The Court of Broken Knives
In the richest empire the world has ever known, the city of Sorlost has always stood, eternal and unconquered. But in a city of dreams governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence h ...more
Yes, there is romance in the book. It's about life, and love and l…moreHello Alejanda. Sorry, I've been on holiday and not looking at the computer. Bliss!
Yes, there is romance in the book. It's about life, and love and lust are a huge part of that. There's just a lot of violence, as well. (less)
This is a long review so here is the TL:DR for the impatient among you:
This is a very well written book – by which I mean that the writing is excellent. Ironically that writing may well be a barrier between many readers and enjoying it.
This is an interesting book – by which I mean it evokes interesting questions of a literary ...more
"Not sure I really feel like fucking someone who's part god and part suicidal drunk, you know"
I received an advanced copy of The Court of Broken Knives via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Anna Smith Spark and Harper Voyager.
2017 has been a stunning year for adult fantasy debuts and the trend absolutely continues with The Court of Broken Knives (book one of Empires of Dust) which will surely become a grimdark classic. The beginning sees readers followi ...more
Impossible to tell who's who any more. Mud and blood and shadows and that's it. Kill them! Kill them all! Keep killing until we're all dead. The knife jabs and twists and the man he's fighting falls sideways, all the breath going out of him with a sigh of relief. Another there behind. Gods, his arm aches. His head aches. Blood in his eyes. He twists the knife again and thrusts with a broken-off sword and that man too dies. Fire explodes somewhere over to the left. White as maggots. Silent as...more
I found the characterisation quite unique. Normally when writers create characters, they try to make them interesting and compelling and conflicted. They will tell you all that’s intriguing about them within the first few pages because they want you to carry on reading. Anna Smith Spark doesn’t do this. She introdu ...more
My rating is 2.5 stars.
The Court of Broken Knives is a novel which has taken me on a long journey. Not only alongside the characters which Anna Smith Spark has created, though that is true, but also my own journey of self-discovery, as I’ve found myself on a quest to reconsider my reading preferences, modify my bookish desires. This causing my review to take months to finish, as I returned time and again to the book to do lengthy rereads, attempting to focus my ...more
The unconquered city of Sorlost is in decline for years. Once part of a grand and undefeated Empire, now it's nothing more than a city of uncaring Emperors and pity Bureaucrats. Orhan Emmereth, Lord of the Rising Sun, Dweller in the House of the East, the Emperor's True Counselor and Friend, decides to take the situation in h ...more
I looked at the review page before buying this and all my friends who've read this gave it shining 5 star reviews. So i excitedly rush on over to the Kindle store, pay money for it, and start it. Well, this describes the experience better than I ever could.
I don't DNF books very often, so this is a serious event. I occasionally will stop reading a book I dislike and put it away to try later quite often. But DNF? Very rarely.
Put very sim ...more
Check out my review for this fantastic book on Booknest at: Booknest
“A wise man who's ignored is about as effective as an idiot who's listened to.”
The Court of Broken Knives. The best way for me to describe this book is as a uniquely fascinating and e ...more
“A wise man who’s ignored is about as effective as an idiot who’s listened to.”
Bloodthirsty. Brutal. Raw. And, so, so beautiful in its violent design.
Where it begun and where it ended, with journey in-between, probably best debut novel of this decade.
And a true definition of grim-dark genre.
The Court of Broken Knives, Anna Smith Spark’s amazingly written debut novel in the Empire of Dust series.
Sorlost. The eternal Golden City. The center and symbol and absurdity of white porcelain i ...more
I should say this is actually a good deal darker than George R.R. Martin's work (no small feat) in the fact this is a book where there's no House Stark. Instead, it's the story of what would happen if you had only Tywin Lannister, Viserys Targareyn (if he had his ancestor ...more
Julius - Ajlius. Andreas - Nadrias. Alexander - Laexandar. Amrath - Marith.
I'll get back to this.
I read, I write and I'm content. Or some such, but not really no. Sometimes, most times, what I read leaves me wanting. In Anna Smith Spark's "The Court of Broken Knives" case it leaves me wanting with more. Sadly not more of the story. Don't get me wrong it is an interesting read, but I want more from the stories I read. More character, more insight into the characters, mor ...more
The Court of Broken Knives is unlikely to shatter any molds in the grimdark genre, but I do have to give it credit for checking off all the right boxes and pushing all my right buttons. Also, the writing is exquisite, making it hard to believe this is Anna Smith Spark’s debut as it’s so incredibly polished and well done.
I do worry, however, that prospective readers might pick up this novel dismiss it almost right away beca ...more
Nah, to be honest, I just stopped at 94%. I don't believe anything significant will happen in the next few paragraphs, and I do not intend to continue with this series.
This book is currently being lauded in all my circles as the bomb that fell in holy water.
I beg to strongly disagree.
I stuck with it. I really did. But it got me in the end.
