The Emperor’s Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #1) by Brian Staveley

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This reading experience was something that I’ll never forget. This world truly is a unique take on epic fantasy, and quickly became one of my favorite immersions. Among all the action, twists, and turns, this book somehow became one of the most addicting things I’ve read in a long time. I never wanted to put it down, and I’m currently deciding if I’m going to ignore my TBR and pick up The Providence of Fire immediately after I post this review.

This is a story about the Emperor’s three children, all living very different lives, and all having very different points of view:

Kaden –The Emperor in waiting, training with monks that are secluded in the far off mountains.

“Believe what you see with your eyes, trust what you hear with your ears; know what you feel with your flesh. The rest is dream and delusion.”

Adare – Minister of Finance, living in the capitol and not knowing who to trust.

“Men tend to die when you slide steel beneath their skin and wiggle it around. Even priests.”

Valyn – Cadet, training to become a Kettral, which is a very high rank and a very prestigious title in their military that flies with a group on a giant bird. Yes, you read that right.

“Put a man’s back to the wall, and he’s got no choice but to fight; offer him a comfortable retirement before the age of twenty, and you learn who’s committed to the cause.”

I’ll admit, I was a little biased towards Adare’s point of view, because her storyline has such a strong feministic undertone. Unfortunately, Adare also gets a considerably less amount of chapters than her brothers, but I was enthralled each time we got a glimpse of her story in Annur. I have very high hopes for her in The Providence of Fire, especially with the impact of that cliffhanger. Like, I’m here for Adare, and I’m rooting for whatever she has to do for her kingdom.

Kaden was my favorite of the two brothers, but that was probably because I felt so bad for him all the time. Not only was he the last to know important information, he was also being abused constantly by Tan. I mean, obviously Tan ended up stepping up his game later on, but it was giving me Severus Snape vibes throughout the entire first half; just because you do something good in the end doesn’t erase all the bad shit you did earlier.

Valyn’s chapters for sure grew on me. At first, I thought he was the reason the book felt a little slow, but then, once his story starting going, his chapters ended up being the most addicting. Even with Kaden being borderline tortured, Valyn was the one that broke my heart and evoked so much emotion from me, while I was reading. Also, he is sitting on a pretty big secret that is for sure showing the power of the side effects, so I am probably most excited for his part in The Providence of Fire.

There is also an awesome mystery surrounding the Csestriim and the Nevariim, both of which predate humans. We find out very little about them in this book, but you can easily tell that they will be the focal point moving forward, and I’m so excited.

This world felt so magical and new, the writing is suburb, the side characters are battling the main characters for space in my heart, the mystery is all consuming and makes this book impossible to put down, and the story was just downright good. Seriously, I don’t have anything negative to say about this book. The only thing I can possibly think of is that Adare didn’t get enough chapters.

Oh wait, no, I do have one major complaint about this book: I hated “kent-kissing” being used constantly! Like, I actually fucking despised it. At first it was fine, but it became so redundant I just couldn’t deal. In general, 99% of the time I will dislike when authors make up their own swear words, but this was even worse because “kent-kissing” was used constantly.

But besides that, this was such an amazing reading experience. Mostly because I was able to personally buddy read this with three of my favorite people on Goodreads! Please read Petrik (King of the Unhewn Throne), Gelisvb (My favorite person to fangirl with on Goodreads), and Cory’s (The best Holy Paladin in the entire world of Azeroth) reviews if you have some spare time. They are nothing short of perfect, and I am so thankful to have been able to buddy read this beautiful story alongside them. Plus, they are all really great humans who will make your feed better in general.

Now, is it time for me to ignore all my ARCs and responsibilities and read The Providence of Fire? I think so! Seriously, I need more of this world. I whole heartedly recommend you giving this series a shot, because I think very few will walk away disappointed.

3 thoughts on “The Emperor’s Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #1) by Brian Staveley

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