clear that it's a Sanderson book, I'd have easily figured it up if I didn't know who wrote this book. All in all, it's a very good short novel. Highly recommended to any Sanderson fan. 4.25/5

  12. 4 out of 5

    Choko

    Exquisitely lovely!!! I did not expect anything else!!! *** 5 *** This story is "The Emperor's Soul " from the World of Elantris and is about a master craftsmen forger, Shai, who can meticulously copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic, knowledge and will. The concept is that an object can be "persuaded" do believe ti is different to the point that it changes itself and could even become something completely different. However, that something has to be believable t Exquisitely lovely!!! I did not expect anything else!!! *** 5 *** This story is "The Emperor's Soul " from the World of Elantris and is about a master craftsmen forger, Shai, who can meticulously copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic, knowledge and will. The concept is that an object can be "persuaded" do believe ti is different to the point that it changes itself and could even become something completely different. However, that something has to be believable to begin with, only then would the forgery stick and persist. I loved the idea that the world depends on how we perceive it and what our vision and belief can do to the reality we live in, choosing to make it better or worse. "...“People", Shai said, rising to fetch another seal, "by nature attempt to exercise power over what is around them. We build walls to shelter us from the wind, roofs to stop the rain. We tame the elements, bend nature to our wills. It make us feel as if we're in control. Except in doing so, we merely replace one influence with another. Instead of the wind affecting us, it is a wall. A man-made wall. The fingers of man's influence are all about, touching everything. Man-made rugs, man-made food. Every single thing in the city that we touch, see, feel, experience comes as the result of some person's influence.” ..." This story packed a whole lot of emotion and thought in a very short space. A delight to the more cognitive-oriented reader.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eon ♒Windrunner♒

