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The Emperor's Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne: Book One (English Edition)
 
 

The Emperor's Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne: Book One (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Brian Staveley
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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

'A vividly imagined story of conspiracy and empire' Col Buchanan 'A complex and fast-moving fantasy set in a world where treachery and intrigue are everywhere' L. E. Modesitt Jr. 'Machiavellian politics on multiple levels, an intriguing world of magic, and three protagonists whose personal journeys will keep the reader impatiently waiting for the next book!' Richard A. Knaak

Kurzbeschreibung

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?

Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1622 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 479 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 023077041X
  • Verlag: Tor (16. Januar 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00FWPNGM2
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #22.349 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Überzeugendes Fantasy-Debut 21. Januar 2014
Von javelinx TOP 500 REZENSENT
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Seit Generationen herrscht die Linie der Malkeenian unumstritten über das Kaiserreich von Anuur. Kaiser Sanlitun hat die Thronfolge früh abgesichert und seine beiden männlichen Erben, Kaden und Valyn, in einem abgelegenen Kloster und einer Elite-Kämpfereinheit auf einer einsamen Inselgruppe in Sicherheit gebracht. Nur seine älteste Tochter Andare, die nicht erbberechtigt ist, durfte am Hof bleiben. Als Sanlitun einem feigen Mordanschlag zum Opfer fällt, ist dennoch keiner seiner Nachkommen auf die Intrigen und Machtkämpfe im Reich vorbereitet...

Die Fantasy-Geschichte braucht nicht einmal die Seiten der Leseprobe, um den Leser in ihren Bann zu ziehen. Die Handlung baut auf klassische Elemente- ein Kaiserreich in einem asiatisch angehauchten Umfeld, eine Herrscherlinie in Gefahr, und allerlei dunkle Umtriebe, gegen die sich der Thronerbe zur Wehr setzen muss. Der Weltentwurf ist detailreich und bietet alles von einer ganzen Heerschar von Göttern bis zu verlorenen Kulturen und ihren Errungenschaften und wird Stück für Stück in die Handlung eingeflochten. Das Tempo ist anfangs eher langsam, der Leser wird jedoch nicht von der Hintergrundinformation erschlagen.

Von den vielen anderen gängigen Geschichten hebt sich der Plot angenehm dadurch ab, dass es keinen einzelnen jungen Helden gibt, der auf wundersame Weise seine ungekannten Kräfte entdeckt, sondern stattdessen drei Hauptfiguren, die bereits eine Reifung durchgemacht haben, seit sie sich vor Jahren zuletzt gesehen haben. Durch die Wucht der Ereignisse überrumpelt, müssen sie sich nun schnell neu orientieren und weiterentwickeln und fallen dabei immer wieder auf Intrigen und falsche Freunde herein.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Sehr empfehlenswertes Fantasy-Epos 21. März 2014
Von Merle TOP 1000 REZENSENT
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Langsam werden wir in diese tolle Fantasy-Trilogie eingeführt, lernen diese Welt kennen, die historischen Gegebenheiten, die Herkunft der Menschen und der Götter.

Die Menschen entstammen der bösartigen unsterblichen Rasse Csestrim, die in grauer Vorzeit ausgerottet worden ist. Einziges Überbleibsel dieser Zeit sind die speziellen Augen des Kaisergeschlechts, die auf normale Menschen befremdend wirken.
Als der Kaiser Sanlitum in einem üblen Komplott ermordet wird, ist das Reich schlecht vorbereitet. Sein unmündiger Kronprinz Kaden befindet sich seit acht Jahren abgeschottet und unvorbereitet in der Abgeschiedenheit eines einsamen Klosters und lernt Enthaltsamkeit, von der Welt weiss er kaum etwas. Sein jüngerer Bruder Valyn befindet sich seit ebenfalls acht Jahren bei den Kettral, einer fanatischen Kriegerkaste, weitab der Heimat. Einzig die 19-jährige Schwester Adare hui'Malkeenian befindet sich in dieser gefährlichen Lage in der Hauptstadt von Annuri und versucht die Situation zusammen mit dem Generalkommandanten und vorübergehenden Regenten Ran il Tornja in den Griff zu bekommen. Dem mutmasslichen Mörder des Kaisers steht ein Tribunal bevor.

