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#CBR5 Maneuver #8 – The Emperor’s Soul

The Emperor's SoulTarget: Brandon Sanderson’s The Emperor’s Soul

Profile: Epic Fantasy, Short Story

Summary: From the back cover,

“When Shai is caught replacing the Moon Scepter with her nearly flawless forgery, she must bargain for her life.  An assassin has left the Emperor Ashravan without consciousness, a circumstance concealed only by the death of his wife.  If the emperor does not emerge after his hundred-day mourning period, the rule of the Heritage Faction will be forfeit and the empire will fall into chaos.

Shai is given an impossible task: to create – to Forge – a new soul for the emperor in fewer than one hundred days.  But her soul-Forgery is considered an abomination by her captors.  She is confined to a tiny, dirty chamber, guarded by a man who hates her, spied upon by politicians, and trapped behind a door sealed in her own blood.  Shai’s only possible ally is the emperor’s most loyal councilor, Gaotona, who struggles to understand her true talent.

Time is running out for Shai.  Forging, while deducing the motivations of her captors, she needs a perfect plan to escape.”

After Action Report:

Okay, I lied.  There was one more Sanderson book.  Sorry.  The Emperor’s Soul is a short novella set in the same world as Elantris but removed from the events of that book by significant distance and an unspecified amount of time.  It is a very different sort of work than Sanderson’s typical epic fantasy fare.  As dictated by its size, it is a very focused story with only one protagonist and one storyline.  But there is some surprising depth contained in this small package.  At its heart, The Emperor’s Soul is about understanding people, and in a roundabout way, about the process of writing characters; creating people.

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