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Legion and The Emperor's Soul

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The internationally bestselling author of the Mistborn and Stormlight Archive series presents two very different novellas that nevertheless showcase his remarkable gift for gripping narrative, world-building and empathetic characters. Available for the first time in one volume, a publishing event for all his many fans. LEGION Stephen Leeds, AKA 'Legion', is a man whose uniqu The internationally bestselling author of the Mistborn and Stormlight Archive series presents two very different novellas that nevertheless showcase his remarkable gift for gripping narrative, world-building and empathetic characters. Available for the first time in one volume, a publishing event for all his many fans. LEGION Stephen Leeds, AKA 'Legion', is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the story begins, Leeds and his 'aspects' are drawn into the search for the missing Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera whose astonishing properties could alter our understanding of human history and change the very structure of society. The action ranges from the familiar environs of America to the ancient, divided city of Jerusalem. Along the way, Sanderson touches on a formidable assortment of complex questions: the nature of time, the mysteries of the human mind, the potential uses of technology, and the volatile connection between politics and faith. THE EMPEROR'S SOUL 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...


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The internationally bestselling author of the Mistborn and Stormlight Archive series presents two very different novellas that nevertheless showcase his remarkable gift for gripping narrative, world-building and empathetic characters. Available for the first time in one volume, a publishing event for all his many fans. LEGION Stephen Leeds, AKA 'Legion', is a man whose uniqu The internationally bestselling author of the Mistborn and Stormlight Archive series presents two very different novellas that nevertheless showcase his remarkable gift for gripping narrative, world-building and empathetic characters. Available for the first time in one volume, a publishing event for all his many fans. LEGION Stephen Leeds, AKA 'Legion', is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the story begins, Leeds and his 'aspects' are drawn into the search for the missing Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera whose astonishing properties could alter our understanding of human history and change the very structure of society. The action ranges from the familiar environs of America to the ancient, divided city of Jerusalem. Along the way, Sanderson touches on a formidable assortment of complex questions: the nature of time, the mysteries of the human mind, the potential uses of technology, and the volatile connection between politics and faith. THE EMPEROR'S SOUL 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...

30 review for Legion and The Emperor's Soul

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hasham Rasool

    'Legion' 4 stars 'Legion' genres are psychological, sci-fi, crime and mystery rather than fantasy book. I quite like 'Legion'. It's the different kind of a book from Brandon Sanderson's books My favourite characters are Stephen Leeds and J.C. I think any author shouldn't write a book that insult to the people by their religion, race, culture, background etc. 'The Emperor's Soul' 5 Stars 'The Emperor's Soul' genre was a fantasy book. Hooray go back to 'Elantris'! 'The Emperor's Soul' is one of 'Elantris 'Legion' 4 stars 'Legion' genres are psychological, sci-fi, crime and mystery rather than fantasy book. I quite like 'Legion'. It's the different kind of a book from Brandon Sanderson's books My favourite characters are Stephen Leeds and J.C. I think any author shouldn't write a book that insult to the people by their religion, race, culture, background etc. 'The Emperor's Soul' 5 Stars 'The Emperor's Soul' genre was a fantasy book. Hooray go back to 'Elantris'! 'The Emperor's Soul' is one of 'Elantris' sequel books of 'Elantris' because 'Elantris' and 'The Emperor Soul' take place in the same world but with different characters, different regions, different religion and different magic system. My favourite character is Shai. I love this novella Alhamdulillah. I prefer 'The Emperor's Soul' than 'Legion'.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell

    Legion: 3/5 stars This one follows Stephen Leeds who has these hallucinations of different people that have varying abilities. He calls them his 'aspects,' and their skills come in handy, helping him solve cases for people. I found this one to be quite silly and fun with great snarky characters. It's only 75 pages long, so it's quite brief, and I would've liked to see how Sanderson could develop this into a full length novel. There were a few problematic elements to the story in regards to how he Legion: 3/5 stars This one follows Stephen Leeds who has these hallucinations of different people that have varying abilities. He calls them his 'aspects,' and their skills come in handy, helping him solve cases for people. I found this one to be quite silly and fun with great snarky characters. It's only 75 pages long, so it's quite brief, and I would've liked to see how Sanderson could develop this into a full length novel. There were a few problematic elements to the story in regards to how he portrays the Middle East and some religious/political topics. However, as a whole, it was short, sweet, and fun. The Emperor's Soul: 4/5 stars This novella was excellent! It's set in the same world as Elantris, though has very little in common with it other than some geographical references. It follows Shai, a Forger, who is hired to recreate the soul of the emperor who was recently attacked by assassins and left with brain damage. It all has to be done in private so the country doesn't know their emperor is incapacitated. And Shai has only three months to do the work of a few years. I felt like for Sanderson did an excellent job in approaching philosophical topics such as the soul, beauty and art, and continuity of the individual in a fun, magical way. Wonderful read!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    Legion: When the opening sentence of a book states; "My name is Stephen Leeds, and I am perfectly sane. My hallucinations, however, are all quite mad" Well I instantly know this is the right book for me. Although a mere 72 pages in my edition, this is one hell of a good yarn. In the short time we spend with the wonderful Stephen Leeds , who is a sort of private detective, we are introduced to an assortment of his 'brilliant friends' who help him with his cases and who are all in fact his own hallucin Legion: When the opening sentence of a book states; "My name is Stephen Leeds, and I am perfectly sane. My hallucinations, however, are all quite mad" Well I instantly know this is the right book for me. Although a mere 72 pages in my edition, this is one hell of a good yarn. In the short time we spend with the wonderful Stephen Leeds , who is a sort of private detective, we are introduced to an assortment of his 'brilliant friends' who help him with his cases and who are all in fact his own hallucinations, some of whom don't realise that they are hallucinations, which gives rise to some very funny moments in the story. We go on a fast, very fast paced adventure that manages to also include some complex and intelligent questions such as; the nature of time, the potentially dangerous uses of technology, politics and religion and more. The other thing that I'd like to point out, and that amazed me, is that for the short time we spend with them, the character development, even that of the hallucinations is fully realised This is my first 'toe dip' into the imagination of Brandon Sanderson and it was so good. I wish it had been longer, not that it felt rushed at the end but because I was thoroughly enjoying myself reading it. I do have a 'bind up' with all 3 Stephen Leeds stories in, from which I will read #2 and #3 straight after I finish this. Great stuff 4.5 rounded up to 5* The Emperers soul: Shai is a forger and she's been given the toughest job of her life, she has to make the Emperor a new soul and her life depends on it. How did Sanderson pack so much into fewer than 140 pages? How did he give us characters so well formed and developed with back stories even and multiple totally different lives for one of them? The world building is incredible, the descriptions second to none. I feel like I've been in the palace, seen the painting, spent time in the room were Shai was imprisoned which she made better with her forgery. I've visited a whole new world reading this beautiful story. I've learned about a magic system over the duration of the book and not just had a huge 'info dump' to confuse me. I've learned new words such as 'Soulstamp' and 'Soul casting' and 'Essence mark' and along with Legion this has been a phenomenal introduction to Brandon Sandersons universe and I cannot wait to continue my journey. 5 *

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    So here is my first official Brandon Sanderson read and I will admit that I enjoyed it - I wasn't so shocked to be honest as considering his popularity he must be doing something right So you have two stories here - the first a science fiction thriller Stephen Leeds also know as Legion. I will have to admit the idea of the character and the plot device were very clever and highly enjoyable. This was a relatively short story at only 77 pages long it still had enough time to develop and good yarn. So here is my first official Brandon Sanderson read and I will admit that I enjoyed it - I wasn't so shocked to be honest as considering his popularity he must be doing something right So you have two stories here - the first a science fiction thriller Stephen Leeds also know as Legion. I will have to admit the idea of the character and the plot device were very clever and highly enjoyable. This was a relatively short story at only 77 pages long it still had enough time to develop and good yarn. The second was an out and out fantasy but focused on a very clever idea. This was considerably longer but still really only a novella. I will admit that both stories are part of larger bodies of work (there are two other stories about Legion and the Emperors soul is set in the same universe as Elantris) so there is plenty more to go and explore though sadly neither were referenced in this book. So for my first foray in to the worlds of Brandon Sanderson I would say that not only was a success but also highly enjoyable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Renee V

    The sign of a good short story is that you want more, both these stories left me wanting more. As usual Brandon Sanderson has created worlds with unique magic systems (or in one case mental illness), and left you with an enjoyable read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    RTC

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    This is more of a 4.75* book and it's a hard one to give either 4 or 5 stars to because there are two different novellas set within it. I always tend to enjoy Sanderson's work and have nearly always rated his worlds and stories and characters as 4*s or higher and that's why when I ended up giving 'Legion' 4*s and 'The Emperor's Soul' 5*s I couldn't go with an even split at 4.5 as the second novella, which I LOVED, was a lot longer than the first, and therefore my rating is staying at 4.75*s be i This is more of a 4.75* book and it's a hard one to give either 4 or 5 stars to because there are two different novellas set within it. I always tend to enjoy Sanderson's work and have nearly always rated his worlds and stories and characters as 4*s or higher and that's why when I ended up giving 'Legion' 4*s and 'The Emperor's Soul' 5*s I couldn't go with an even split at 4.5 as the second novella, which I LOVED, was a lot longer than the first, and therefore my rating is staying at 4.75*s be it awkward or not :P Now, as I said this contains two novellas both are different, both have a vastly distinct tone, and very different ideas and flavours, but both are distinctly Sanderson's work. The first story is about a young man named Stephen Leeds who, essentially, has a very split personality disorder. He has hallucinations which he sees in his mind. He knows that his hallucinations are not real, knows that people think him mad, but his hallucinations, whether they are real or not, are pretty flipping awesome! Each person who he sees has their own specialities and skills and each is like a fraction of his personality which has been divided off. They are all fairly amusing in their own ways, and I loved this story so much because of them more than Stephen himself, whom, a lot of the time, seems only to be an interpreter. There is J.C - the comical and gun-oriented hard-man who is all about destruction, defence and attack. He's the trouble-maker of the lot, the one who tests your patience, but he's also fairly loveable once you get past all that. Then there's Ivy, a whizz at interrogation and deducing people's intentions and emotions, Tobias who is unreasonably clever, and many more. Stephen has the ability to call new hallucinations at will for certain purposes and when he becomes mixed up in a top-secret situation which went wrong, he uses the help of his many 'friends' to solve what has happened and work out what to do... On the whole I loved the characters within this and the idea that it showcased a small glimpse (although not genuine) into the life of a schizophrenic character, whilst also being wonderfully amusing, highly intelligent and a good story all round. I would love to see this made into a mini detective short story series as I feel it certainly has the potential for that, but knowing the number of incredible magical and inventive systems Sanderson crafts for his stories I am sure something new will come along to distract from that! On the whole, 4*s and a fun, fast read. The second story, The Emperor's Soul, was the one I LOVED and the reason I loved it so much is that the main character, besides being a rather kick-ass female with intelligence and wittiness, she's also set in a world with an awesome concept and a wonderful backstory to boot. This is the story of Shai, a forger who has been caught whilst attempting to steal and replace a priceless painting with her forgery. She believes that she's destined for execution and although she's skilled at escape, this time it seems impossible... until, she's given a chance, in return for helping to create the world's biggest forgery and cover up, she will be released and freed. I loved this story so much because it felt so original, creative and just downright fun. The idea that you can craft an object or soul into something better and the idea that this comes only with much study, hard work and learning I felt was a valuable lesson and a wonderful story. I cannot begin to say all the reasons that I loved it, but just know that this is my favourite short story in a long time, and I would HIGHLY recommend reading it because I didn't guess what was going to happen and I just thoroughly enjoyed the whole time reading it. A wonderful world, a unique adventure, and a beautifully intelligent leading lady, what more could you want? 5*s One of the best Sanderson short stories I've ever read too! If, like me, you haven't bought this collection yet but have been thinking about doing so for a long time, I would 100% say it's SO worth paying for and that there;s no question in my mind that if you like other Sanderson works then you'll love these. I also think they would be excellent starting places with his work if you have yet to read any so by all means please go and buy, then read, these novellas. :) 4.75*s

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paz R.M.

    4.5 Stars Am I being too generous with Sanderson? No, I don't think so, but I do believe I was very lucky to have picked up this book now. It was perfect timing. This book contains two novellas. Legion: 5 Stars and The Emperor's Soul: 4 Stars. My name is Stephen Leeds, and I am perfectly sane. My hallucinations, however, are all quite mad. Legion is a short modern thriller with some sci-fi elements. It is the story of a genius man, burdened by his gift and brilliancy, trying to solve an incredi 4.5 Stars Am I being too generous with Sanderson? No, I don't think so, but I do believe I was very lucky to have picked up this book now. It was perfect timing. This book contains two novellas. Legion: 5 Stars and The Emperor's Soul: 4 Stars. My name is Stephen Leeds, and I am perfectly sane. My hallucinations, however, are all quite mad. Legion is a short modern thriller with some sci-fi elements. It is the story of a genius man, burdened by his gift and brilliancy, trying to solve an incredible case. As a way to cope with the world and himself, he creates or generates hallucinations. These are different people and personalities inside his head. Every one of them is an expert on an specific field. With their help, Stephen embarks on a mission that could change the world. This novella is not only original, funny and exciting, but it also raises a few existential questions that I really enjoyed. It was fast paced, entertaining and simply awesome. And the fact that I read it while rewatching some of my favorite Sherlock episodes while waiting for the season finale was utterly perfect. The second novella, The Emperor's Soul, is a story set in Sel, the fictional world that Sanderson created in Elantris. Also, because I finished Elantris only a few days ago, it was perfectly timed. This story follows Shai, a girl who was captured by the Empire while trying to steal the imperial Moon Scepter. As a way to survive, she must make a bargain with the Emperor's closest "ministers". There was an attack on the Emperor not long ago. He was deeply affected and some factions now believe him dead. Shai must try to save his life in the only way possible. By Forging a new soul. This novella, although set in Sel, has little connection to the events of Elantris. It takes place in another land, maybe in a different time, with another Empire and another magic system. Although it has many similarities to the system from Elantris, it's a bit different. I must say I really enjoyed how Sanderson played with the idea of being able to change history and thus change people or objects. It took me some chapters to get into the story, mostly because I thought it'd have more resemblance with the novel, but I ended up loving Shai's journey. This book is a great place to start reading Sanderson. It's quick and entertaining and there's some great characters, relationships and intriguing plot.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Roberta Jayne

    Legion: 4 stars Seeing as this was such a short novella, this story was incredibly complex and was really well delivered. It was so interesting to see a more contemporary, mystery/thriller story from Sanderson and he handled it perfectly. I don't think there are any limits to what that man can do! The Emperor's Soul: 5 stars WOW. ABSOLUTELY WOW. The main character in this story, Shai, was ridiculously well crafted and the details in this novella were exquisite. I'm not going to outline the plot for Legion: 4 stars Seeing as this was such a short novella, this story was incredibly complex and was really well delivered. It was so interesting to see a more contemporary, mystery/thriller story from Sanderson and he handled it perfectly. I don't think there are any limits to what that man can do! The Emperor's Soul: 5 stars WOW. ABSOLUTELY WOW. The main character in this story, Shai, was ridiculously well crafted and the details in this novella were exquisite. I'm not going to outline the plot for either of these stories because I found it very refreshing and fascinating to go into reading them without knowing anything. The (magic?) system of Forgery was fantastic and I adored all of the little things that linked this novella with Sanderson's Elantris. With the exception of The Slow Regard Of Silent Things by Pat Rothfuss, this is the best short story I have ever read. I could cry it was so good. Legion and The Emperor's Soul: 4.5 stars overall

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I've not yet read Legion, this rating is only for Emperor's Soul! So I just finished Emperor's Soul and I just can't form words. I don't think I've ever read a Novella as amazing as this one. So beautiful!! Bsan is just amazing and all I can say about this is that if you have the chance read it!!! I've not yet read Legion, this rating is only for Emperor's Soul! So I just finished Emperor's Soul and I just can't form words. I don't think I've ever read a Novella as amazing as this one. So beautiful!! Bsan is just amazing and all I can say about this is that if you have the chance read it!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Legion made me laugh and is easily the best multiple personalities disorder detective that I've ever read. It's also the only one, but still.. Enjoyed it a lot. Will be reading part 2. The Emperor's Soul was a wonderful concept with great prose to go along with it and enough action to keep the story moving forward. They're both very well written and have really interesting magical systems in place which I really hope are explored further. I'd honestly give both of these stories 4 stars. Most peop Legion made me laugh and is easily the best multiple personalities disorder detective that I've ever read. It's also the only one, but still.. Enjoyed it a lot. Will be reading part 2. The Emperor's Soul was a wonderful concept with great prose to go along with it and enough action to keep the story moving forward. They're both very well written and have really interesting magical systems in place which I really hope are explored further. I'd honestly give both of these stories 4 stars. Most people who review here seem to find Legion lackluster, but I thoroughly enjoyed it (maybe even a little more than The Emperor's Soul). The only issue I have is that both set up really interesting premises, but the stories are short enough that they don't feel developed fully. So overall these are two great short stories that both deserve to be explored further.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Legion- 3 stars Emperor's Soul- 5 stars I thought this was a nice bindup of two Sanderson novellas, but they are not related what-so-ever, and they actually aren't even in the same genre. The first story is a contemporary, with a hint of thriller? It's about a schizophrenic who personifies his hallucinations, and solves mysteries with them, so I'm not sure what genre that would fall into. The second is a good old high fantasy, Sanderson's homeground. Legion- I enjoyed this! It was a fun short story Legion- 3 stars Emperor's Soul- 5 stars I thought this was a nice bindup of two Sanderson novellas, but they are not related what-so-ever, and they actually aren't even in the same genre. The first story is a contemporary, with a hint of thriller? It's about a schizophrenic who personifies his hallucinations, and solves mysteries with them, so I'm not sure what genre that would fall into. The second is a good old high fantasy, Sanderson's homeground. Legion- I enjoyed this! It was a fun short story, but not anything amazing. As always, Sanderson has great set ups, so the whole idea of this plot was really fascinating. It was really unique, and I was definitely interested-at the beginning. For some reason I just wasn't totally into this story the whole way through, so occasionally I got bored. Also, while the characters were really interesting, and I could tell they were well crafted, they didn't stick with me at all, and I never really felt connected. Overall though, a really fun read, and enjoyable. Emperor's Soul- I gotta say, after the first story, I wasn't expecting anything amazing with the second one. However, I was blown away, this is the best novealla I've ever read. I definitely think Sanderson's strength is fantasy, because this was fantastic. It amazes me how he can create a whole world, and make it feel fleshed out in 100 pages, when other books I've read can't do that in 400+ pages. The world was completely unique, and the magic system was as imaginative as ever. The plot was simple on the surface, but the way the magic system got expanded upon, I would love a full length novel with that as the main magic system. Also, how did he even manage to explain the government of this world, how can he do that in this little amount of pages? The characters were also great, and while I don't even remember the characters in Legion, I loved Shai, and all the other characters had a lot of depth as well. Overall- If you like Sanderson, I think you'll enjoy this. Even though I wasn't overly thrilled with the first story, I still liked it and the second story made up for it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Yuli Atta

