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Review of The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

emperorsblades 3 out of 5 Stars

I’m frustrated. I really wanted to love this book. The story was there. I liked it. I enjoyed it. But for some reason, I just couldn’t get fully engrossed in it.

I picked this up for a book club read (it’d already been on my to-read list for some time), and I opened it interested from the start. I liked the book description and didn’t think I’d have an issue falling in love with it. I must say, the book description fit well with the story, which I did enjoy and was the only reason I kept reading. Throughout the book, I was curious to see where everything was heading. However, I could easily put it down and often my mind wandered while reading. Why? It was my lack of attachment to the characters.

Now, I’ve said I liked the story. It has some palace intrigue, fighting, some tense moments, and the writing itself was wonderful. I found the slarn creatures to be delightfully wicked and the whole part of Valyn’s test was interesting and had the fastest pace of the book. Kaden’s story was very slow and we hardly were with Adare, though if we were I’d probably find it a little slower as well. As many know, I love me some good magic and this book had a very interesting magic system that I enjoyed immensely. Though we didn’t get to see it a lot until the end, I can see how it will play a great role in future books. I’m excited to read more about it.

I cannot complain that there wasn’t character development, especially with Kaden. I thought he changed the most. For me, they just weren’t as emotionally charged as I like my characters. There wasn’t enough inner turmoil for me to really sympathize with their situations. Towards the end, I started to care more for Valyn and Kaden, which is why I’ll be picking up the second book; probably not right when it’s released, but I’ll read it at some point. I can see a great story coming our way, and I hope with how the book finished that we’ll have some insight into Valyn’s… let’s just say, changes.

So, overall, good story, decent character development, great writing, and an enjoyable read. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy.

Where to find Brian Staveley:

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