Faszinierend sind die Erklärungen der Abstammung, die langsame Steigerung der Bedrohung, die hoffnungslosen Lagen, die immer wieder ganz knapp überwunden werden. Wer Feind ist, wer Freund ist, das ist fast nicht herauszubekommen. Die Kaiserkinder werden als recht durchschnittlich geschildert, einzig ihre Abstammung hebt sie von anderen hervor. Was zu ihrer ständigen Ausgrenzung führt, zur Unmöglichkeit, Freunde zu gewinnen. Andersherum wird die Andersartigkeit der Leach, der magisch Begabten, dazu verwendet, diese auszugrenzen und zu verfolgen.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  335 Rezensionen
49 von 53 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Superb beginning 4. Dezember 2013
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Spoiler Free Review from the advanced reading copy.

I read the free first seven chapters. I was hooked and luckily was able to acquire the ARC to read.

The story alternates chapters between the 3 children of the recently murdered Emperor who have been separated for about 8 years. Adare is the daughter who stayed near her father and learned the finance and political roles in the Empire. Valyn, a younger son, was sent away on the to join the elite military wing that ride giant black hawks. And the heir to the throne Kaden was sent far away to the edge of the empire to a monastery where he learns self-discipline.

Sounds like your typical fantasy novel -- The grown children are prematurely forced into difficult situations and have to succeed or fail. However, the execution of weaving between the 3 story lines while covering the larger story line of who killed the Emperor was brilliantly done.

While exploring the story lines, the world building (history, religions, creatures, surrounding cultures, "magic") is also intertwined in small increments that does not make it overwhelming. It seems the author has created an interesting world that this book explores pieces of. I'm hoping to see it expanded in the following books.

Overall:
Interesting Characters
Well paced world building
Detailed action sequences that aren't confusing
A page turning ending where I should have gone to sleep but needed to finish
33 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Decent but marred by several issues. Will still pick up book two. 22. Februar 2014
Von B. Capossere - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Have you ever noticed how sometimes your reading seems to fall into a recognizable pattern? Sometimes it’s an obvious similarity of plot, sometimes it’s one of character (I still fondly recall my Pre-20th Century Whore run of The Dress Lodger, The Crimson Petal and The White, Slammerkin—you should read all three if not in a row), sometimes it’s theme or mood. Lately, I seem to have been on a run of books-that-don’t-meet-potential. The newest member of the club is Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades, which though employing a lot of the same old same old genre tropes, had an intriguing premise and an interesting if relatively common structure. Being a fan of the genre, I don’t have any particular issue when an author chooses to work with the same elements so many others are, but once that choice is made, you really need to nail the execution, and unfortunately, The Emperor’s Blades felt as if it fell short of what it could have been.

It opens, as many such epics have, with “trouble in the Empire.” In this case, the Emperor has been murdered as part of what appears to be a larger conspiracy and in a few quick pages we’re introduced to his three children in their separate settings/roles. His heir, Kaden, has been sent away to study in a far-off, hidden mountain monastery (is there any other kind?) with a sect of discipline-crazed and koan-spouting monks (are there any other kinds?). The monastery is so far away, in fact, that Kaden will not learn of his father’s death until near the very end of the novel, so instead we’re focused on a mysterious creature killing animals in the vicinity, Kaden’s studies, and the eventual revelation of the real reasons the monks exist and why Kaden was sent there almost a decade ago. His brother Valyn, meanwhile, is in his final year of training to become a member of an elite fighting force (think Navy Seals or Rangers, save they fly missions on giant Roc-like birds). The training itself is brutal and even fatal at times, but the risk is even greater now as it appears someone is trying to kill Valyn as they did his father. Even amongst his small cadre of cadets, Valyn is unsure of whom to trust. Last, and in this case definitely least as she takes up far fewer pages, is the Emperor’s daughter Adare, the only one still in the capital city. Thanks to her father’s will, she is now a minister of the government, which is temporarily headed by a regent until her brother Kaden can be returned. Adare must try to deal with the apparent killer of her father, overcome the obvious lack of faith in her abilities from the other ministers (who look down upon her as a woman), and learn to deal with the regent, an up-and-coming general chosen by the ministers for his relative inexperience in politics.

