Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Emperor's Blades

The Emperor's Blades

Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne (Volume 1)

Brian Staveley

Tor Books

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In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, 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 each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing—and risk everything—to see that justice is meted out.

Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne
The Emperor's Blades
The Providence of Fire
The Last Mortal Bond

Other books in the world of the Unhewn Throne
Skullsworn (forthcoming)

Locus Awards - Nominee

EXCERPT

1



The sun hung just over the peaks, a silent, furious ember drenching the granite cliffs in a bloody red, when Kaden found the shattered carcass of the goat.

He'd been dogging the creature over the tortuous mountain trails...

Reviews

Praise for The Emperor's Blades

“A complex and richly detailed world filled with elite soldier-assassins, mystic warrior monks, serpentine politics, and ancient secrets. Readers of Sara Douglass's Wayfarer novels and George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series should enjoy this opener.” —Library Journal, starred review

“Will hold your attention until the last page. This intense novel is impossible to put down.” —RT Book Reviews

“Staveley puts his protagonists to the test and is wise enough to allow them shortcomings even as they develop extraordinary abilities.” —Publishers Weekly

“Filled to the brim with history, lore and potential…a modern epic fantasy mixed in with a nice dose of Lovecraftian weirdness.” —io9

“Familiar ingredients come to life in the hands of a promising new master chef.” —Locus

“Staveley creates a richly layered world that melds together elements of ancient magic, religion, political intrigue and battles large and small. The suspense is relentless and the moral compromises the protagonists confront, often accompanied by violence, are wrenching.” —Shelf Awareness

“An enchanting union of old and new, Staveley's debut will keep you turning pages late into the night.” —Pierce Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising

“A spectacular adventure, by turns elegant and brutal, and one I couldn't put down. The Emperor’s Bladesis expertly crafted and wickedly sharp.” — V.E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author of A Gathering of Shadows

The Emperor’s Blades is a complex and fast-moving fantasy set in a world where treachery and intrigue are everywhere, accomplished through ferocious brutality and subtle intrigues, and everything in between, and where no one is what he or she seems, including the three children of the slain emperor of Annur, who seek who is behind the assassination – if they can even survive a world where powers of all sorts, some dating back millennia, if not longer, seek their own ends, and where everyone’s motives are anything but obvious.”
L. E. Modesitt, Jr., New York Times bestselling author of the Imager Portfolio

“Brian Staveley introduces himself to the field of epic fantasy as a storyteller to watch with an exciting first salvo involving Machiavellian politics on multiple levels, an intriguing world of magic,and three protagonists whose personal journeys after the murder of their father - the emperor - may not only save or destroy everything they hold dear but will also keep the reader impatiently waiting for the next book!”
—Richard A. Knaak, New York Times Bestselling author for The Legend of Huma

“Come for the intrigue, assassination, death priests, black-ops bird riders, and giant poisonous hive-lizards. Stay for Staveley's characters, his language, and his way-cool fantasy Zen.” —Max Gladstone, author of the Craft Sequence

“Intricate characters, complex relationships, and plots within plots... these are the hallmarks of great fantasy and Staveley succeeds across the board. A brilliant debut!” —Jason Hough, New York Times bestselling author of The Darwin Elevator

“Takes a story of family, loss, conspiracy and revenge and gives it new legs. It's epic fantasy with a sharp, jagged edge to it, a modern sensibility, prose as tight as the leather wrapped around a sword's hilt, and characters that you can relate to and give a damn about. I look forward to the next installment of Staveley's chronicle.” —R. S. Belcher, author of The Six-Gun Tarot

“Staveley brings together a richly imagined world and vibrant characters, and serves them up with monks and monsters, tension and treachery--an exhilarating adventure.” —Elspeth Cooper, author of Songs of the Earth

“A vividly imagined story of conspiracy and empire.” —Col Buchanan, author of Farlander

“Here, Staveley has delivered on what this reader seeks; an embracing of what is enjoyable about the genre in a fun, very engaging debut and launch book for Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne.”—SFFWorld.com

“This is epic fantasy for a new generation, gritty and grim at times, but never losing sight of the awe and the wonder.”—Beauty in Ruins

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Brian Staveley

Brian Staveley has an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University. He works as an editor for Antilever Press, and has published poetry and essays, both in print and on-line. The Emperor's Blades is his first novel.

Brian Staveley

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