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Publisher's Summary

There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani Empire: a plague that marks each victim with a fragment of a greater design. Geometric patterns spread across the skin, until the victim dies in agony or becomes a Carrier, doing the bidding of an evil intelligence. The lost prince Sarmin, the emperor's only surviving brother, lies locked in a hidden room. As the pattern draws closer to the palace he is at last remembered: now he awaits a bride, Mesema, a Windreader from the northern plains.
She is accustomed to riding free across the grasslands and finds the Imperial Court stifling, but she soon realizes the politicking is not a game. It is deadly earnest. Eyul, the imperial assassin, is burdened by the atrocities he has committed. As commanded, he bears the emperor's Knife to the desert in search of a cure for the pattern-markings.
As long-planned conspiracies boil over into open violence, the enemy moves towards victory. Now only three people stand in his way: a lost prince, a world-weary killer, and a young girl from the steppes who saw a path in a pattern once, among the waving grasses.
©2011 Mazarkis Williams (P)2013 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Tarun on 09-28-15

Unable to listen

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narrator is so bad that I can't understand what he was reading . No difference in how the chraracters talk . no pause between scenes , no intonation or sense of occaision during the narration. If the narrator sounds bored how is the listener supposed to be engaged ?

What was most disappointing about Mazarkis Williams’s story?

I don't know because the narration was so bad I couldn't understand what was going on.

How could the performance have been better?

Change the narrator ?

Any additional comments?

Very disappointing. I wanted to read this book but an struggling to get thru it.

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2 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 01-23-14

Uncompelling story with a Great Narrator

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who enjoys less fantasy, but more original content in stories regardless of how interesting the authentic content is.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

My reaction was satisfactory, but the ending was not interesting enough for me to acquire book 2.

What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

Paul Boehmer was excellent as always. He is one of the best for narrative fantasies in my opinion.

What character would you cut from The Emperor's Knife?

I would cut the emperor (I forget his exact name) that was on the throne, after all his brothers were murdered except Sarmin. He as emperor did not factor heavily into the overall story enough for me to consider him important, even though he was crucial to its ending.

Any additional comments?

The Emperor's Knife is a decent story, with an original twist upon classic fantasy novels, but the plot overall is not compelling. I think the author should have developed two key characters more than anything else: The Pattern Master and holder of the Emperor's Knife itself. These two essential figures of the story we learn virtually nothing about during the story's delivery and only very little in the end.

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