I usually don’t bother to read the first volume of a new fantasy series. I’m not a patient guy… when I find something I love, I generally don’t like to have to wait around for the next volume.
But that policy was severely tested with Brian Staveley’s debut fantasy novel The Emperor’s Blades, the opening volume in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne. The reviews were glowing, and the sequel, Providence of Fire, only upped the ante. Andrew Liptak, writing at io9, called the second volume “the Perfect Blend of Politics, Magic and Action,” saying:
Staveley delivers a solid and suitably epic adventure that ratchets up the action and muddies the waters, all while completely throwing all expectations out the window. Staveley’s Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne trilogy is set in the Annurian Empire, a wonderfully immersive fantasy world that was rocked with the death of its Emperor. In the first volume, the Emperor’s three children, Kaden, Valyn and Adare, scattered throughout the empire, were forced to come to terms with his death and confront the massive conspiracy that lead to his assassination.
The second volume continues this already outstanding series, with a thrilling fantasy adventure that blends together politics, action and magic…
The third and final volume arrives in two weeks — just enough time for me to read the first two. Excuse me while I clear my calendar. The Last Mortal Bond will be published by Tor Books on March 15, 2016. It is 656 pages, priced at $28.99 in hardcover and $14.99 for the digital version. Richard Anderson produced the cover art for the entire series, including this volume. Tor.com has released the first seven chapters, and you can download Chapters 1-7 of The Emperor’s Blades for free here.