New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson is widely celebrated for his Mistborn Trilogy and contribution to the final three books of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. In The Emperor's Soul, a Forger named Shai can copy and re-create any item by using magic to rewrite its history. After being condemned to death for attempting to steal the emperor's scepter, Shai is given one final chance. She' ll be allowed to live if she can create a new soul for the emperor, who hovers near death.
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At three hours and fifty five minutes The Emperor’s Soul is a fairly quick listen, especially since it is written by Brandon Sanderson, but has the depth usually only found in epic novels.
It is set in the world of Elantris, Brandon’s first published novel, but The Emperor’s Soul is a completely different story with a new magic system called Forgery. Shai, a Forger, can copy and re-create any item by using magic to rewrite its history. Now she must create a new soul for the emperor or be put to death.
Even though most of the action happens toward the end Sanderson’s wit and writing skills never lets the story lag and I thought the narrator, Angela Lin, gave a good performance. This story should please Sanderson fans or anyone else who enjoys this type of genre. I’m a huge Sanderson fan and thoroughly enjoyed this Audio book.
I never trusted the 'novela....' Always seemed like a way to eek out money from fans of a writer, without supplying a fully realized story. Something always sounded like it had to be missing.
Sanderson has changed my mind completely. I've been a huge fan of his work for years now, and chased through his various writings with abandon. I've seen his successes, and had to put down at least one of his less stellar works. I also tend to read series, excessively long series, such as Wheel of Time. I like character development, and completeness. I like the plot to move, and to see what came before, and after, and the motivations behind action. And all of that, can be found in this book. It was an amazing 3ish hours.
Don't connect this with any of his other works. Just start up, knowing it's going to be short, and love the ride.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (fantasy) - I occasionally listen to fantasies that catch my eye, but it's not one of my usual genres. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As one reviewer put it, it's "fresh." Shai, a professional forger of art and other articles, is given the task of forging the soul of an emperor who has been mortally wounded and is in a vegetative state. She is imprisoned and given only a fraction of the time needed to attempt this never-done-before task.
It's fascinating to hear how she goes about analyzing the emperor's previous soul, then building and testing her forgery bit by bit. She also must plan her escape which - surprise - will use forgery. During her imprisonment she is threatened by interesting characters and befriends others. Loved the ending.
PERFORMANCE - Good job. There is one evil female character whose voice is purposefully nasally and unpleasant, but thankfully she doesn't speak a lot.
OVERALL - This book contains no sex or cursing and only a touch of bloody action. If you like contemporary fantasy, you will probably love this book. Men have given this book positive reviews, but I would actually recommend it more for women.
Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
The emperor's soul is about a woman who has been imprisoned for forgery. Through forgery there is magic, and she will use this talent to change the things, people, and world around herself. Brandon Sanderson has become an automatic buy for me with never a regret. This story made to be a pleasant stand alone novella listen. Also, the length seemed just right for this story. Although this is supposed to have some connection to the world of Elantis it was hard for me to even really tell; so I felt this story easily stands on its own. I felt similarly about Elantis as I do with this book and continue hope for Sanderson to dredge up more of this world. Anyhow, the ending was satisfying and perfect for what it was meant to be, a short story.
This book ranks somewhere in the middle of the books I've listened to. The story is so-so. It is rescued by the amazing reading.
It ranks somewhere in the middle of Brandon Sanderson's works. Like Neil Gaiman, Sanderson excels in creating fully fleshed and believable fantasy worlds. Perhaps because of his association with Robert Jordan, Sanderson specializes in the nominally medieval societies still powered by horses. In this story, Magic (or science) is wielded by various skilled craftsmen and is expressed as a form of art. Reproductions are not by Xerox, but rather by skillful manipulation. Our heroine is a manipulator of "souls", and her job is to craft the most challenging object of her craft, while under the most restrictive and brutal environment she's ever worked under.
While the world, and its magics are captivating, most of the supporting characters (like the captain of the guards) are very one dimensional. The story is completely predictable, and poorly echoes the Shawshank redemption.
Fortunately, the narration is so good that the listener is lost in this world for just a little while. I left hoping for a more substantial story set in this world.
This is the first Angela Lin performance for me. Will look into her other books.
You have a hundred days in captivity to rebuild the emperor's soul. Succeed or fail, you die. Go.
Brandon Sanderson has written that this is his favorite piece to date, and it absolutely shows.
In classic fashion, he creates an intriguing, unique, and diverse magic structure loaded with possibilities. But he also makes wonderfully believable characters that are diverse and varied. And to cap it off, the story is really interesting as well!
In short, the three pillars: world, character, and story, are all strong and accounted for. I cannot recommend this story enough. It's short, but I've already listened to it 3 times, loving it more and more. Please listen!
Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors and this novella thoroughly reminds me why. The plot, the characters, and the world are all masterpiece creations. It does not surprise me that this novella has been nominated for a Hugo. It definitely deserves to win. All of us have an inborn desire to create something great, something magnificent. As I follow the story the main characters helped to re-ignite this desire within me, making me want to create something so amazing it will change the world.
My only regret about this story is that it is a novella; it ends too quickly and I was left wishing that the novella was actually a novel.
I really enjoyed this book. The environment was completely new to me, yet well explained in the limited time. I felt I was there observing the main character, Shai, as she worked towards her salvation. Her motivations were well-described and although she's not technically a "good guy", I wanted her to succeed anyway. Excellent read and strongly recommend it if you're a fan of fantasy fiction.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
WALLS CAN'T THINK, BUT THAT DOESN'T KEEP THEM FROM CARING.
Four hours was the perfect length for this novella and for Sanderson's genius. If you have not read Sanderson before (and I don't know what rock you have been living under) then this is a great place to start. Sanderson has practically rewritten the fantasy genre. He has set new, higher standards. Fantasy is no longer just Dragons and Sorcerers, it is stories with depth and characters.
AS GOOD AS YOU ARE, SOMEONE ELSE COULD BE BETTER
Sanderson has not yet replaced Robin Hobb as my favorite fantasy writer, but he is getting close. He can write the long stuff, (The Way of Kings) and he can write the short stuff, like this. What is most amazing, is his abilities to come up with different magic and make them as interesting as the last totally different magic he wrote about. The Way of Kings, Elantris, The Rithmatist, The Emperor's Soul and Mistborn are all different, but great. He is not stuck in one universe. I will have to mention that I was not a fan of Steelheart or Warbreaker, but they were not terrible either.
BOREDOM MADE PEOPLE EASY TO MANIPULATE
Did I mention that this guy is a genius?
Say something about yourself!
Since finding Brandon Sanderson when he began his work finishing the Wheel of Time series, I have been grabbing as many of his books as I can. With one exception, I have found his books to steadily increase my expectations for the next one. I have always shied away from novellas in the past, because they seemed to be incomplete fragments of stories, that served as lead-ins to a book series. This one absolutely took me by surprise with its freshness, and its ability to completely engage my imagination. While this story truly stands very well on its own, for attentive listeners, there are tie ins to the Elantris book. I won't expound on them here, but will leave the fun of you listening for them untainted.
I had not heard anything narrated by Angela Lin before this, but found her reading to be very well done, even comparable to Kate Reading. She helped make a great story even better.
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