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The Emperor's Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, Book I Paperback – Illustrated, Aug. 26 2014
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In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.
Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late.
An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.
At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing―and risk everything―to see that justice is meted out.
Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne
The Emperor's Blades
The Providence of Fire
The Last Mortal Bond
Other books in the world of the Unhewn Throne
“A complex and richly detailed world filled with elite soldier-assassins, mystic warrior monks, serpentine politics, and ancient secrets. Readers of Sara Douglass's Wayfarer novels and George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series should enjoy this opener.” ―Library Journal, starred review
“Will hold your attention until the last page. This intense novel is impossible to put down.” ―RT Book Reviews
“Filled to the brim with history, lore and potential…a modern epic fantasy mixed in with a nice dose of Lovecraftian weirdness.” ―io9
“Familiar ingredients come to life in the hands of a promising new master chef.” ―Locus
“Staveley creates a richly layered world that melds together elements of ancient magic, religion, political intrigue and battles large and small. The suspense is relentless and the moral compromises the protagonists confront, often accompanied by violence, are wrenching.” ―Shelf Awareness
“An enchanting union of old and new, Staveley's debut will keep you turning pages late into the night.” ―Pierce Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising
“Come for the intrigue, assassination, death priests, black-ops bird riders, and giant poisonous hive-lizards. Stay for Staveley's characters, his language, and his way-cool fantasy Zen.” ―Max Gladstone, author of the Craft Sequence
“ Intricate characters, complex relationships, and plots within plots... these are the hallmarks of great fantasy and Staveley succeeds across the board. A brilliant debut!” ―Jason Hough, New York Times bestselling author of The Darwin Elevator
“Takes a story of family, loss, conspiracy and revenge and gives it new legs. It's epic fantasy with a sharp, jagged edge to it, a modern sensibility, prose as tight as the leather wrapped around a sword's hilt, and characters that you can relate to and give a damn about. I look forward to the next installment of Staveley's chronicle.” ―R. S. Belcher, author of The Six-Gun Tarot
About the Author
- Publisher : Tor Books; 1st edition (Aug. 26 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 076533643X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765336439
- Item weight : 522 g
- Dimensions : 15.75 x 3.3 x 23.5 cm
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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This is not a coming of age book. It’s a well written story focusing on the lives and training of the two sons and things are escalated due to the murder of their father the Emperor. I loved both characters and the supporting cast around them. There are many side characters that are interesting and pivotal to the story. There are also a number of mysteries in the book with the largest surrounding the Emperor’s death. They push the story along and hooked me in.
The fantasy elements themselves in this book are low key. There are many different gods and there is an underlying belief that they may affect things but for the most part this is a tale without god interference, without dragons (although a few non-earthly creatures exist) and largely without magic.
At the end of the day if you love fantasy fiction I can’t imagine you not loving this book.
The world he paints is a vivid one - a world once ruled by immortals who could craft creatures to do their bidding; giant birds with a wingspan of seventy feet that are ridden by black op-soldiers; monks and an Empire at the mercy of it's enemies. Only the Emperor's children can preserve what their predacessors have built.
The story follows the viewpoint of three characters; each unique in it's own way. The Emperor's heir is in the mountains; his brother is training to become a Kettral soldier; bird riding teams of raiders, and the sister is engaged heavily in the politics of their capital. THe writing itself is crisp and clear and leaves little to be desired.
The characters develop delightfully; no two characters tackle a problem the same way. There we also quite a few Red Herrings and surprises along the way.
Top reviews from other countries
I will not spoil any of the addictive plot lines or character traits, all I will say is I’m moving on to book two right now and I have found an author to rival George R R Martin and a World that is as captivating as Westeros!
Best fantasy I have read since `storm of swords ' It's original, complex and intriguing throughout. Somehow this book has managed to capture so many of my favourite elements from previous fantasy I have read and combine them to make this fantastic story. It delivers on so many levels, the short fast paced chapters work really well always ending with a hanger that just makes you turn the next page. The story is complex but the author delivers it in such a simple way, writing from 3 characters pov throughout all in the present tense (which is a refreshing change.) and despite it being the first in a trilogy (it's 2nd Jan 15,cannot wait.) the story is wrapped up beautifully, yes with hangers but you are not left frustrated.
Highly recommended for fans of 'Raven's Shadow', 'Kingkiller Chronicles', 'Magician' and 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'
More than this though, there are no massive exposition dumps near the start of the story, with it instead being spread at a very comfortable rate. There is perhaps one section near the middle of the book where there is a lot history in one go, but it had already been hinted at throughout, and really served to confirm my own thoughts and theories. Perhaps my favourite sections of the book were Valyn’s chapters. The group of characters at the Kettral are fantastic, and I look forward to reading more about them.
It reads like a coming of age story, but also enjoys the benefits of multiple perspectives, as well as a number of dark sub-plots. It remains twist-filled, with a good number of unexpected deaths and betrayals, as well as feeling somewhat more mature than a typical ‘coming of age’ novel. While the ending did not tie everything up, I found the ending far more satisfying than I usually do the first in a trilogy.
I will certainly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, and can’t wait to get started on Providence of Fire.
‘The Emperor’s Blades’, by Brian Staveley is the first in the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne.
Maybe I could have pushed through if the pacing hadn't been so odd. Prince finds out his fathers been murdered and stays on an island to finish his special forces hunger games. It didn't ring true to me and it slowed the pace down to a crawl.