• The Emperor's Knife

  • Book One of the Tower and Knife Trilogy
  • By: Mazarkis Williams
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (156 ratings)

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The Emperor's Knife  By  cover art

The Emperor's Knife

By: Mazarkis Williams
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
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Publisher's Summary

There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani Empire: a plague that marks each victim with a fragment of a greater design. Geometric patterns spread across the skin, until the victim dies in agony or becomes a Carrier, doing the bidding of an evil intelligence. The lost prince Sarmin, the emperor's only surviving brother, lies locked in a hidden room. As the pattern draws closer to the palace he is at last remembered: now he awaits a bride, Mesema, a Windreader from the northern plains.

She is accustomed to riding free across the grasslands and finds the Imperial Court stifling, but she soon realizes the politicking is not a game. It is deadly earnest. Eyul, the imperial assassin, is burdened by the atrocities he has committed. As commanded, he bears the emperor's Knife to the desert in search of a cure for the pattern-markings.

As long-planned conspiracies boil over into open violence, the enemy moves towards victory. Now only three people stand in his way: a lost prince, a world-weary killer, and a young girl from the steppes who saw a path in a pattern once, among the waving grasses.

©2011 Mazarkis Williams (P)2013 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about The Emperor's Knife

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    58
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    21
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    7
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    34
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    24
  • 2 Stars
    8
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    8
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    50
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    13

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Unable to listen

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narrator is so bad that I can't understand what he was reading . No difference in how the chraracters talk . no pause between scenes , no intonation or sense of occaision during the narration. If the narrator sounds bored how is the listener supposed to be engaged ?

What was most disappointing about Mazarkis Williams’s story?

I don't know because the narration was so bad I couldn't understand what was going on.

How could the performance have been better?

Change the narrator ?

Any additional comments?

Very disappointing. I wanted to read this book but an struggling to get thru it.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

wow long ouch

very hard to get into it had to drop it three times and finally caught the threads of the book and started piecing together what was going on near the end it made a lot of sense and I thinking about getting the sequel because I know something about the characters now

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Uncompelling story with a Great Narrator

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who enjoys less fantasy, but more original content in stories regardless of how interesting the authentic content is.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

My reaction was satisfactory, but the ending was not interesting enough for me to acquire book 2.

What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

Paul Boehmer was excellent as always. He is one of the best for narrative fantasies in my opinion.

What character would you cut from The Emperor's Knife?

I would cut the emperor (I forget his exact name) that was on the throne, after all his brothers were murdered except Sarmin. He as emperor did not factor heavily into the overall story enough for me to consider him important, even though he was crucial to its ending.

Any additional comments?

The Emperor's Knife is a decent story, with an original twist upon classic fantasy novels, but the plot overall is not compelling. I think the author should have developed two key characters more than anything else: The Pattern Master and holder of the Emperor's Knife itself. These two essential figures of the story we learn virtually nothing about during the story's delivery and only very little in the end.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

struggled to finish.

maybe too complex for an audible book
I think It might be a better read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

to jumpy

it bounced around too much you're paying attention to six different characters it was almost too hard to pay attention

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

Well-written, interesting characters. The pace feels slow but I think mostly because the story wanders several different places. The end comes together a bit abruptly but it fits. Looking forward to the next!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

hmm

yo. this narration is too poor for me to track what's happening. the inflection and emphasis on particular words and clauses in sentences does not seem to represent the same scene the words are meant to depict.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

might be hard to follow for some

I first want to say that I enjoyed this story. However it does change perspectives many times which is probably easy to see when reading since paragraphs are probably separated. It is a bit difficult to follow because it's all read by one person so you have to listen closely to know which people you are hearing the story from at different times. I still liked the story overall and will probably read the sequel, although I might try to find it at the library and see if I'm right about the perspectives being easier to follow when reading myself. I was able to follow the story and found it more enjoyable once I realized I just had to listen for changes in characters( usually it was separated by chapter making it easier at the beginning). once I learned the characters it was much easier to follow and I found that I enjoyed the story overall. I will be reading the second and third story of the series to find out what happens next. thank you.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

not bad

This was well written with an interesting plot and dynamic characters. My only issue was that it's a little obtuse and confusing at parts, but I generally felt like that was intentional for the mystique, and it never really hurt the story itself. also, it was a little on the dryer side, but not to a point of being bad.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining

Entertaining and different. Not too predictable (though it is a bit).

Nice sounding reader with okay sound quality.