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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 (5599 )
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4.4 (5174 )
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4.6 (5176 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rovente 01-31-17
    Rovente 01-31-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exciting and entertaining! Hard to stop listening."

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil 01-29-17
    Neil 01-29-17 Member Since 2016
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    6
    3
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    Story
    "FUGGIN AMAZING"

    Recommendation from a friend cause I'm a Yuge Throner, but this shit got me going.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Perth, Australia 01-29-17
    Bruce Perth, Australia 01-29-17 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent start to a new series - well worth it"

    I loved this book!!

    I've seen reviews that likened this to Joe Abercrombie's books - I totally disagree. Make not mistake, I loved JA books and Logan Nine Fingers but the only similarity is how engaging it is.

    Yes, there's violence and yes there's death but nothing unusual.

    It took me a little time to get into it but when I did, I couldn't put it down. I've listened to over 100 audio books probably half in the fantasy genre and this is right up there.

    I thought the characters and scenes were well developed with excellent writing. It won't disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Riley 01-05-17
    Riley 01-05-17
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    "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
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    "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
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    "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
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    25
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    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
  •  
    Amanda Pierce 12-13-16 Member Since 2017
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    2
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    "good read"

    this book draws you in the characters are so different it makes you want to get to know each character

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie 12-07-16
    Stephanie 12-07-16
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    "Not great, but good"

    A lot of really fun concepts happening, but overall the main characters and their introspections are the worst parts of the books. They agonize endlessly over their decisions and events, without really driving the plot or character forward. The narrator seems to only be capable of about 3 voices/accents, and the stereotypical gruff Asian voice he uses frequently really takes me out of the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    simon hup 12-03-16
    simon hup 12-03-16 Member Since 2014
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    2
    2
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    Story
    "Great story line.
    "

    Narrator did a great job, book covered all the characters without alot of jumping around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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!

    14 of 14 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.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • drmr87
    1/20/15
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    "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

    14 of 16 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.

    19 of 22 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!

    3 of 3 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!

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • 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.

    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.

    8 of 10 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!

    4 of 5 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. <br/>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.<br/>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!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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