The Emperor’s Blades was one of my favourite books, managing to blend epic fantasy with what bordered on a murder mystery. The numerous sub-plots and uncertainty throughout contributed to a massive amount of tension being ramped up in the course of the novel. Having said that, I felt Providence of Fire had a slightly different flavor.
The swirling sub-plots and uncertainty were still present, which I very much enjoyed. At about 60% through the book, I still had no idea how it would end, and found myself nervous about the dreaded ‘middle book’ syndrome. By the time I had finished however, my fears were more than laid to rest. It grew to be a truly epic fantasy novel, ramping up in much the same way as the first installment, but this time with a much greater defined ‘world-threat’.
As with all great epic fantasy, Providence of Fire was a complex book which encouraged me to think as I read, in attempts to predict twists. While it is the sort of book you have to concentrate on while reading, it is by no means difficult to follow. Staveley is very helpful with reminders of the significant hints, generally by getting inside his characters’ heads. Having said this, it might appear that all the twists would be easy to foresee, but there were many that I absolutely did not see coming.
‘Providence of Fire’, by Brian Staveley is the second in The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne.