Thursday, September 12, 2013

Upcoming: “The Emperor’s Blades” by Brian Staveley (Tor UK & US)


I thought I had missed all mention of this book until today, when Tor UK unveiled the new cover art (left). The Emperor’s Blades is the first book in Brian Staveley’s Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, and it sounds pretty interesting. As it turned out, though, I’d caught a glimpse of the US cover art a couple of months back (on the right). Of the two, I think I prefer the UK cover, but the US one isn’t exactly hideous. The UK one is very, well, “typical” of the way fantasy and medieval-fiction covers have been developing over the past couple of years, but I do like the colouring.

Check out the synopsis…

The circle is closing. The stakes are high. And old truths will live again.

The Emperor has been murdered, leaving the Annurian Empire in turmoil. Now his progeny must bury their grief and prepare to unmask a conspiracy. His son Valyn, training for the empire’s deadliest fighting force, hears the news an ocean away. He expected a challenge, but after several ‘accidents’ and a dying soldier’s warning, he realizes his life is also in danger. Yet before Valyn can take action, he must survive the mercenaries’ brutal final initiation.

Meanwhile, the Emperor’s daughter, Minister Adare, hunts her father’s murderer in the capital itself. Court politics can be fatal, but she needs justice. And Kaden, heir to the empire, studies in a remote monastery. Here, the Blank God’s disciples teach their harsh ways – which Kaden must master to unlock their ancient powers. When an imperial delegation arrives, he’s learnt enough to perceive evil intent. But will this keep him alive, as long-hidden powers make their move?

Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades is due to be published in January 2014. I’m very much looking forward to reading it.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Previous comment had a misspelling and that drives me batty. :)

    Is it common for a book to have different cover art in the various markets in which it is released?

    Is there a reason it is done that way? I'm just curious. Obviously, I have no clue at all when it comes to publishing so on the surface, it really just seems like added overhead.

    1. Different publishers have different art departments, sometimes want to market the novel differently. There are lots of reasons that could come up - who buys it first, perhaps. There are sometimes market considerations (certain things that work in the UK may not work in the US, for example), which are probably the main reasons for different covers.

      I'm sure someone can come up with a detailed reason for it. But the sense I'm getting is that it mostly boils down to taste, marketing, etc.