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The Emperor's Blades Audiobook

The Emperor's Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2014 Brian Stavely (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (4264 )
5 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.4 (3928 )
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1 star
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Story
4.6 (3928 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (20)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Stephen Windermere, FL, United States 01-20-14
    Stephen Windermere, FL, United States 01-20-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story like Joe Abecrombie/Brandon Sanderson!"
    If you could sum up The Emperor's Blades in three words, what would they be?

    Clever, fascinating and funny!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Flee - makes me laugh at his rude brash clever insults


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Always a good job! Good voice and doesn't distract you from the plot


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I don't know..but I would love to see this in a movie!


    Any additional comments?

    If you like a story with twists, raw humor and believable characters, you'll very much enjoy this book. Looking forward to the next one! :-) Good job!

    21 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deldepth 05-15-15
    Deldepth 05-15-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The pace of the story dragged it down."

    As far as stories goes, this has a very slow pace. It wasn't until the last few hours of the audiobook when the story really started to pick up and gain shape. Up until that point, there were just a multitude of cliché cliff hangers while the story switched from character to character.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Wellesley, MA, United States 01-20-14
    David Wellesley, MA, United States 01-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
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    37
    5
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    Story
    "George R. R. Martin better write faster"

    If you are angrily waiting the next Game of Thrones book, than The Emperor's Blades is your book. The story is often stronger and more relatable that George R. R. Martin's stuff. Plus Simon Vance's narration is fantastic as always.

    21 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey Brookyln, NY, United States 07-11-14
    Corey Brookyln, NY, United States 07-11-14 Member Since 2009

    Hi, I'm an alumi of NYU and I'm also huge into MMA. I love books I read a lot and review the stand outs. I'll give you guys the goods.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    317
    ratings
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    263
    94
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    FOLLOWING
    54
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"

    This is an amazing book. Its been awhile since I could get really excited about a series. The Emperor's Blades is outstanding in every way. Its very well written and is set in a sweeping and imaginative world. The characters are likable and surprisingly deep. The action in this book is both fantastic yet gritty and real. This book really grabbed me and got me swept up in the story. Overall, I think this is a must have.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shirley 02-01-14
    shirley 02-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    285
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    REVIEWS
    862
    57
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    8
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Depressing"

    I love scifi and fantasy. I've been reading the genre for over 35 years now. While this book is well written and fairly narrated, it was just depressing. I listened to the entire book and there isn't a single scene that is amusing or light. There are three main characters. One is learning at a monastery where extreme deprivation and even torture are used as teaching methods. An example is being buried standing up so that only your head is exposed and being left there for several days. Another character is learning to be a warrior but is being singled out for ridicule and deliberate belittling by the instructors, is trying to avoid being assassinated while he and his friends are being beaten up by the bullies. The third character is undermined in her political tasks by treachery and dismissal as a woman trying to do a man's job. Even though the three survive to the next novel there is no real feeling of celebration or joy...just constant setbacks and an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. Don't worry, I've not given away any spoilers - what I've written is what you find in just about every fantasy novel but in the good ones, you are given something to be happy about and hope that the protagonists will do more than just survive, that they will win in the end. That hope is not presented in this book.

    Simon Vance as always does a good job of narration.

    36 of 68 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nolan Oliver 08-20-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow to start but a strong, engaging story"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. This story could easily have been shorter with a small loss of depth at most.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is interesting and the world engaging with a rich history. At times elements, mainly cultures, are heavy handily drawn directly from the real world with only the thinnest of changes to gloss it over at places but it doesn't overly detract.

    The story is told much more like several separate stories in one. This is common enough, different characters in different places slowly coming together through the negative. Only they don't in this. Not really. The death of the emperor, talked about in the books description, happens immediately prior to the novel beginning. We follow the news as it effects the world and the lives of the three children of the emperor. Though these characters thing about the others they almost entirely don't interact. Each is spread across a continent and dealing with their own lives. All together this makes the book feel very, very much like a lead in to the series rather than a story in it's own right.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jada 08-10-16
    Jada 08-10-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Setup the world and traitors and princes fight"

    I loved this book. There are times when the details were overwhelming. So I had to read some sections twice to absorb the detail. I am glad I did because it is used later in scene setup and understanding the concern. One character was killed and I balled. I do not know I was rooting for this character until they were gone. There is depth in these characters. I hope there was a small prequel book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wesley New York, USA 08-05-16
    Wesley New York, USA 08-05-16 Member Since 2014

    Catholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    18
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    "awesome!"

    a great performance for a truly exceptional book. I can't wait to go to the next one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 07-30-16
    Mary 07-30-16 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story couldn't stop listening!"

    Loved the story, can't wait to start the next book! Plot leaves you wondering. who did it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jardin Joyner 07-25-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strong plot and delivery"

    I enjoyed the drama and the mystery behind the plot, but I do wish the female characters were stronger. It made me wonder if the author knows any truly strong women.
    Other than that, the performance was great. I felt the trials of the characters.
    Very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Amazon Customer
    12/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a good start"

    Start of a series so dont expect much closure but a good start all the same

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Sittingbourne, Kent, United Kingdom
    2/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very entertaining"
    What made the experience of listening to The Emperor's Blades the most enjoyable?

    The narrator


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Emperor's Blades?

    When one of the main characters died


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The differing voices


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    An Empire in turmoil, three siblings battle to save.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • David
    8/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Catching"

    story got off to a slow start but set the depth for an amazing ending!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Benjamin
    Hereford, United Kingdom
    8/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good stuff"

    A great listen
    Twelve more words are required to complete this review for some reason

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chris Richards
    8/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable but flawed"

    An enjoyable book but seems to take a long time to tell not much story, and one major character is strangely absent for most of the book whilst the others get a lot more time to be fleshed out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kieran
    Aylesbury, United Kingdom
    8/20/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very slow"

    Long book for so little happening. Cool last 3-4 hours but struggled to get there, very poor pace and interactions between characters is mundane at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • robert slade
    8/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Formulaic and entirely predictable"

    While it has its strengths this book is appallingly predictable. The plot twists are signaled in neon lights many chapters before they are revealed. Expert 'special forces' troops fail to draw obvious inferences and make ridiculous tactical decisions. Perhaps I'm good at guessing but the purpose and protagonist behind a grisly murder was obvious to me immediately but took the characters most of the book to resolve.
    It's so entirely predictable that when one character praises another effusively and later turns out to be a traitor you know with absolute certainty the character being praised is a traitor too. So the 'shocking reveal' near the end of the book is more like boring confirmation.

    It's not terrible, but neither is it very good, and there are very good fantasy novels out there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gina Ravello
    8/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "completely enjoyable"

    great story..... loved the telling. .. Could picture it all. Can't wait for his other books

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nicky
    Southampton, United Kingdom
    8/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating listen"

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I bought this book as there had been mixed reviews. However, I picked this up on the daily deal and for the price of a cup of coffee 18 hours of listening time flew by. The characters and scene setting drew me in while keeping the fantasy setting believable and the narration was excellent. Can't wait to embark on the next instalment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lucy
    7/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"

    It was enjoyable. The first part of the story was slow. From the middle it became interesting. It was wonderful written and beautiful narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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