Customer Reviews for

The Emperor's Knife

Average Rating 3.5
( 195 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(63)

4 Star

(39)

3 Star

(45)

2 Star

(23)

1 Star

(25)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

23 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

Gripping novel by a talented new writer

This novel, set in a fantasy land which could be central Asia before the rise of Islam (but isn't), is peopled by a cast of finely drawn characters who bring the action forward briskly. The writing is taught, the plot not artificially complicated, and, in spite of being...
This novel, set in a fantasy land which could be central Asia before the rise of Islam (but isn't), is peopled by a cast of finely drawn characters who bring the action forward briskly. The writing is taught, the plot not artificially complicated, and, in spite of being fantasy, is logical, one event building securely upon the last. The villain is a disease, and the story unfolds with the action various characters perform, often at odds with one another, in their quest to find a cure or conceal its depredations. The character of Sarmin develops over the story arc, from an inexperienced young man held hostage for years into a -- well you'll see if you read the book. This reviewer is an avid reader, and can recognize good writing. This novel is on a par with Gaiman, Martin and the rest. Williams has hit the bulls eye on his first attempt.

posted by ffred1932 on November 4, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

37 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

3.5

This one's hard to judge for me. On the one hand, I couldn't put it down and know I'll buy the next one. At the same time, over and over again the character's actions felt forced, too fast. Not that anyone ever acted in a way I didn't think was plausible...eventually....
This one's hard to judge for me. On the one hand, I couldn't put it down and know I'll buy the next one. At the same time, over and over again the character's actions felt forced, too fast. Not that anyone ever acted in a way I didn't think was plausible...eventually. But the change of heart, the bold, brave decision, the sacrafice, whatever usually happened without enough set up. All of a sudden the decision was made without any debate or struggle. It was very frustrating, especially because the first half had felt a bit slow, and the last half tumbled along far too fast to be satisfying or feel like anything but skimming on the surface, only touching the most important parts and ignoring everything that should stitch them together.

That said, the story and early character development was good enough that, at the end, my overall feeling is that I enjoyed it and want to know what happens next.

posted by LeahPetersen on June 16, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 195 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Seems interesting

    I'll ask my parents if I can get it.

    2 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    A++

    Great book. Original story. Strong characters. Only negative is the subtle point of view shifts within chapters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Not sure.

    Dark and sinister,but it kept my interest throughout. Sad with very little hope, yet a good look into human nature.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2013

    This another created world book that is extremely engrossing. If

    This another created world book that is extremely engrossing. If you read for the brief escape into other worlds this one will do it. Like many, it takes a few chapters to begin to understand the many characters and the mystery, treachery, heroism, etc. that makes them what they seem to be. Although I am only halfway through, I find it difficult to find a good stopping point when real world demands require bookmarking. Events whip before you a bit too fast and perhaps without enough development or clarity of "how come" but this is a fantasy... It draws enough similarity to the real world for one to somewhat relate to the intrigue/politics in play and the characters eventually become believable although more development might be useful.

    In all, I find it a thorough escape and a good read. Just gotta find time to finish and wait for the author's next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    Perserverance rewarded

    What a challenging book to get into. So many characters introduced in the first few pages, I thought I needed a way to keep track of them all. But for those who can persist, the reward is a story and world as intriguing as the teaser makes it sound. The next book in the series is set up to be even better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    Engrossing fantasy novel

    I picked up this book on a whim as part of the "free Fridays" promotion.

    It is a fantasy novel ... in a vaguely Middle Eastern setting ... with magic. But hear me out! There is a web of political intrigue and a shadowy enemy of the Empire. The novel raises questions of racism and religious difference. As the story plays out, alliances shift and the reader begins to wonder who is really loyal to whom, and who can be trusted. I even began to question whether the Empire is worth saving.

    One character seems to have a personality transplant about three-quarters of the way into the book. Another unfortunate aspect is the paucity of strong female characters.

    This would be a worthy novel from an established author. For a first novel, it is outstanding. I hope the author continues to perfect his craft.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This was a wonderful change in a Fantasy world.  The story was f

    This was a wonderful change in a Fantasy world.  The story was full of twists and turns that often leave you wondering
    how it that could happen.  The characters are diverse and full of promise.  This book is hard to put down once your eyes 
    start taking in the maze.   Enjoy the ride.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    What a fantastic story and beautiful world! Mazarkis Williams is

    What a fantastic story and beautiful world! Mazarkis Williams is a master of seamless world building. The descriptions he uses gives just enough to give the reader an idea of the area without bogging down the action or the story. His writing style is poetic without being too "purple" as some call it. I was immediately sucked into the story and the characters.

    Wonderful book from start to finish. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys the kind of fantasy that isn't filled with fantastical creatures and ridiculous amounts of magic. It's a very real feeling book.

    I can't wait to read the next one in the series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Some passages beautifully written...

    Short-Take: "The Emperor's Knife" by Mazarkis Williams is a relatively good read. It is a remotely familiar story set in a world that I couldn't quite place. Maybe that is more my short-coming than the book's, but I felt that the setting was not spelled out for the reader quite clearly enough. It could be somewhere on Earth in a different time, or it could be a different planet...? The characters are relatively well-developed and the plot was engaging enough to keep me reading through to the end. There were a few passages, ideas beautifully expressed, redeeming the work as a whole. One that stood out to me: "He left his room so often in dreams, and yet it always took a second miracle to make him realise he was travelling through nothing more substantial than imagination." Caveat: A few sexually explicit/graphic scenes. Minimal information would have been just as effective.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    bizarre story

    I kind of liked it, once I looked past the out of sync dialogue. It's a dark story with some interesting supernatural ideas. Not a kid's book. The author jumps around a bit too much for my taste, but it's not too hard to follow. It has a good satisfying ending. I'll probably read the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Good fast reading adventure!

    This book is well written and fairly fast paced,only seems a bit slow where the author,by necessity,creates the physical background of the world and politics of the area.I enjoyed it and look forward to the next book of the trilogy. I appreciated the way this volume could stand on it's own. I would recommend it for junior high level and older reading adventure lovers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2013

    An Enjoyable Read

    I truly enjoyed reading The Emperor's Knife, and couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. For some reason, I never fully felt fully invested in the characters. Instead, it was the story itself that drew me in. The writing was good enough to want to read the next book where I hope the characters are given a little more dimension.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2013

    A must read,,for any adventure lovers.

    I couldn't stop reading. A little gory for my taste, but the story was great..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    A Great Read

    I found this book a little difficult to follow in the beginning, but if you stick with it, you won't be disappointed.

    lmr - chicago

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2013

    I found this book confusing.  It was hard to thread through all

    I found this book confusing.  It was hard to thread through all the characters and their agendas.  It was a difficult read and was made unnecessarily complex by all the fantasy names for common things like knives, flowers and tribes.  I would not have begun the book had I realized there would not be a conclusion.  Disappointingat best.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2013

    Anonymous

    I never quit reading a book before, but i just couldn't get into this book. I read 108 pages and that was enough for me. I picked this book because the reviews were good, but wondering if we were reading same book. Very boring.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    This is a Great book!!!

    This is a great book, I got this for free on an app called Book buddy.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Anonymous

    Not my type of genre.i

    1 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Book

    What is this book about?

    1 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    B

    Boring.

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 195 Customer Reviews
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