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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 listeners say about Skullsworn

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Barely made it past chapter one

Perhaps it picks up later in the book but the beginning chapter and a half was so drawn out and dull and the characters to pretentious and annoying I couldn’t continue.
Coupled with that the narrator is horrible to listen to and I felt very badly cast in terms of the age of the character.

2 people found this helpful

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Great spin off

Ok, so I’m finding this book hard to review... had it been a random story narrated by Elizabeth, I’d have probably given her 5 stars for her narration as she can’t be faulted and portrays Pyrre and the other characters really well; unfortunately Simon Vance has already created a persona for Pyrre in my mind and she differs a lot from Elizabeth’s portrayal... but don’t let that put you off, Elizabeth is brilliant!
Coming in straight after I finish the Unhewn trilogy I felt a little wanting in the single character front of Skullsworn and single path of the storyline which is the complete opposite of the Unhewn multiple stories and twists and turns.
All in all, a very good book which I’d most likely give 5 stars if it was a complete standalone story and Unhewn hadn’t raised my standards so high. Definitely worth a read!!

1 person found this helpful

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more please

love this story and would enjoy reading more about the adventures of Pia. an interesting take on the similarities between love and killing.

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Hard going

I loved the first three books and when I saw that there was a book all about Pyrre I was so excited. Sadly I found this audiobook very hard going. The story and setting is interesting and kept me going and with a different narrator I think I would have actually enjoyed it. But the breathless gasping amazement of the narrator is tiring, to say the least. I kept catching myself waiting for that double breath intake she so often does and losing track of the story. I guess not every one can be as good as Simon Vance but I so wish they could be!

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I wish this was not just a one off

I have read Brian's other books but this book grabbed me from beginning to end. The narrator is a ok so one of the best I have heard.

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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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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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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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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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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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  • 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.

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Justin
  • 15-08-19

Fantastic story

Skullsworn was on my to read list from before it was released. Elizabeth Knowelden breathes fantastic, addictive, and beautiful life into one of my favorite characters in fiction. Brain Staveley is a master with words and has created a rich, intriguing, and vivid world you can’t help but fall for. Between this and the Chronicle of the Unhewn thrown, I have found one of my favorite fictional worlds that I will, without a doubt, return to many times before Ananshael unmakes me.

3 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Heatherfeather654
  • 10-09-19

profoundly dark but beautiful

This is one of the most dark but beautiful stories I've ever read. It's definitely worth a read if you're into darker fiction. This book is a poetic masterpiece.

2 people found this helpful

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  • oana
  • 07-01-19

a delight!

Brian Staveley is a gift! Loved The Unhewn Throne series! Skullsworn is not as complex, but it is a delight nonetheless

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brandon C.
  • 23-05-18

Read Something Else

This book is not at the same level as the others. I would skip it really wish it would have went somewhere due to the world the other books made.

4 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Drews
  • 22-11-20

So good it made me rethink my rating system.

I absolutely loved this book. I don’t understand how an author can build such an epic story and cast of characters in such a short book. I love fantasy stories and routinely rate books as four or five stars, but this one was so good it made me think of going back and downgrading all of my previous five star ratings to fours. Also, the narrator is incredible. I hope she continues to perform fantasy audiobooks.

1 person found this helpful

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  • O. F.
  • 18-07-19

A meandering verbosity

Excellent writing however the entire book was a boring philosophical treatise mixed with raw senseless violence. I much prefer Tad Williams or Brandon Sanderson.

1 person found this helpful