It’s pretty rare that a book is so good that I’ll devote an entire entry to it instead of waiting for my “best of the year” post to talk about it. The Emperor’s Blades is too good for me not to write about it.
I came to this book in a roundabout way. I was seeking the board game rights to a different book, so I reached out to the author’s agent about that. She said that we’ll have to wait a few months, as the author is currently tied up writing the script for the movie version of the book. But, she added, there’s this other book…
Thus I was introduced to The Emperor’s Blades. I started reading it that night, and within the space of 20 pages (or whatever the Kindle equivalent of a “page” is), I was completely consumed by it.
It’s literary fantasy at it’s best. The worldbuilding is fantastic, but the heart of the story is in the characters (specifically, three children of an emperor–his “blades”–who are scattered across a vast land, growing up in very different ways). It’s incredibly well written.
I knew how good the book was when I was about halfway through and I found myself constantly looking at the little % progress indicator as I turned pages in the hopes that it wouldn’t move forward. I wanted the book to last as long as possible.
My only reassurance when I finished is that the second book of the trilogy was released a few months ago, so I could buy it and start reading it right away. Though I just got a notification that the new book from Ernst Cline (author of Ready Player One), Armada, just arrived on my Kindle. It will be hard to resist that one.
The Emperor’s Blades is definitely in my top 5 fantasy books of all time, right up there with Acacia and The Name of the Wind. If you’re open to fantasy at all, I highly recommend it. And who knows, maybe I’ll make a board game in that world someday.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?