    Again I'm amazed by Brandon Sanderson's brilliance and the completeness of his work. I loved Legion and The Emperor's Soul almost as much as I loved Mistbon and every other book by him. Again I'm amazed by Brandon Sanderson's brilliance and the completeness of his work. I loved Legion and The Emperor's Soul almost as much as I loved Mistbon and every other book by him.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    I found this volume at a recent bookshop's sale, where the owners were selling their old stock. There was no indication on the back cover that the stories were part of a series, so I decided to take the book with me (read: buy it). And what a gem this is! Two independent short stories: Legion, which seems to exist in a separate version (see here), and The Emperor's Soul, of which there's also a separate version (see here). The latter is a stand-alone story set in Sel, the world in which Elantris: I found this volume at a recent bookshop's sale, where the owners were selling their old stock. There was no indication on the back cover that the stories were part of a series, so I decided to take the book with me (read: buy it). And what a gem this is! Two independent short stories: Legion, which seems to exist in a separate version (see here), and The Emperor's Soul, of which there's also a separate version (see here). The latter is a stand-alone story set in Sel, the world in which Elantris: Definitive Tenth Anniversary Edition also is part of. I've yet to read this one, as well as The Hope of Elantris and his Mistborn Trilogy Boxed Set. Legion is about Stephen Leeds (his full name, Legion being his nickname), who suffers from schizophrenia. He considers himself sane, but his hallucinations absolutely not. However, his hallucinations lead lives of their own, as if they are real people, who live in the same house as Stephen. And they sort of do, since Stephen lives in a big house, with enough rooms to house each of his hallucinations. Even when going on a trip of ordering something, it'll be for five people. I like how each hallucination has an own personality: J.C. (a former SEAL, very passionate about guns), Ivy, Tobias, Monica, ... One has an interest in history, another in psychology, ... All aspects of Stephen's personality that help him through life. While he's mocked for his "illness", there's one organisation/company that's willing to hire his services. Especially to investigate the disappearance of Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera that can take pictures of the past. One has to be on location to take such a picture, of course. (view spoiler)[After examining some evidence (certain photos of historical figures which nowadays can easily be Photoshopped to look authentic), it's clear that Razon fled to Jerusalem to prove that Christianity (and other religions?) was a human invention. However, upon travelling to Jerusalem, the fellowship takes up 4 more places in the plane and travels onwards with two cars; yep, Stephen's hallucinations also need an own ride, as strange as it may be. Shortly after, and especially after asking tourists and locals if they've seen Razon and his camera, our crew gets captured by a radical spin-off of an Islamic rebel group of the Philippines. The same people who captured Razon, so they could obtain the secret of the device for themselves and their own evil purposes. But as you can imagine, not all went according to plan. But all's well that ends well. Sort of. And perhaps for the betterment of humanity. (hide spoiler)] Sanderson has a very fluent style, which allows for a quick read, and yet feel really drawn into the story. It's not really fantasy or science fiction per se, more like a detective story with a sniff of the aforementioned genres. This is short enough to be very enjoyable, but I certainly wouldn't mind it being turned into a full-blown novel. I also found it quite original in how he used schizophrenia to create such an exciting story. -------------------- The Emperor's Soul takes place in an Asian setting. The Emperor Ashravan's wife, the Empress, was murdered. This led to a period of mourning for the Emperor, but one he didn't/couldn't get out of. This has an impact on his psyche, his mental health. The regular healers were found neither worthy nor skilled enough to heal the Emperor. That's where Shai, a Forger, comes in. She was previously captured for stealing and forging the Moon Scepter, a very important and expensive painting. She's offered freedom if she can manage to create (forge) a new soul for the grieving Emperor. The population is kept at bay with excuses, so as not to cause chaos. But the arbiters, whom you could consider the real leaders, like the government, have their own reasons for helping the Emperor through a forger. They want to influence him. So Shai is provided an offer, but not the proper amount of time for this project. All has to be done in three months; a normal period is at least one year, if not two. Shai works with soul stamps (which she's also made for herself, to be able to transform as circumstances demand it; but hers were taken from her when she was caught), which she has to create and carve herself, based on the info she gets about the Emperor: official and non-official. Obviously, not all goes well. She's put under guard (24/24), doesn't get to leave, doesn't get much sleep (as she only has three months to fulfil the task), but is also chained to her room through a blood seal, put there by a Bloodsealer as a sort of detection system, which has to be renewed each day. When she would try to escape, he would know and send his demons to catch her. There's also captain Zu, who hates her guts very badly. He's the type that will execute orders, but doesn't really think things through. Of course, with all these regular Big-Brother-is-watching-you type of visits, blocks and shackles, it's not easy to also plot your escape. But Shai seems to have enough time and energy to spend time working on a new soul for the Emperor and renewing/restoring the state of her room (walls repainted, window glass repaired, etc.). How Sanderson described the magic system, the political struggles, the difference in beliefs / spirituality (how each thing and person has a soul, which also explains why certain forgings/improvements work like it was originally meant to be), and so on... Marvellous how open-minded Sanderson is in using this theme in his stories. Like all good stories, all's well that ends well (not in the least because Shai added a more personal touch to the Emperor's soul stamps), and that not every human being is corrupted by the (political) system, that some still do value integrity and authenticity - I'm looking at you, Gaotona. Something our present world needs very badly. Another very worthwhile story, without the smallest doubt. I'll put Elantris a bit higher on my TBR-pile.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Filipa

