Shai is a Forger and she already knows that being bested is a rule of life. So when she finds herself in a dungeon she can't escape, Arbiter Gaotona's command to Forge the emperor's soul in a mere 98 days is a window of opportunity. But of course, if she fails in 98 days, execution awaits. Death threats and execution and deception surrounds her task, and Shai will have to use all her skills to get out of this alive.
I flew through this book in about an hour. It's such an easy read, but the meaning behind it is much more than it seems.
Sanderson is just a master of magic systems! I cannot emphasize that enough. A new world, a new system, new possibilities. I would love to explore this world a little more. I wanted to read more about power plays and the dynamics of the court. I wanted to see the past works of other Forgers and know more about Shai's past.
This book had the potential to extend much beyond 70 pages because of the potential of this world. But I'm glad it was a novella. It made the urgency more powerful.
The characters were not really fleshed out, but that is to be expected in a novella. For 70 pages, the amount of understanding we were able to glean into these characters's lives is fairly astounding. Sanderson writes the essence of characters very well.
But in the end, the reason I'm giving it four stars instead of 3.5 is that it takes the concept of creation and forgery and makes you wonder what is the true meaning of "masterpiece". When a copy is better than the original, which is the masterpiece? It is for this type of thought exploration that I love reading.
Four stars for being so beautifully written even in 70 pages, tugging a few heartstrings, but still managing to invoke deeper questions.
Highly recommended for anyone who loves a bit of magic and a new world. If you like anything else by Sanderson, you'll definitely like this one too. Also would probably recommend for someone who likes a bit of art.