Melanie's Reviews > Skullsworn

Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
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Mar 04, 2017

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2017, fantasy, cover-porn



Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne:
1.) The Emperor's Blades ★★★★★
2.) The Providence of Fire ★★★★★
3.) The Last Mortal Bond ★★★★★

“From the first offering to the last, the would-be priestess is allowed fourteen days. Fourteen days for seven offerings. Not such a daunting task—not for one raised and trained in Rassambur—but an impossible one for someone, like me, who had never been in love.”

This book is a prequel in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series, where we are met again with a very predominant side character, Pyrre Lakatur. Pyrre is cutthroat, badass, and a completely ruthless killer. Pyrre is also a follower of Ananshael, the God of Death, and this story is all about her trial that will or will not make her one of Ananshael's Priestess.

But obviously the God of Death himself wouldn't make a trial like this easy. Pyrre has fourteen days to kill seven people that fit the part of an ancient song, or she will meet her God much sooner than expected. Pyrre feels confident until she hears the line “Give to the god the one who makes your mind and body sing with love.”

Pyrre then begins to question whether she has ever truly been in love before and even if fourteen days is ever enough time to prove that she is. She can complete her trial anywhere, but she chooses to go back to the first place she ever called home, so that she can be reunited with the first and only boy she had ever felt something like love for.

“Love is like killing,” she said. “You do it with every part of you, or not at all.”

On this mission she has two companions as well; who will watch over her and make sure she accomplishes everything in order to become a Priestess. One is Ela, who is one of the most amazing characters Brian Staveley has ever created! Her confidence, her acceptance, her bisexuality, her views on sex, her sense of humor, literally everything! Ela is beyond words amazing and I couldn't help but fall in love with her. The second companion, Kossal, is a stern older man, who hates anything that denies his God by never dying. He is a fantastic fighter, and also has a very big soft spot for Ela, too. These two characters made one of the best duos I've ever read about, and I'd actually love a pre-pre-story about them and some of their adventures together.

Pyrre has made Ananshael her life's work from a very young age. She had a very hard and unfair childhood that no child should have to endure, so when she returns to her hometown, Dombâng, she doesn't feel the slightest bit bad about causing a little trouble by recreating an ancient prophecy. It seems harmless enough, well, at least for a worshiper of the God of Death, until someone else picks up where Pyrre leaves off with her reenactment.

From there the city takes a turn for the worse, where we have the maybe only love of Pyrre's life leading the military against many devoted worshipers and fanatics of three mysterious Gods said to be living in the delta. The worshipers of these three Gods give human sacrifice in hopes of pleasing them, but no one is really sure that they even exist.

Oh, and the delta? That place was so frightening. Snakes, spiders, crocodiles, you name it and it is in there. Whenever the characters would be on a boat floating around, I felt so much anxiety! It was almost like I was living in the Anaconda movie! And let's not forget the three beautiful Gods that love hunting people, too.

“I realized something about life then: it’s not always good”

This story is truly amazing, with both parts terrifying and beautiful. The topics of love and how many different ways there are to love someone are just exceptional. I also loved how this book kept proving over and over how actions truly do scream in comparison to mere words. And, not to go all Incubus on you guys here, but how love truly is a verb and it's the most beautiful action any of us can ever do in this life.

“It is an error of grammar to make love a noun. It is not a thing you can have. Love—like doubt or hate—is a verb.”

And the writing in this, God, the writing in this. Brian Staveley's writing is so eloquent and beautiful. The amount of tabs I placed in this book is honestly unreal. This book is filled with beautiful quote after beautiful quote, and when you pair that with an already magnificent story, this book becomes something of magic.

“Love is not something you can keep. It is something you do, every day, every moment, regardless of who is dying.”

I also praised Brian Staveley for this throughout the entirety of the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series, but he truly does write strong female characters so very well. It never feels forced, or like fan-service, or have any hints of misogyny. He truly is just an amazing writer, and he never disappoints with his female (or male) leads.

I totally recommend reading this after you read the other three books in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, because even though this is a standalone and you will understand what's going on, you will have such a better appreciation of this world, and the races in this world, if you read the original trilogy first. Again, you can totally read this on its own, but you will just miss out on a few things and one particular beautiful epilogue that left me sobbing in my bed, which I literally then cried myself to sleep.

I was so enthralled while reading about Pyrre's journey, and this will easily be one of my favorite books of 2017. I am completely captivated by this world, and I can't wait to see what is next. And if you've read the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, please give this a try. It's short, and beautiful, and so very powerful.

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Reading Progress

March 4, 2017 – Shelved
March 4, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
May 28, 2017 – Started Reading
May 31, 2017 – Shelved as: read-in-2017
May 31, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
May 31, 2017 – Finished Reading
June 23, 2017 – Shelved as: cover-porn

Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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message 1: by Gelisvb (new)

Gelisvb Soo you did it! I'll get to it eventually


message 2: by Mikheil (new) - added it

Mikheil Wow a perfect 5 * huh. can't wait for your review


message 3: by Jorge (new)

Jorge Barbosa Wow that photo! Twinkle twinkle little star! Keen to read your review


Melanie Gelisvb wrote: "Soo you did it! I'll get to it eventually"

I did, love! Thank you time! And we need to pick a book to buddy read in July together! 💖xx


Melanie Mikheil wrote: "Wow a perfect 5 * huh. can't wait for your review"

It's pretty amazing, if I do say so myself! Hehe! 💖


Melanie Jorge wrote: "Wow that photo! Twinkle twinkle little star! Keen to read your review"

💖😊


message 7: by Petrik (new)

Petrik Fantastic review love! glad to know Staveley remained at the top of his game with the female characters! I find the last book of Unhewn Throne trilogy a bit disappointing though, maybe I'll give this a try one day we'll see! :)


message 8: by Nimrod (new) - added it

Nimrod Daniel Great review ( like always 😃) Mel!! The whole series sounds like it's right up my alley :)


Mayim de Vries I loved the chronicles but for some reasons I thought this was going to be another series not a standalone and so I left it sitting on my shelf. What a mistake - I see it now! *goes off to retrieve the poor baby*


message 10: by Sana (new)

Sana Great review, Melanie! Is this supposed to be read before the other books or after?


Melanie Petrik wrote: "Fantastic review love! glad to know Staveley remained at the top of his game with the female characters! I find the last book of Unhewn Throne trilogy a bit disappointing though, maybe I'll give th..."

I was thinking about you while reading, and hoping you'd pick this up one day! I'm such a hopeless romantic, but I still think you'd enjoy this! 💗 xo


Melanie Nimrod wrote: "Great review ( like always 😃) Mel!! The whole series sounds like it's right up my alley :)"

Thank you so very much, love! You should pick it up! 💗 xo


Melanie Mayim wrote: "I loved the chronicles but for some reasons I thought this was going to be another series not a standalone and so I left it sitting on my shelf. What a mistake - I see it now! *goes off to retrieve..."

Haha! This makes my heart so happy, Mayim! I hope you love it when you pick it up! 💗 xo


Melanie Sana wrote: "Great review, Melanie! Is this supposed to be read before the other books or after?"

Thank you, Sana! You can totally read it before or after, but I would recommend reading it after, just because then you have a better appreciation for all the different races in this world, and the epilogue drops a BIG bombshell for the original trilogy, but it still won't spoil anything for you! 💗 xo


message 15: by Sana (new)

Sana Melanie wrote: "Sana wrote: "Great review, Melanie! Is this supposed to be read before the other books or after?"

Thank you, Sana! You can totally read it before or after, but I would recommend reading it after, ..."


Oh okay! Thank you so much. x


Melanie Sana wrote: "Melanie wrote: "Sana wrote: "Great review, Melanie! Is this supposed to be read before the other books or after?"

Thank you, Sana! You can totally read it before or after, but I would recommend re..."


You're welcome, beautiful! 💗 xx


message 17: by Petrik (new)

Petrik Melanie wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Fantastic review love! glad to know Staveley remained at the top of his game with the female characters! I find the last book of Unhewn Throne trilogy a bit disappointing though, may..."

Haha! that's awesome that you thought of me while reading this one! we did a great BR for the first book back then! I think I'm going to read this one too eventually but not soon Mel, thank you love, I'm happy you enjoyed it! :)


Melanie Petrik wrote: "Melanie wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Fantastic review love! glad to know Staveley remained at the top of his game with the female characters! I find the last book of Unhewn Throne trilogy a bit disappoin..."

Take your time, no pressure what so ever, and thank you for your kind words, always. You are too sweet, Petrik. 💗

And I can't wait for our NEW buddy read at the end of this month! 😘


message 19: by Petrik (new)

Petrik Melanie wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Melanie wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Fantastic review love! glad to know Staveley remained at the top of his game with the female characters! I find the last book of Unhewn Throne trilogy ..."

Same goes for you Mel! and YEAYY!! can't wait for another buddy read with you! :D


message 20: by Candace (new)

Candace Fantastic review, Melanie! :)


Melanie Candace wrote: "Fantastic review, Melanie! :)"

Thank you so much, love! You are so sweet! 💛xo


message 22: by BAM (new) - added it

BAM The Bibliomaniac I just finished The Emperor's Blades and LOVED IT! I'm stuck on just how effusive I should be in my review.


Melanie BAM wrote: "I just finished The Emperor's Blades and LOVED IT! I'm stuck on just how effusive I should be in my review."

I'm so happy you enjoyed it! This series so so special to me, I always feel like I'm not doing it justice in my reviews, but I say gush away! To be honest, those are always my favorite reviews anyways. 💗


Avery Delany I'm super excited to write my review for this <3


Avery Delany Also I'm back to say I love your reviews so much. Your writing is so great, everything is so organised and well explained. Mine just ended up being a bit "ahhh I liked this a lot" lol. I enjoyed reading your review after I finished Skullsworn though as I didn't even know it was a prequel so now I'm really excited to read the other books!


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Wow Mel those books look sooooooo lovely, jealous me noooooooooooo lol :@) you lucky thing!!


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