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Friday, November 9, 2018

Audible Book Review: The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson

This is wonderfully well written and creative story telling.
The Emperor's Soul
By: Brandon Sanderson
Narrated by: Angela Lin

Length: 3 hrs and 55 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 11-02-12
Language: English
Publisher: Recorded Books
Genre: Fantasy, Supernatural, Thriller
My Rating: 5.0 0f 5.0 Story and Audio.

Publisher's Summary
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 less 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 counselor, 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...
©2012 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (P)2012 Recorded Books

Shai is a magical “forger” using mediums and soul stamps to forge art, both small and large. If she knows the make-up elements of her subject she is able to recreate it. She is caught as a result of a betrayal. On the eve of her scheduled execution the official arbiters, offer Shai a deal if she will forge a new soul for the secretly comatose Emperor. Although her Soul-Forgery skill is considered an abomination, the arbiters are willing to use it to help them retain their positions of power.

Shai agrees to the project which would allow her freedom… and life. She is ever the opportunist. The arbiters are cautious about her skills as several believe that she is skilled enough to change even the fabric of her cell to make an escape. They go to great lengths to secure her. Shai does plan to forge an escape but she is under constant watch. She is supervised by Gaotona, a man who respects the quality of her skills but disdains her use of them for forgery – not recognizing her form of art.

Shai is offered secret deals by a power-hungry arbiter. She fears that even if she accepts the offer the woman will have her killed before letting her go free. It may take all of Shai’s excellent skills to fashion a way out of her situation and she has a limited amount of time and resources.

This story is wonderfully creative, imaginatively plotted, beautifully written and executed. I kept seeking times to listen as I was fascinated by Shai’s mind maneuvering and the rapport she builds with Gaotona. The story is full even though it is short. By the end my thoughts were “author Brandon Sanderson is an artist”. I recommend this to readers who enjoy a skillfully crafted mystery and fantasy.

Audio Notes: Angela Lin is a narrator who is new to me. Her voice captured the character of Shai and the twisting nuances of the story. The narration enhanced an already excellent work. I would be glad to listen to other books she has narrated.

Source: Audible March, 2017 Daily Deal $1.95 (a bargain). This qualifies for 2018TBR and Audio Challenge.

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