29
Dec

Review: The Emperor’s Soul

   Posted by: Garrett   in Path

This is another great book from Brandon. And it is even short!

Setting: The book is set in an Asian-type setting. In the Postscript for the book, Brandon also indicates that it takes place on the same world where Elantris takes place, which is cool and adds more depth to the story (this is not really a spoiler, though, because it is a much different part of the world). The main idea of the story is around a kind of stamp magic where stamps can be made for souls.

Plot: Basically, the plot is that Shai is a thief who uses stamp magic to make forgeries. She is caught and then forced to make a soul stamp for the emperor – who was recently made into a vegetable by a thwarted assassination attempt. While doing this, she must also figure out how to escape since they will probably not let her live after she is done.

Characters: The main character is Shai, who is a thief and heretic with her stamp magic. But we still like her because we get to see her thoughts and ideas through most of the story. She is so clever and sees right to the heart of a person – it is hard not to like her. And her gift with the magic is very interesting and amazing. I wanted her to succeed in her work of art. There are other characters who influence her: Gaotona, a disgraced advisor to the emperor and yet who knows him better than anyone else. He is kind of like a stern grandfather figure who values art and honesty. Then there is the stereotypical guard who she disgraced and wants to see her dead because of that. He only has a minor role in everything, but he does influence her choices and escape plans. Then there is another advisor to the emperor, Frava. She is ruthless and cunning and will do anything to keep her position. She provides the main conflict with Shai through the story.

Conflict: Mostly the conflict is about her creation of this stamp magic and the fact that it is viewed as blasphemous. And, of course, the “time bomb” of the deadline for creating this stamp in time to fool the entire empire.

Text: Brandon’s writing is perfect. And the length is great for this kind of story. It would have felt like overkill to put this into a 300 page paperback. Half that is all that was needed.

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 29th, 2013 at 9:19 pm and is filed under Path. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.