The Emperor's Soul

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The Emperor's Soul
Cover of The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson, showing artwork by Alexander Nanitchkov.
Cover showing artwork by Alexander Nanitchkov.
Author Brandon Sanderson
Audio read by Angela Lin
Cover artist Alexander Nanitchkov
Country USA
Language English
Series The Cosmere
Genre Fantasy
Set in Sel (same world as Elantris)
Published 2012 (Tachyon Publications)
Media type Trade paperback
Pages 175
Awards Hugo Award for Best Novella (2013)
ISBN 978-1-61696-092-6
OCLC 793575540
Website The Emperor's Soul

The Emperor's Soul is a fantasy novella written by American author Brandon Sanderson. It was first published in November 2012 by Tachyon Publications. It won the 2013 Hugo Award for best novella.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

The Emperor's Soul tells the story of Shai, a Forger imprisoned by the Empire who can re-create objects by rewriting their history. Originally sentenced to death, Shai is given the chance to save her life by completing an impossible task: creating a new soul for the Emperor Ashravan, who was rendered brain-dead by a failed assassination. While she initially plans to escape as soon as possible, as she works on rebuilding the emperor's soul, Shai becomes fascinated with Ashravan's life and determined to discover exactly how he became who he was.


The Emperor's Soul is set in the Rose Empire, a nation on the shardworld of Sel. This is the same world in which Elantris was set, though few connections are made to that book within The Emperor's Soul. In the postscript, Sanderson explains that he was inspired to write this story after visiting the National Palace Museum in Taiwan and also by memories from the two years he spent in Korea as an LDS missionary.


An audiobook version of the book was released on November 2, 2012 by, read by narrator Angela Lin.[2]


The Emperor's Soul was well received by reviewers, winning the Hugo Award for best novella in 2013.[1] One reviewer commented, "Sanderson delivers a thoughtful yet exciting read that is difficult to put down and save for later."[3]


  1. ^ a b "2013 Hugo Winners". The Hugo Awards. 2 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Emperor's Soul [Unabridged] [Audible Audio Edition]". Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Moser, A.O. (9 August 2013). "Review: The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson". Strange Horizons.