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Description

In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing - and risk everything - to see that justice is meted out.

©2014 Brian Stavely (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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Notations

Global

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Histoire

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mls
  • 17/02/2018

Excellent !

Qu'est-ce qui a rendu l'écoute de The Emperor's Blades agréable ?

J'ai vraiment aimé ce livre car le lecteur utilise des voix différentes pour les personnages.

Avec quel autre livre pouvez-vous comparer The Emperor's Blades ? Expliquez pourquoi.

J'ai apprécié l'histoire car les héros (deux frères et une soeur) sont plutôt dans une phase d'apprentissage. Ils font beaucoup d'erreurs, mais c'est ce qui les rend humains et sympathiques. Le côté fantastique de l'histoire apparait rapidement, et les personnages principaux n'ont pas de pouvoirs particulier (en tout cas au début).

Trier par :
  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Captain Spanky Of Nazareth
  • 09/05/2016

4 Primary Crimes Committed By The Author

What did you like best about The Emperor's Blades? What did you like least?

This world has a very impressive military system. A great set of forces at play. But the author commits 4 crimes against the reader that need to be called out.1) "SURPRISE! THERE'S NO ENDING IN THIS BOOK! READ THE NEXT ONE TO FIND OUT HOW THIS STORY ENDS! JUST KIDDING! READ THE ONE AFTER THAT!" These are not books. They are chapters. That is to say, they END by way of the author simply halting his writing, without the resolution of a story, let alone the primary story, and in fact, fail utterly to resolve any arc at all. - This should obviously come with a warning label since the three books combine to tell a single story. Not a single story with 3 major advents in between... just a single story. Period. - The three novels before you, are not a trilogy. They are a single book. Know this. 2) The plot is moved forward through characters being suddenly and inexplicably unintelligent and inarticulate and essentially, volunteering for victim duty. - This happens regularly and without justification. "I insist on going with you into danger, where I will get in the way because I will then be able to watch the fight as a spectator. Yet 10 pages later I will in fact present the exact opposite argument regarding the same exact fight in the same location citing zero circumstantial change because I clearly just needed a reason to be in this building."3) Repeatedly reviewing one's own circumstances aloud with a tone of wonder and awe... is lazy and ineffectual. This is the dark side of the Show-Not-Tell relationship between characters and the audience. If you SHOW the audience an awe-inspiring thing, they will feel awe. Telling the audience to feel awe by reviewing how shockingly implausible the character's survival is or how far they've come since they left Default-Village-Land 5 times is like having the author tell you he thinks you can't remember the last 3 hours to your face. I find self-review for the purpose of INFORMING the audience that they have experienced drama and not to forget it... to be repulsive.4) Repetition. - The sort of repetition that happens when an author only has one tool at his disposal. In this case it's the phrase: "If he was frightened by the giant warrior before him... he didn't show it." "If she was bothered by the weapons being brandished around her... she didn't show it." "If he was frightened by this ___ he didn't show it." Seriously. I'm guessing 30 or 40 times? ... If she was bla bla bla... LET ME GUESS! She didn't show it!?

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would have taken the time necessary to make the primary female character morally consistent.

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

The reader was flawless.

Did The Emperor's Blades inspire you to do anything?

No.

98 sur 113 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ethan M.
  • 08/05/2014

Of the various new fantasy series, this is... fine

I like the Emperor's Blades, but, given the many new epic fantasy series of the past few years, this isn't at the top of the list. It is clearly in the grimdark (Ambercrombie, not Rothfuss) camp - horrible events, moral ambiguity, lots of death and fighting. While not bad, it doesn't seem to add much interesting to the genre, and has some questionable choices.

Some of the questionable choices are worldbuilding. While there are lots of nice touches (sky ninjas on giant birds!) a lot of the rest falls somewhere between cliche and nonsensical. On the cliche side, this book mostly consists of the training of two different heirs to the throne. One is being trained in a monastery with (surprise!) taciturn, koan-spouting monks and has to find the meaning of their zen-like lessons. The other is being given hardcore military training with (surprise!) taciturn, tough-as-nails officers and has to overcome bullies and physical challenges. On the nonsensical side, apparently neither of the heirs to the throne are trained in anything having to do with ruling the empire that they are inheriting. Instead, they are subject to conditions that, for no really good reason, seem designed to have a very good chance of killing them.

The other questionable choices have to do with tone. There is a third member of the royal family, a daughter. She, like many of the women in the novel, gets a lot less time on the page. And most of the women we encounter get abused, tortured, or worse. It adds to a sense of discomfort throughout the novel.

Nothing here is awful, and the reading is great, but the book seemed rather forced, with motivations seeming muddled and the world not really cohering into a whole. The action was often well-done, but I think there are better new fantasy series to read.

151 sur 179 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • GLENNO
  • 31/08/2014

Doesn't compare with other fantasy books

I wanted to like this book very badly. It has a good writing style and interesting characters. The world is interesting. But it has several flaws--not fatal flaws, but serious nonetheless.

First is the completely gratuitous use of profanity and oaths. If you have read my reviews I seldom, if ever, complain about that unless it's supposed to be a YA or children's book. But everyone in this book swears like a truck-driver. It's like they are all in middle school. Part of the problem is that the author mixes the f-word and other words we know with many made-up oaths, like Kent-kissing etc. And everyone ALWAYS say Kent-kissing (Kent being a god). ALL OF THE TIME. I listen on my phone and if I heard someone say that one more time, I was going to throw it across the room! Argh!

The next problem comes with the plot itself. It's the story of three teenage or young-adult siblings who are dealing with life after the death of their Emperor father, although the two sons don't find out until well into the book.

One (a son) has been at a monastery for 8 years and seems only to be taught the really important skills he will need as the next Emperor in the last several months of being there when it's almost too late. Why? No explanation.

The next sibling (another son) has been in elite military training for 8 years. He seems to have fairly poor skills as well. After 8 years you would think he would be fairly good at some sort of military skill. It's not military school. This training is supposed to be like Navy Seal training. Other members are excellent at things like archery. Not him.

Hey, Emperor Dad: I don't think these 8-year plans are working!

That brings us to the third sibling (a girl). She has been with her father all of this time. She has learned the ins and outs of life in court. She knows all of the important players in the government. She makes some mistakes but it seems like she might make a good queen. But girls can't be queen. Only males can be Emperor. She was my favorite sibling even though she takes up maybe 5% of the book. Too bad. I hope that she is more featured in the sequels.

At various times I wanted to give this book 3 stars and maybe even 4 stars. But then I think of other books I have read this year and this book just does not compare with Robert V. S. Redick's or Daniel Abraham's stories. Or Shawn Speakman's debut novel. Never mind 5-star writers like Robin Hobb or Michael J. Sullivan. I gave them 4/5 stars so I couldn't bring myself to give this book more than 2.5.

The reader is very good, especially when reading the evil characters (for whatever reason). He helped make the book better.

But will I read the sequel? Um...um...um. I don't know! Possibly. I do like the characters and the world is interesting. But I'm not sure it will be worth my time and money.

70 sur 84 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 24/05/2016

So - So

While much of the world-building is somewhat unique, the consistently unappealing, unlikeable characters are tough to take through 3 books.

There are a couple of constants in this series (1) NO one trusts anyone else; so, lack of even the most obvious communication drives the plot from beginning to end and (2) the entire world seems built on a foundation of pain, suffering, killing, torture, horrible judgement, bad decisions etc etc etc. No joking when I say it nearly impossible to sympathize with any character.

The author also seems to have periods where he seems fixated with unnecessary activities - like peeling off scabs. Book 1 is the most interesting as it sets up the 3 siblings at the heart of the plot. Book 2 is entirely driven by the stupidity of those siblings. Book 3 redeems the story some, but veers too much toward making the villain(s) nearly omniscient. By hour 50+ of the series, you're just ready for it to end.

7 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Deldepth
  • 15/05/2015

The pace of the story dragged it down.

As far as stories goes, this has a very slow pace. It wasn't until the last few hours of the audiobook when the story really started to pick up and gain shape. Up until that point, there were just a multitude of cliché cliff hangers while the story switched from character to character.

7 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Captain
  • 27/04/2017

so slow and boring

So slow and boring. Nothing ever happens, just taking and world building. We all know you need "some" world building but something has to happen at some point to be interesting. It reads more like a lecture about this other place rather than a remotely interesting story to be told

6 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Keith
  • 31/07/2015

Good beginning, good ending, bad middle.

The concept of the book is not bad (if you don't mind superimposing a modern worldview/culture on a pre industrial fictional civilization). Staveley starts and ends the story well, but the middle is kind o a mess with a disproportionate amount of time devoted to draconian military training rather than moving the plot forward. If he cut about 50,000 words it would be right on the money.

9 sur 11 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 02/08/2014

Kent Kissing Book

HUNGER IS FLAVOR
Great beginning. You are there when the sheep whose brains have been scooped out is discovered. You are there as the Monk and the Warrior start training.

SQUINT HARD ENOUGH AND EVERYTHING LOOKS SUSPICIOUS.
Then the book turns into storytelling and we are no longer there. It all becomes past tense. It becomes boring.

34 sur 47 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • The Night is Dark..
  • 04/09/2017

Twists and Turns, a Kent-Kissing good time!

Would you listen to The Emperor's Blades again? Why?

Well, I wouldn't mind, but the phrase Kent-kissing was a bit overused. Kent is short for one of the Gods, Ashkent, and is said as a curse by nearly everyone in the book. I had my fill of the Kent-kissing phrase; although I found it pretty funny, one Kent-kissing listen is enough!

What other book might you compare The Emperor's Blades to and why?

Not really a comparison, but the basis premise of the book is there's a very powerful family ruling the Empire. The Emperor and his line have glowing red eyes, believed touched by a god. The emperor sends his young children away, each to learn different skills - his eldest son to train with monks, the younger male to a brutal military order that fights on the wings & talons of giant hawk-like birds, and his daughter remains to study in the capital. Unbeknownst to the family, there's an ancient enemy brewing a plot that threatens them all.

This enemy, and other parts of the world, hold vast secrets going back ages that involve sorcery, evil monsters from who-knows-where (yet), and some people who are 'leaches.' Leaches can use very powerful magic, but only if their "well" of power is nearby. Each leach has a different well (a material). Leaches are largely mis-understood and shunned like lepers.

It's hard to compare a complex world, system, and plot-line which has proven to be very deep, intriguing, and fun to delve into.

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

Vance is among the best - he has the ability to use perfect cadence, tone, and pitch. His female voices are a bit lacking, thus the 4 stars for him.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Moved? No. Shocked? Yes, there were at least two shocking moments. These moments made me care greatly about the Emperor's children and how they were going to get out of their predicaments.

Any additional comments?

For a first book from a newer fantasy author, this was a very skilled effort and I can't wait to get to the next book in the series...Intense action and a cool plot, highly recommended!

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Stephanie
  • 07/12/2016

Not great, but good

A lot of really fun concepts happening, but overall the main characters and their introspections are the worst parts of the books. They agonize endlessly over their decisions and events, without really driving the plot or character forward. The narrator seems to only be capable of about 3 voices/accents, and the stereotypical gruff Asian voice he uses frequently really takes me out of the book.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Max
  • 21/05/2015

Sehr gut, mit Startproblemen

Was wäre für andere Hörer sonst noch hilfreich zu wissen, um das Hörbuch richtig einschätzen zu können?

Ich mag es, neuen Autoren immer wieder mal eine Chance zu geben, und Brian Staveley hat mich nicht enttäuscht. Am Anfang hat die Geschichte meiner Meinung nach ein paar Startschwierigkeiten, aber ab der Mitte hebt der Plot ab und die Geschichte entwickelt ein Eigenleben. Kleine Plot twists warten auch hier und da und die Geschichte wird nie zu Monoton. Der Sprecher bekommt nur 4 von 5. Er liest gut, aber er „rollt“ mir mit der Stimme auf seinen Rs ein bisschen zu viel rum. Ist wahrscheinlich Geschmackssache. Insgesamt ist das Buch eine Definitive Empfehlung, ich würde es wieder lesen.

9 sur 10 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Hannah K.
  • 29/05/2017

Nice

Halten Sie die Hörbuch-Ausgabe von The Emperor's Blades für besser als das Buch?

Ich kenne nur das Hörbuch, aber ich fand es sehr gut. Zu Beginn Zug es sich ein wenig, doch hat sich die Spannung schnell gesteigert. Gute unterhaltsame Geschichte

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Philipp Bellmann
  • 06/02/2017

Eindimensionale Charaktere treffen langatmige Story

Die Darstellung weiblicher Charaktere ist einfallslos und klischeehaft. Sie sind entweder überfordert oder reagieren überempfindlich.

Die Geschichte selbst zieht sich über hunderte Seiten, ohne dass die Handlung oder die 3 Protagonisten vorankommen.

Hervorragend einschläfernd.

1 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nurit
  • 05/01/2017

Interessante Charaktere

Was wäre für andere Hörer sonst noch hilfreich zu wissen, um das Hörbuch richtig einschätzen zu können?

Spannend. Die Charaktere sind ausgereift und nachvollziebahr, mit ihren jeweiligen Problemen, Hoffnungen und Zweifel.