Skullsworn : A Novel in the World of the Emperor's Blades

4.1 (4,457 ratings by Goodreads)
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Brian Staveley's new standalone, Skullsworn, returns to the critically acclaimed Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne universe, following a priestess-assassin for the God of Death.

"Brilliant." --V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author

From the award-winning epic fantasy world of The Emperor's Blades...

Pyrre Lakatur is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer--she is a priestess. At least, she will be once she passes her final trial.

The problem isn't the killing. The problem, rather, is love. For to complete her trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the seven people enumerated in an ancient song, including "the one who made your mind and body sing with love / who will not come again."

Pyrre isn't sure she's ever been in love. And if she fails to find someone who can draw such passion from her, or fails to kill that someone, her order will give her to their god, the God of Death. Pyrre's not afraid to die, but she hates to fail, and so, as her trial is set to begin, she returns to the city of her birth in the hope of finding love . . . and ending it on the edge of her sword.

"A complex and richly detailed world filled with elite soldier-assassins, mystic warrior monks, serpentine politics, and ancient secrets." --Library Journal, starred review, on The Emperor's Blades

Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne
The Emperor's Blades
The Providence of Fire
The Last Mortal Bond

Other books in the world of the Unhewn Throne
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 155 x 236 x 30mm | 499g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0765389878
  • 9780765389879
  • 1,047,614

Review quote

"A lyrical, bloodsoaked, impossible quest that's sure to entertain."--Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author

"Staveley has quickly become one of my favorite fantasy authors, and his latest doesn't disappoint. Skullsworn is a brilliant new chapter in a fabulous series." --V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author

"A warm, funny, character-focused novel which is also darkly charming, bloody, and lethal. It was very, very hard to put down, and had an emotional punch to match its high adrenaline moments." --Sci Fi and Fantasy Reviews

"Entertaining and well-told." --Booklist

"Lush, evocative descriptions sharpen the setting, which recalls Southeast Asia. Visceral action scenes and memorable characters bring this tale to life." --Publishers Weekly

"A stunning prequel that actually lives up to the original trilogy's legacy [...] Staveley has proven himself to be a master of world-building, character development, and sheer storytelling." --Beauty in Ruins

"Pleasantly grim and emotionally complex." --Kirkus Reviews

"Full of surprises [...} more inventive and grisly than I could have imagined." --Fantasy Faction, 9/10 stars

"A highly engrossing fantasy world [...] amazing characters."--Fantasy Book Review

"Intricately plotted and masterfully told" -The Alliterates

"Perfectly bleak... brilliantly enjoyable" -Rapture in Books

"Do yourself a favor: read Skullsworn.You won't regret it." -GrimdarkMAGAZINE

"Highly recommended, especially for fans of female characters that like to kick ass and not follow the rules." -The Speculative Herald

"Engrossing..." -SFRevu

"A great read with tons of action and humor... I loved it." -The Blogin' Hobgoblin

"Staggeringly wonderful" -Bookish Things

"Excellent characters... great world-building...fabulous fight scenes... an excellent book" -SciFi Fan Letter

"An outstanding novel on every level." -TheBibliosanctum

"A must for fantasy fans" -Books of All Kinds

"A fantastic standalone book with a very satisfying conclusion - well thought out and written incredibly well." --The Bookbag

"Intricately plotted and masterfully told." --The Alliterates
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About Brian Staveley

BRIAN STAVELEY has taught literature, religion, history, and philosophy, all subjects that influence his writing, and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University. He works as an editor for Antilever Press, and has published poetry and essays, both in print and on-line. He is the author of the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne (The Emperor's Blades, Providence of Fire, The Last Mortal Bond). He lives in Vermont with his wife and young son, and divides his time between running trails, splitting wood, writing, and baby-wrangling.
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Rating details

4,457 ratings
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 37% (1,663)
4 41% (1,827)
3 17% (748)
2 4% (168)
1 1% (51)
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