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    • January 2015. And then a year after that for the third. Tor has already released the cover for The Providence of Fire, which I’ve got kicking around here on the blog somewhere…

      • The first book was quite enjoyable, and I look forward to the sequel. But please, as an educated man and a teacher as well as a professional writer, look up the words “flaunt” and “flout” (and perhaps show the definitions to your editor) before publishing the next book. (And yes, this comes from the idiot who can’t seem to figure out how to leave his own comment and must do so by clicking “Reply”).

        • This is a great catch! I just went back through the manuscript, and there are two instances, just as you say, in which “flaunt” is used where it should be “flout”. Thanks for pointing it out, and rest assured, the flauntings and the floutings of books two and three will be handled with more care!

          • Hi Brian! I hope this makes it to you. Jamie Baker here from your old Seacoast days. Your book is fantastic – I thorougly enjoyed it for the action, suspense, mystery, religion, relationships, and many other reasons. Best of luck with #2 and #3 – can’t wait to read them. Jamie (living in Portsmouth with my wife and two young kids)

      • BOOOOO! I have finished the Emperor’s Blades and am dying for it to continue… another year that’s rough :) Keep up the good work.

          • I must say that I have the audio recording and find my self yelling at the characters… No, its a trap or some other such nonsense when they fail to see what was coming (no spoilers here).

          • Just read books one and two. Wish I would have discovered them next January; it will be painful waiting for book three. Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift.

          • Thanks for the kind note, Jamie. I’m revising book three now (although it won’t be out until January)… It’s been fun working through the end of the story…

  1. Hey Brian, I’m a big fan of your book (Tor has some good taste), the second half really took it up a notch for me. I just stumbled onto the blog and it’s really cool seeing you contribute to the writing community with the AMA and the posts (goat-fucker killed me with how good that is). Anyway, looking forward to the next book

  2. Just finished reading Emperor’s Blades. It’s the best thing I’ve read in at least a couple years, and it’s so good I’ve already started re-reading it! Outstanding work and I’m counting the months until the release of book 2!

    • So glad you enjoyed it, and pleased that you think it’s worth a re-read. I’m actually listening to the audiobook version now (haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet). Simon Vance (the narrator) does a great job, but this must be the thousandth time and I have to confess, a thousand re-reads is feeling like a few too many! At any rate, thanks very much for getting in touch — can’t wait to hear what you think of The Providence of Fire…

    • Thanks for getting in touch, Brian! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the book. As for an pronunciation guide — I really should put one up on my blog here. I’ll do that some day when I have a few spare hours. It was funny going through the process with the audiobook. Simon Vance, the narrator, emailed me a list of about 150 names and terms. I called him back, and he recorded all my pronunciations. I didn’t realize there were so many until I sat down to review the list…

  3. I enjoyed this book greatly, a very good read. I was actually quite disappointed when I realized that I have to wait a whole year for the next one! Rest assured I’ll be reading the next one once it’s released though. Keep up the good work!

  4. Just spent the day reading The Emperor’s Blades. Not often I read a book in a day but I couldn’t put it down. Anxiously awaiting the next book. Hope you can write for many years to come.

    • Thanks, Bob! I, too, am hoping to write for a long time. I’ve got a word document on my desktop with ideas for future books, a lot of stand-alones that I’d like to write when I finish this series. We’ll see how many of them I get to!

  5. You fully deserve the success that is coming your way. And thanks for raising the coolness factor of those named Brian. Not enough famous people named Brian…

    • Thanks, Brian! I hadn’t really thought about it, but we don’t really have a lot of famous Brians, do we? There’s Brian Williams, Brian Boitano, and Brian Boru — those were the only ones that sprang immediately to mind. I’m going to have to have a conversation with my parents about this. I want some explanations! They could have named me, oh, I don’t know, Charlemagne, or Augustus…

  6. Great story Brian! I’ve read through old and newer fantasies, and yours is a refreshing, awesome read! Simon Vance did a superb job with the narration and voices, too!! Will eagerly await your next book!!

