Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ten Arrows of Iron (The Grave of Empires, #2)” as Want to Read:
Ten Arrows of Iron (The Grave of Empires, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ten Arrows of Iron

(The Grave of Empires #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  678 ratings  ·  82 reviews
The second novel in an epic fantasy trilogy that follows an unforgettable outcast mage caught between two warring empires.

Sal the Cacophony-outlaw, outcast, outnumbered-destroys all that she loves. Her lover lost and cities burned in her wake, all she has left is her magical gun and her all-consuming quest for revenge against those who stole her power and took the sky from
Paperback, 672 pages
Published August 4th 2020 by Orbit
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ten Arrows of Iron, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Šárka Králíková
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  678 ratings  ·  82 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Ten Arrows of Iron (The Grave of Empires, #2)
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I loved it! 😘

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Jan 09, 2021 marked it as get-away
TW: mentions of sexual assault

it has come to attention that this author has sexually assaulted a woman and was dropped by his publisher as a result. Because of this I will no longer be reading or reviewing any of his works. I know that many readers are capable of separating art from artist however I personally do not feel comfortable with continuing to read this series or any of his other works in the future.
i will also be taking my review for the first book down. the only reason i am writing t
Ten Arrows of Iron was my most anticipated book of this year. I loved Seven Blades in Black and I couldn't wait to see what Sal will do next. And though this installment is quite different than the first, more serious I would say, it doesn't disappoint and I loved it.

I would say that the sequel was the same level of quality as the first book, but more detailed and there were things I liked better. And some things I liked less.

What I liked better:
- the worldbuilding - it's wider than in previous
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. A little below average, still enjoyable.

So this was another super long book that could've been a lot shorter without losing quality.

I still can't really get into the writing, it's just so bloated with monologues and descriptions that try to sound badass but fall completely flat to me. I understand there are some people that love the writing style and find it hilarious, but for me it just simply doesn't work and made getting through the book a chore at times.

And the fight scenes conti
Dec 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Goodreads decided to completely erase any trace of me reading this book.

Thanks Goodreads, really.

*3.5 stars
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club, fantasy
Never let it be said that Sal the Cacophony doesn't tell a great story. ...more
Allison Sesame
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-or-ya
Wow. A second book as good as the first? Madness. I loved this return to Sal and all her ridiculousness. I was hooked from the first pages. Well done.
Amanda Vu
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I love me a good heist XD
This was so fantastic! I was completely hooked immediately, no second book slump at all!
Jake Hartman
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really loved Seven Blades in Black, so I just had to dive right into Ten Arrows of Iron. I’m not a pushy guy, but holy shit people, read these books!! Imaginative, poetic, badass, and surprisingly poignant. Sal the Cacophony’s excursions will leave you starstruck and begging for the next installment.

Content-wise, there’s a slightly different feel to this than the original. We know Sal now, or at least have an idea of why she acts the way she does. She is complex, and grey, and so ridiculously
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chelsea Moreen
Jan 09, 2021 marked it as not-interested
This author sexually assaulted a woman and subsequently has been dropped by the publisher I’m not interested in supporting this person.
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I knew I was going to like this the second I saw Liette on the cover.

Okay, so yes, there are some continuity issues between the first and second book - mainly, I feel Darrish should have been mentioned in the first book if there was really this much history there, and also where in the world is Jindu? Not that I ever especially enjoyed the character of Jindu. To be honest, Darrish was far more interesting. And her barter made me cry.

Even with this problem of switching the evil ex-lover, which is
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Sam Sykes is not as in favor today as he was a year ago, for external reasons. His books however remain equally enjoyable, at least as far as the Grave of Empires, and I, are concerned.

What this second novel in the series lacks in novelty, it makes up for in backstory for its main protagonist. We get to hear more about how Sal fell from the literal heights she used to soar and became this bitter, messed up desperado with the crazy gun. This succeeds somewhat, I think, in making her more relatabl
Robert Trnka
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing return to The Scar. Sal the Cacophony returns in a new adventure dealing with the war that has been in a stalemate for a while now. Brought in on a heist like mission to try and steal a relic from The Revolutionaries, Sal is given a chance to finish what she started, a complete list of where everyone that wronged her before, locations and all. She cant help but join on with a rag tag group of Vagrants and thieves, and like always, where she goes, destruction is sure to follow.

Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
While I enjoyed most of the book, the last third consisted of almost endless consecutive fight scenes interspersed with interminable emo conversations.
Donna Bull
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely epic. This follow up to Seven Blades in Black just goes to a whole other level. I wasn't sure where this story would go after Blades, but this just went places that were shocking, brutal, funny, super-stabby, heart-wrenching and so, so satisfying. After Sal, Liette and Cavric split up, Sal moves on to continue her search for the names on the list, and her search brings her into an eclectic group of new characters on a world-altering mission. These new characters are just fantastic, es ...more
Leonard Armitage
If you loved the first book of Gentlemen Bastards and then sorta went "meh" on book 2 thats sorta the feeling with Grave of Empires #2. Its an adventure, a con but its sooooo very angsty, doubt ridden, but we'll kill everyone anyway and pre-lament cause we know we'll never actually lament and we should be lamenting the fact that we won't lament cause its all so sad. Yeah, I almost abandoned it. Almost. In the end I still wanted to see what would happen with Sal even she was on the same track as ...more
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I should not feel this emotionally invested in an unapologetic killer like Sal but I am.

