The Emperor's Knife: Book One of the Tower and Knife Trilogy

The Emperor's Knife: Book One of the Tower and Knife Trilogy

by Mazarkis Williams


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597803847
Publisher: Night Shade
Publication date: 12/27/2011
Series: Tower and Knife Series , #1
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Mazarkis Williams is a writer with roots in both the US and UK, having worked in and been educated in both countries. Each year is divided between Boston and Bristol and a teleport booth is always top of the Christmas wish-list.

Williams has degrees in history and physics with a diverse set of interests accumulated while misspending a hectic youth. Cooking has always been a passion and in addition to feeding six children and a sizable herd of cats Williams regularly caters for crowds of permanently hungry friends.

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The Emperor's Knife : Book One of The Tower and Knife Trilogy 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 197 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really dislike fantasy. I go out of my to avoid any form of fantasy, even comic books. This free Friday book just happened to fall on a week when I was desperate for something to read, did not have time to sort through the freebies and could only dream about purchasing books. So I gritted my teeth, and started to read. I enjoyed every line. What a pleasant surprize. There is nothing to complain about, in this book. Recommended to all readers, ages 14 and up. AD
SmalltownSR More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting book; great story line, good action, and intriguing. Very hard to put down.
EverReaderBC More than 1 year ago
I am an avid reader and am always on the lookout for new authors in the field and this is one to look forward to. The characters and world building were top notch and I am looking forward to continue reading in this world. I would have given five stars but the ending of this first segment was a little trite and I saw it coming from a long way off, but still a very good read.
atsmith9 More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a pretty good book. It was a little slow getting going but I think it was because of all the characters involved. It was definitely worth the read though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little hard to get into. But once there it holds your attention,left me wondering an then what?
MamaLucy More than 1 year ago
Intriguing fantasy. The characters are very well developed, with even the "villains" showing emotional depth. I love a book that doesn't stick me with one-dimensional bad guys. The use of magic and fantasy is a bit more unique than what you usually see. All in all, I really recommend this to fellow fantasy readers. The story wrapped up nicely, so I'm curious to see where the sequel will take us...
MRR62 More than 1 year ago
This author's style is different, and it may take some time to acclimate, but the story makes it well worth the effort. The setting is not earth, though parallels can often be glimpsed. Spiritualism and magic weave through the entire tale in ways sometimes unexpected, which keeps the intrigue high. I would not recommend this for pre-adolescents, as the violence can be rather upsetting (though understandable in many instances). The plot centers around a kingdom with a king who's not been able to produce an heir, and his younger brother who's been kept alive and hidden from all for several years, a prisoner in the tower. A force that masks itself as a disease threatens to overtake the kingdom, possessing its citizens and marking them with tattoo-like markings. The markings seem to be evidence of the possession, and the king has ordered all those possessing the markings to be killed... until the king finds the markings on his own body, and knows that he is not yet under the control of the force invading his kingdom. The Emperor's Knife is the person charged with carrying out the dirtiest deeds required by the king, and the only one allowed to kill one with royal blood. What will happen when the king's infection is revealed? How will the surrounding characters carry on around him? Will either brother be able to seat the throne? Or will the invader succeed in the effort to reign? I'm not saying. I encourage you to read this work. I found it well worth my time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It takes a while to read your way into the characters and actions. The setting is so foreign and strewn with unusual names that you may read the first couple of chapters in confusion. But! The writing style is so delicious, the wording so rich, and in the end, the characters so interesting that the depth of the piece gets to you soon. I could not put it down. One of my favorite reads this year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this one. It took a while to figure out what was going on but got your interest to keep "turning" the pages to see what was going to happen next. You'll be surprised to find out who is behind it all at the end. Looking forward to reading the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I got a hold on the authors writing style it wasn't at all confusing or hard to read. I enjoyed the fact that it was familiar with the ideas of different factions and cultural differences. However it was its own tale and not just a knock off of some other story. I hate it when a popular story gets recycled and slightly altered just so a author can ride on another authors success. Could the book been a little smoother? Sure, but it was still a good enough read for me. I'm looking forward to reading book two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brilliantly written. A complex and rich fantasy in an almost arabian setting. This isn't a hack and slash book but a subtle and passionate work, marvelously crafted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not usually into fantasy but this one will keep your interest. :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Original story. Strong characters. Only negative is the subtle point of view shifts within chapters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dark and sinister,but it kept my interest throughout. Sad with very little hope, yet a good look into human nature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Stories-fuel-imagination More than 1 year ago
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.  
CFishback More than 1 year ago
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!
Patti_withani More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
NHHolly More than 1 year ago
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.
razRP More than 1 year ago
I couldn't stop reading. A little gory for my taste, but the story was great..