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The Emperor's Blades

4.15 based on 20491 ratings & 1614 reviews on Goodreads.com

2015 Short-listed

Locus Award Best First Novel

2015 Winner

David Gemmell Morningstar Award


16 January 14


The Emperor's Blades is the first novel in Brain Staveley's epic Chronicle 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

A blistering narrative and keen sense of both action and wonder . . . Brian Stavely is one to watch and if you enjoy epic fantasy I think that The Emperor's Blades is definitely worth checking out
King of the Nerds blog
A richly imagined world and vibrant characters . . . an exhilarating adventure
Elspeth Cooper
I cannot wait to read the sequel . . . Fans of epic fantasy novels featuring conspiracies and fighting for the throne will enjoy reading it