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Review: The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark

Title: The Court of Broken Knives

Author: Anna Smith Spark

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Empires of Dust (Book #1)

Publication Date: August 15, 2017

Format: Paperback, 512 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316511420 (Orbit)

ISBN-13: 978-0316511421 (Orbit)

Reviewed by: Roxanne

Synopsis:

In this dark and gripping debut fantasy that Miles Cameron called “gritty and glorious!” the exiled son of the king must fight to reclaim his throne no matter the cost.

It is the richest empire the world has ever known, and it is also doomed. Governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The Yellow Empire is on the verge of invasion–and only one man can see it.

Haunted by prophetic dreams, Orhan has hired a company of soldiers to cross the desert to reach the capital city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from the ashes can a new empire be built.

The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Young, ambitious, and impossibly charming, something dark hides in Marith’s past–and in his blood

Dark and brilliant, dive into this new fantasy series for readers looking for epic battle scenes, gritty heroes, and blood-soaked revenge.

Quick & Dirty: Dragon killer, man killer, and king…

Opening Sentence: “Knives.”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

A company of soldiers is making their way to the city, along the way they fight many battles losing many men. They also come up against a dragon who kills even more of them. Until the new boy, Marith, slays the dragon.  Soon Tobias, Marith and the few remaining men work their way to the city. They have one goal and one goal alone. The only problem is Marith is more than he seems and something dark is within him.

They attack the palace and Marith makes it all the way to the Emperor, however, for some reason, Tobias stops him from killing the Emperor. As they are leaving the city they run into Thalia also known as the High Priestess. She fled the temple after they were attacked as well, mostly because someone drew the red lot which means she will be killed (replaced) in ten years. As they travel on their journey Thalia and Marith fall in love.

Soon Marith’s past catches up them and choices are made. Will Marith survive his past coming for him? Will he finally succeed in taking the throne that belongs to him? Will Thalia stay by his side?

I will get my minor complaints out of the way. It was a little hard to follow in the beginning. I didn’t really know who was going to be the main character or what was going on. It did get clearer, so really, I just have minor issues with that and occasionally things happened but like five pages later it was like it hadn’t happened at all. I know that’s vague, but you know, I hate spoilers. Overall, I enjoyed this quite a bit.

I didn’t connect with the characters, but I was fascinated by them. It will be interesting to see where this goes in the next books. I look forward to reading the next one when it comes. If you enjoy high fantasy, death, and violence then this series is for you.

Notable Scene:

“New boy Marith. Staring at the dragon like a man stares at his own death. A chill of cold went through Tobias for a moment. A scream and a shriek in his ears or his mind. The boy’s beautiful eyes gazed unblinkingly. A shadow there, like it was darker suddenly. Like the sun flickered in the sky. Like the dragon might twitch and move and live. Then the boy signed wearily, sat down in the dust rubbing at his face. Tobias saw that the back of his left hand was horribly burned.”

Empires of Dust:

1. The Court of Broken Knives

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FTC Advisory: Orbit/Hachette provided me with a copy of The Court of Broken Knives. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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