Released on 16 January 2014.

#1 in series
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The Emperor's Blades

4.14 based on 22279 ratings & 1718 reviews on

2015 Winner

David Gemmell Morningstar Award

2015 Short-listed

Locus Award Best First Novel


The Emperor's Blades is the first novel in Brain Staveley's epic Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne series.

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 prepare to unmask a conspiracy. His son Valyn, training for the empire's deadliest fighting force, hears the news an ocean away. And after several 'accidents' and a dying soldier's warning, he realizes his life is also in danger. Yet before Valyn can act, he must survive the mercenaries' brutal final initiation.

The Emperor's daughter, Minister Adare, hunts her father's murderer in the capital. Court politics can be fatal, but she needs justice. Lastly Kaden, heir to the empire, studies in a remote monastery. Here, the Blank God's disciples teach their harsh ways, which Kaden must master to unlock ancient powers. But when an imperial delegation arrives, has he learnt enough to keep him alive, as long-hidden powers make their move?

In the media

This book made my heart happy. If you like fantasy it will probably make yours happy as well
Between the Pages blog
Really great writing, tight world building, and complex characters. Truly, the author is on to something special with this series and I can't wait for it to continue
Ageless Pages Reviews
I cannot wait to read the sequel . . . Fans of epic fantasy novels featuring conspiracies and fighting for the throne will enjoy reading it