The Emperor's Soul

May 26th, 2015

I found myself at the local library, waiting for a computer to do the things computers are suppose to do and take a while to accomplish. I decided this would be a perfect time to find a new book to read and stumbled onto a novella by Brandon Sanderson.

The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson is a wonderful little story. I don’t think I’ve read anything by Sanderson that doesn’t make Lord of the Rings look brief and I was very interested to see how his style worked for smaller tales–it works quite well.

Plot-wise, the story a simple tale about a young thief who was caught stealing and now must complete a difficult task for her captors to be let go. Will she be able to tackle this impossible task? Will she be able to escape? Will they kill her anyway? The story kept me guessing till the end.

I am continually impressed with Sanderson’s magical constructs. The magic in the world of The Stormlight Archive series filled me with longing to experience Stormlight. Despite being a lighteyes, I never will, because that magic doesn’t exist in the real world. But I can imagine that it actually might. When I moved on to the Mistborn Trilogy, I was enthralled by how different the magic was. By the end of those books I wished I was Mistborn.

Within each universe Sanderson creates, there’s a different set of magical principals, yet each is as solid as the laws of physics. They are well thought out and consistent, it feels like it could be real.

That said, the magic within this book, does seem the most fuzzy to me. The idea of rewriting an objects history to forge an object into a different version of itself can be difficult to wrap your mind around. But then, isn’t that what magic is suppose to be? Mind bending? Not-logical? Supernatural? Exciting?

Sanderson is a prolific writer and quickly becoming one of my favorite authors of all time. If you’re at all into the fantasy genre and haven’t picked up one of his books, The Emperor’s Soul might be a good place to start. It will give you a good feel for his style and the world’s he creates. If you find it enjoyable, I would definitely recommend moving on to some of this other work.