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Summary

Brian Staveley's new standalone returns to the critically acclaimed Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne universe, following a priestess-assassin for the God of Death

From the award-winning epic fantasy world of The Emperor's Blades...

Pyrre Lakatur is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer - she is a priestess. At least, she will be once she passes her final trial.

The problem isn't the killing. The problem, rather, is love. For to complete her trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the seven people enumerated in an ancient song, including "the one who made your mind and body sing with love / who will not come again."

Pyrre isn't sure she's ever been in love. And if she fails to find someone who can draw such passion from her, or fails to kill that someone, her order will give her to their god, the God of Death. Pyrre's not afraid to die, but she hates to fail, and so, as her trial is set to begin, she returns to the city of her birth in the hope of finding love... and ending it on the edge of her sword.

©2017 Brian Staveley (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic reviews

"Brilliant." (V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it .... listened to it twice!

Would you listen to Skullsworn again? Why?

Yes. Brians' writing it as good as it gets in the fantasy genre if you ask me. Yes it is dark, but grimly realistic and not for the faint hearted.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Skullsworn?

I loved the character Ella, a totally amoral character living just in the moment, but lighting up the page whenever she makes an appearance.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The ending was utterly brilliant, and an ending fit for the characters.

Any additional comments?

Brian's understanding of religion and faith and all that it entails is cleverly interwoven into his writing, It makes you think, and question both the characters actions and perhaps what goes on in the real world too. Reading Brian's books is an education in itself, so prepare to have your thinking challenged.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Dark

narrator was good, story was good but it's a bit too dark. what did I expect though about a book about death worshipers.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not quite Pyrre.

If you've read/listened to the first three then you've probably got a soft spot for Pyrre. That personality doesn't see the light in this story. It's a different character entirely, bland and tuneless. The performance and a couple of reveals pull it back.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful Read

Absolutely wonderful read. Tremendous story telling and great imagination. Different characters stories, pulled together at the right time, and with ease. Definitely as good as the Emperors Blades.
Just loved it.
I know it's not as easy as all that Mr. Staveley but, more please.
as ever
Handsome Prince

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great addition

This is a great addition to an already fantastic series. It is not a combination of the other books but it is well worth a read.

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Excellent fantasy

I couldn't resist downloading another book set in this world, having devoured Brian Staveley's previous works back to back.

I was a little apprehensive by a change of narrator, but Elizabeth Knowelden does it justice, particularly given the protagonist this time is female. I would certainly listen to another audiobook narrated by her.

The story is superb. Probably more entertaining than the trilogy that precedes it, but the preceding trilogy is essential prior knowledge, otherwise so much of the story wouldn't make sense.

Five stars. I hope another stand alone novel swiftly follows this one.

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Not impressed

If I wanted Mills and Boon I would of bought Mills and Boon, this book made me feel like a gooseberry listening to a couple on a slow date hoping I can drink really really quickly so drunken oblivion takes me.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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This is a love story!

2 thirds through this story and I'm fed up with it. The word 'love' is way way over used Not at all like his previous books.
When it was released I was disappointed to see it was only 19hrs long, now I can't wait to finish the damn thing. Disappointing

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Great Story

I loved this story of Pyrre the Priestess/Assassin from the Trilogy the Unhewen Throne. My only problem was with the narrater, i had got so used to the voice Brian Vance used for Pyrre that Elizabeth Knowelden came as a shock, obviously with a change of narraters you get a change of voice but i do much prefer Brian Vances....not really a criticism more of a personal thing. Great book once again.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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unhewn throne meets 50 shades of grey

In a nut shell I love it. The story was great and the idea of learning more about my favourite character, next to Gwenna, from the trilogy was exciting. My only real complaint is the voice used but that's mostly because I loved the voice Simon Vance had created for her. However I did love Elizabeth Knowelden, so easy to listen to and she had a great range when it came to female characters her only let down was on the male characters but it's to be expected​. oh and I didn't like the fact that "he/she didn't show it" was not used :p

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Ryan
  • Ryan
  • 06-05-17

Another amazing story by Brian Staveley

I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Staveley's first trilogy and this book provides solid proof that his works are only going to get better and better. If you read/listened to The Unhewn Throne Trilogy then you'll remember Pyrre Lakatur, the somewhat mysterious and very deadly priestess of the God of Death. This book delves into her background and gives more insight into what it means to be one of the Skullsworn. This is the first time I've listened to Elizabeth Knowelden's narration and I was very impressed with her as well. I don't give 5 stars often and usually never for all three categories but it's well deserved in this case.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for cj0679
  • cj0679
  • 29-07-17

Couldn't finish it

It was an interesting book with some truly well written areas to it, but overall I found myself just didn't care enough to finish it. It was neither convincing that the protagonist would be so desperately searching to find love in order to sacrifice him to her god, nor was there anything that I was rooting for. The conclusion seemed inevitable and I found that I just didn't care enough about he journey getting there to be worth my time.

I listen to a lot of books and this may be the first time that I've chosen to stop listening to a story with only two hours left.


If you weren't able to finish the unhewn thrown series, defeat nicely don't tread this on.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Scott Simons
  • Scott Simons
  • 09-06-17

Nice prequel to the Unhewn Throne

Would you listen to Skullsworn again? Why?

I might listen again someday.

What other book might you compare Skullsworn to and why?

This book book is pretty original like the rest of the Unhewn Throne series. It was an unexpected prequel from a character who was featured, but not really a main player in the series.

What about Elizabeth Knowelden’s performance did you like?

I thought Elizabeth Knowelden was perfect for this book. She has a breathy sexy voice, and at the beginning I wasn't sure if this is what I would have expected for a fantasy book. You would have thought a woman who is a killer would have more of a gruff voice. But as you go along you see Elizabeth Knowelden is was the right choice as the voice of Pirre, and Ella spot on as well. She did a great job with all the characters. I can see the reason for some of the comments about a romance narrator, but keep going, you'll get it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Don't want to leave any spoilers, but the book is about Pirre trying to find a moment. Perhaps the final fight and her moment of finally achieving that goal.

Any additional comments?

This book is a prequel to the Unhewn Throne trilogy, and could I guess be listened to before the other books in the series, or even as a stand alone, but I would read the trilogy first if you want a full understanding of what is going on in this book. Overall I really enjoyed this book, and wouldn't mind seeing more of Pirre in future books. I would also like to hear more of Elizabeth Knowelden in the fantasy genre.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Kevin G. Summers
  • Kevin G. Summers
  • 05-06-17

Homerun

If you could sum up Skullsworn in three words, what would they be?

This book serves as a prequel of sorts to Staveley's Unhewn Throne trilogy. Story is crisp and enjoyable, and it provides some additional depth to this fantasy world. I wasn't particularly fond of this character in the original trilogy, but the additional character development in this book has massively elevated her in my view. Quite a good book, and it could stand alone if you haven't read the other books. But you should read those as well, because they're amazing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • shawacosta
  • 04-06-17

Wow. Just wow.

Great story told through a great narrator. Her voice is exactly what I pictured for her character. The author was able to keep me guessing what would happen next even though the epilogue. Great addition to the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Marlon
  • Marlon
  • 02-05-17

Couldve been Better

What did you love best about Skullsworn?

I liked the development of skullsworn, but it should've shown why they are so feared more and built up that aspect like the flea, how we saw from the last book why he's so feared when he told his story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Skullsworn?

I cant remember any stand out moments in this book. it wasn't like the other 3 which each had something special that stood out in my mind.

What didn’t you like about Elizabeth Knowelden’s performance?

I didn't like her accent and lack of inflection. Her voice is more suited for non fiction which is going to be written in one tone. In this it was hard to follow along because of the tone and lack of changes in her voice.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I would say skip this book and make the other three into a movie this needs more development before its ready to go into theater.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous Usual
  • 08-04-18

Booorrriiinnggg

Tried twice, ended up completely bored and uninterested before finishing. Performance was nearly monotonous and mind numbing

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for @K_Speckmann
  • @K_Speckmann
  • 06-01-18

Love Conquers the Immortal!

The word brilliant on the title barely describes how beautifully Brian Staveley wrote this story. Elisabeth Knowelden's performance honors the magnificent line, rightly.
The priestess' path towards beating immortal sin proves love can survive death, one more time.
I recommend you enjoy this. Period!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John Adrian Hall
  • John Adrian Hall
  • 02-11-17

must read if you like Staveley

Extremely well written and insightful story into what it means to be Skullsworn. Must Read!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for HS8541
  • HS8541
  • 05-09-17

yes

read it! it is a wonderful story about a wonderful character. my favorite from these books