Sara's Reviews > The Emperor's Blades

The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley
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really liked it
bookshelves: to-read, action-packed, fantasy, great-sibling-relationships, multiple-povs, world-building-love, prose-love
Read 2 times. Last read July 14, 2017 to July 25, 2017.

By far the darkest fantasy novel I've read this year - and yet it's so freakishly exciting. Three children of a slain emperor, each in different parts of Annur (Kaden in a monastery, Valyn neck-high in military training, and Adare still at home, now elevated to Minister of Finance), must survive a plot against their family and uncover who's behind it. That's the best way to summarize what happens, because I'd rather not give away spoilers. Just know this is an intense, heart-stopping read set in a visceral yet enchanting world of mysticism and monks, gods and death priests, soldiers and assassins, gigantic black hawks and poisonous creatures. (Seriously, the slarn almost gave me nightmares.) The characters are the true stars, though, and their struggles will give you one reason after another to root for them.

My one criticism is that Adare gets only a handful of chapters compared to her brothers Kaden and Valyn. But I think that's more of an oversight on the author's part than a show of misogyny or sexism, since several other important characters are female. And based on a few reviews I've read, Adare's lack of page-time appears to be rectified in the sequel THE PROVIDENCE OF FIRE.

If you like the brutality and constant machinations of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and the character focus of Robin Hobb's books, then you really ought to check out THE EMPEROR'S BLADES by Brian Staveley. If I had the other two books, I would binge-finish this series in a heartbeat.
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Reading Progress

April 7, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
April 7, 2015 – Shelved
July 14, 2017 – Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
July 14, 2017 – Started Reading
July 14, 2017 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
July 16, 2017 –
page 64
13.33% "OK, I'm already loving the world. It's got monks, an airborne cavalry of sorts, and creatures such as GIGANTIC BLACK HAWKS that carry said cavalry. It's mysterious, ancient, and dangerous, and I can't wait to see what else this book has to offer. :D" (Hardcover Edition)
July 17, 2017 –
page 112
23.33% "Why do I already have a feeling that they're wrong about who murdered the emperor?

Also, I've already noticed that Adara has significantly less page-time than her brothers do..."
(Hardcover Edition)
July 18, 2017 –
page 172
35.83% "The plot just keeps thickening, and thickening, and thickening..." (Hardcover Edition)
July 19, 2017 –
page 224
46.67% "Why do I have a feeling that Hull's Trial might give me nightmares after I've read about it? :o :S

Also, I wonder if Chapter 23 offered a clue as to what's stalking the desert near Kaden's monastery..."
(Hardcover Edition)
July 20, 2017 –
page 265
55.21% "I would have read more if I wasn't so exhausted last night... because, holy cow, am I sucked in now." (Hardcover Edition)
July 21, 2017 –
page 326
67.92% "Holy crap, stuff keeps happening, and I want to keep reading, and I swear this book is going to drive me crazy for mostly good reasons before I'm done with it. XD :S :o" (Hardcover Edition)
July 22, 2017 –
page 373
77.71% ":O :O :O" (Hardcover Edition)
July 24, 2017 –
page 426
88.75% "I wish I had the other two books already. If I did, I'd totally binge-finish this series.

Also: Kaden, you're terrible at reading people. XD"
(Hardcover Edition)
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: action-packed
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: great-sibling-relationships
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: multiple-povs
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: world-building-love
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: prose-love
July 25, 2017 – Finished Reading
July 25, 2017 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)

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