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The Emperor's Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, Book 1 | [Brian Staveley]

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

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.
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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 (2288 )
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4.5 (2111 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sharan Balani 03-25-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic and gripping"

    Story and narration was fantastic, ending had a little too much closure for a series for my taste but enough is left open to leave you wanting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D.Givens 03-24-15
    D.Givens 03-24-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mostly good. Some fairly significant issues"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    yorkiemom Atlanta, GA 03-23-15
    yorkiemom Atlanta, GA 03-23-15 Member Since 2009

    Karen H

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    287
    15
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    4
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    Story
    "Great Epic Fantasy"
    What did you love best about The Emperor's Blades?

    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.


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

    Simon Vance does not just read a book aloud, he breathes life into each character.


    Any additional comments?

    Spend that credit. You will not be sorry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dicken McHardwoody 03-18-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    0
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    Story
    "Good guys are idiots"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Johns Creek, GA, United States 03-15-15
    Carl Johns Creek, GA, United States 03-15-15 Member Since 2010

    gadget freek

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    6
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    "Excellent listen"

    Simon Vance could read "everybody poops" and it would probably sound awesome. In this case we also had a decent story line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Murrell so-cal 03-12-15
    A. Murrell so-cal 03-12-15

    histfan

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great first novel!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Emperor's Blades to be better than the print version?

    Yes, the narrator Simon Vance gives such creative character personalities/tone to each one member of this great book!!!


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


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

    He is magnificent as usual.


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

    The moral strength one needs to rule.


    Any additional comments?

    I look forward to a third sequel with bated breath. ;)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Mittal 03-12-15
    G. Mittal 03-12-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Almost good"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tillerlw TN 03-11-15
    tillerlw TN 03-11-15 Member Since 2014

    tillerlw

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Underwhelming"
    Would you try another book from Brian Staveley and/or Simon Vance?

    Probably not.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Undecided.


    What three words best describe Simon Vance’s performance?

    Trying too hard.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler Wheeler 03-10-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great performance"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason S. Walters Gerlach, NV United States 03-08-15
    Jason S. Walters Gerlach, NV United States 03-08-15 Member Since 2012

    Secret Master

    ratings
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    "A very solid if violent coming-of-age fantasy"
    What did you love best about The Emperor's Blades?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I like all three of the main characters, really. They have very different strengths and weaknesses.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I rather like it when the villains get theirs. They certainly have it coming.


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

    "Game of Thrones not violent enough for you?"


    Any additional comments?

    If you enjoy bloody, hardcore coming-of-age military fantasy novels, then this series is a good one for you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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