The Emperor’s Blades – Brian Staveley (Unhewn Throne #1)

The Emperor’s Blades20150323_121122 by Brian Staveley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reread Jan 2016.

The Emperor has been murdered. Daughter Adare looks to seek revenge for his death whilst waiting for her brother Kaden to return home & take the vacant throne.

Only Kaden is not yet even aware of his father’s death whilst studying in a remote monastery with no contact with anybody outside. After 8 years Kaden still has little clue as to why he was sent to train with the monks by his father other than to make clay pots, paint & carry out tasks requiring huge amounts of patience & discipline.

Kaden is not the only one in the dark about his father’s death. His brother and second in line to the unhewn throne is Valyn. Currently on a remote island training to be a ketral leader, this is tough physical training to master battle strategy and combat. Not only is the training brutal but so are the other members, some of which have taken serious dislike to him as son of the emperor.

Valyn is not particularly popular as son to the emperor and always has to watch his back, most dangerous being a leech, someone able to use magical strength & abilities by drawing power from their well, this could be anything and is kept discreet.

With the last book of the trilogy pre-ordered due for release in March I took the opportunity to look back on where it all began. There have been a few epic fantasy books floating around over the last few years with a similar style of backstory but this one really stands out above the rest. The balance is just perfect. Kaden’s storyline has a slower tempo set in a monastry, the environment is calm. Staveley uses this to explore the benefits of art and mindfulness. Whereas Valyn’s storyline is much more hectic training amongst warriors, assassins, snipers and leeches (who can draw power from a source inly known to themselves.) They have foul mouths, transport around on huge prey-like birds and train for one thing; to kill and a lot of the time would be happy killing eachother. A smaller third pov; Adare works great holding all three storylines together from the foundation.

Emperor’s Blades is exceptionally written, full of fantasy, fun and mystery which will just keep captivating you…

to read one more chapter.

Review from 2014

‘Kent kissing’ brilliant!!

Best fantasy I have read since `storm of swords ‘ It’s original, complex and intriguing throughout. Somehow this book has managed to capture so many of my favourite elements from previous fantasy I have read and combine them to make this fantastic story. It delivers on so many levels, the short fast paced chapters work really well always ending with a hanger that just makes you turn the next page. The story is complex but the author delivers it in such a simple way, writing from 3 characters pov throughout all in the present tense (which is a refreshing change.) and despite it being the first in a trilogy (it’s 2nd Jan 15,cannot wait.) the story is wrapped up beautifully, yes with hangers but you are not left frustrated.
Highly recommended for fans of ‘Raven’s Shadow’, ‘Kingkiller Chronicles’, ‘Magician’ and ‘A Song of Ice and Fire.’

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