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.
My biggest complaint is that most of the characters are completely, tragically and infuriatingly stupid. They are constantly arriving at the wrong conclusions and what's worse is that it's become entirely predictable how they'll react to any situation. Simply ask yourself, "what would I do in this situation" and then know that they'll do the opposite. I like the world that has been created and the various subtexts and lore in the world. Just wish it were possible for some of the characters to not be idiots.
I knew before starting that the narration would be top notch. I often select books based on my favorite narrators. This story did not disappoint. I hope that this is just the start of an epic series.
Simon Vance does not just read a book aloud, he breathes life into each character.
Spend that credit. You will not be sorry.
Main characters in this book are idiots. They constantly get apprehended by the bad guys. Events flow from failure to failure. For example , Valin is suppose to be a born leader and tactical genius. But the way he acts is largely incompetent to the point of frustration. Constantly gets knocked out. One scene he stupidly flies his crew into enemy hands, then stupidly gives his weapons away. Then when they are tied up and are freed by his brother Kayden. They get knocked out by stone throws to the head almost immediately. For fucks sakes, all this tension building like they are going to do something and nothing happens . Demolition master redhead and big tits is a good character but doesn't do anything with her explosives. He's got a great team of characters but they aren't being used fully.
Besides being a fucking turd and getting knocked out all the time the story is pretty good. Characters need to be more smart. This fantasy reads like a mystery large majority of the book. I'll be picking up book two and if Valin gets knocked out one more time , gonna drop it immediately
Simon Vance could read "everybody poops" and it would probably sound awesome. In this case we also had a decent story line.
Yes, the narrator Simon Vance gives such creative character personalities/tone to each one member of this great book!!!
The world Staveley creates is captivating. The cultures, the scenery, and depth of characters is a mesmerizing read!!!! Love it and started the second sequel and am grateful for the true and amazing talent of this author.
He is magnificent as usual.
The moral strength one needs to rule.
I look forward to a third sequel with bated breath. ;)
As other reviewers have said, the main characters behave and say some of the dumbest things. They are driven almost entirely by emotion and rarely think things through. That said, I felt the world Staveley created was very interesting. In sum, I was entertained but often quite frustrated as well.
Trying too hard.
I knew going in that this was a first from this author but I guess I wasn't prepared for how...amateurish? the whole thing would come off. Really had to slog through the first 44 chapters or so before I started to care about what happened next, then it ended. The author seemed to skip over stuff that I wanted to read about and droned on about stuff I didn't care about. On top of that i was put off at first by Simon Vance's performance. The main characters are well done, but every minor character has the same mouth full of rocks accent, whether they are a monk or a soldier or a kid. The women all have this breathless overly dramatic whinny quality to them that didn't fit well with the scenes. I dont know, maybe i'm being picky, but I wouldnt waste a credit on it and I don't plan on buying the next in the series.
This is the first swords and sorcery genre I've read that has such direct Asian influence. It's something different, but it's solid. The development of the women characters are a bit simple, and while I hope to see more in the coming books, The Emperor's Blades lays a solid foundation for some fantastical story telling.
The characters are capable and interesting, but not yet mature. They develop as the story continues, getting stronger and more certain of themselves: as it should be in a book of this genre.
I like all three of the main characters, really. They have very different strengths and weaknesses.
I rather like it when the villains get theirs. They certainly have it coming.
"Game of Thrones not violent enough for you?"
If you enjoy bloody, hardcore coming-of-age military fantasy novels, then this series is a good one for you!
Report Inappropriate Content