Let’s start with the positives. I thought the premise—Emperor killed, plot against the children, did a nice job of lending a sense of urgency and suspense to the entire novel. It plays out most fully with Valyn on his island training setting, but does lend a background concern to Kadan’s scenes as well. Adare, meanwhile, seems not to be a target, which I thought was a bad choice in that it a) robbed her storyline of a lot of suspense beyond the political and b) seemed to make it a little too clear who was not, and perhaps who was, the villain in town.

Characterization was mixed. Valyn was the most fully rounded of the siblings, and many of the side characters in his section, save for the villains, were well formed, feeling like actual people. Many of them had secrets or are a bit gray, which helped maintain a level of suspense. Kaden was likable and I enjoyed his scenes, but he was a pretty typical young-and-rash-boy-who-doesn’t-understand-the-wisdom-of-his-elders sort of fantasy character. Adare is also likable, but similar to Kaden falls into a typical fantasy sort—bookish female of inner strength but lacking some confidence trying to prove herself in a world of men. Her relative lack of page time didn’t help her in this regard, and though I assume we will see a lot more of her in book two, she never came alive for me in The Emperor’s Blades.

The stock nature of characters continues with many of the side-characters in the non-Valyn strands, such as a taciturn stern monk with a quick disciplinary hand or a young impetuously disobedient thief. I could have lived happily with this (see my above re genre tropes), but it really became a detriment to the novel when it came to our villains, where we get a smarmy power-hungry priest and a smarmy arrogant and sadistic son of a powerful noble. This may be a personal quirk, but while I can get along with a blandly stock good character, I really want my villains to have some original oomph to them. Granted, our villains, in good epic form, have larger villains behind them, but still. My favorite character in the entire novel actually, was an assassin who only appears at the very end. Ironically enough, for an assassin pledged to the God of Death, she adds a welcome heaping of life to the book.

While on the topic of character, I have to add that I found myself a little disappointed in the portrayal of the female characters, with one exception. Adare, as mentioned, is a bit too stock and is so far at least given short shrift with regard to plot. Other women are either whores, victims of brutality (often both), or serve as a means to an end for the male characters (don’t want to give too much away here). I’m hoping for a broader portrayal in the sequel.

The plot, as mentioned, has a nice drumbeat of urgency and suspense to it, especially in Valyn’s section, often in and especially at the end of Kaden’s, and far less so in Adare’s. Unfortunately, the pleasure I mostly took in Valyn’s section was diluted at times by some implausible moments, and really undermined by a major segment involving the last and most dangerous part of his training. I won’t go into details so as to avoid spoilers, but none of it made any sense to me, from the training “session” itself to the characters’ choices to how it played out to the end result. I just kept thinking “but” or “C’mon!” or “Why would . . .? or “Why wouldn’t . . . “ It was one of the near-book-slamming moments of frustration that sometimes arises in reading. And I have to admit, I’m generally not a fan of the we-want-to-be-so-elite-we’ll-kill-our-trainees concept—I just don’t ever buy it. I had the same level of frustration toward the end in some of the climactic moments, but again, won’t expand on them.

The world building was solid, mostly done with side references to the larger world, save for some scenes in the capital. I liked that it isn’t the usual European medieval setting and we’re clearly going to see more of this world and I look forward to that. The prose is smooth and fluid and often sharply vivid (some might think too much so at times of violence). And I like the whole villain-behind-the-villain set-up, especially as I would imagine they’ll start to come into play much more in the sequel.

