The Emperor's Soul - Brandon Sanderson Oh, Brandon Sanderson, how I love thee. Here's the thing, when I read a book like The Way of Kings, I'm not surprised in the least that he can capture me so completely with his characters, story and world building. After all, that tome is more than a thousand pages long. No, what really amazes me is that Sanderson can write a book like The Emperor's Soul that's no more than 175 pages, and still manage to do the same thing. This short story took me less than two hours to read, but encompassed everything I like about his works, including a new and unique magic system.

I held off on reading this until I finished Elantris, since I'd heard that it takes place in the same world, but in the end it didn't matter at all. The Emperor's Soul features a whole new cast of characters, set in another place, perhaps in another time. In fact, only passing mentions of certain geographic locations in the story's world reminded me that it was the same universe.

Anyway, I'll admit that maybe being an artist, especially one who is familiar with Chinese brush painting and the use and significance of artist seals, made me like this novella even more. So much of the narrative resonated with me. Brandon Sanderson may be a writer, though in a way he is an artist himself, his medium being his words. Certainly this book shows he thinks like an artist, or at least knows how one feels. This is a brilliant short novel, with a powerful message.