The deeper we go in her character the more you realize just how damaged she is from all that she's experienced. The relationship between her and Liette is so well done.

I really like the magic system and the stuff that was built up near the end with the Scrath, waiting eagerly for the next installment!
I enjoyed this book but didn't think it was as good as the first one. Looking back at it there are a lot of scenes and character interactions that I really enjoyed but I find myself unsure about many of the actual plot points. Not sure if this is just another case of the dreaded middle book syndrome or if it's because my attention span is greatly decreased by everything going on this year. Hoping book 3 will return to being more about the whole revenge quest in the foreground rather than somethi ...more
Dec 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This has taken me awhile to get through as its the xmas rush. Also it just isnt all that engaging. I also felt like it was 150-200pages too long, just like the previous novel. Sal is still the best thing about the book, but I was never hooked like I can be with other characters
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-toread, sapphic
Strong 3.5.
Brian Johnson
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is a weak follow up. I still enjoy the world the author has created, but the writing on this one is not up to the same standard. Feels like editors were not involved.
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I read Seven Blades in Black at the beginning of this year, I had no idea what kind of adventure I'd be heading out on. Sal the Cacophony is probably one of the most memorable protagonists I've ever encountered. She's a badass, smartass and every other kind of ass you can think of. But under that rough exterior lies a woman who has been hurt, beyond anything imaginable; she had her very identity ripped away.

Ten Arrows of Iron expands the lore and world from the first book so seamlessly tha
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shockingly good

Well, I loved the first book and I pre- ordered the second. I wasn't expecting this book (the second) to be as good as the first. As a long time reader of fantasy, I find that sometimes I can lose interest in the second book because very little seems to happen and second books can tend to be fillers rather than progressing the story and evolving the characters.
Well this book is not like that. I was just as involved and entranced as the first book.
If I'm reading a book and it's l
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, adult
Notes: I ended up liking Seven Blades in Black more than the second book in the trilogy. The first third of the book was quite long to get through plot-pacing wise whereas the last third of the book was the opposite of that. There is also a ton of swearing in some chapters (especially the earlier ones and it gets somewhat less by the later chapters) so this book is most definitely adult just like the first one. I did enjoy reading the fight scenes along with Meret's character interacting with Sa ...more
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I agree, humans haven't evolved much past beasts, driven by hunger, power, and romance (aka sex with more talking). I also sometimes get caught in the thought cycle, where thoughts lead to more thoughts, and more and more heavy thoughts, until immobilized by crushing thoughts. I love finding philosophical nuggets like this sprinkled in with a terrific story. The concept that one would leave someone they love in order to stop hurting them is continued from the first book into this one. I've never ...more
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I like more this book than the first one mostly because now is possible to see that there is real love between Sal and Liette (the plot "I am trying to fix you" and the "Sal' silence" were quite frustrating), and there is much more about Liette. There are also new characters that I loved each interaction, especially Agne, Urda, and Velline. However, some aspects made me furious. The plot feels disconnected from the first book: Where is Jindu? Who is Darrishana? Why is Liette just "watching" inst ...more
Chris Morgan
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
The first one was really refreshing. This one I felt like about a third through I was like "Ah . You swear too much, have a gun, and things are always impossibly bad and then somehow worse. But you always manage to get out of it. Hmm." In that way, this one felt very...well, sort of predictable. Sal is never really in any danger, and that might be okay were it not for the fact neither is anyone else. It didn't feel that way in the first book. And maybe it's just me, but I get the sense the autho ...more
Richard Maxton
I love the Cacophony. I love every aspect of this world.
I love the overall design of this cover - EXCEPT the head of the left figure looks off a bit to me. . .I don't know if its the size or the position, but it just seems a little wrong a bit. That aside, I love this mix of silhouette and realistic art.
One quibble - the last two or three chapters could have been edited a bit more. I think it got a touch repetitive on the "final battle" side.
Still, I love the "come together" moment.
I love a g
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ashes of the Sun (Burningblade & Silvereye, #1)
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea
  • Siege of Rage and Ruin (The Wells of Sorcery, #3)
  • Prince of Fools (The Red Queen's War, #1)
  • The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1)
  • The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4)
  • The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1)
  • The Name of the Rose
  • The Liar's Key (The Red Queen's War, #2)
  • The Wheel of Osheim (The Red Queen's War, #3)
  • The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #1)
  • Ball Lightning
  • Fevre Dream
  • The Rage of Dragons (The Burning, #1)
  • Blind Salvage (Rylee Adamson, #5)
  • Resist: Tales from a Future Worth Fighting Against
  • URBAN ENEMIES The Naughtiest Cherub
  • Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Sam Sykes is the author of Tome Of The Undergates, a vast and sprawling story of adventure, demons, madness and carnage. Suspected by many to be at least tangentially related to most causes of human suffering, Sam Sykes is also a force to be reckoned with beyond literature.

At 25, Sykes is one of the younger authors to have arrived on the stage of literary fantasy. Tome Of The Undergates is his fir

Other books in the series

The Grave of Empires (2 books)
  • Seven Blades in Black (The Grave of Empires, #1)

Related Articles

Where do you go for fantastical, must-read book recommendations? This summer we're turning to the experts of illusion,...
141 likes · 36 comments
“Sometimes, it was real nice just being with someone who hurt like you did.” 1 likes
“Love dies the same way everything else dies.

Quietly. Softly. With no one bothering to try to save it.”
More quotes…