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The Emperor's Soul [Kindle Edition]

Brandon Sanderson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

From the bestselling author of the Mistborn Trilogy and co-author of the final three books of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series comes the tale of a heretic thief who is the only hope for the survival of an empire.

Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Though condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor's sceptre, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Despite the fact that 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 from the attack of assassins.

Skillfully deducing the machinations of her captors, Shai needs a perfect plan to escape. The fate of the empire lies in one impossible task. Is it possible to create a forgery of a soul so convincing that it is better than the soul itself?

Product Description


""The Emperor's Soul" is a worthy addition to Sanderson's bibliography: a new magic system with some interesting implications, a couple of fascinating characters, a focused plot, and a subtle link to the much larger picture he's been painting for years."

Book Description

One of two new novellas from acclaimed author Brandon Sanderson.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1151 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (21 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009P3N1GI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,694 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I'm Brandon Sanderson, and I write stories of the fantastic: fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers.

My newest book is Words of Radiance, written as a love letter of sorts to the epic fantasy genre. It continues the story of the Stormlight Archive that began in The Way of Kings, and it's the type of book I always dreamed epic fantasy could be.

In September 2013 I also released Steelheart, set in a near-future Chicago ruled by a ruthless villain with no heroes to oppose him.

Mistborn and The Way of Kings are among my most popular works, as are my concluding volumes to Robert Jordan's epic series The Wheel of Time. My novella The Emperor's Soul won a Hugo Award in 2013. That year also marked the release of my first young adult fantasy, The Rithmatist.

Sample chapters from all of my books are available at -- and check out the rest of my site for chapter-by-chapter annotations, deleted scenes, and more.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars short but entertaining 11 Dec. 2012
I almost decided to give this one a pass due to its price and short length, but glad that I decided to buy and give it a read. This isn't Sanderson's best and I think I feel that way because it was just short, yet if you are looking for a short read that isn't going to take a number of books to come to a conclusion then this one might be for you. I hope Sanderson builds off this book and `Elantris' as he continues that series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Brandon Sanderson winner 7 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting concept, always amazes me how fantasy writers make their "Worlds" so convincing and Brandon Sanderson one of the best at this. Would have liked a bit more at the end thus the four stars (maybe there will be a book 2?)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgery and souls 24 Feb. 2014
Brandon Sanderson is one of the few living fantasy authors who can actually come up with new, unique magical systems.

And his novella "The Emperor's Soul" introduces a fasincating new kind of magic -- Forging, in which a person can overwrite reality with what might have been. It's only a novella, but Sanderson proves that he doesn't need a 400-page tome to write a powerful, action-packed story with a well-developed heroine.

The expert Forger Shai is in prison, awaiting execution by the Rose Empire, when she's offered a chance to earn her freedom. The Emperor has been assassinated, and while they were able to fix his body, his mind is now gone. His advisors have bought some time by claiming that he's grieving for his wife, but that will only last ninety days.

They need Shai to do something terrible: Forge a new soul for the Emperor. Not only is it considered an abomination, but it's incredibly difficult.

Shai has no choice, so she begins learning everything she can in order to create a soulstamp for the Emperor -- which is no easy task, since she has to know what kind of person he truly was. But the hardest task may be planning her escape, especially since she's now enmeshed in a deadly political scheme.

Brandon Sanderson is a master of the doorstopper fantasy epic, but "The Emperor's Soul" proves that he's just as good in shorter works. And while the action rarely even moves outside of Shai's room, he manages to give the feeling that we've dropped into a rich, well-developed world that is just begging for exploration.

He also creates a really fascinating magic system -- it can turn any item/person into what it MIGHT have been.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short fiction by the fantasy master 4 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The world building of Brandon's work is always top-notch, and The Emperor's Soul is no exception. The characters are deep, though you only meet many of them briefly. The magic system is deep, though you only see the very edges of what it is capable of. The politics and social hierarchy is deep, though you only see people from a few of the groups.

In short, this short story is how a short story should be written. The world building should be just as grand and thought-through as a regular novel, giving a sense that the world doesn't just exist for this story to be told. And the story progresses in such a way it leaves you wishing it was a full-length book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sanderson's Brain Never Ceases to Amaze! 19 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was an amazing read. Brandon Sanderson's mind is a marvel to come up with a storyline such as this one. Shai is a very uncommon, gifted "Forger" who can actually cause any item to transform once she knows the elements and history of the item, including but not limited to, sentient beings, through the use of seals. Shai has been imprisoned and is set to be executed for forging a famous painting in the Emperor's Palace in her home country, Sel, which is located on Elantris.

Coincidentally, the Emperor of Sel has been assassinated and Shai is tasked with re-creating enough of his life's memories that he can be "sealed" and basically be re-born as a whole person - not exactly the identical person but enough for him to function. That isn't exactly the task but that's the best I can do in a few short words. Normally, such a task as is set before Shai would take at least 24 months but she is only given 90 days. During this period, she is placed in a small room with the bare necessities of life. While she re-constructs the Emperor's past life through his own written journal and the memories of others who knew him, she also transforms her living space into a room worthy of a princess.

As she seeks to complete her task, she also sets up her escape. Although, only a novella - there is enough contained in the storyline to give us more than an outline of Shai's past, present and potential future. But... there was/is so much more that might have been written - I do hope at some point Brandon gives us a complete novel about this character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By P
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was far too short a novel because, like all Brandon Sanderson books that I've read, you really get into the story and in this case it just finishes.I hope that he decides to develop this into a full novel because it has a lot of potential.
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3.0 out of 5 stars nice concept, but limited as a novella 25 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another original idea by Sanderson, the method of magic is intelligent. But the storyline is flat and unimaginative. There are none of the twists and mysteries that Sanderson is capable of. There is no sense of suspense, and it lacks the compulsive reading. But the forgiving aspect of the story is that it's short and can easily be finished in a in a few short hours. Worth a read if you are a big Sanderson fan, but don't expect great things.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a stamp on your soul
Another Sanderson masterclass. Its 3 months (ish) of soul wrenching and turmoil boiled down into 3 hours (ish) of reading. Read more
Published 4 days ago by regank87
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Loved it but want to know what happens next
Published 14 days ago by Catherine Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant story with original idea, loved it.
Published 4 months ago by Andi
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
okay read
Published 5 months ago by andrew bovington
5.0 out of 5 stars A special Soul
Another sharp story from Sanderson, unique style and clever concepts. Great ideas and fun to read.
Published 8 months ago by jazab73
5.0 out of 5 stars ..loved this!
Recommended to me by a friend, and I'm glad she did. Very rarely has a piece taken me by surprise as I'm delighted to say that this did.
Published 8 months ago by Onthedownlow
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent read
Published 10 months ago by Mr. S. SLEIGHT
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating book
I read this book in one sitting. It's a beautiful story, so easy to get caught up in. I'm just sad it was so short! Read more
Published 10 months ago by Loubelou
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good idea but it felt very rushed in places
A really good idea but it felt very rushed in places. Loved the whole idea of objects almost having souls and how an item can be forged/changed by re-writing it's history. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. I. J. Sear
5.0 out of 5 stars short but excellent
Very good, I like the idea of forgers. Please write another book preferably slightly longer and bringing more out of the characters
Published 11 months ago by Rach
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