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Bands of Mourning release party ()
#2 Share


Was the Rose Empire ever under threat from Shu-Dereth? And can you speak a little bit on fitting The Emperor's Soul into a world you'd already created?

Brandon Sanderson

So was the Rose Empire ever in danger from Shu-Dereth and could I speak a little about fitting The Emperor's Soul into a world I'd already written. So when I designed Elantris, I knew where I was going, and I knew a lot about the world. This is how I am in building. So when I wanted to do The Emperor's Soul I already knew where I was going to place it, I knew which magic system I was working toward, and things like that. So it wasn't terribly hard since I already knew what was over there.

The fun about that is that you should go look at the map commissioned, the one Isaac drew, that's done by the Derethi and see how they view the Rose Empire and where they put it on their map. And then you'll eventually get a map of the whole world, and let's just say they don't have a really accurate representation of the world and their place in it. As was very common for a lot of early societies, early European maps are hilarious.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#3 Share


Kind of an interesting question I guess, and it's mostly, like, Emperor's Soul.

Brandon Sanderson



It's funny because I was reading that book and I almost, almost thought that you put a twist where, like, her soul was stamped, and actually she was, like, not exactly who she thought she was. Did that ever cross your mind?

Brandon Sanderson

I did, but at some point, um--


Maybe it's a bit cheesy, I dunno.

Brandon Sanderson

--sometimes you twist so much. I felt that the more impact thing was the fact that she was planning this whole exit strategy to wipe herself away. I thought that was more telling about her than having her soul stamped. I did consider it, but it just felt like it was one of those over-twists, does that make-- make sense?


It might have--yeah, cause that's supposed to be a classic, like, "oh, *inaudible*" But anyway...

Brandon Sanderson

But you know, I mean there's some books where I've done--where I've like--this is the classic twist, and I like it, so I do it anyway.

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
#5 Share

Scott King

Out of all the books you've written which do you think is the best?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, Emperor's Soul is the one that won a Hugo, which gives it some objective credibility for being the best. [A Memory of Light] was the hardest by a long shot, and in some ways the most satisfying, but I'm perhaps most proud of The Way of Kings. So one of those three, likely.

/r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
#6 Share


Something I've always noticed is missing from your State of the Sanderson updates is any mention of a sequel to The Emperor's Soul. Is that something you might eventually get around to (after the Elantris sequel for example), or do you feel that story has been told?

TES is easily my favourite of your stories, with a depth of character and theme which really surprised me. Would love to read more - especially if it were more novella-length works!

Brandon Sanderson

I've been hesitant to do a sequel, as I don't want to "George Lucas" the story. Emperor's Soul is one of those stories that turned out very well on its own, and I worry that doing another story could take away from how well it works on its own now. I might have Shai do cameos in other stories, though.

A Memory of Light Raleigh Signing ()
#7 Share

Questioner (paraphrased)

In your novellas Legion and The Emperor's Soul, there was a common theme of a creation of character. Were you making a comment on that as a writer?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The Emperor's Soul was much more so, specifically dealing with the artistic process. That was part of the theme for me. Legion was more "Wow, this idea's awesome." I originally told Dan (from Writing Excuses) that he should write this, it's really quirky. He said, "I got my own ideas—go write it yourself!"

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#10 Share


In The Emperor's Soul - when did you decide to change the beginning?

Brandon Sanderson

It was Mary, from the podcast with me, is very good at short fiction. She read it, and she said, "This intro is just holding the story back." And I read it again, and I'm like, I really feel that she's right. I felt at the end of it that the intro was interesting for people who liked Hoid already, but for people who didn't, it was just distracting and confusing. So at the end of the day, I cut it out, and I think it was a good move, even though it was sad. If you google the phrase "killing your darlings". it's a phrase we talk about in writing and storytelling. That scene was what made me want to write the book, it's what started me off in writing the book, and then I cut it out. But sometimes you have to end up doing that.

