Though the official release date is still two weeks away, it appears that B&N, Amazon, and a number of indy bookstores all have copies of THE EMPEROR'S SOUL in stock. I'd like to take this chance to introduce the book to you. You can read an excerpt here on Tor.com.
In working on the Wheel of Time last year (and with the knowledge that I'd need to move on to Stormlight 2 immediately after finishing), I knew I wouldn't be able to get out a full-length novel this year. Instead, I worked on two novellas. The first, LEGION, came out a couple months ago. The second of the two is THE EMPEROR'S SOUL.
I'm extremely proud of this novella. I think it's my best piece of short fiction to date, and stands as one of the best complete works I've done of any length. For those who liked LEGION, I think you'll like this as much or more. For those who were skeptical of LEGION, know that this novella is not only twice as long, but is also a fantasy story with a great magic system and cool character. It reads more like a short novel than it does a long short story, and does a lot of what I do in my longer fiction.
Unlike LEGION, this one is out in bookstores. And though it's twice as long, it's three-quarters of the price (as it is a trade paperback instead of a hardcover). Barnes & Noble took a large stock for their stores, so you should be able to find a copy or two at your local B&N. (Though you might want to call first; I'm not sure which stores are getting copies and which aren't.) Your local indy, if they carry my other fantasy novels, should hopefully have copies in as well.
So what is THE EMPEROR'S SOUL? It takes place in the same world as ELANTRIS, though in a very different region, with only a few ties to ELANTRIS. So you definitely don't have to have read ELANTRIS to appreciate it. (Though if you have, you should be able to see some fun ties between the magic systems.) It tells the story of a woman named Shai, a thief and a Forger—a person capable of rewriting the pasts of objects in order to change their present.
She starts off in prison, but instead of being executed, she is offered an opportunity. The emperor has been wounded in the head by assassins, and has become a vegetable. His attendants have hidden this from the empire and will trade Shai her life in exchange for creating a Forgery of the emperor's soul, hopefully making it seem like the attack on his life never happened.
I always hate coming up with descriptions of books. I like them to stand on their own, with the text I wrote for them. So I'll leave the description there, and instead just say that I am in love with this story, and think it's among the best pieces of writing I've ever done. If you've liked my works in the past, I hope you'll give this one a try.
As with LEGION, I will personally send a copy of the ebook to anyone who buys the print version. (We hope to have the ebook ready soon; we're working on it. It's not out quite yet.)
I will be doing several signings for this book. The official release where I number copies will be at Weller Book Works in Salt Lake City on November 6th. (I will also be doing a signing-by-mail through Weller; details to follow.) Then there's another signing at the Orem Barnes & Noble on November 10th.
But my first three signings will be in Canada, in Halifax and Toronto. I will be at Hal-Con in Halifax on October 26th through 28th, and I'll sign books in the exhibits hall there. Then I'll be at World Fantasy in Toronto November 2nd through 4th; convention registration is sold out, so I will also do a bookstore signing in Toronto mostly likely on the 3rd in the evening. Details to follow. For specifics on all of these conventions and signings, check out my events page. If you want to go to one of these signings but want to read the book now, please consider buying your copy ahead of time at the store hosting the signing.