I first heard of Brandon Sanderson when he was chosen to complete Jordan's Wheel of Time series. I picked up Mistborn and it became one of my favorite...moreI first heard of Brandon Sanderson when he was chosen to complete Jordan's Wheel of Time series. I picked up Mistborn and it became one of my favorite fantasies of all time. So then I picked up Elantris, and I liked that too, although not as much.
The Emperor's Soul is a novella set in the same world as Elantris (Sel), though to be honest I didn't see any crossover (I'm not sure if it's a different time period). It reads as an entirely independent story. The plot centers around Shai, a Forger, who is commanded to re-forge the soul of the emperor, whose mind was destroyed in an accident. She spends her days under constant threat of execution while trying to accomplish this seemingly impossible task.
Sanderson is known for his magic systems, and as with his other works, this one introduces a new an interesting one. Shai can change the history of any object or person by rewriting its soul (all objects have souls too), making her incredibly versatile. Of course, the empire calls her art blasphemy, so she's got a tough life.
So I read this almost in one setting, and I loved it. Sanderson always has captivating stories and characters, and here he pulls it forward with no wasted words or slow spots. I'd rate it as among the best of his works, which is saying a lot.
A friend recommended this series to me when I was much younger, but I never got around to reading it until now. It's kind of YA, or even MG, which mig...moreA friend recommended this series to me when I was much younger, but I never got around to reading it until now. It's kind of YA, or even MG, which might explain why it didn't quite capture me. It felt a bit juvenile, without the endearing quirks of Harry Potter.
Nevertheless, it's a story deeply seated in (Welsh) mythology, which did make it somewhat enjoyable to read.
The story follows Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper of an oracular pig named Hen Wen. When the Horned King attacks, the pig flees, and Taran sets out on a journey to find her. He encounters a number of odd companions and has a handful of adventures. Among these companions, one reminded me quite a lot of Gollum from the Lord of the Rings.
It's short and a quick read, and worth looking at if only because it's such a classic in the genre. I think if I were reading it with kids, it would have captivated me more.(less)
Lichgates is first book in the Grimoire series. In it Kara walks through a strange gazebo, which leads her to a lost book called the Grimoire. This bo...moreLichgates is first book in the Grimoire series. In it Kara walks through a strange gazebo, which leads her to a lost book called the Grimoire. This book, once read, transforms her into the Vagabond. She gains magic power, at the cost of the life she knew. She finds herself tasked with bringing peace to a new world, but hunted by beings of various races.
I had a hard time rating Lichgates. The world-building is well done and concept is original. The book can answer any question Kara poses to it, by flipping magically to the right journal entry. However, none of the characters quite felt real to me. They had their moments, but something seemed slightly off. And yet, every time I considered putting it down, something pulled me back in.
So I can say I enjoyed reading it, and right now, the first book is free. If it sounds interesting, maybe you should check it out. I give it 3.5 phoenix hatchlings. (less)