    Legion - 4 stars The Emperor's Soul - 4 stars I enjoyed very much this author's writing! What a big surprise since I'm not a fan of the genre. However, this was a great début! Legion - 4 stars The Emperor's Soul - 4 stars I enjoyed very much this author's writing! What a big surprise since I'm not a fan of the genre. However, this was a great début!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michael Cockland

    This book, Legion and The Emperor's Soul is actually two of Brandon Sanderson's novellas combined into one book. They are called (wait for it) Legion and The Emperor's Soul. A separate review for each book is mandatory. Legion Legion has a very interesting concept, about a very intelligent man, Stephen Leeds, who has hallucinations of other people. It is these people (each who specialise in one aspect of knowledge, whether it be language, military, history or technology...) who make up Leeds' inte This book, Legion and The Emperor's Soul is actually two of Brandon Sanderson's novellas combined into one book. They are called (wait for it) Legion and The Emperor's Soul. A separate review for each book is mandatory. Legion Legion has a very interesting concept, about a very intelligent man, Stephen Leeds, who has hallucinations of other people. It is these people (each who specialise in one aspect of knowledge, whether it be language, military, history or technology...) who make up Leeds' intelligence. He is sought after by psychologists for his condition, and exploits it to make himself very rich. The story idea was sound although lacking in depth and a little clumsy in areas, you can't expect too much from a 72 page short story though. The context was often humorous and overall the novella was pleasing to read. As a stand alone book I'd rate Legion 3 stars. The Emperor's Soul Of the two stories, The Emperor's Soul was my favourite. A very insightful tale of a young artist named Shai who enjoys the thrill of subterfuge manipulation of others. Shai is a very talented artist and is caught attempting to steal a priceless painting and replacing it with an almost flawless copy. The storyline, however, is much more complex. For such a short novella the ideas are very thought-provoking. Sanderson has always had a way of mixing fantasy with philosophy, religion and ideology and this shines through in this story, too. Winner of the Hugo award, The Emperor's Soul was a delightful read, one that I will surely read again and again (considering it won't be too taxing to turn all of those 100 pages). As a stand alone book I'd rate The Emperor's Soul 5/5 stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    booksofAhu

    Sanderson is for sure become one of my favorites. the first story Legion is more crime/psychological story than fantasy. Nevertheless it is interesting and fun. Will also buy the next book of the story. the second one is Emperor's soul. this is more like himself. a strong character with a special ability and a somehow dark past. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7456... if you are getting tired like with couple of hundred pages of his writing but still want to read him this is perfect for you. this Sanderson is for sure become one of my favorites. the first story Legion is more crime/psychological story than fantasy. Nevertheless it is interesting and fun. Will also buy the next book of the story. the second one is Emperor's soul. this is more like himself. a strong character with a special ability and a somehow dark past. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7456... if you are getting tired like with couple of hundred pages of his writing but still want to read him this is perfect for you. this a short break between long books :}