    • Thanks, Dan! Simon is real pro. No idea how I was lucky enough to land him, but I really thought he nailed it. Glad to hear someone else agrees! Makes me want to go check out his narration of the Hilary Mantel novels…

  7. I just finished The Emporer’s Blades. It was wonderful. I look forward with great anticipation to your next iteration of this story line. Thank you.

      • Not sure how Chuck came accross it but I actually found it whilst reading the blog of the guy who drew the map for you! Very glad I did, like many others this is the best book I’ve read for a long time and I can’t seem to get it out of my head. Keep up the good work, I’m looking forward to having all 3 hardbacks up on my bookshelf along with all the other greats.

        • I love that map. In fact, I have a small obsession with maps, so I really enjoyed reading Isaac’s post about how he came up with it.

          I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the novel. Can’t wait to get The Providence of Fire out into the world. A friend of mine just read a draft and got back to me saying, “Wow. Shit really goes down in this second one.”

  8. Hi Brian! I just finished your book and I agree with others above that it’s one of the best I’ve read in a while. I was introduced to it on TOR.com where they published the first chapter. Then when it was offered in the science fiction book of the month club I remembered it and tried it out. Loved it! I’ll be waiting for the sequel. Now I have to wait for this one as well as Patrick Rothfuss’ sequel. Aaargh! Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Tami! It was really good of Tor to release the first chapters — I’ve run into a whole bunch of people who picked up the book because of them, which is great, and also a few who said, “Oh, this isn’t really my cup of tea,” which is great in a different way. Saved them the bucks of buying a book they didn’t really want. I’m surprised more publishers don’t do this more often, actually.

    • Glad to hear you’re enjoying the book, Thelonious. As for the cursing, I’m aware that it can be a turn-off for some readers —
      my own father among them! — but it does seem necessary to the creation of character. After all, the book includes all manner of people, monks and murderers, priests and politicians. It would seem odd to me, even false, if NONE of these characters cursed. I have, however, tried to be judicious. You may notice, for instance, that none of the monks drop the f-bomb, including Kaden. That kind of emotional overflow and verbal imprecision just isn’t in keeping with their training, beliefs, or lifestyle. The Kettral, on the other hand, swear pretty frequently. The narrator never does. Anyway, I realize that might not obviate your difficulty with the swearing, but I thought I’d provide a little insight into my thinking, at least. Thanks for getting in touch!

  9. Congratulation on your exciting series. I’d like to talk to you about a Q&A to be published on my writer friendly blog closer to the release of Book #2. If interested in the details lets switch to email….

  10. Just finished the audio version of the book and liked the narrator (peculiar accents and all). I liked the qualities and complexity of the characters along with the multiple but linked plots. You remind me of several other good writers (Michael Sullivan, Brian Sanderson, George Martin) which I believe is good company to be in. I look forward to your next novel (let audiobook know that you are close to releasing and we can preorder). regards bdh

    • Thanks, Brian. I thought Simon did a bang-up job with the narration. It’s always interesting to hear someone else’s interpretation of my characters’ voices. Sort of like seeing Richard Anderson’s artwork on the cover (which I also love)…

  11. All I can say is crap! Just found out I have to wait till next year for the second book. Maybe you can suggest some authors for me that write like you? The book was really good. Btw tan is my fave lol. I knew he was deeper than he let on.

    • Thanks, Donna! So glad to hear you enjoyed the book. I wouldn’t presume to say what other authors write like me, but I can give you a short list of authors I enjoy: Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books are old, but just brilliant. Joe Abercrombie is a little darker than I am, but I think his novel The Heroes is a triumph. N.K. Jemisin’s The Killing Moon is set in an alternate Egypt, and I’d say it’s one of the most fully imagined and moving stories I’ve read in quite a while. Guy Gavriel Kay is another great writer: everyone loves Tigana, but I like The Last Light of the Sun even better. That’s a little to get you started, anyway. I imagine you’ve read some of these already?