    Absolutely FLAWLESS novella. Take note other authors. Picture above by Dominik Broniek Just realized I never wrote a review on this one, but I am not going to either as my friend Alexa's thoughts on this one mirror my own perfectly. Check it out here Addition as posted on Brandon's website. The Emperor’s Soul Deleted Prologue: Imperial Fool Note: It’s best if you have read The Emperor’s Soul before you read this deleted prologue. Shai pressed her fingernail into one of the stone blocks of her prison Absolutely FLAWLESS novella. Take note other authors. Picture above by Dominik Broniek Just realized I never wrote a review on this one, but I am not going to either as my friend Alexa's thoughts on this one mirror my own perfectly. Check it out here Addition as posted on Brandon's website. The Emperor’s Soul Deleted Prologue: Imperial Fool Note: It’s best if you have read The Emperor’s Soul before you read this deleted prologue. Shai pressed her fingernail into one of the stone blocks of her prison cell. The stone gave way slightly. She rubbed the dust between her fingers, frowning. “Limestone?” she asked softly. “Who makes a cell out of limestone?” Of course, the whole cell wasn't of limestone, merely that single block. Shai had counted twenty-seven different kinds of stone so far, including several she didn't know the names of. That would make escape tough. Very tough. This was a cell that had been designed to hold a Forger. She knelt down beside her bunk, using a fork—she’d bent back all of the tines but one—to carve notes into the wood of one leg. She’d engraved a crosswork pattern on another side, with numbers representing the stones of the back wall of her cell. Without her spectacles, she had to squint to see what she’d carved there. She wrote out, with some difficulty, the word limestone in the key representing the stone block she’d just identified. “Honestly,” she growled as she worked. “They sentence a girl to death. They could at least give her a sheet of paper.” “A sheet of paper?” The amused voice came from outside the cell. “You actually asked for one?” Shai jumped at the voice, standing and tucking her hand behind her back to hide the fork. Stealing that had been unpleasant. If she lost it . . . But it was only the court fool. The man’s hawkish face was capped by a three-pointed jester’s crown, though his was of simple white and black, not the traditional brazen colors. He wore a black coat, long and flowing, almost like one of the Grands. He shouldn’t have been able to get away with such deviations; the Grands liked their fools on the silly side of ridiculous. “Come to mock me?” Shai snapped, turning back to her carving. “I don’t mock the condemned,” the Fool said from beyond the cell bars. “Did you really ask them for paper, Shai?” “I've been sentenced to death. They’re supposed to meet my requests during my last week of life. It’s traditional.” “You’re a master Forger,” he replied. “Giving you paper would be like handing a sword to a captive soldier who asked for one politely.” She snorted, counting up blocks on the wall, then carving out a few more notes. “I can’t do much with only paper.” If she had soulstone, now . . . “It’s the principle of the thing, I suspect,” the Fool said, still sounding amused. How wonderful that her life, and its impending end, could bring pleasure to the Imperial Fool. “There are forty-four kinds of stone in the wall, you know,” he said. She spun. “You know them?” He’d taken to leaning back against the wall, arms folded, cleaning out one fingernail with another. “Top left, the one you've been trying so long to figure out, that’s grindstone from a quarry in Laio.” “Tell me the others,” Shai said, dropping the fork and pressing up against the bars. “Fool, tell me what they are.” “I could,” he said. “But would that really help? Assuming you knew all forty-four, assuming you knew their histories and the quarries they came from, what would you do? Create a seal for the wall in just two days? Carve yourself a soulstamp out of . . .what? Wood? Even if you had the proper stone, you’d use a fork to etch it?” Shai looked down at the fork, dropped behind on the ground. “The wall is a challenge, Shai,” the Fool said. She closed her eyes. She’d known it, deep down. A wall of patchwork stones? It was a puzzle meant to occupy a Forger. Something to make them spend their time, and make them forget, for a little while, about the noose . . . But what else was she to do? Give up? Try to Forge the bars instead? They’d been made with ralkalest, the unForgeable element. She’d get nowhere trying that. “I am sorry about this,” the Fool said. “You? You’re just the court fool. Why should I care if you . . .” She trailed off. “You!” she said, pointing. “You’re the one who turned me in!” “Yes.” “Nights! Why?” “I couldn't let you steal the scepter.” “What? Suddenly you’re a loyal subject? Nights, Fool! You should have come to me. I’d have offered you gold to keep my secret.” “I couldn't let you steal it,” the Fool continued, “because I had to steal it myself.” Shai froze. “Your duplicate, I might add,” the Fool said, hands clasped behind his back, “was quite useful. Thank you.” Shai was a Forger. She had spent her life studying the way people thought and the best ways to fool them. She knew to spot another fake when she saw one. Usually. All this time . . . The pieces twisted, fitting into place with one another. He had duped her. He had duped them all, the Grands, the empire itself. Shai’s anger melted away like cold spring runoff, and she found herself raising two curled fingers to her forehead: a salute. If he had pulled this off . . . Nights, she was in the presence of a master. The Fool smiled. “A chance is coming your way, Shai,” he said. “A chance?” “A sign of respect, from one liar to another. It is not much—I must leave this place, and my time to arrange an opportunity for you was narrow. But you are clever; it might be enough.” “What are you talking about?” “Keep your wits sharpened,” the Fool said, turning to go. “Be careful, be keen. It has been an interesting dance, sparring with you.” “Fool? I have money.” A lie. “I can offer—” He turned toward her, meeting her eyes. In that moment, the Imperial Fool changed. His face grew somber, became steel, and his eyes . . . In his eyes lay an eternity, an age. She knew people. She had studied people. This man cared nothing for bribes. This man was not just a master. He was something far beyond that. A shiver ran through her. “Nights, what are you?” “Why must people always ask it that way?” A faint smile rose on his lips. “You will not see me again. Farewell.” He slipped up the steps on near-silent feet. Shai watched him go, feeling thoroughly trounced. How long had it been since someone had gotten the better of her so soundly? She sank down, looking at her bent fork, the notes on the bed, the wooden handle of the fork that she’d removed and begun carving—crudely—as a soulstamp. It was far too imprecise to be effective. A chance. What did he mean? The door to the dungeons opened above. She half thought it would be the Fool returning. How like him that would be, to claim that she would not see him again, then reappear seconds later laughing. Heavy boots sounded on the steps leading out of the dungeon, and she squinted at the newcomers. Guards, guiding a man with long features and fingers. A Grand, the race who led the empire, but he was not high ranked. That robe of blue and green indicated a minor functionary who had passed the tests for government service, but not risen high in its ranks. A chance . . . An opportunity . . . Shai composed herself. She had been bested, but her Uncle Won had taught her that being bested was a rule of life. No matter how good you were, someone was better. Live according to that knowledge, and you would never grow so confident that you became sloppy. And she had not been sloppy. She’d almost had the prize. She had run across someone better. That happened. This time, she would win. Whatever the opportunity, she would seize it and thrive. For now, she played not for riches, but for her life. The Grand stepped up to the bars. He paused for just a moment, then waved for the guards to unlock the door. “The arbiters wish to interrogate you, Forger.” Editor’s note: When Brandon first wrote this novella and sent it around for alpha reads, it included the scene above. Brandon replaced it with the current prologue featuring Gaotona due to feedback from Mary Robinette Kowal. One explanation for this may be found in the Writing Excuses episode that talks about the novella. Here is an edited version of a transcript provided by Mike Barker. Mary So this segues into one of the major structural changes that you made. Which is that when I first read this, you started in Shai’s POV . . . Brandon Yep. In prison. And she meets with the Imperial Fool, who is Hoid, the character who passes between all of my books. It was a great insider, “nudge-nudge wink-wink” scene with a sparring duel between Hoid and Shai. I wrote it that way not necessarily for the “nudge-nudge wink-wink,” but because I felt that for my readers, having him nod to her in respect immediately builds her up as a strong character. So by taking the great master of this sort of thing from my worlds and having her interact with him was going to be a great way to start her off. It was cool, it got me into the story, and then once I was finished writing the story, this scene no longer had a place in it. The Fool was a character who’s dynamic and different and Shai has this whole conversation with him, and then he vanishes and never reappears. The story is actually about her relationship with Gaotona. The Fool appearing in the prologue was just the wrong thing. Howard It was a darling that needed to be killed. Brandon Yes. It was a darling that meets the exact definition. Because it’s my favorite character. Mary read the story, and she came to me almost sorry and regretful because she knew this was going to be painful. She said, “I really think you need to cut the prologue.” And I said, “But the prologue is—b-b-b-but—!” And she said, “Yeah, but you could replace it with this.” She pitched the opening Gaotona scene and said, “Look, your story is poetic. It has symmetry. You should begin and end with Gaotona. Also, his ending kind of feels like it comes out of nowhere because we haven’t had many viewpoints from him, if any. So it lacks power. If we’d started with him, that would foreshadow his ending.” She was right. She was right. In terms of canonicity, you will notice that various details in the above scene contradict with details of Shai’s imprisonment in the final version of the novella. However, Brandon considers a conversation between Shai and the Fool very much like the one presented above to be a part of official continuity.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》