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I'm going to review these two stories separately since they are so different, and this edition appears to be more of a bind-up than a collection. Starting with 'The Emperor's Soul', the one I read first, it was definitely a novella that appealed to me more than 'Legion'. I believe it is a sort of side story connected to the world from Elantris, and I really enjoyed it! Sanderson's magic systems are truly unique and well-crafted, even in a story as short as this one, which surprised me consideri I'm going to review these two stories separately since they are so different, and this edition appears to be more of a bind-up than a collection. Starting with 'The Emperor's Soul', the one I read first, it was definitely a novella that appealed to me more than 'Legion'. I believe it is a sort of side story connected to the world from Elantris, and I really enjoyed it! Sanderson's magic systems are truly unique and well-crafted, even in a story as short as this one, which surprised me considering the length of many of his novels. I also really liked the main character, the fast-pace which didn't feel rushed, and the way things came together by the end. Would have liked more closure and slightly better explanation of the main character akin to the description we get of Emperor Ashraven, but it was a fun read. 4.5 stars 'Legion' was still a well-written short story, but not something that is particularly well-suited to my reading taste. The concept reminded me of the film 'Split' (that one with James McAvoy and his 24(?) identities) which I thought was pretty cool, but I didn't feel anything for the characters and didn't really care what happened to Stephen Leeds or about the camera thing. Disappointing but I'm sure there are people out there who would enjoy it, just wasn't for me. 2.5-3 stars. Rounded up the overall experience to 4 stars since 'Legion' is a story I've just read and already forgotten about, while 'The Emperor's Soul' was a really great read that I can see sticking with me in the future. Now onto Warbreaker once I'm done with the 11 other library books I've borrowed (I have control issues when it comes to book borrowing!).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Crowther

    The Emperors Souls was.....just brilliant! Sometimes I really struggle to enjoy a short story as much as a full novel. I often find there's never enough depth, but this!!! This is undoubtedly THE best short story I have ever read. I absolutely loved it. The Emperors Souls was.....just brilliant! Sometimes I really struggle to enjoy a short story as much as a full novel. I often find there's never enough depth, but this!!! This is undoubtedly THE best short story I have ever read. I absolutely loved it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Franzerli

    Legion - 4* The Emperor's Soul - 5* Legion - 4* The Emperor's Soul - 5*

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Unfortunately, I bought this along with the next two books in the Legion series. Unfortunate in that, while I thought The Emperor's Soul was awesome, there was a lot I didn't like in Legion. The concept of a multiple personality disorder giving its sufferer greater insight was interesting, but I found the idea of a society where it is considered normal to carry firearms totally unbelievable even in fantasy - such a society would be so unstable that it could be prone to mass shootings and might ev Unfortunately, I bought this along with the next two books in the Legion series. Unfortunate in that, while I thought The Emperor's Soul was awesome, there was a lot I didn't like in Legion. The concept of a multiple personality disorder giving its sufferer greater insight was interesting, but I found the idea of a society where it is considered normal to carry firearms totally unbelievable even in fantasy - such a society would be so unstable that it could be prone to mass shootings and might even elect a monster as it president. The Emperor's Soul, on the other hand, was a miniature masterpiece. I was so afraid it would peter out at the end, but I loved the ending too.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rim

    This is my first read for Brandon Sanderson, and I recommend this book for new readers of his work as it warms you up to his writing style. I really liked The Emperor's Soul as it contained a lot of life-related aspects and phrases. Can't wait to read his Mistborn series. This is my first read for Brandon Sanderson, and I recommend this book for new readers of his work as it warms you up to his writing style. I really liked The Emperor's Soul as it contained a lot of life-related aspects and phrases. Can't wait to read his Mistborn series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lis

    2.5 stars for Legion — honestly just not that great esp for Sanderson and kind of fucked up in a lot of ways 4 stars for The Emperor's Soul — solid and essentially what I would expect from Sanderson, basically. Beautiful worldbuilding and a fascinating concept. 2.5 stars for Legion — honestly just not that great esp for Sanderson and kind of fucked up in a lot of ways 4 stars for The Emperor's Soul — solid and essentially what I would expect from Sanderson, basically. Beautiful worldbuilding and a fascinating concept.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marco (Barely a blogger)

    | Legion | 4 stars The way it was written is detailed, yet subtle. Everything was made clear in a slower way than I anticipated, yet it works for this short tale. I do wish it had been an entire book. I loved the concept of it. | The emperor's soul | 2 stars I am not going to lie, this story was not my thing at all. It kinda made me uneasy. The whole thing about changing/adjusting a soul of a person is just a step to far. | Legion | 4 stars The way it was written is detailed, yet subtle. Everything was made clear in a slower way than I anticipated, yet it works for this short tale. I do wish it had been an entire book. I loved the concept of it. | The emperor's soul | 2 stars I am not going to lie, this story was not my thing at all. It kinda made me uneasy. The whole thing about changing/adjusting a soul of a person is just a step to far.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Nicole

