Book Review The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Stavely

The Emperor has been murdered. His three children are thrust into the center of the conspiracy that killed their father and now threatens the very existence of the human race.

This is the first book of Brian Stavely’s that I have read. It was enjoyable and I will certainly read the rest of the series. However there were a few things about this book that I had a hard time with.

First the good. The plot of The Emperor’s Blades is well conceived and entertaining. I didn’t see one of the biggest reveals of the book coming until I read the words on the page. The main characters of the book are full and robust, I really felt as if I knew them. Technically Brian Stavely’s writing is superb, pacing and structure were spot on. 

Now the bad. A large part of the plot centers around an elite military unit called the Ketteral. The Ketteral soldiers are a hard group of veteran warriors, even their cadets are dangerous. The Ketteral are one of the best parts of the story, as a group they are interesting and full of conflict. My issue with the Ketteral is in the speech patterns that the author chose for them. Their speech is full of vulgar words and ideas, they sound like soldiers. In fact they sound exactly like any number of soldiers I have served with, but they sound like soldiers from our world. Every time one of the Ketteral would use curses from our society it pushed me out of the story. For me it just didn’t fit the fantasy world that the book is set in.

The Emperor’s Blades is not a perfect book, but it is an enjoyable story that is well written enough to make me want to pick up the sequel right away.

I give The Emperor’s Blades 3.75 out of 5 stars.

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