Title/Author: The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1) by Brian Staveley
Publisher/Date published: Tor Books, January 14th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository
Goodreads summary: When the emperor of Annur is murdered, his children must fight to uncover the conspiracy — and the ancient enemy — that effected his death.
Kaden, the heir apparent, was for eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, where he learned the inscrutable discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power which Kaden must master before it’s too late. When an imperial delegation arrives to usher him back to the capital for his coronation, he has learned just enough to realize that they are not what they seem — and enough, perhaps, to successfully fight back.
Meanwhile, in the capital, his sister Adare, master politician and Minister of Finance, struggles against the religious conspiracy that seems to be responsible for the emperor’s murder. Amid murky politics, she’s determined to have justice — but she may be condemning the wrong man.
Their brother Valyn is struggling to stay alive. He knew his training to join the Kettral — deadly warriors who fly massive birds into battle — would be arduous. But after a number of strange apparent accidents, and the last desperate warning of a dying guard, he’s convinced his father’s murderers are trying to kill him, and then his brother. He must escape north to warn Kaden — if he can first survive the brutal final test of the Kettral.
Guys, this book totally made my fantasy loving heart happy! I was a bit hesitant at first, because the summary made me think there would be a lot of stuff going on and I was kinda doubting whether I would be able to keep it all straight, but I shouldn't have worried, cause Brian Staveley did this beautifully and I wasn't confused for a moment!
We follow the emperor's three children: Kaden, Valyn and Adare and I LOVED the switching POV and while I have a slight preference for Valyn's chapters (mainly because he's awesome), I really enjoyed reading about Kaden and Adare as well, though I still feel like I know Adare less than I know the other two. I think the main thing I enjoyed is that all three of them are different but all so interesting! They have had vastly different lives and still they have something in common: they are all brave and willing to fight for what they believe in and I liked it. They're amazing in their own right and I think that they'll be invincible when they put their heads together.
But like I said, my favourite is Valyn. There's something about following a warrior's training, all harsh and brutal and deadly and just AMAZING! OMG, these are the stories I live for! I love seeing someone transform into a fearsome warrior and doing impossible things and just generally wowing me and seeing them work hard for it. I love it. And there's intrigue and excitement and a hint of romance and just YES PLEASE!
I'm fascinated by the world Brian Staveley has created and I just couldn't put this book down, telling myself again and again that I would read 'just one more' chapter before I would go to sleep and gloriously reading into the night way past my bedtime. I regret nothing. Except maybe that now I'll have to wait a whole freaking YEAR before the next book, The Providence of Fire, will be out and I just want to read it NOW!
Like I said: this book made my heart happy. If you like fantasy it will probably make yours happy as well.
My rating: 5 stars