THE EMPEROR’S SOUL is funny, tense, and gripping


At Coffee and Irony, Claire Hellar praises Brandon Sanderson’s The Emperor’s Soul.

Brandon Sanderson is easily one of the best fantasy writers alive today, and reading any book of his has the warm feeling of falling into the hands of a master. You are safe and secure in a beautifully constructed plot with compelling characters. The Emperor’s Soul, though short enough to be a novella rather than a novel, has these usual characteristics.


I enjoy novels greatly in which the characters are fully-formed prior to the opening of the novel, and such is the case here – Shai is not insecure, defensive, needy – she knows who she is and what she wants from life, and is both a brilliant Forger and a brilliant manipulator, but is also capable of empathy. Her time at the palace pushes her just that little bit toward the empathetic side, and she finds a note of redemption in it. Her defeat of her well-meaning but slow-witted guards and the sorcerer who helps the arbiters keep her captive is immensely satisfying. It’s a funny, tense, and gripping novella, and Shai is such a great, complex character that you’re left wanting more of her at the end. Highly recommend.

Read the rest of Hellar’s review at Coffee and Irony.

For more on The Emperor’s Soulvisit the Tachyon page.

Cover art © 2009 by Alexander Nanitchkov. Design by Elizabeth Story.