Despite the frustrations (which were high at times), I never considered not finishing. The two male characters were engaging, I enjoyed the level of suspense, and the writing was pretty strong. Which means I’ll pick up the second book, on the assumption that Staveley will improve on the issues that prevented The Emperor’s Blades from meeting its potential.
31 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Favorite fantasy novel in years 14. Januar 2014
Von Gamer123 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This book reminded me why I love fantasy novels so much. “The Emperor’s Blades” is a fantastic debut from Brian Staveley that I believe is likely to be the best fantasy debut of the year and is inline with other recent favorites of mine like Patrick Rothfuss’ “The Name of the Wind” and Joe Abercrombie’s “The Blade Itself.” That isn’t to compare it to either novel - it is a highly original take on all the themes that make a fantasy novel great and will be welcome to long time fantasy readers who have grown tired of more formulaic epic fantasies. Moral ambiguity, complex characters, difficult decisions, intrigue and a vividly imagined world make this fresh and unique. Fast pacing and a truly great prose style made the book go down easy and left me eagerly anticipating the next book in the series. This is a book that I will read several times as I plan to restart the entire series upon the release of each new book in the “Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne,” which is something I have only done for Robert Jordan (painful as it was for books 6-9) and George RR Martin.

The three children of the Emperor Sanlitun, Kaden, Valyn and Adare, all have to find their way in very different corners of the world after the death of their father. Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, is training at a remote, mysterious monastery where he is learning skills that seemingly have nothing to do with ruling an empire but are shaping his mind in powerful ways. Valyn is far away in the Kirin islands, training to be in the Kettral - the Navy Seals of the Annurian Empire. Adare has remained in Annur, living in the Dawn Palace, moving up the political ladder, trying to find her Father’s killer and engaging in a dangerous conflict with a powerful religious figure. The plots all slowly converge as each character has to overcome forces intent on destroying the Malkeenian line.

The arc of Valyn’s character and plotline is my favorite as his idealism is slowly burned away, but the character development for the 3 main plotlines are all good. Great supporting characters like Pyrre, a female assassin in the service of Ananshael, the God of Death, and villains like Balendin, one of Valyn’s fellow Kettral trainees who is a mage - a “leach” who wears an array of jewelry and clothing to conceal the “well” from which he draws his power, make for a richly textured book with a wide variety of well drawn characters. Above and beyond great character development; Staveley has created a compelling world reminiscent of the Eastern Roman Empire with a well thought out history where mysterious events from thousands of years ago increasingly impinge upon the present and begin to drive the multilayered plot. By the end of the book, it is becoming clear that the political intrigue surrounding the death of Sanlitun may soon become a sideshow. Great plotting, interesting characters, good development, phenomenal writing and a fascinating world make this a fantastic read. I read it in two days – it is a page turner. Highly, highly recommended.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Sharp...very sharp. 16. Januar 2014
Von C.E. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Staveley has done a great job at crafting a world that roils in unrest. The titular Emperor has been murdered and his nation is pulling apart at the seams before his body is even cold. Who murdered him? Who wants the royal line to come to a brutal and quick end?

3 children of the emperor are all that stands between a sinister plot to destroy an entire nation and finding answers to questions that are almost impossible to ask. Valyn, the angry soldier sent away to join an elite fighting force and be a ruthless and efficient killer. His brother, next in line to the throne- Kaden has been sent to a far remote monastery to master the endless void and see what cannot be seen. And lastly, we have their sister- a mere woman who cannot sit on the throne, but has been perfectly placed by her father to one of the most powerful offices in the kingdom- Adare. She wants answers and will stop at nothing to get them. But are they the correct ones?

Staveley weaves the 3 narratives together deftly and creates a tapestry that holds itself together quite well. The stories are each unique and work well to tell the entire story. Friends are revealed in unlikely places and foes turn up when least expected. Through it all, I was excited and interested in the ending- how would it all wrap up? Where do we go from here? Who are the conspirators and the shadowy cabal intent on destroying the Annurian empire?

Epic fantasy has been done well with this book and I am very excited to see where Staveley will take these characters next. The ending was fitting and will serve as a great launching point for the future story, and I am sure he will handle it quite well with masterful touches. I enjoyed the book and the world created. It felt real and vibrant and unique. I will agree with some of the other reviewers that a listing of characters would be helpful as there are many introduced and sometimes keeping them all correct was a bit of a challenge. All in all, very well done and sure to be the start of a wonderful new fantasy epic.
12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Killer debut ranks among the best 23. Januar 2014
Von knehrke - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
What's not to like? The prose is great, the characters are intricately conceived and the plotting is tight. The Emperor's Blades ranks right up there with debuts from Sanderson, Weeks, and Brett, three of my favorite "new" authors, and should satisfy their legions of fans who are looking for something new. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.
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