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.
Clever, fascinating and funny!
Flee - makes me laugh at his rude brash clever insults
Always a good job! Good voice and doesn't distract you from the plot
I don't know..but I would love to see this in a movie!
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!
While much of the world-building is somewhat unique, the consistently unappealing, unlikeable characters are tough to take through 3 books.
There are a couple of constants in this series (1) NO one trusts anyone else; so, lack of even the most obvious communication drives the plot from beginning to end and (2) the entire world seems built on a foundation of pain, suffering, killing, torture, horrible judgement, bad decisions etc etc etc. No joking when I say it nearly impossible to sympathize with any character.
The author also seems to have periods where he seems fixated with unnecessary activities - like peeling off scabs. Book 1 is the most interesting as it sets up the 3 siblings at the heart of the plot. Book 2 is entirely driven by the stupidity of those siblings. Book 3 redeems the story some, but veers too much toward making the villain(s) nearly omniscient. By hour 50+ of the series, you're just ready for it to end.
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.
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.
Hi, I'm a cop, 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.
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.
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.
This book has so much history and lore I find myself entranced and envisioning the world the author has created. With both gods and advanced races, both outside human power to understand. Each one with its own goals and wars that pay no heed to the humans at all. It feels almost too big to understand and delving into it can feel overwhelming, but leaves me always looking for more.
Sadly I dropped my score only because the characters did not seem to live up to the world they were given. While interesting and at points complex, they did not seem to hold the gravity that their positions in the world that should be expected. Their reactions at points could be unrealistic for their situation and peoples reactions to them could be very formulated.
Still I found this book entrancing and I always was rooting for these main trio despite their many realistic failings.
I can't decide what I loved more the rich character, fascinating narrative, or excellent vocal performance. This is a fantastic fantasy novel that feels comfortable in the fantasy genre, yet it also feels unique.
I would highly recommend this book/audiobook. I have been searching for something to tide me over until GRRM finishes Winds of Winter and this hit the spot!
When one of the main characters died
The differing voices
An Empire in turmoil, three siblings battle to save.
"An epic tale worth every minute..."
The story follows three children of an Emperor, all in their own settings being prepared to enter into the Empire's service. The oldest son lives in a monastery, preparing to be the new Emperor and learn secrets believed to be long forgotten. The younger son trains as an elite soldier and commander while the daughter works as a minister in the government. When the Emperor is killed and they are being persecuted by people wanting the dead too, they have to unravel the plot using their special abilities, independent of each other.
The author has a good way of describing things, without tearing them to part with words. The plot is excellent and thrilling, not too fast paced but it gives an urge to want to know more! Really entertaining and yet no great wars or misery like most epic fantasy tales.
"a good start"
Start of a series so dont expect much closure but a good start all the same
It was a good listen and a good story I will be getting the next on .I do recommend it.
"Solid story with a straight forward plot"
I liked the pace of the story and the characters where good and varied. A good solid story but I must say that the plot, however much I actually liked it, weren't the deepest I have come across. But overall a fine tale and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
"A Tale Of Empire, blood, faith & skill"
Yes. I hadn't read this author before but would now recommend him.
not initially, but after a while, I couldn't turn it off.
If you've read The Sword of Truth, Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones etc this series will seem familiar to you. It's part of the Sword wealding fantasy line that seem so popular.
But, while familiar, there's enough of a difference to keep you reading.
Cannot get over how epic this story is. Well read, gripped from start to end. Second one ready to go!
"Great narration, good storyline"
The narration was brilliant. The storyline was not as good as I expected. I'm hoping the storyline improves over the following books and the first book was a scene setter
"Excellent Book and Narration"
This was my first Staveley book and it was excellent. This was also my first proper Vance book (apart from Dune, and that had loads of other narrators as well) and he was great. I'm going straight onto the 2nd book and hope the trilogy carries on in a similar, strong fashion. A few twists, but nothing mind-blowing. Some good action, but could have been bigger and bloodier. Good characters, likeable. The baddies could have been better. There was a bit of Harry Potter vs Malfoy going on, but... well, that particular pairing won't be an issue in following books :) All in all, book one was a great intro to the trilogy. On to book two!
A very promising beginning of an epic adventure. I found both the characters and the world they live in likable without being boring. the book is very much an introduction of plot and characters which serves to set the stage for future instalments of the series. Still, i enjoyed it all the way through and look forward to the next book. hopefully that will be read by the same narrator.
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