The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley
It has often been said that writers start writing because they think they can do a better job writing than someone else, or that they can make better use of an idea. I have found this to be the case time and time again in my life – it was in fact the reason I started writing at all.
And upon finishing ‘The Emperor’s Blades’ by Brian Staveley, I can tell you I am ready and raring to write.
In this case, however, it is a very specific drive behind my desire to write – the desire to take a brilliant idea and execute it better. In this case, I think Brian Staveley’s imagination and creation are brilliant, but his execution is to be found lacking.
As I continued reading The Emperor’s Blades – all in one sitting, mind you – I was repeatedly found wanting to do it better. There was so much promise – the characters, the plot, the mysteries – and each and every time the author was found lacking in his ability to make the most of what he had in his hands. At times it felt as if someone else had created the story, and then handed it over to Staveley, who didn’t really know how to best use what he had been given.
The overarching plot is a brilliant one – separate your three protagonists but have them be intrinsically linked, and in danger. The fact that they are related didn’t really play much of a part until the last few pages, and even then it felt somewhat contrived and forced. The world in which we find them is intriguing and interesting, though I found that only one of the three storylines was regularly captivating – while another was simply unnecessary, as far as this book is concerned. The mythology, mystery, and institutions of the world were each and every one intriguing – not overly thrust into the face of the reader, but simply existing and revealed bit by bit, as is natural.
The characters were a mixed bag: only one of the three lead characters acted with any sort of believable maturity, the other two surprisingly weak-willed and contrary; a female character who existed only to be abused and die, creating suitable angst and revenge for our lead protagonist; a group of one-dimensional evil characters who seemed to get away with murder; and a rag-tag bunch of ‘good guys’ who, again, didn’t seem to act with any believable realism.
One of the most annoying aspects of this book is the fact that I won’t be able to stop reading. There is such promise here, and I want to believe that Staveley can grow into that promise. He is a debut author, and if he is willing, he can definitely grow to be one of the more entertaining authors. But he’s going to have to be willing to find the mistakes and correct them.
Putting aside the contrivances, unnecessary storyline, misshapen characters, and mediocre pacing, Staveley is a good writer. There is room to fill out, and hopefully with time that is what will happen. In the meantime, however, I’m not going to be including this in a list of books you must read. You might interpret the execution better than I, but for the moment, maybe it’s best to leave it on the shelf until book two comes out.
This The Emperor's Blades book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne
The Emperor's Blades
Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne #1
The emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But...
The Providence of Fire
Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne #2
War is coming, secrets multiply and betrayal waits in the wings... The Annurian Empire's ruling family must be vigilant, as the conspiracy against them deepens. Having ...
The Last Mortal Bond
Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne #3
The Annurian Empire is losing a war on two fronts - and it's unclear who is in command. Adare is stationed in the thick of battle and now calls herself Emperor. However...
Have you read The Emperor's Blades?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Emperor's Blades reader reviews
Michelle from South Africa
Joshua S. Hill this “review” was tortuous to read. It seems like nothing so much as a platform for you to display your misplaced (and I do mean misplaced) self importance. You seem to have entirely missed the point of writing a review, here’s a clue: considering that it is aimed a *potential* readers of the book, it is not a good idea to go revealing important plots twists and spoilers in the story. Your use of grammar and syntax are also appalling; I will make a point of giving any literature with you name on it a wide berth in future.
Marcin from Poland
thanks for the spoiler man, especially when it seems you wrote this half-arsed 'review' half way into the book/books. i think if this would be called a review, it might be the worst one ive ever read. and im damn sorry i did. author, go write a book, i will be happy to read ~50% of it, give it bad review and tell everyone i can do better job myself. and this is direct link from google...
John from Canada
So the entire premise of your review is based on the idea that you think you could have done a better job than Staveley? Maybe try for less arrogance and a little modesty. At least I now know not to follow your reviews unless I want to hear about why you are a better writer than these authors.
Michael from New Zealand
Thanks for the huge spoiler Joshua S. Hill, I appreciate it.
6/10 from 5 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear while the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power ...
Half a King
Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it al...
The Faithful and The Fallen
Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will...
The Farseer Trilogy
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma. Born on the wrong side of the sheets,...
The World Tree rises up out of the seething clouds like a green mountain, lifting its children up to the light. All creation nestles in its gigantic branches: all take shel...
Hope and Red
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two people find a common cause. Hope, the lone survivor of a village massacred by the emperor's forces, is secretly tr...
The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures...
In the cramped west end of Sharakhai, the Amber Jewel of the Desert, Çeda fights in the pits to scrape a living. She, like so many in the city, pray for the downfall...
The Black God's War
Moses Siregar III
Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One. Her father-king wants war. Her messianic brother wa...
Wall of Night
The violence of an age-old war casts a long shadow. It falls on a world where mercy is weakness and conflict is a way of life. Young Malian is being trained to rule. Her pe...
Long ago, the evil God Torak fought a war to obtain an object of immense power - the Orb of Aldur. But Torak was defeated and the Orb reclaimed by Belgarath, the sorcerer. ...
The Emperor's Soul
Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skilful magic. Condemned to death after trying to steal the emper...
Hunt for Valamon
When Crown Prince Valamon is impossibly taken from the heart of Algaris Castle, the only clue as to motive or culprit is the use of unknown sorcery. Reclusive cleric Seris ...
Four millennia have passed since the gods came to Myrillia, creating the nine lands of peace as a haven from the nightmarish, accursed Hinterlands. In all this time nothing...
A Trial of Blood and Steel
Spurning her royal heritage to be raised by the great warrior, Kessligh, her exquisite swordplay astonishes all who witness it. But Sasha is still young, untested in battle...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended high fantasy books/series
- Recommended books/series featuring royalty, monarchy and empire
Best of 2016
Hope and Red
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two people find a common cause. Hope, the lone survivor of a village massacred by the emperor's forces, is secretly train...
The Star Touched Queen
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more ...
The Pagan Night
Ruling with an iron hand, the Church has eliminated the ancient pagan ways. Yet demonic gheists terrorize the land, hunted by the Inquisition, while age-old hatreds rage betwe...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world. Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she...
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her al...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...