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The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley
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6063623,454 (3.83)1 / 21

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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
It's boring. I'm bored. I'm 100 pages in and it feels like the plot's spinning it's wheels, waiting for someone to come kick these kids into gear and DO something. The world wasn't as interesting as I wanted it to be. Needs more giant birds.
  courtney.osteen | Nov 7, 2018 |
It's boring. I'm bored. I'm 100 pages in and it feels like the plot's spinning it's wheels, waiting for someone to come kick these kids into gear and DO something. The world wasn't as interesting as I wanted it to be. Needs more giant birds.
  courtney.osteen | Nov 7, 2018 |
I love Brian Staveley's writing style. I was actually his first fan here on Goodreads, just from reading his blog. I was so eager to read this book that I preordered the hardcover, a rare occurrence for me. And now I remember why that is.

Some of the world-building was great, aside from the manufactured swearing. You'll see a lot of ‘Kent-kissing this, ‘Shael-spawned that, and it was tough to get used to and highly distracting. But I easily could have gotten past that. Any other minor issues about names, spellings, and pronunciations are just par for the course in epic fantasy. No problems there.

Two things really killed the book for me: the extremity of the patriarchy, and the poor writing of the female characters. The male-dominated culture is a damn lazy default. This is a fantasy, after all. The author is creating a world, and the rules that go with it. Even some aspects of that I could have accepted, but it went too far. Too much about whores, and rape, and too many constant reminders of how women can't do very much in this culture. I'd bet that Staveley thought he was doing better than he did by throwing in tidbits like a quip about whores of both sexes (no male prostitutes are ever seen or mentioned), and when Lin gets angry at Valyn for worrying about her getting raped (he doesn't learn a damn thing from her speech and continues to obsess about it). He even adds some lesbian touches, because what male adolescent doesn't love that?

The characterizations of women were bad overall. Adare, one of the three POV characters, is constantly losing it and shrieking. Staveley rarely fails to mention women's sexy curves and moves, and how they purse their lips. He others women as he writes them, switching gears to think "like a woman" instead of like a person. Kaden and Valyn reminisce in their minds about their childhood together, but Adare is never a part of those memories. At the end, when the brothers are reunited and discuss how to proceed, again, Adare is never mentioned or even considered, either to worry for her safety or worry that perhaps she's part of the plot against them. By the end when a genuinely strong woman shows up, it was too little too late to remove the bad taste left by the rest of it.

I'm so very disappointed. I really wanted to love this. It should have been great. I'm not even sure about reading the next book now. And it's so very disheartening when authors who should be great resort to shit like this, either out of sheer laziness or because they genuinely like the concept of a world that works that way. ( )
  jjLitke | Sep 21, 2018 |
This was good; gripping, exciting, and I instantly invested in Kaden and Valyn. Not Adare so much, but I didn't feel that she was really fleshed out at all in this first volume. There were some good twists here but I did find multiple points that became predictable once you got a feel for the book and the writing style. It's a solid four star for now, nothing higher, but I have high hopes for the rest of the series. ( )
  Kassilem | Jun 16, 2018 |
I wanted to enjoy this book, but couldn't get past two major issues: the inconsistent development of the protagonists' personalities, and horrible writing of the female characters. SPOILER ALERT: the author blatantly fridges the girlfriend, and the Emperor's daughter Adare has about 5 chapters out of the whole book. (For those not familiar with the fridge thing, just google "women in refrigerators"). This book does have a rip-roaring plot and some interesting world building but the potential was quashed by lackluster character development and motivations that often stretched credulity. ( )
  jellyfishjones | Feb 12, 2018 |
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The children of an assassinated emperor try to stay alive and avenge their father's death while continuing down their individual life-paths, one in a monastery, another training with elite soldiers, and one appointed a minister determined to prove herself to her people.… (more)

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Average: (3.83)
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