The Court of Broken Knives

  • by Anna Smith Spark
  • Narrated by Colin Mace, Meriel Rosenkranz
  • 16 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Perfect for fans of Mark Lawrence and R. Scott Bakker, The Court of Broken Knives is the explosive debut by one of grimdark fantasy's most exciting new voices.
They've finally looked at the graveyard of our empire with open eyes. They're fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we piss gold and jewels into the dust.
In the richest empire the world has ever known, the city of Sorlost has always stood, eternal and unconquered. But in a city of dreams governed by an imposturous emperor, decadence has become the true ruler and has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The empire is on the verge of invasion - and only one man can see it.
Haunted by dreams of the empire's demise, Orhan Emmereth has decided to act. On his orders, a company of soldiers cross the desert to reach the city. Once they enter the palace, they have one mission: kill the emperor, then all those who remain. Only from 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. Marching on Sorlost, Marith thinks he is running away from the past which haunts him. But in the Golden City, his destiny awaits him - beautiful, bloody, and more terrible than anyone could have foreseen.

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What the Critics Say

"Grim, gritty and fast paced, with great battle scenes! Anna Smith-Spark is one to watch." (Andy Remic)
"Holy crap this is good!" (Grim Tidings)
"On a par with R. Scott Bakker." (Grimdark Alliance)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More and intro to a never than a opener.

The problem with calling it book one of the bidlybong series is the author has no compunction to tell a nice little story with room to expand into books 2 and 3.

This starts well, drops you into a fully realised world. Introduces the usual damaged hero, gruff old retainer, worldly wise companion and eventually love interest.. And then starts killing off the bystanders. G R R Martin has a lot to answer for.

Then it's a sort of holding pattern to get to book 2. The eventual finale has no real emotional clout as we never meet the victims or hear their side of things. We arrive and then they die. No real surprises.

There is enough to keep you interested, random dragoon appearance, lots of blood and slaughter, a bit of gay love and a classic hero love interest. But i struggled to really like any of the characters or really care what happened to them.
I spent the last third of the story wondering why everyone was so happy to have a murdering sociopath drug addict run the show. He seemed the least likely person to care about the muddy scum slaughtering his enemies.

An odd story, interesting but frustrating and too much in love with the modern whim of killing off the characters the author gets bored of writing about.

I await the second book with interest.
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- Amazon Customer

It's complicated

So bit unusual for me I am not sure whether I like this book or not. Some of the writing is truly stunning, the way the author truly gets inside the mind and emotions of the protagonists is fantastic and truly skilled. The gritty and fantastic backdrop often captures you and you can smell the streets and hear the crunch of footsteps. All good so far.... but the story itself was not fun, I am pretty sure that was the intention, but, and I suspect this was deliberate to ended up hating the main character and wishing him dead. So I don't think I enjoyed this book, admired yes, enjoyed not so much. As I said it's complicated.

The narration took a bit to get used to but once I was there I found fully engaging.
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- Mr. W. Inskip

Book Details

  • Release Date: 29-06-2017
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited