The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark (Empires of Dust #1)
Published by Orbit on August 15th 2017
Genres: Fiction, High-Fantasy, Action & Adventure
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.
The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark is the first book in an adult high fantasy series with non stop battles, revenge and endless amounts of bloodshed. A complacent emperor’s time is coming to an end. When someone in the court hires a band of thieves and assassins to infiltrate the kingdom and murder the emperor and everyone else around, things don’t go quite as planned. With shifty characters, a world filled with lore and queer representation, this one is not to be missed!
Smith Spark does a phenomenal job building such a unique world for the readers to enjoy. I haven’t read many adult high fantasies, but I can say this was one of the best I’ve gotten the opportunity to explore. The traditions, lore, and rich history really brought the story together for me. But don’t get me started on the characters!
Marith is by far the creepiest and one of the darkest characters I have enjoyed in a long time. Although he is young, inexperienced and handsome, there is something sinister flowing through his blood. I loved the chapters he was in. Definitely a big highlight for me. Orhan was glorious as well! He is one of the queer representations of the book and one of my favorites. He is torn between his wife and his male lover. He believes the kingdom needs a change and he brings it upon himself to do just that. Although he may be classified as a baddy, I found that he just cared too much for his kingdom.
The Court of Broken Knives is a story of betrayal, passion and mostly a take on human nature vs. a warring nation. There is so much more to the story that you will just have to find out for yourselves. I look forward to what comes next and can’t wait for all of you guys to read this one!
I highly recommend this one if you like high fantasy, a nation at war and well rounded characters. Let me know what you guys thought of The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark! I would love to hear your opinions as well!
Until next time,
Anna Smith Spark lives in London, UK. She loves grimdark and epic fantasy and historical military fiction. Anna has a BA in Classics, an MA in history and a PhD in English Literature. She has previously been published in the Fortean Times and the poetry website www.greatworks.org.uk. Previous jobs include petty bureaucrat, English teacher and fetish model.
Anna’s favourite authors and key influences are R. Scott Bakker, Steve Erikson, M. John Harrison, Ursula Le Guin, Mary Stewart and Mary Renault. She spent several years as an obsessive D&D player. She can often be spotted at sff conventions wearing very unusual shoes.