Shai is a Forger. By carving symbols into stamps, she can change the history of an object to turn a neglected table, for example, into one that was cared for and made beautiful. There is another aspect of Forgery, which is being able to change aspects of a person. Shai herself can use one of her Essence Marks to temporarily change her history so she was brought up as a warrior, or a scholar, or even a beggar.
The emperor of the Rose Empire was almost killed, and his wife was. His body has been healed, but he’s unresponsive. If it were found he was unfit to rule, the empire would be thrown into chaos. However, there is the hundred-day mourning period. Now Shai, her art viewed as an abomination, must craft a whole new soul for the emperor. In 100 days … make that 98, now.
The Emperor’s Soul is set on Sel, the same planet the city Elantris is on, but this short book takes place in another country (almost Asian) and at a time far removed from that of Elantris. It’s a refreshing read for those who have read only Western young adult novels for a long time.
Rated: None. There is only one macabre facet — a Bloodsealer, whose “pets” are the skeletons of those he has killed. Other than that rather disturbing character, this short story is completely clean, including regarding language, sexuality and gore.