Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanderson's iconic magic systems are just as good in the short-story form!!!
I'm a rather devoted Sanderson-fan -- despite not having read all of his impressive line-up! Hearing that 'The Emperor's Soul' had won the 2013 Hugo for best novella, I decided to give this small collection a shot. It must be said that I'm keen on short stuff. I read slowly, so having a story pan out over a hundred or so pages makes a pleasant change to the usual 500-700...
Published 11 months ago by J. Gardner

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars 50/50
I absolutely love this author but I can't help but feel that this book is a 50/50. I absolutley loved Legion. However, I can't help but feel that the second story 'The Emperors Soul' was a little bit of a let down. Yet another unique story I couldn't help but feel that something was missing.
Published 8 months ago by Hannah


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanderson's iconic magic systems are just as good in the short-story form!!!, 11 Sep 2013
By 
I'm a rather devoted Sanderson-fan -- despite not having read all of his impressive line-up! Hearing that 'The Emperor's Soul' had won the 2013 Hugo for best novella, I decided to give this small collection a shot. It must be said that I'm keen on short stuff. I read slowly, so having a story pan out over a hundred or so pages makes a pleasant change to the usual 500-700 pages most fantasy comes in!!!

Note: this volume is made-up of a short story and a novella -- it is not a full-length novel!

'Legion' is a break from the epic fantasy Sanderson is best known from. The 75-page story is a first-person-narrative following Steven Leeds, a rather remarkable character. "I am perfectly sane," he explains straight off. "My hallucinations, however, are all quite mad." The thing is, those hallucinations are a very important part of who he is. They essentially grant him a Sherlock Holmes-esque brilliance, as he employs them to enhance his own abilities. For instance, if he requires understanding of a foreign language, he can conveniently summon up a hallucinatory-linguist! It's a rather awesome character-trait, and Sanderson has a lot of fun with it.

The actual story, however, is not specifically about this aspect of Steven's personality. Instead we have a somewhat rushed thriller/detective story. Steven is charged with locating the whereabouts of a rather special camera... What follows was not, in my mind, altogether satisfactory!

There isn't much sense of cohesion, and things do move very fast. It's almost as though Sanderson was deliberately throttling his word-count, trying to fit as much action into as little space. The effect isn't great. Things feel rushed, and underdeveloped. I really enjoyed the opening, where we are given time to meet Steven -- and start realising just how interesting he is -- but the actual plot is too big. The structure is also unsuitable for a short story. In all, while I loved Steven's character, and some of the ideas, 'Legion' was rather dissapionting...

But then I read 'The Emperor's Soul'. And, put simply, I really recommend it!!! It was for this novella that I bought the book anyway, and I was not left disappointed. It's a return to a fantasy-locale (in fact, this is the same world explored in 'Elantris'), and we have another of Sanderson's excellent magic-systems to relish. Quite how he manages to create such varied spellcraft is beyond me -- but I'm not complaining.

'The Emperor's Soul' is a very well executed novella. There's some stunning world-building, great characterisation, the afore-mentioned magic-system, and a tightly crafted story. I don't want to spoil anything, so it's hard to know quite how much to explain in this review! I'll be careful...

Essentially, the plot follows Wan ShaiLu, a remarkably talented 'Forger'. She wields a powerful form of magic, that enables her to tinker with the 'souls' of objects and people. In so doing, she effectively changes their characteristics. A plain enamel pot can be transformed into a lavish vase; a scruffy window into a mass of glittering paned-glass. By understanding the base nature of objects, Shai can thus mould the world according to her whim. It's not an easy process, however. Forging requires very deep concentration, hard work, research, and the investment of time.

Exploration of this system is one of the most interesting aspects of the novella -- but there's also a plot, and character-development to go along with it. There's no doubting that Sanderson's structuring is impressive. He's balanced everything very well and I never felt like anything was missing.

'The Emperor's Soul' is one of the best stories I've read this year, and easily stands alongside the excellence of Sanderson's 'Mistborn' novels, not to mention the rest of his output. It IS a novella, so please don't expect a full-blown epic. As such, I will admit that this slight-volume is overpriced! And that's my only niggle.

'Legion' is a passable short-story featuring an intriguing character; while 'The Emperor's Soul' is one of the best pieces of fantasy I've read this year. I highly recommend any fans of fantasy check it out -- and, it's a great first introduction to Sanderson's fascinating writing!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant books, 26 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Legion: 5/5 - A very interesting concept through the multiple personality illusions borne by the lead character. I'm very much looking forward to the sequel as there is so much more potential for expansion.

The Emperor's Soul: 4.5/5 - Another interesting story set in the same world as Brandon Sanderson's other book Elantris, however unrelated to the event.

Brilliant price for two very good books in one. A definite must buy if amazon recommends this to you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emperor's Soul, 3 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this book from the UK because I wanted a print copy of Legion for a signing I was attending to see Brandon Sanderson. I had not previously read any of his works. As it turns out I enjoyed Legion but I was amazed with how great Emperor's Soul was. A nice story that reminded me a bit of 1001 Nights.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A double bill of great novellas, 7 Sep 2013
By 
C. D. White (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you're looking for a quick look in to Brandon's work beyond finishing the Wheel of Time or just interested in trying out a new author this is a great double bill & shows his capabilities really well.

Neither of the stories are linked.

Legion is set in an almost real version of Earth with a main character who can create what are effectively imaginary friends to be experts in any area he reads about. A novel concept which is put across extremely well alongside a great plot.

The Emperors Soul is set (roughly, from the sound of it) in the 'world' of one of his on-going series but is currently not related to any of his other works directly. Again the abilities of the main character are (to me) a really novel concept, with the ability to seal a new history in to an object. Break the seal, the change reverts.

Great stories & brilliant imagination from an author I'll definitely be following from now on.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two different and exciting novellas, 2 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a collection of two unrelated novellas previously published as ebooks and limited additions in the last couple of years. Both contain some very original and inventive ideas that could easily be expanded upon beyond the short novella format.

Legion, as you might guess from the title, concerns a man, Leeds, who ahs the ability to create multiple imaginary friends (or manifestations of his own personality that only he can see and interact with) that seem to hep him solve various situations. This is not essentially what the story is about, however. Instead the subject is the theft of an experimental camera that, without giving too much away, seems to possess some form of time travel capability and Leeds reluctant employment to track down the thief and the item. There is the suggestion that Leeds has used the abilities and knowledge of his hallucinations to succeed in such endeavours in the past. The novel feels a bit like a pilot and there is certainly potential for a future series based around the idea. The character of Leeds definitely has plenty of possibility and there is ample room for future development. I for one would like to see more.

Anderson returns to the more familiar territory of a fantasy world for `The Emperor's Soul' rather than the modern setting of `Legion'. It is loosely set in the same world that as Sanderson's first novel, Elantris. For such a short work it has some very strong and believable characters. Shai is instantly likeable and sympathetic. There is also included yet another very well though out and developed magic system which definitely needs much more space than the confines of this novella. At the heart of the story there is a very original and intriguing concept in attempting to re-construct someone's soul. It is an idea that maintains the reader's interest throughout and carries the story well.

Both are strong engrossing stories that leave the reader wanting more. However, because they could be so much more the book feels a little unsatisfying. It is also relatively short considering the price tag.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A good Introduction To Sanderson, 9 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read these two stories after I had already read a couple of Brandon Sanderson's books. They were both very enjoyable and a good introduction for those who might not yet be ready for Sanderson's longer more 'Epic' works. My only criticism was I wanted more of stories!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 21 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Always full of excellent characters and plot. Love everything he writes. He's probably up there with my favourite auther Roger Zelazny.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars 50/50, 8 Dec 2013
I absolutely love this author but I can't help but feel that this book is a 50/50. I absolutley loved Legion. However, I can't help but feel that the second story 'The Emperors Soul' was a little bit of a let down. Yet another unique story I couldn't help but feel that something was missing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Two great stories, each very different and both leave you guessing till the end!, 29 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have recently discovered this writer and I'm enjoying his books hugely. These two books are superb. The author is so inventive and quirky. He reminds me of Douglas Adams..... Either of these stories could lead to another in the series. I hope he does continue with the characters in further books, but the author seems to be firing on all cylinders so may not manage to further either of these. The only books of Brandon Sanderson that I haven't enjoyed are the Alkatraz series. They are just so annoying. However, they are clearly written for the teen market and at 60 I think I can say that I am no longer in that target group..... Just waiting not too patiently for book 5 in the mistborn series and book 2 in the stormlight series. Come on Brendon. Get writing!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars sanderson novellas, 9 Oct 2013
Brilliant short stories cannot fault these stories.
one improvement I could suggest is I wish these were full on novels. So good.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Legion and The Emperor's Soul
Legion and The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson (Hardcover - 15 Aug 2013)
12.91
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews