Review - Emperors blades by Brian Staveley

A Shael-spawned good book!


Follow two sons and daughter (occasionally) as they lead their different kind of lives.

Overview – 4 stars

A well written fantasy tale which had me hooked from the start. Although there isn't much in here that's overly original (what is original in fantasy these days?), it still manages to pack a punch with its characters, writing and setting.


The story follows Valyn, Kaden and, sometimes, Adare. Valyn is near the end of his military training, Kaden, the heir, is nearly finished his studies as a monk and Adare is at court as a finance minister, dealing with her fathers death.

The book is split nicely into POV chapters which makes for easy reading. The writing also makes it very easy to digest. Whilst not overly beautiful, it does it job and you can't ask for much more than that.

I listened to this on audiobook and the narration was fantastic.

The world

The world is realistic and well thought out. It doesn't require you to remember a lot of locations as it simply isn't required. I like the use of religion and gods. I'm already using some of the Shael spawned curses already!

One of my biggest issues with fantasy books is the authors need to explain everything about his imagined world. The best authors don't need to overtly explain it. The world is built through the actions and experiences of the characters. This is something that Staveley accomplishes.

Also, huge birds that the military can fly in on? More please!

Notable issues

There weren't very many things wrong with this. Whilst most of the components weren't very original, how Staveley mixes them together is key, and he does this well.

The biggest issue is the use of Adare. I've seen a few reviews saying that women are generally underused, which I don't agree with. There were a few cool moments. Adare felt a bit thrown in for no reason. We could have learned what Adare learned through other means. If I was editing this, I would have said to either chop all of Adare out, or make sure she got more chapters.

Also, why didn't we have more chapters of Valyn fighting the slarn?? That sequence was awesome but over too quickly.

All in all though, a great read which I'll be continuing.




Post a Comment