What if you could rewrite an object’s history, changing its present state? With such a power, ordinary objects can become beautiful works of art, while expensive art can appear worthless. That’s exactly what Shai, the Forger in Brandon Sanderson’s The Emperor’s Soul, can do with research and the help of magic. In Shai’s world, her talent is outlawed because she is creating copies and Forgeries, not true works of art. But when she is caught stealing the Emperor’s sceptre, she is given an intriguing offer: instead of being killed, she can turn her skills towards healing the Emperor. Unbeknownst to all but a select few, the Emperor was badly wounded by an assassin in the attack that killed his wife. At the end of his 100 days of mourning, if he is not healed, the Empire will fall into chaos. Unfortunately none of his healers have been able to restore his consciousness; his councillors want Shai to attempt to Forge a new soul for him. While an impossible task, Shai accepts the challenge, attempting to make the Emperor whole once again, all the while fearing for her life due to the machinations of his councillors. In a genre often characterized by trilogies and long series, The Emperor’s Soul is a standalone book. And while short, The Emperor’s Soul is nonetheless an excellent read, winning the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella and nominated for the 2013 World Fantasy Award for Novella.
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