Thursday, 2 January 2014

FANTASY DEBUT REVIEW: The Unhewn Throne 1: The Emperor's Blades - Brian Staveley

Release Date: 02/01/14
Publisher:  Tor


The circle is closing. The stakes are high. And old truths will live again ...The Emperor has been murdered, leaving the Annurian Empire in turmoil. Now his progeny must bury their grief and prepare to unmask a conspiracy. His son Valyn, training for the empire's deadliest fighting force, hears the news an ocean away. He expected a challenge, but after several 'accidents' and a dying soldier's warning, he realizes his life is also in danger. Yet before Valyn can take action, he must survive the mercenaries' brutal final initiation. Meanwhile, the Emperor's daughter, Minister Adare, hunts her father's murderer in the capital itself. Court politics can be fatal, but she needs justice. And Kaden, heir to an empire, studies in a remote monastery. Here, the Blank God's disciples teach their harsh ways -- which Kaden must master to unlock their ancient powers. When an imperial delegation arrives, he's learnt enough to perceive evil intent. But will this keep him alive, as long-hidden powers make their move?


A new year with a new author and to be honest, it was a book that I had a lot of time for as it revealed the dangers alongside the challenges faced by those of the royal line as each finds their emotions and safety effected by regicide. Its wonderfully descriptive, it has some cracking characters and the reader will be able to find cast members that they can associate with. It has classical fantasy elements, some wonderful turns of phrase and when added to an overall arc that works on so many levels will generate something special.

Add to this that this is a cracking opening to a series (as well as being a debut) definitely sets high standards for other authors to follow especially when you add into the mix a full diverse and inventive world. Great stuff all round and a world I can’t wait to revisit again.

No comments: