Thursday Spotlight: The Emperor’s Soul

(By Brandon Sanderson)

I tend to read a lot of Brandon Sanderson’s works – with good reason. Each book in his Cosmere has a cleverly developed magical system, a cast of enticing characters, and often enough, unique worldbuilding that leaves breathtaking visuals in my mind long after I close the covers.

The Emperor’s Soul takes place on Sel (or Seol) – the same planet that is home to the events within Sanderson’s first published novel, Elantris. Don’t let that scare you off, though; both works have only the murkiest connections to one another and you won’t miss anything for not having read Elantris before picking this novella up.

The events within The Emperor’s Soul encompass one hundred days – the time of mourning that the emperor Ashravan, ruler of the Rose Empire has to mourn the death of his empress, due to a failed assassination attempt. Only — and that is known by a chosen few — the assassination attempt failed just barely. The emperor, after having taken a head wound is in a vegetative state, and no healer can restore him to his former state.

Enter Shai, a Forger of uncanny skill, and a thief like few others, betrayed by an accomplice and held captive by the Rose Empire. An unwitting pawn at first, Shai proves most adept at deducing the hidden motives of her captors.

The Adepts, who have everything to lose should Ashravan not be restored, plan on using the Forger’s skills for a singular purpose – to Forge the Emperor’s Soul anew…even if what Shai is doing is considered the greatest taboo in the Rose Empire.

And now, here’s a few more reasons you might really enjoy this novella:

  • A clever, capable female protagonist and characters from backgrounds tailored to mirror Earth’s Asian cultures;
  • An intuitive magical system;
  • A compulsive liar forced to deal in truth instead;
  • A high-ranking official who’s not actually corrupt to the bone;
  • Loads of art, described really well, and last but not least;
  • You’re a hardcore Sanderson fan; but then again, if you were, you’d probably have read that already.

You can buy the Emperor’s Soul either as an e-book or paperback, or as part of his collection of shorter fiction, Arcanum Unbounded.

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