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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Skullsworn

Skullsworn

A Novel in the World of The Emperor's Blades

Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne

Brian Staveley

Tor Books

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Brian Staveley’s new standalone, Skullsworn, returns to the critically acclaimed Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne universe, following a priestess attempting to join the ranks of the God of Death.


Pyrre Lakatur is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer—she is a priestess. At least, she will be once she passes her final trial.

The problem isn’t the killing. The problem, rather, is love. To complete her trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the seven people enumerated in an ancient song, including “the one who made your mind and body sing with love / who will not come again.”

Pyrre isn’t sure she’s ever been in love. And if she fails to find someone who can draw such passion from her, or fails to kill that someone, her order will give her to their god, the God of Death. Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to fail, and so, as her trial is set to begin, she returns to the city of her birth in the hope of finding love . . . and ending it on the edge of her sword.

1


The creatures of the Shirvian delta are fluent in the language of my lord. Even the smallest have not been made meek. A millipede coiled around a reed can kill a woman with a bite. So can the eye-spider, which is the size of my...

Praise for Skullsworn

“A lyrical, bloodsoaked, impossible quest that's sure to entertain.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author

“Staveley has quickly become one of my favorite fantasy authors, and his latest doesn't disappoint. Skullsworn is a brilliant new chapter in a fabulous series." —V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author

“A warm, funny, character-focused novel which is also darkly charming, bloody, and lethal. It was very, very hard to put down, and had an emotional punch to match its high adrenaline moments.” —Sci Fi and Fantasy Reviews

“Entertaining and well-told.” —Booklist

“Lush, evocative descriptions sharpen the setting, which recalls Southeast Asia. Visceral action scenes and memorable characters bring this tale to life.” —Publishers Weekly

“A stunning prequel that actually lives up to the original trilogy's legacy […] Staveley has proven himself to be a master of world-building, character development, and sheer storytelling.” —Beauty in Ruins

“Pleasantly grim and emotionally complex.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Full of surprises […} more inventive and grisly than I could have imagined.” —Fantasy Faction, 9/10 stars

“A highly engrossing fantasy world […] amazing characters.”—Fantasy Book Review

“A fantastic standalone book with a very satisfying conclusion – well thought out and written incredibly well.” —The Bookbag

“Intricately plotted and masterfully told.” —The Alliterates


Praise for Brian Staveley and the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne

“The culminat… More…

“A lyrical, bloodsoaked, impossible quest that's sure to entertain.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author

“Staveley has quickly become one of my favorite fantasy authors, and his latest doesn't disappoint. Skullsworn is a brilliant new chapter in a fabulous series." —V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author

“A warm, funny, character-focused novel which is also darkly charming, bloody, and lethal. It was very, very hard to put down, and had an emotional punch to match its high adrenaline moments.” —Sci Fi and Fantasy Reviews

“Entertaining and well-told.” —Booklist

“Lush, evocative descriptions sharpen the setting, which recalls Southeast Asia. Visceral action scenes and memorable characters bring this tale to life.” —Publishers Weekly

“A stunning prequel that actually lives up to the original trilogy's legacy […] Staveley has proven himself to be a master of world-building, character development, and sheer storytelling.” —Beauty in Ruins

“Pleasantly grim and emotionally complex.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Full of surprises […} more inventive and grisly than I could have imagined.” —Fantasy Faction, 9/10 stars

“A highly engrossing fantasy world […] amazing characters.”—Fantasy Book Review

“A fantastic standalone book with a very satisfying conclusion – well thought out and written incredibly well.” —The Bookbag

“Intricately plotted and masterfully told.” —The Alliterates


Praise for Brian Staveley and the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne

“The culmination of Staveley’s trilogy succeeds in every possible way, delivering readers a truly epic tale full of memorable characters, clever politics, an intelligent magic system, brutal battle scenes, and witty dialogue.”—Fantasy Faction, 10/10 Stars on The Last Mortal Bond

“Deeply satisfying.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review, on The Last Mortal Bond

“Darker and fiercer than the other two books […] the way Staveley crafts the ending, bringing everything together, is just masterful.” —Speculative Herald on The Last Mortal Bond

“The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne is a trilogy that’s gone from strength to strength as it’s gone on—that’s gotten not just bigger but measurably better with every increasingly vital volume—and it’s my pleasure to tell you that The Last Mortal Bond is, without question, Staveley’s most impressive and immersive effort yet […] What I didn’t expect was that it would take my breath away. But it did.”—Tor.com

“Staveley shows how to end a fantasy epic with The Last Mortal Bond.”—io9

“One of the most brutal, gut-wrenching, raw, emotional, masterfully told, brilliantly plotted, beautifully written series I have ever had the pleasure of reading.”—The Book Eaters on The Last Mortal Bond

“A phenomenon like the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne comes along once in a lifetime.”—The Qwillery

“Epic does not even begin to describe this dramatic third and final installment in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne.”—Bibliosanctum

“The perfect ending to a fantastic trilogy.”—Beauty in Ruins on The Last Mortal Bond

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Reviews from Goodreads

Brian Staveley

BRIAN STAVELEY is the author of the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne series, starting with The Emperor's Blades. He has taught literature, religion, history, and philosophy, all subjects that influence his writing, and holds 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. He lives in Vermont with his wife and young son, and divides his time between running trails, splitting wood, writing, and baby-wrangling.

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