The Emperor’s Soul

by Brandon Sanderson | 176 pages, published 2012emperor

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been reluctant to read more Brandon Sanderson books. But I enjoyed Elantris after finishing the Mistborn trilogy, so I thought I’d give this stand-alone book a go – especially since Jarom got it for me for Christmas! (Aren’t books the best presents?)

The Emperor’s Soul is definitely not as good as either Elantris or the Mistborn books, but it’s good. It was short, so it packed a lot into a small space. I liked it even more when I got to the end and found a note from the author that he got the idea from name stamps, which they use frequently in Asian countries like Korea, where he served his mission. Hey! Jarom did that too! And I have a name stamp!

This seems like a much less fantasy/magic-heavy book, although it did have elements of magic-ish-ness. With such a short read, I think you’d enjoy picking it up. It has a very different feel from the other Sanderson books I’ve read – which is good. I like when an author can capably write in several styles.

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by Orson Scott Card | 544 pages, published 2012ruins

This is the second of the Pathfinder series. It takes the story in a very different direction than I was imagining . . . I think I liked Pathfinder better, but who can stop at just one book? (Actually, I read quite a few first-in-a-series books this year that I have no intention of following up on. So I guess this is an exception.)

Not much to add to my recommendation of Pathfinder, which I do think you should read, but you might wait until all the books are out for a more satisfying read. I think Harry Potter was the exception to this rule.

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Walk Two Moons

by Sharon Creech | 288 pages, published 1994walk

How have I not read this before? I’m realizing (over and over again) that Newbery books deserve the medals they’ve received. Walk Two Moons is no exception.

If you haven’t read it, this is the story of Salamanca Tree Hiddle, who’s trying to find out what happened to her mom. It’s also the story of Sal’s friend Phoebe, and of Sal’s adorable grandparents. The writing is phenomenal, the characters are complex and beautifully written. And I couldn’t put it down, and when I finally did (when I finished), I was bawling. Sometimes those books are the best.

I have a copy if anyone wants to come borrow it. But I think you should go out and buy it.

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