The Emperors Soul CoverJust finished “The Emperor’s Soul,” a really lovely novella by Brandon Sanderson. It came to me as a freebie somewhere – maybe at World Fantasy – and I almost left it behind.  I’m glad I didn’t. The beautiful cover convinced me to add yet another book to the load I was already carrying.  Not that I don’t like Brandon’s work – I do.  But I don’t have enough time to read everything I want to, and SF usually draws me more than fantasy.

I started it at the gym, and then read it every spare moment until finished.  It’s really a very enjoyable puzzle of a work.  I loved his character, and also the world (It is apparently set in the same place as Elantris, but I haven’t read that yet).  It is one of those engagingly well-written fantasies that fascinated me without a lot of overt action or obvious threat.  I highly recommend it, and I suspect it will go on my award ballots this year.  I might best sum up my enjoyment of this novella by saying the work itself has soul – I felt satisfied when it was done, and maybe the tiniest bit bigger.

The art, which has made it onto at least one “best covers” list for 2012, is by Alexander Ninitchkov.