    Legion: 4 stars The Emperor’s Soul: 3.75 stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bhavna Alke

    As always Brandon Sanderson captivates the reader with his mind and words. A visit to a museum that led to an amazing tale of art, magic and soul!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shibest Lisa

    Legion #1 3.5/5 Emperor’s Soul 5/5

  28. 5 out of 5

    Free_dreamer

    4.5 stars - Didn't like the first story as much 4.5 stars - Didn't like the first story as much

  29. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    I can't in good conscience rate anything of Sanderson's Poorly, I can however rate it a "Meh" This book is the combination of 2 of Sanderson's novella titles, as the title states, named Legion and The Emperors soul, now both are fairly well written, their plots make sense and they wrap up rather well for their 75ish pages a piece. However.... that's where my main problem with novella's come in, they are too short to be a decent novel, but offer the chance to create very interesting idea's, the dow I can't in good conscience rate anything of Sanderson's Poorly, I can however rate it a "Meh" This book is the combination of 2 of Sanderson's novella titles, as the title states, named Legion and The Emperors soul, now both are fairly well written, their plots make sense and they wrap up rather well for their 75ish pages a piece. However.... that's where my main problem with novella's come in, they are too short to be a decent novel, but offer the chance to create very interesting idea's, the downside to this is that those idea's are ultimately squashed before they have the chance to really get off the ground. My favourite of the 2 stories happened to be Legion which is probably contrary to what the friend who recommended these novella's thought I though like more. This falls partly due to the idea of a genius with a schizophrenia like condition, foisting his genius off onto hallucinations of his own making which each fulfil a specific role (e.g. an ex seal for danger situations and gun training, a translator for a specific language etc.)was highly intriguing especially to an ex psychology student like myself, that cases that intrigue him and sets the tone of the novella to be very Sherlock Holmes ish, also the nickname Legion that he is dubbed with obviously alludes to one of my favourite quotes of all time "My name is Legion for we are many" which just sounds so cool :P The Emperor's soul hits several of my plus points, a china/japan inspired culture, an interesting magic based system, and an almost impossible challenge to overcome, however apart from discussing the multi dimensional character that is the Emperor whose soul is the title of the book, the other characters just felt too one dimensional for me, this is entirely due to the fact that I believe novella's are simply too short to convey the same level of depth as a full length novel, or even boarder series, though I know there are several very poor examples of full length novels that could be pointed to with the same issues. Overall the stories aren't bad, id go so far as to say they both have a huge amount of potential, I just don't feel they can be realised though a Novella and both left me wishing for a more substantial novel based on the same idea's to sink my teeth into.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    SO GOOD. Brandon Sanderson just keeps surprising me. Definitely my #1 favorite author of all-time at the moment. This book is divided into two novellas. Legion and The Emperor's Soul (as it says in the title lol). I'll tell you my though on each of the novellas. LEGION Legion was interesting. It jumped into some interesting themes. It was both hilarious and the characters were well-written (despite the novella being 70 pages). The concept was quite interesting and enjoyable. I wish the book was lon SO GOOD. Brandon Sanderson just keeps surprising me. Definitely my #1 favorite author of all-time at the moment. This book is divided into two novellas. Legion and The Emperor's Soul (as it says in the title lol). I'll tell you my though on each of the novellas. LEGION Legion was interesting. It jumped into some interesting themes. It was both hilarious and the characters were well-written (despite the novella being 70 pages). The concept was quite interesting and enjoyable. I wish the book was longer cause it definitely had potential to become something amazing and fascinating. THE EMPEROR'S SOUL Definitely my favorite Novella. It's emotional, fascinating, amazing world building and awesome characters. The Novella is about 140 pages, but ohmygod it's so incredible, wonderfully written and it felt unique. The whole story is so geniusly though out that I was actually blown away by it. The Magic System and Religion in this book is just incredibly described (which is one Brandon Sanderson's strongest element in writing). The characters flowed very well with the story and I connected so deeply to our main character - Shai, but also to a lot of the side-characters. This Novella was also quite more emotional than I expected it to be - I loved that. It discusses interesting issues as one's soul, religion and morals. It was just such an amazing novella and I want more. This "book" was amazing. Two incredible novellas by an incredible author that never lets me down. I highly recommend reading these novellas. You won't be disappointed!

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