      As far as Rampuri Tan goes, he’s one of my favorites to write. Along with Pyrre. Can’t get enough of Pyrre…

  12. I love reading books that have a plot line that I haven’t seen before and book 1 is absolutely amazing. You’re simply amazing solely based of the fact that you wrote something that invoked emotions. I got angry, upset, happy, then the cycle starts over. I can’t wait for the next book, and you are now on my favorite authors list!

    • Thanks, Victoria! So delighted to hear that I put you through some emotional turmoil. Brace yourself for more in book two; things get harder for all of our heroes before they even begin to get easier…

  13. I just finished The Emperor’s Blades, and loved it! I’m so excited to have found a great new fantasy writer. Some of the dialogue made me laugh (Laith and Valyn, mostly), and I haven’t been so absorbed in reading a book for a long time. All your characters are great, and the world is fantastic (the Shin I thought were especially fascinating). I’ve already started to tell my fantasy-reading friends to get the book!

    • Thanks, Caitlin! So glad to hear that you enjoyed the book. I’m going through the galleys for The Providence of Fire as we speak — getting very excited for this second book to be unleashed. You’ll get to see a lot more of the world, and explore some of the groups and ideas that are only barely introduced in The Emperor’s Blades. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it…

  14. Just finished The Emperor’s Blades, and now I’ve got another series to keep track of. Great job! I’d like to talk with you about an informational interview, if you have the time, regarding your writing and your time at Boston University. I know you must be busy with the upcoming release of The Providence of Fire, but if you’re open to the idea let me know and we can continue the conversation via Email.

    Respectfully,
    Jacob S.

  15. Hi Brian
    I have just finished listening to Emperors Blades for the second time and can’t wait for Providence of Fire. Absolutely loved the characters and the way they were progressed throughout the novel. As a budding fantasy author myself I was wondering, if it’s not being too forward, if I could email you with some questions regarding getting published and copyrighted etc?

    Can’t wait for January.

    Nairn

  16. Mr. Staveley–

    Thanks for such a great read in The Emperor’s Blades. I’ve gotta say, I’ve read a good amount of fantasy, but only a select few grab me so quickly. Major kudos to you!

    Also, do you ever do any events? Hopefully in the Bay Area in California? I’d love to get my copy signed and meet the man behind the words.

    Hoping all is well in your neck of the woods.

    • Thanks, Jay! I do readings from time to time, and will definitely have some lined up around the release of the second book, but it’s a long haul out to CA. I’d love to do a trip down the west coast at some point, but that’s not in the cards quite yet.

      I’m not sure if you’ve seen it, but tor.com’s running a preview of The Providence of Fire: a chapter a day for the whole week. If you check it out, let me know what you think!

  17. Hi Brian,

    Firstly, thank you! Thank you a million times over for writing ‘The Emperor’s Blades’! I have not enjoyed a book that much for a long time.. It has taken a place of honour on my bookshelf alongside Robin Hobb, Mark Lawrence and David Hair (If you haven’t read David Hair’s ‘Moontide Quartet’ please do yourself a favour and purchase it immediately.. mindblowingly awesome!)

    I am currently considering writing a fantasy novel myself and have started creating character profiles, but I was hoping to garner some advice before I go any further, if you would be so kind? :)

    I wanted to know exactly what the process is that you (personally) go through when starting a fantasy novel. Do you create the characters first? the world map? the story-line? the plot twists?

    I feel it would help a great deal to hear the practical opinion of someone I admire.

    Thanks again mate!

    Cheers,
    Luke.
    P.S: Are you planning on coming to Australia at any point? I want my book signed!

    • Hi Luke — Thanks for the kind words about the book, and for the suggestion about David Hair. I’m always looking for new books; it’s going on the list!

      As to your question, it’s a tricky one, trickier than it might first appear. I think the most honest answer (although perhaps the least helpful) is that any one of the things you’ve mentioned could provide a great jumping-off point for a novel. You could start with a single scene that’s crept into your mind — a lone soldier killing his horse and then walking into the mountains, for instance — and then try to figure out who she is, how she got there, why she killed her horse, and where she’s going. Or you could start with a character you like. Maybe you’ve got brilliant but cowardly son who is the disgrace of his family. Or a cool idea for a map. I’ve always wanted to play around with terrain in which there are no rivers and the only water sources are from rainfall.

      The point is, any one of these things could lead to an awesome story, once you flesh out the stuff that goes with it. That said, while a story might have many different starts, I really do believe the only element that can CARRY a story is character. Without great characters, a book is almost sunk. Conversely, really wonderful, memorable character can carry a cliche plot, a boring map, etc.

      So, I’d say start with what excites you, but make sure that eventually you develop some characters you’re really excited about.

      Good luck!

      • Excellent!

        Thanks very much, that was actually very helpful! I hope to get the chance to meet you If you ever come to Sydney.

        Cheers,
        Luke.

        • Glad it was useful! I’d love to get down to Australia at some point. I think I need to sell a few more books before Tor will be eager to foot the bill tho. I’ll keep at it!

  18. Sir,
    I wish to read providence of fire kindle edition . currently its not available in amazon.in (Indian version). some technical issues with my credit card prevents me from buying it from amazon.com.is there anything you can do about making it available in amazon.in?
    Regards,
    Anand

    • Hi Anand — I wish there were! The ins and outs of who stocks what where outside the US, unfortunately, are far above my pay grade. I’m sorry, and I hope you find a way to get your hands on it soon! Best of luck, Brian

  19. I am also frustrated (living in New Zealand) with the lack of a kindle edition. I can buy The Providence of Fire in physical form, on Audible Audio, on Nook, but not on kindle. There is no ability to pre-order it in kindle format, nor even an indication of when the kindle version will be available. This after Tor has been promoting for months the release on 13 January. I know this is out of your control, but I find it extraordinarily unlikely that a mysterious impediment to the kindle release has, at the eleventh hour, unexpectedly cropped up which only affects the kindle release. I expect that once a publisher has happily taken my money for the first book in a series, they will treat me fairly when the remaining books in the series are released. Yet this scenario feels like a bait and switch by Tor designed to boost the sales of non-kindle editions. I would be glad to be corrected in that regard, as I could then happily purchase and read The Providence of Fire when/if it is released on Kindle. But in the absence of a good explanation for why the kindle version is unavailable, I will not be continuing your series. There is always something else to read.

    • Hi Ed — Sorry for the delay in responding; was out of town for a wedding. You’re right that I have no control over the release of different versions, but I checked this out, because I was curious. The kindle version in the US was released simultaneously with the hardcover. I just checked the UK Amazon site, and the kindle version is available there, too. I tried to find a new zealand site for Amazon, but kept getting routed back to the UK site. What specific site do you do your Amazon shopping on? All the sites I can find are selling the kindle version currently…

      • Hi Brian, it must operate on ISP/3G location, because Amazon.com displays, for me, the kindle version as being “not currently available for purchase”, Amazon.co.uk displays “this title is available to UK customers only”, the Amazon.com.au site has only just started displaying the kindle version as available for purchase, although as soon as I log in and the site realizes I am from New Zealand it reverts to displaying that the title is “”not currently available for purchase”. So, I’ll admit that it certainly does not appear to be a worldwide conspiracy to deny readers the kindle edition : ) but it’s certainly frustrating me at the moment.

        • Hey Mate,

          I’d advise not using Amazon! I always have the same issue (I live in Aus) and that site just ends up being frustrating for Aus/NZ users. The best site I’ve found has actually been Kobo. I used to use the Sony site as I have a Sony e-reader, but they got bought out by Kobo and now they always have everything I need at a fair price and the site is easy to navigate. Providence of Fire is currently available for $15 – here’s the link: http://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=Providence+of+fire+

          As far as I know, kindle is the only e-reader that you can use for downloading books off Amazon? But I’m fairly certain that you won’t have any issues with compatibility on the Kobo Site.

          I hope this helps, I feel your pain!

          Cheers,
          Luke.

          • Thanks for the suggestion, Luke. Sounds like a good work-around. Ed — sorry for the confusion. I wish I had more insight to offer! I don’t think, however, that either US or UK wants to delay the ebook edition… Thanks for getting in touch with the question.

  20. Hey Brian,
    Just finished ‘Providence of Fire’ audiobook. Loved it!

    ALERT: An unspecific spoiler! Don’t read if you’ve not read this yet!

    Without being too specific, what I like best about book 2 is the uncertainty. I’ve just finished the book and I am still unsure who the ‘enemy’ really is. Or who I am to trust…

    Also, one piece of advice (this really is teaching my grandmother to suck eggs here)… I’d quite like you to explore how others perceive Kaden. E.g. When reading those ‘noble council’ scenes I found myself wanting to know what they thought of Kaden… were they unnerved by his lack of emotion etc.

    Anywho… keep up the good work! Looking forward to book 3!

    Ollie

      • Thanks for the link – an interesting read.

        I think I agree that doing POVs from the flea (or Pyrre’s) perspective would be dangerous territory. As they are, at the moment, characterized by how Valyn & co observe them. I’d never really thought about it in that way… I really liked it when Valyn and Kaden came together, so you could see how they’re perceived by each other. Maybe a few POVs of irrelevant characters can remind us just how awesome they are ;-).

        Best,
        Ollie

  21. Love the books, I listen to them via the audible format. I would really appreciate an online map glossary to keep up when I miss something.

    • Glad you’re enjoying them, Josh! Just to be clear, do you mean an online map as well as a glossary, or just a glossary of map terms? Either way, this seems like a great idea…

  22. Absolutely loved these books!
    Characters are awesome, the atmosphere the books create just draws you into the their world with how everything unfolds and weaves together makes it near impossible to put down.
    As a teen Maria V Snyder’s ‘Study’ series were a long standing favorite however I cant deny that your books are definitely more grand and complex.
    Am looking forward to the next book!

    • Thanks for getting in touch, Jaime — I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying the series. I’m not familiar with Snyder’s work, but now I’m curious to check it out. I always appreciate new suggestions and directions for my own reading. As for the next book, it’s coming along nicely; working through edits as we speak…

  23. Reading “Het bloed van de Keizer” the Dutch version of The Emperor’s Blades was the first book since a long time that took me away in my imagination. Since reading James Clemens his series Godslayer in 2006 not one writer has done that. Thanks and I am looking forwards to buy all the books that will come after…greetings from Holland…

    • Hi Peter — It’s so great to hear from someone reading the Dutch translation! I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying it. I have a few copies of the Dutch version at home, but I can’t read them. I’m always curious, however, about questions of translation, and the way in which certain idioms and words are carried over from one language to another. I’ve signed a deal with that publisher for all three books, so the other two are on the way, but I’m not sure of the schedule. All the best!

  24. I must admit that I am having a hard time with the second one ” Providence of Fire”. It is a love hate relationship and I get hung up on the obviously stupid decisions that are made by characters. Not to leave a spoiler but I am currently stuck on Kaiden’s seemingly poor choices ………..

  25. There was an interesting discussion over on r/fantasy about just this question about a week ago. At some point I want to write an article exploring different types of bad-decision-making in fantasy, trying to come to grips with what works dramatically and what doesn’t…

    • I read that discussion on r/fantasy last week. It kind of left a lot of questions hanging. I would be really interested in reading your article if/when you write it. I have a tendency to suspend judgement about decisions until things have come to a conclusion. Something might FEEL wrong at one point, but then later you learn something new about the character or their history and it makes sense, or there is some detail of the situation that comes out later. I guess I think if I question something and so far the story has been well written, then I am most likely in for a surprise somewhere! There have been times with some books where they turned out to just be stupid decisions for no good reason. Then I’m just disappointed.
      I’m curious if you have been surprised at how readers have responded to Adare. Is it what you expected? I know I had times when I really disliked her. But then I’ve disliked just about everyone in the books at one time or another! It didn’t last. Book 3 will be really interesting!

  26. I figured Adare would take a hit at the end of Book Two, given the way everything goes down. I’m a little surprised, however, that more readers don’t see the situation from her POV. That’s the great thing about writing books, though – I have my own ideas about the characters and plot, but that doesn’t mean they’re the RIGHT ideas!

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