The Emperor’s Soul
WINNER, 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella!
Nominee, 2013 World Fantasy Award for Novella!
I’m extremely proud of this novella. I think it’s my best piece of short fiction to date, and stands as one of the best complete works I’ve done of any length. It reads more like a short novel than it does a long short story, and does a lot of what I do in my longer fiction—it has a great magic system and cool characters.
So what is The Emperor’s Soul? It takes place in the same world as Elantris, though in a very different region, with only a few ties to Elantris. So you definitely don’t have to have read Elantris to appreciate it. (Though if you have, you should be able to see some fun ties between the magic systems.) It tells the story of a woman named Shai, a thief and a Forger—a person capable of rewriting the pasts of objects in order to change their present.
She starts off in prison, but instead of being executed, she is offered an opportunity. The emperor has been wounded in the head by assassins, and has become a vegetable. His attendants have hidden this from the empire and will trade Shai her life in exchange for creating a Forgery of the emperor’s soul, hopefully making it seem like the attack on his life never happened.
I always hate coming up with descriptions of books. I like them to stand on their own, with the text I wrote for them. So I’ll leave the description there, and instead just say that I am in love with this story, and think it’s among the best pieces of writing I’ve ever done. If you’ve liked my works in the past, I hope you’ll give this one a try.
As with LEGION, I will personally send a copy of the ebook to anyone who buys the print version. See details below.
From the Back Cover
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 councillor, 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 . . .
Note: If you buy or already bought the Tachyon Publications trade paperback and want a free copy of the ebook, email your paperback receipt or a picture of yourself holding the book to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get the ebook to you within a couple of days.