A Memory of Light San Diego Signing ()
#11 Share

Freelancer (paraphrased)

In the opening of The Emperor's Soul, I see a scene familiar to Warbreaker; the first character we meet is in jail. Was this "connection" intentional?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes and no. Originally there was a prologue which featured Hoid speaking with the main character and setting some of the plot in motion, but it was cut before final revision. Also, it's convenient to begin with a character who is already in trouble.

Chris King interview ()
#12 Share


Is Resealing a subset of Forging, or a separate system like Bloodsealing is?

Brandon Sanderson


*Looooong silence*

I’m trying to remember what I decided-- I was building all of this on a fourteen hour plane flight, keep in mind-- I believe it is… Let’s go ahead and PAFO that one. I need to go to my notes. I can give you a tentative “I believe it is the same system and not a cousin system” but at the end of the day I kind of had to go to my notes and work things out. There was lots of wiggle room built into the Elantris magic system but I have to know what I decided.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#13 Share


I was wondering if you were planning on writing anything else in the Elantris world?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. There will be some more [clipped off]. Yeah. I'm going to do some more full books. I'd like to get Shai into things a little bit more, but I don't wanna ruin The Emperor's Soul by writing a bad sequel. Mmhmm, you know, it just turned out so well.

Hal-Con 2012 ()
#15 Share

Lance Alvein (paraphrased)

How was the Fjordell Empire not aware of the existence of the Rose Empire during the time of Elantris?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The connection between the two will be explained in future Elantris books, but a quick answer is this:

Fjorden was aware of the Rose Empire, but doesn't consider the location to be holy, so they didn't really care that much about it. There is also no easy natural way to travel between the two. If you remember, Shai did run into the Fjordell ambassador.

Firefight release party ()
#17 Share


Emperor's Soul, are we going to see much in with that?

Brandon Sanderson

We are unlikely to see me do another thing just like that, because it turned out so perfectly... I don't know that I want to spoil it but at the same time, she's a great character and I keep itching to do something else with her. So we'll see...

Sasquan 2015 ()
#18 Share

Questioner (Paraphrased)

Do you ever plan on writing a sequel to The Emperor's Soul?

Brandon Sanderson

The first one turned out so well, and it's one of those things that you kind of-- Like I didn't expect-- Like sometimes you're amazed at how well something turns out. I wrote that mostly on the flight home from Taiwan. It wasn't anything I was planning to write. I was inspired by my trip to Taiwan. I sat down, and I lived in Korea for two years, so I was kind of familiar with some of the culture, tojang, the stamps, and things like that, and so I ended up writing a story. It turned out so well, that it feels like it's one of those things that may not need a sequel. Does that make sense?

There's some things that are just better by themselves. *laughter* So we'll see. If the right inspiration strikes. I'm not planning one right now, though, for those of you that have read it, there is-- we have sold a movie option on it.  


So a movie option on Emperor's Soul, how would you do that? The producers are working very closely with me, and I'm working on the treatment , and I'm very excited. In fact, [Matt Hughes?], are you in here somewhere? The producer of it flew up from Hollywood, because he wanted to see WorldCon. So he's skulking around WorldCon for the first time. But yeah, so you might see a film.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#19 Share


Is there any plans to do anything further with the Elantris universe in the near future?

Brandon Sanderson

There is. The idea is, when the Wax & Wayne books are done, to do Elantris sequels in that slot, where I've been doing them. There's only one more Wax & Wayne book, so it shouldn't be too long, but when we talk about my writing schedule, we have to talk in the scope of years.


I really enjoyed The Emperor's Soul when I read it. It's, I think, one of my favorite things that you've written so far.

Brandon Sanderson

Thank you. I've been... I think, "You know, I should write another story about Shai," but then I'm like, "That one turned out so well." It's one of those things where it's like, "Don't ruin it by having a sequel," right? This is so perfect as its own little glimpse of something.