The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve been so impressed with Brandon Sanderson as an author recently. Not only does he write amazing, sprawling epic fantasy novels, but he also somehow finds time to write some very creative novellas like The Emperor’s Soul and Legion.
Although The Emperor’s Soul won’t go down as my favorite of Sanderson’s works, I did really like the concept behind it. The novel is set in a fantasy world that felt very much like imperialist China, where Forgers are able to convert regular items into glorious works of art. A Forger could take pottery that you created in art class and make it look like something that belongs in a museum.
The process is obviously magical, but Sanderson lays out the rules so clearly that it almost feels like science. A Forger must create “soul stamps” to bend an item to their wishes. Essentially, they invent a plausible history for an item and forge that history into the stamp. Once the stamp is applied, item takes on that history and reflects it.
The magic system was definitely one of the best parts of the novel, but the plot and characters were also interesting. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that enjoys inventive fantasy or interesting magic systems. I really liked it.