Book Review: ‘The Emperor’s Blades’, by Brian Staveley

Emperors BladesI think perhaps the most significant thing to say about my feelings for this book is that I read it in no more than two sittings. Rarely have I been so grabbed by a book as The Emperor’s Blades. The characters were all well-written and developed, but it was the world which attracted me so strongly to the novel. It is richly detailed, with fully developed history and religions, something which as a history student, I massively enjoy.

More than this though, there are no massive exposition dumps near the start of the story, with it instead being spread at a very comfortable rate. There is perhaps one section near the middle of the book where there is a lot history in one go, but it had already been hinted at throughout, and really served to confirm my own thoughts and theories. Perhaps my favourite sections of the book were Valyn’s chapters. The group of characters at the Kettral are fantastic, and I look forward to reading more about them.

It reads like a coming of age story, but also enjoys the benefits of multiple perspectives, as well as a number of dark sub-plots. It remains twist-filled, with a good number of unexpected deaths and betrayals, as well as feeling somewhat more mature than a typical ‘coming of age’ novel. While the ending did not tie everything up, I found the ending far more satisfying than I usually do the first in a trilogy.

I will certainly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, and can’t wait to get started on Providence of Fire.

‘The Emperor’s Blades’, by Brian Staveley is the first in the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne.


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