Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Emperor's Soul, by Brandon Sanderson

The Emperor's Soul, by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson has quickly become one of my favorite authors. His magic systems are unique and consistent, unlike anything else out there. In The Emperor's Soul there are two main approaches: Bloodsealing, targeting individuals with necrologic accuracy, and Forging, rewriting the history of an object to change it's present form. Much like Mistborn, though, while the thaumaturgy is fascinating, the storyline is what makes this wonderful entertainment.

This is a short paperback—more of a novella than a novel—but thoroughly enjoyable. Shai, the main character, is a thief imprisoned by a faction that believes her Forging talent is an abomination but at the same time needs her skill to keep them in power. The setting is largely in a single cell, but Shai Forges the room in small steps, improving it so even though the characters don't physically change locations the look-and-feel is very fluid. This subtle alteration of her surroundings is an excellent demonstration of the power of Forging, and even with the constant change the payoff towards the end is still surprising. Sanderson is an excellent writer, and this is another example of why.

The Emperor's Soul is apparently set in the same world as his Elantris so that book will be added to my shelf very soon.

First Sentence:
Shai pressed her fingernail into one of the stone blocks of her prison cell.

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