    “There are times when one must accept the aid of darkness in order to contain a greater darkness.” Brandon Sanderson has done it again!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Wow--this was a marvelous short novel. I absolutely loved it. Wan ShaiLu, a magical forger, is captured and put under sentence of death for her crimes. But Shai is given an opportunity to escape her sentence: she is charged with magically forging a new soul for the kingdom's assassinated emperor, whose body had been repaired but whose mind was destroyed by the attack. Shai is given only a hundred days to accomplish this near-impossible task. And there are those waiting to kill her if she makes a Wow--this was a marvelous short novel. I absolutely loved it. Wan ShaiLu, a magical forger, is captured and put under sentence of death for her crimes. But Shai is given an opportunity to escape her sentence: she is charged with magically forging a new soul for the kingdom's assassinated emperor, whose body had been repaired but whose mind was destroyed by the attack. Shai is given only a hundred days to accomplish this near-impossible task. And there are those waiting to kill her if she makes a wrong step, or trying to subvert her task for their own selfish purposes. It was all fantastic: the characters, the complex motivations, the layered storytelling, the intricate magical system built on Chinese-type stamps. There are some fascinating touches that add depth to the story. One of my favorite bits is how Shai uses her Forging talents to turn her grim prison room into a lovely chamber, including a cracked glass window:Attempts to Forge the window to a better version of itself had repeatedly failed; each time, after five minutes or so, the window had reverted to its cracked, gap-sided self. Then Shai had found a bit of colored glass rammed into one side of the frame. The window, she realized, had once been a stained glass piece. It had been broken [and] rather than repairing it as it had been meant to be, someone had put ordinary glass in the window and left it to crack. A stamp from Shai in the bottom right corner had restored the window, rewriting its history so that a caring master craftsman had discovered the fallen window and remade it. That seal had taken immediately. Even after all this time, the window had seen itself as something beautiful. Or maybe she was just getting romantic again.I love what this book has to say about the nature of art, and souls, and how people affect each other.He found himself weeping. Not for the future or for the emperor. These were the tears of a man who saw before himself a masterpiece. True art was more than beauty; it was more than technique. It was not just imitation. It was boldness, it was contrast, it was subtlety. ... It was the greatest work of art he had ever witnessed.I'm also amazed at how much Brandon Sanderson packed into 167 pages. I would have enjoyed reading more, but really, this felt like the perfect length for this story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    What a brilliant imagination Brandon Sanderson has!!! This book was AMAZING! Wan ShaiLu, was more than a simple con artist. So much more. She could change the nature of reality itself. Imagine a world where there are Forgers who can change/rewrite the nature of objects and even of a person by using a Soulstamp. Wan ShaiLu is such a forger, one of the best there is. And when she’s caught replacing a famous painting with her almost flawless forgery, instead of being executed she’s offered a dea What a brilliant imagination Brandon Sanderson has!!! This book was AMAZING! Wan ShaiLu, was more than a simple con artist. So much more. She could change the nature of reality itself. Imagine a world where there are Forgers who can change/rewrite the nature of objects and even of a person by using a Soulstamp. Wan ShaiLu is such a forger, one of the best there is. And when she’s caught replacing a famous painting with her almost flawless forgery, instead of being executed she’s offered a deal - Forge a new soul for Emperor Ashravan within 100 days and she may live. The emperor has been left without consciousness after a recent assassin attack, and what his council is demanding from Shai is near impossible. A Forger wasn’t a simple scam artist or trickster. A Forger was an artist who painted with human perception. I can’t even begin to explain how truly magnificent this book was, how amazing it was what Shai could do. For Shai to Forge a new soul for the Emperor, she had to spend many days and nights learning his past, his history, in order to get his soul right, because if it wasn’t a true replica of who he was before it wouldn’t take. And the more she learned about the emperor, about who he was, who he wanted to be, and who he was in the end, the more she was determined to get everything right, to make him live again. Even more determined than she was to escape. With every book I read by this author, I’m once again amazed at what a fantastic imagination he has. The worlds and magics he create are amazing, and this book was incredible. Brandon Sanderson is my favorite fantasy author, and this book is a must read for all.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tweebs♥️ (semi-hiatus)

    “Her aunt Sol had once told Shai to smile at the worst insults and snap at the minor ones. That way, no man would know your heart.” Well, shit. *screams* *flips a desk* *karate chops the air* *flips another desk because why not* I just The Emperor's Soul, has been on my radar for quite awhile AND I thought it'd be a great idea to pick it up during the most crucial time of my life : Exam week. I'm 1000000% sure I'm going to complain about why I did this to myself BUT you know what ??? I have no r “Her aunt Sol had once told Shai to smile at the worst insults and snap at the minor ones. That way, no man would know your heart.” Well, shit. *screams* *flips a desk* *karate chops the air* *flips another desk because why not* I just The Emperor's Soul, has been on my radar for quite awhile AND I thought it'd be a great idea to pick it up during the most crucial time of my life : Exam week. I'm 1000000% sure I'm going to complain about why I did this to myself BUT you know what ??? I have no regrets. I absolutely LOVED this book. It was so damn good and so unbelievably SHORT. Excuse me, while I go back to screaming and flipping desks because I WANT MORE. Honestly, I've reached the point where I'd read anything by Sanderson. One day, If he wants to publish a book called "Shaba Laba Ding Dong" then SIGN ME UP. Review to come :)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dana Ilie

    Too damn short. Sanderson what is wrong with you? I want more~!!! https://vipera2015.wordpress.com/2018...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷

    Wow. Just wow. Where does this man get all his fancy ideas from, and how can he fit them, like in this case, on not even 200 pages?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Coffee&Quasars

    I buddy read this with Maggie! I’ve heard good things about Brandon Sanderson for years and it’s been a while since I’ve read any good fantasy, so I decided to give this a try. Needless to say it hit the spot. Not immediately. It took about 6 or 7 pages. The premise in a nutshell: Shai (incidentally one of my favourite protagonists in recent years) is a Forger, capable of rewriting the history of an object (provided the new history is plausible and shares some common branching off point from the o I buddy read this with Maggie! I’ve heard good things about Brandon Sanderson for years and it’s been a while since I’ve read any good fantasy, so I decided to give this a try. Needless to say it hit the spot. Not immediately. It took about 6 or 7 pages. The premise in a nutshell: Shai (incidentally one of my favourite protagonists in recent years) is a Forger, capable of rewriting the history of an object (provided the new history is plausible and shares some common branching off point from the original) or indeed, with a great deal of work, the history of her own being, remaking herself into someone with different skills, memories, thoughts and feelings. With an affinity for replacing priceless artefacts with her own Forgeries (which she considers an art in itself), she’s caught and given a choice: do the impossible by reforging the assassinated emperor’s mind in only 100 days, or be executed. In terms of the idea, the world and the magic, this could easily have been explored in a novel many times longer, but for this particular story, the length was perfect. Packed into a little over 100 pages, we have considerations of fate, choice, the nature of art vs plagiarism, authenticity, deceit as a way to tell the truth, telling the truth as a means of deceit, what it means to truly know a person, what it means to rule, what it means to be human and the difference between the kind of linear stories we tell about ourselves that approximate the truth, and the real thing. As Shai herself says: “A person was like a dense forest thicket, overgrown with a twisting mess of vines, weeds, shrubs, saplings, and flowers. 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.” I really appreciate Hard Magic systems over Soft, as I feel it makes for better storytelling when the rules are comprehensible by the reader and the hero isn’t allowed to pull just anything out of their ass at the last second. When someone goes deep into their craft, fictional or otherwise, I feel I’m able to sympathise with them, and/ or enter their world on a more intimate level. This book delivered on that front. There was another magic introduced called Blood sealing, considered separate from and far more nefarious than your typical Forgery. Though I can only speculate, there was one passage that for a brief moment made me wonder if they might both be different expressions of something deeper. In all, this was a 9.73 - Highly recommended. I’ll definitely be reading more Brandon Sanderson before the year’s out.

  21. 4 out of 5

    TS Chan

    Upgraded to 5-stars upon re-read. Initial read probably suffered from my post-Words of Radiance hangover. Little wonder why this novella won the Hugo Award, so beautifully written and delivered, this story speaks to your soul - pun entirely intended. Sanderson created yet again another imaginative magic system, Forgery, which is in short, imitation of the highest degree that requires a rewriting of history of the target. And what could be more complicated and masterful than that of the forgery o Upgraded to 5-stars upon re-read. Initial read probably suffered from my post-Words of Radiance hangover. Little wonder why this novella won the Hugo Award, so beautifully written and delivered, this story speaks to your soul - pun entirely intended. Sanderson created yet again another imaginative magic system, Forgery, which is in short, imitation of the highest degree that requires a rewriting of history of the target. And what could be more complicated and masterful than that of the forgery of a soul. He also gave us characters that are compelling (the relationship between Shai and Gaotana was simply wonderful) and injected emotion, tension and contemplation into a story which I can only describe as beautiful, all in under 200 pages. The magic system of Forgery was displayed to its fullest potential given the limited number of pages, but the essence of the story was not in the least compromised. One of my favourites from my favourite author. P/S: Do read the Postscript by the author :)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Armina

    4.5 STARS “I wish that I could know you. Not your soul, but you. I’ve read about you; I’ve seen into your heart. I’ve rebuilt your soul, as best I could. But that isn’t the same. It isn’t knowing someone, is it? That’s knowing about someone.” Yet Shai completed her task perfectly! This story is mostly about two persons. Shai - a Forger, a con artist - caught replacing an important empire relic with her nearly flawless forgery, now she must bargain for her life. And Gaotona - an elderly politicia 4.5 STARS “I wish that I could know you. Not your soul, but you. I’ve read about you; I’ve seen into your heart. I’ve rebuilt your soul, as best I could. But that isn’t the same. It isn’t knowing someone, is it? That’s knowing about someone.” Yet Shai completed her task perfectly! This story is mostly about two persons. Shai - a Forger, a con artist - caught replacing an important empire relic with her nearly flawless forgery, now she must bargain for her life. And Gaotona - an elderly politician - Shai's only possible ally, one of her captors, the emperor's most loyal councillor, who struggles to understand her true talent. The novella is focused on these two main characters and that probably made it possible to create them so so good. The characterization in this book is superb! Sanderson managed to develop the characters throughout the story in a very believable way and considering the length of the book he has done an excellent job. An assassin has left the Emperor Ashravan without consciousness, a circumstance concealed only by the death of his wife. Shai is given an impossible task: to create - to Forge - a new soul for the emperor in less than one hundred days. The Forgery - Sanderson's magic system in this book - is unique and very imaginative. Its explanation takes most of the first half of the novella but it's never boring. Forgers use complex magical transformations to duplicate and recreate any item by rewriting its history. The magic here is based on a system of writing glyphs and creating stamps. "You could tell a lot about a person from the way they designed their seals." The idea of rewriting one's entire history sounds incredibly complex, but a Forger can do so simply by stamping themselves with an Essence Mark. Fascinating and strange, but consistent enough to be plausible, and quite thought-provoking. This story is short, but rich and it has his strong fully closed ending. Sanderson says that the story is set in the same universe as his debut novel, Elantris. Now I'm very eager to read Elantris :). The Postscript in the eBook is fantastic and there Sanderson explains what experience inspired him to write this novella. I read this book by switching between audio and eBook. The audio narrator - Angela Lin - did a great job and to all the audiobook lovers I strongly recommend to read the Postscript which is not included in the audiobook.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    This is Brandon Sanderson at his best even though as a novella it is much, much too short! Within only 175 pages he manages to build a new world with previously unexplored magic and introduces characters we can care about. His major skill is that he never stops to explain anything. No info dumps from this author! Nevertheless he manages to explain and inform as the story progresses so that the reader is always able to be part of the action. I loved every short minute of it. Did I mention it shou This is Brandon Sanderson at his best even though as a novella it is much, much too short! Within only 175 pages he manages to build a new world with previously unexplored magic and introduces characters we can care about. His major skill is that he never stops to explain anything. No info dumps from this author! Nevertheless he manages to explain and inform as the story progresses so that the reader is always able to be part of the action. I loved every short minute of it. Did I mention it should have been longer???

  24. 5 out of 5

    Scott Hitchcock

    Read as part of Arcanum Unbounded. What amazes me in Sanderson's shorter works is how quickly and simply he creates a world. There's nothing superfluous or verbose about it yet it is engrossing and thought provoking. Definitely worth the read. The postscript in Arcanum Unbounded about how the idea came about was very interesting after having the story just unfold.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jarek "the Mistborn" Dąbrowski

    This was an awesome read. Set in the world of Elantris but not really connected to the main story arc. The magic system was genius. How does he come up with this stuff...:D It was a quick engaging read. A fine adition to Sandersons work. 5 stars

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kells Next Read

    You know I'm going to Love this because it's from Sanderson right? Right!!! Nothing but ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ~Going to read Legion Now~

  27. 4 out of 5

    Thomas J. Benedict

    Sanderson did it again. Impressed, I was. What a magic system. How does he do it?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    Buddy read with my two partners in crime: Robin and Athena; and introducing Katie our new addition to the Sanderson marathon! _______________________________________ Before I start this review let me tell you something: this is my favorite Sanderson book. And considering how good his other books are, that's a freaking huge statement right there. It's almost impossible for me to explain all the things I love about this book without ranting, so I'll do a short version first: This is shorter than you Buddy read with my two partners in crime: Robin and Athena; and introducing Katie our new addition to the Sanderson marathon! _______________________________________ Before I start this review let me tell you something: this is my favorite Sanderson book. And considering how good his other books are, that's a freaking huge statement right there. It's almost impossible for me to explain all the things I love about this book without ranting, so I'll do a short version first: This is shorter than your standard Sanderson book and as such, it doesn't have the world building, big set of characters and epic plot line they usually have. However, it delivers a concise well thought plot; a nicely explained and incredibly interesting magic system, and awesome well developed characters. Also, if you're a fan of The Way of Kings, this book gives a lot of insight about soulcasting. Just go read it. Seriously. You can thank me later. Now, the details: - Shai is an amazing character. There are the obvious reasons why: she's smart, she's witty, she's strong-willed.(I will never be able to thank Mr. Sanderson enough for writing strong and smart female characters.) But the real reason I loved Shai is how well described her passion for her craft is: "The thrill, a life spent getting ahead by her wits. That was what she was." "If she left now, she'd never truly know if the seal worked. That would be like building a house, then never stepping inside. Like forging a sword, and never giving it a swing." - Forging is my new favorite magic system. How changing small things in history and giving the right nudge at the right time can change everything drastically. This is definitely a philosophical idea, and one that I could sit to discuss for hours. - This is a book that makes you think. "I can't simply write down a personality for you emperor, stamp him, and be done. Seven reports I've read say his favorite color was green. Do you know why?" When was the last time that you sat down and thought about the why of things? So yes, I loved this book because not only it was a great fantasy read, it was also thoughtful and thought provoking one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Holden Johnson

    This was the best piece of short-fiction I've ever read. What a beautiful and incredible short story. If anyone could put this much thought, emotion, and soul into a 120ish page book, it would be Brandon Sanderson. The magic system is so unique and interesting that I'm longing and hoping that we get more "novellas" or full length novels about Shai and this piece of Sel. Maybe in a sequel to Elantris? One can only dream =).

  30. 4 out of 5

    samantha (books-are-my-life20)

    This was my first Brandon Sanderson book, and I loved it! Very well written, with intriguing world-building, suspenseful plotting, and an engaging protagonist. I love the way that history and knowledge of lineage are key components in the book. I will definitely be looking into his other works.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.