Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 176 pages
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Release Date: October 10, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Rating: 5/5 stars
This is a fantastic novella set in the Elantris world. Despite it’s short length this story was complex, intriguing, and just absolutely magical and engaging.
Shai was caught attempting to Forge the emperor’s scepter. Shai is a Forger who can copy or re-create anything by rewriting its history and letting it be what it wants to be. Forging takes a lot of skill and magic to do. Shai has been condemned to death because of her attempt on the scepter, but she is allowed a chance to redeem herself. It ends up that the emperor has been grievously wounded, his skilled physicians were able to heal his body but his mind remains unresponsive. Her captors wants Shai to do the unthinkable, they want her to Forge a new soul for the Emperor.
This was a fantastic novella. I loved the plot, the unique magic system and how real and wonderful all of the characters were. I am always amazed at what such a wonderful and complex story Sanderson can pack into such a short space.
Shai is obviously a genius at Forging. The concept that things and items have memories and want to be better is a main driver behind how she Forges them and this is an interesting concept. Shai is obviously upset at being forced to help her captors, but at the same time she is eager to unravel a challenge that no one has faced before. Shai has Forged her own soul, but no one has ever Forged a new soul for someone else.
In preparation to Forge the Emperor’s soul Shai must become familiar with every small thought the Emperor ever had and every small thing that happened in his life. This has to be believable and so Shai must understand the Emperor and his motives completely before attempting the Forging. It is fascinating to watch as Shai unravels the Emperor’s life.
Shai is so smart and so accomplished at what she does. I enjoyed reading about her struggle between wanting to be free and wanting to do something spectacular that has never been done before.
Really this was a fantastic read, it was completely gripping and very hard to put down. You are trying to guess through the whole book what Shai will do. Will she complete the Forgery of the Emperor’s Soul? Will she alter it in anyway? She really has all of the power here and the ability to change the future of the nation.
Overall this was just a fantastic little book. Highly recommended if you like fantasy. As with most of Sanderson’s books it features a rich world, a very unique magic system, and characters that are easy to engage with and love. I absolutely loved it.