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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 (4273 )
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4.4 (3936 )
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Story
4.6 (3937 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cliff 06-17-16
    Cliff 06-17-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great listen"
    Would you listen to The Emperor's Blades again? Why?

    I find a good book is easy to relisten in a year or two


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If possible.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John A. Adams 06-11-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Average fantasy story"

    the narrator was good, but the story was too predictable, and characters not all that interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Travis 06-09-16
    Travis 06-09-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great fantasy book! Pleasantly surprised!"

    I would definitely recommend! Best I've read since Stormlight! Hopefully it stays strong from here on out! Can't believe I'm just reading this now!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Moore 06-05-16
    M. Moore 06-05-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No Pippin"

    Yup no comedy, happiness or fun. Sad. Really really sad I keep moving 30 secs ahead hoping for a break. Torn between quitting and finding out what happens to the poor bastards

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Kitchen 06-05-16
    D. Kitchen 06-05-16 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    13
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    Performance
    Story
    "nice "

    I was hesitant at first, but after getting into it, the characters and plot grew on me. Very well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelley 05-31-16
    Shelley 05-31-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    2
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    "loved it!"

    drags a bit here and there. all in all a good listen! great story line, good characters. especially liked the catrol and birds!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maxwell 05-31-16
    Maxwell 05-31-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A solid book with a great plot"

    I struggled to start this book, however once into it, it was rather difficult to get any other work done. Well written, well performed, and an extremely gripping story. Can't wait to continue to the next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander Camp Pendleton, CA, United States 05-30-16
    Alexander Camp Pendleton, CA, United States 05-30-16 Member Since 2012

    I'm a fan of fantasy both epic and contemporary, I cant get enough of it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    37
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    "What an excellent book?!"

    Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, true love, miracles. this book has everything and I love it. Three vastly different characters draw you to them in their own beautiful ways and the book is amazing for it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    johan 05-27-16
    johan 05-27-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    20
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    "Grrrreaat!"

    Enjoyed it greatly. Great start for what can be a fantastic story. I enjoyed hearing every part and it didn't feel forced or rushed. Not often do I find myself enjoying every bit

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Jackson Orlando, Fl. 05-27-16
    S. Jackson Orlando, Fl. 05-27-16 Member Since 2014

    I've tried many professions, sailor, cowboy, hockey player, bartender, restaurant manager, managed movie theaters, retired as a teacher.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun, Exciting and We'll Done"

    First book I've read that was masterful in description choosing adjectives wisely. A true artist!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Callum
    12/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An enjoyable setting of scene"

    Really enjoyed the story and performance. Characters well crafted and story is promising. Easy listen with good narration. I'm excited to see what else is in store.
    Only criticism is maybe that there was a whole lot of scene setting and not a great deal happened, having said that I was gripped by the story and like the direction it takes. There is some conclusion which makes the end satisfying but leaves enough doors open to make me want to read more.
    A really good start in my opinion.
    Bring on the providence of fire!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Dwiver
    London
    3/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    I bought this book mainly because of the narrator. Who was, as expected, excellent. However the story was brilliant. The characters are really well written and brought to life. Can't praise this book enough.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Diarmuid
    5/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Three different blades, one great story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely. The Emperor has three children, each of whom live distant from each other, in three distinct areas. The lore and background for each area is very interesting, and you discover more as the story progresses.
    There is plenty of battling, laughter, treachery and twists, all of which kept me listening. Really, you never know what is going to happen next, so its hard to put those earphones down.


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

    None spring to mind.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The battle with the Skullsworn.


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

    Kadens thought as he trained as a monk moved me to laughter several times. Simon Vance does a good job with some deadpan narrations which me laugh.
    A particular death was sad as well, but I don't wish to give away any spoilers.


    Any additional comments?

    Just finished book 1, buying book 2 right now. You can't give a much better recommendation than that!

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Matt
    11/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just not that good."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I found this book a real up hill struggle, I tried to enjoy it but i just couldn't, the pacing felt wrong and it's as though the author wanted you to be completely aware that this is only the first book in the series. At times the story started to get interesting as if it was building to something but for it to go nowhere. i was beginning to feel like i was Kaden getting punished in the Monastery.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Princess Adare by along way. Unfortunately she only gets a few chapters throughout the entire book but they added an intrigue and twist which makes you want to keep reading.


    What didn’t you like about Simon Vance’s performance?

    I didn't enjoy his performance. The book was tiresome enough without needing flat toned samey characterizations. It made the characters hard to differentiate from at times.


    Was The Emperor's Blades worth the listening time?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I personally didn't appreciate this book and i enjoy a lot of fantasy novels.I really don't mind the tried and tested story line of a murdered Emperor with his defencless young child or children in this case growing into heros/anti-heroes before taking on the bad guys for justice/revenge, but to start with the characters weren't that memorable and for all the talk about how good the world building is most of the book its spent in a desolate mountain and a small island with nothing of note that stands out. Hardly Steven Erikson, G.R.R Martin or Joe Abercrombie standard. Another point is the torturous pacing. Yes i know it's the first book but there are plenty of trilogies that have fantastic openers that keep you gripped .As an example look no further than 'The Blade itself' ''The Name of the wind' and 'Tower Lord' to name but a few.I could go on but if you've found this useful and have the same taste as i do you've probably made up your mind by now.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Hans-Åke
    12/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sam Brearley
    2/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quality fantasy..."

    A well written, well thought through and well narrated romp. Avoids cliches and keeps you guessing...most of the time. Well worth it. I'm on to number two!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • drmr87
    1/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent first book in a fantasy series"

    Original plot, with excellent narration. A gripping story that leaves you keen to crack on with the next book in the series. Highly recommended to fans of epic fantasy with a more mature twist such as books by Joe Abercrombie

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Peterhead, United Kingdom
    11/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A bit slow to get into but well worth the wait"

    Really enjoyed this book, found it a bit slow to start with, but following the three family members and there wildly different roles within the story kept the book interesting, unlike some books iv listened to the junctions between the three main characters was well timed and the narrator did a very good job of the voice acting. I enjoyed the different twists and turns the story took, and a few even caught me out which is always a bonus. really looking forward to the next instalment!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Wren
    England
    6/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun and entertaining"

    Interesting story and set up. The three heroes all with different yet complimentary skills works well. The storyline ends well with enough unanswered questions to make me go and get the next book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Anton
    2/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Aggressively mediocre, but then so is my life."

    Though generic, Stavely's plotting and world-building are solid, but the novel is plagued by dull stock characters, anachronistic prose, and an unwillingness to commit to either Abercrombian grimdarkness or sanitized Hunger Games-style YA, instead trying and failing to strike a balance between the two. On top of that, much of the dialogue is so cringe-worthy that not even the delightful Simon Vance can salvage it, though you couldn't say he doesn't try.
    However if you're really craving something in which people hit each other with swords and an ancient evil may or may not awaken, this is a passable way to kill a bunch of hours, and the sequel, "The Providence of Fire," is a vast improvement, rewarding you for sticking with the series.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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