Monday, March 4, 2013

Review: The Emperor's Knife

The Emperor's Knife
The Emperor's Knife by Mazarkis Williams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Please note: I read and reviewed this book in December, 2011 from a copy I received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Just adding that disclosure and formatting.

My Synopsis: The Empire, with its capital in the city of Nooria, is the strongest power around. Beyon, the emperor, was brought to power one blood-soaked night when, after the death of his father, all his brothers were killed in order to prevent any problems with the dynasty. Well, all but one – Sarmin was kept alive, as a back-up. It appears that this was a good thing, because there is a terrible disease that is sweeping through the Empire, one marked by patterns appearing on the victim’s skin. Those who succumb either become mindless and obey the commands of the mysterious Pattern Master, or die a terrible death. And Beyon … is Marked. In the midst of treachery, betrayal, and fighting over power and position, what will happen to the two brothers? Who is the Pattern Master, and what is his ultimate goal? And will anyone survive his terrible plague?

My Thoughts: The Emperor’s Knife is a very complex and interesting story, a high fantasy with aspects of suspense. The twists and turns just keep on coming and it is impossible to know who to trust or who to believe. The characters’ development is done very well, and the plot moves quickly from one point of view to another, which at times left me a bit confused. By maintaining careful focus while reading the story, it is possible to keep up with everything, however, and the careful reader is rewarded with many subtle subplots. Fans of high fantasy and the sort of intricate, twisting plots often found in spy novels should enjoy this book.

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