I don't normally like going on about what makes a book bad in my eyes. I generally want to quickly move on to the next and ...more
The premise was intriguing enough. Orhan Emmereth, a noble scion in the capitol city of the greatest Empire in the land, plots revolution. Orhan knows his people are a fadi ...more
So yah I loved it :D 4.5 stars! Worked out just fine for me. Sure in the beginning you really need to get used to the writing, english isnt my first language and I love getting better at it. But honestly Im not good at languages in general. Even then I managed to enjoy this story and follow the plot. I wish I would finally start making fucking not ...more
I'd go so far as to say that I've never encountered anything quite like Smith Spark's writing before. That this is art is beyond question, but it is also a compelling tale, and wonderfully crafte ...more
It took me some time to collect my thoughts for this review (and am not too sure I am there yet even still). So if you don't feel like reading a long rambling write up - just go with my brief recommendation.
If you are a grimdark connoisseur - grab your copy today. You will not regret it.
The trick with reviewing this book is that it twists and turns so many times as the plot evolves that it is hard to say anything without giving much ...more
He is death. He is ruin. He is Amrath.
But he is so beautiful.
Death! Death! Death!
I can hear the voice of madness. I can see what madness sees. I can touch, taste, feel all those beautiful things. Anna Smith Spark showed me the beauty in the darkness. She wove a wonderful story and delivered it with a unique style. You cannot compare Anna Smith Spark with other authors. She is the one others will compare themselves to.
Review originally posted at Moon Magister Reviews
Was I expecting, when requesting this on a whim, to find that a book that was one of my favourites of 2017? The answer is no, and I’m so glad that I listened to the feeling in my gut and decided to pick this one up. Because, as much as I love fantasy, sometimes I have a really hard time telling books apart from their blurbs. Large fantasy cities? Mercenaries? Empires? I can name off the top of my head a veritable list of books that contai ...more
On the orders of nobleman Orhan Emmereth, a group of mercenaries are marching across the desert to reach the city of Sorlost, made vulnerable by years of decadence and excess. Once there, they are to kill the Emperor and all who support him. The company are men who are there to get the job done and get paid – however, one amongst their number has a checkered past, and enjoys killing rather more than the rest of them.
Orhan – Our chief schemer, he is a noble man of a major house ...more
One of the best fantasy books I have read since I have started blogging, The Court of Broken Knives (Empires of Dust #1) by Anna Smith Spark, is a poetic account of the struggle for existence centered around a handful of people caught in politics.
No, friends, it's not as simple as I made it sound.
The Court of Broken Knives is an example of labyrinthine plots and counterplots that might leave the unwary confused. But those who can keep their co ...more
The Court of Broken Knives is a grimdark story with a lot of political intrigue, following four perspective characters: Thalia the High Priestess, Marith the tortured anti-hero, Tobias the weary mercenary, and Orhan the conflicted bureaucrat.
The first thing of note is the writing. It feels raw and visceral in its well-constructed lack of stability. Short phrases, sentences, emotions, that give a s ...more
THE GOOD: The voice is strong in this one! Right from t ...more
Nothing is pointless, as long as one is alive.
For being a grimdark fantasy novel, this was surprisingly optimistic. Well, if you can look past the whole "death and all demons" parts.
Why we march and why we die,
And what life means...it's all a lie.
Death! Death! Death!
Yeah, that kinda dampens the mood a little.
I really enjoyed this. At first, the writing was somewhat difficult to get into, particularly the first chapter, but once I got into it, it flowed amazingly well and painted quite an enr ...more
I've heard tales of this story/writing style being marmite, love/hate etc. etc. Well I hate marmite, but I ferkin' loved this book, its unique narrative, the prose and the narration (as mentioned above).
There wasn't a character by the end that I wanted to root for. They'd all done terrible things. All of them! And yet... And yet I found myself laughi ...more
The mummified heart of an empire of dust and desert villages, half forgotten by half the world."
2 / 5
I read quite a few rave reviews for The Court of Broken Knives: it's a grimdark novel featuring battles and gods and guts and glory. It seemed to tout all the elements that I love in a fantasy series: drama, assassins, different factions and a cheeky bit of p ...more
Lives for living. Nothing less and nothing more.
The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark is an unyielding and opulent tale of the balance of extremes: living and dying, darkness and light, truth and lies – all of life is a balancing act, and this book showcases the everlasting struggle of keeping the scales leveled. With strong focus on the brutalities of self-loathing and self- ...more
Not really in the mood to read anything I'm reading already so I decided to pick this one up. I received this from a goodreads giveaway and have been dying to dive in, hope I like it 🤓 ...more
|Fantasy Buddy Reads: November 2018 - A Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark||14||47||Nov 11, 2018 07:17AM|
|Dragons & Jetpacks: The Court of Broken Knives Q&A W/Anna Smith Spark||3||27||Oct 05, 2018 09:15AM|
|/r/Fantasy Discus...: February 2018: The Court of Broken Knives - Link to Reddit Discussions||1||15||Sep 09, 2018 12:42AM|
Anna Smith Spark lives in London, UK. She loves grimdark and epic fantasy and historical military fiction. Anna has a BA in Classics, an MA in history and a PhD in English Literature. She has previously been published in the Fortean Times and the poetry website www.greatworks.org.uk. Previous jobs include petty ...more