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THE EMPEROR’S SOUL BY BRANDON SANDERSON: BOOK REVIEW

by hmhibbit, November 29, 2012

The Emperor’s Soul
By Brandon Sanderson
ISBN# 9781616960926
Author’s Website: http://www.brandonsanderson.com/

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Sammy

Synopsis:

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. (Goodreads)

Review:

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.

 

 

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