We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Emperor's Blades Audiobook

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

Regular Price:$13.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (4959 )
5 star
 (2835)
4 star
 (1642)
3 star
 (366)
2 star
 (80)
1 star
 (36)
Overall
4.4 (4571 )
5 star
 (2524)
4 star
 (1522)
3 star
 (393)
2 star
 (89)
1 star
 (43)
Story
4.6 (4577 )
5 star
 (3107)
4 star
 (1214)
3 star
 (202)
2 star
 (29)
1 star
 (25)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    David Wellesley, MA, United States 01-20-14
    David Wellesley, MA, United States 01-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    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.

    23 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John MS 05-24-16
    John MS 05-24-16 Member Since 2016

    jwhouston22

    HELPFUL VOTES
    115
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    199
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So - So"

    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.

    2 of 3 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
  •  
    Corey Brookyln, NY, United States 07-11-14
    Corey Brookyln, NY, United States 07-11-14 Member Since 2009

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    338
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    270
    96
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    55
    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
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 08-02-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 08-02-14 Member Since 2016

    My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5317
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1168
    1135
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    300
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kent Kissing Book"

    HUNGER IS FLAVOR
    Great beginning. You are there when the sheep whose brains have been scooped out is discovered. You are there as the Monk and the Warrior start training.

    SQUINT HARD ENOUGH AND EVERYTHING LOOKS SUSPICIOUS.
    Then the book turns into storytelling and we are no longer there. It all becomes past tense. It becomes boring.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shirley 02-01-14
    shirley 02-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    325
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    864
    58
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    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
  •  
    Riley 01-05-17
    Riley 01-05-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Performance and Story"

    I really enjoyed the book and will definitely be getting the next one. especially at the end I was sucked it and couldn't put it down. some of the twists were unexpected and they are good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kofi 01-04-17
    Kofi 01-04-17 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    107
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply astounding!!"

    One of the most well written and narrated books I've listened to in over three years. An intriguing plot that keeps you guessing till the very end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 12-23-16
    Mary 12-23-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Complex lives about to come together"
    Would you listen to The Emperor's Blades again? Why?

    I would listen again, especially since it is so well narrated.


    What other book might you compare The Emperor's Blades to and why?

    It seems unique to me.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are too many favorites to pick one.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The moment when the new emperor learned of his status.


    Any additional comments?

    Simon Vance is a master narrator--I can't imagine how a person can have so many voices for all the characters. I originally got this book because he was the narrator. My delight was twofold when I loved the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe West Michigan, USA 12-20-16
    Joe West Michigan, USA 12-20-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "In the end, a satisfying read"
    If you could sum up The Emperor's Blades in three words, what would they be?

    Slow but good.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    All of it.


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

    What a dumb question.


    Any additional comments?

    I almost returned this book numerous times. The book took a while to get going and I made the mistake of giving the reviews too much credit. There are definitely times where the author could have just cut out large swaths of what was written but I will finish this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • TClews
    4/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fantastic read for fans of grimdark fantasy"

    I loved this book start to finish, brilliant and great narration. Can't fault it. The story rolled along at a great place and never left me bored. The plot twists and changes were dramatic enough to keep me listening and wanting more, the characters are well written and very interesting. All in all a great audiobook. Very highly recommended, well done Simon on the narration and well done Brian on a great book. I think I might have to own the books as well as the audiobooks. Superb.

    1 of 1 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
  • 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 5 people found this review helpful
  • Colin M
    1/7/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just stunning"

    Cannot get over how epic this story is. Well read, gripped from start to end. Second one ready to go!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joey
    1/3/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J Hitch
    UK
    12/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Karoline
    12/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent narrator"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lee Jones
    12/1/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator is hard to get used too"

    I've not finished this book yet but I'm finding it very hard to get into , the narrator is incredibly boring to listen to and I find my self losing concentration, the boring narration mixed with the lackluster pacing makes it a grind

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Alexander J. Day
    swansea, great britain
    11/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "really not worth it. terrible performance"

    I have listened to about 3 hours of this but I just can't deal with it. The performance is terrible; the reader has like 2 voices, which he insists upon using the same ones for characters who are talking to each other. don't bother.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • TheTinfoilTitan
    10/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's not bad"

    Got story. Two main male characters are brilliant. Female character is shamefully dull. Narration is okay, though Vance's voices consist of about 4, Posh Male, husky Male, Female and Stereotypically Chinese, sometimes I lost track on who was talking because of the voices sounding so similar. The story was fun and had a good development to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.