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Brian Staveley

Brian StaveleyBrian has taught literature, religion, history, and philosophy, all subjects that influence his novels, 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 lives in Vermont with his wife and young son, and divides his time between running trails, splitting wood, writing, and baby-wrangling. The Emperor’s Blades is his first novel.

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The Emperor’s Blades: Starts a promising new epic fantasy series

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

Epic fantasy has been heavily stocked over the years with some powerhouse writers — Jordan, Erikson, Wurts, Rothfuss and Martin have been the standard bearers of this genre of fantasy. It’s a pretty challenging genre to break into, but after reading the first book of the CHRONICLE OF THE UNHEWN THRONE, The Emperor’s Blades, I am reminded that there is always room for someone new.

In epic fantasy, great empires are never allowed to simply exist in peace. It’s almost inevitable that there is about to be regime change, ... Read More

The Providence of Fire: A sequel that improves in all ways on the first

The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley

I have to admit, I groaned a little bit upon opening the envelope with my ARC of Brian Staveley's The Providence of Fire. "Six hundred pages? Really, man?" might have slipped out as well. I liked the first in the series (The Emperor's Blades) though I thought it had some flaws, giving it a solid three-star rating. But I had some serious doubts about a six-hundred page follow-up. Well, apologies to Mr. Staveley. The Providence of Fire earned every one of its six hundred pages and then some, showing itself in all ways an improvement on book one. After The Emperor's Blades, I was interested in what followed but after The Providence of Fire I'm excited and impatiently awaiting book three. Read More

The Last Mortal Bond: Brings a good series to a fitting close

The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley

I had a mixed response to the first book in Brian Staveley's trilogy, The Emperor's Blades, but thought book two, Providence of Fire, was a big improvement, boding well for the future of the series. That optimism was borne out, as the final book, The Last Mortal Bond, though perhaps not quite as consistently good as Providence, continues to deepen the themes and characters, bringing the trilogy to a happily satisfying conclusion. I'm going to assume you've read the first two books and won't bother recapping who people are. Plus, it will be impossible to discuss the conc... Read More

Skullsworn: Tight, tense, and sensual

Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

I had a so-so reaction to The Emperor's Blades, the first book in Brian Staveley’s CHRONICLE OF THE UNHEWN THRONE trilogy, but he completely won me over with the second book, The Providence of Fire, and then brought me happily home with book three The Last Mortal Bond. So I was excited to see that his newest, Skullsworn, was set in the same universe and centered on Pyrre, one of the more intriguing characters in the trilogy thanks in no small part to her being an assassin-priestess of th... Read More

The Empire’s Ruin: A successful return to an engaging world

The Empire’s Ruin by Brian Staveley 

The Empire’s Ruin (2021) kicks off a new series in Brian Staveley’s universe first introduced in his CHRONICLES OF THE UNHEWN THRONE trilogy and then expanded upon via the standalone novel, Skullsworn. The new series, ASHES OF THE UNHEWN THRONE, is a direct sequel to the earlier trilogy, and I strongly recommend reading in publication order, as several of this book’s characters appeared in the first series, while the events of that series drive the plot and characters of this new one. I will note that I found Staveley’s first Read More

Stop Pissing on the Floor; the Challenge of the Second Book

Welcome to Brian Staveley, who's on a blog tour for his second book, The Providence of Fire which I am greatly enjoying at this very moment. It's outstanding! (I loved the first book, too.) Fittingly, he's here to talk about the challenge of writing a sequel to a successful debut, and to ask you about sequels that you've enjoyed. One commenter will win a copy of both The Emperor's Blades and The Providence of Fire. You don't want to miss these books!

Stop Pissing on the Floor; the Challenge of the Second Book 
by Brian Staveley

When I was teaching high school, I had a good friend, also a teacher, who used to say, “The first day of school is great; even if you just come in and piss on the floor, the class will be inte... Read More