A review of The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley


The Providence of Fire is the second book in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne an epic fantasy series written by Brian Staveley.

I read the first book, The Emperor’s Blades in february  and I loved it. It is one of my favorite book of the year without a doubt. I just read the sequel because I was kind of having a bad period with a lot of stress in my life and in those occasions I usually read a book that I almost know for sure that I am going to love.

And oh my, this book was great. It was a little slower than the first one at the beginning but after a third I would say, it became completely awesome. I stayed up pretty late to finish it and the ending blew me away. Now I need the third and final book, but infortunetely for me, The Last Mortal Bond will only be coming out in a little bit more than four months. Yes I know, it’s not that far but it’s still 107 days away.

Here is a synopsis of the first book from Goodreads because I tried several times to do one myself and I failed miserably 😛

The circle is closing. The stakes are high. And old truths will live again . . .

The Emperor has been murdered, leaving the Annurian Empire in turmoil. Now his progeny must bury their grief and prepare to unmask a conspiracy.

His son Valyn, training for the empire’s deadliest fighting force, hears the news an ocean away. He expected a challenge, but after several ‘accidents’ and a dying soldier’s warning, he realizes his life is also in danger. Yet before Valyn can take action, he must survive the mercenaries’ brutal final initiation.

Meanwhile, the Emperor’s daughter, Minister Adare, hunts her father’s murderer in the capital itself. Court politics can be fatal, but she needs justice. And Kaden, heir to an empire, studies in a remote monastery. Here, the Blank God’s disciples teach their harsh ways – which Kaden must master to unlock their ancient powers. When an imperial delegation arrives, he’s learnt enough to perceive evil intent. But will this keep him alive, as long-hidden powers make their move?

All my thoughts on this book are spoiler free for this series.

I really liked the first book because I found that the characterization was great and it was even better in the second book. I think that even if I did not always agreed with some decisions made by the main characters, at least I could always understand why they did it. I enjoyed Kaden’s perspective even more in this one, I think that he has grown as a character and that he is not as naive about the political intrigues going on in his empire. I also enjoy his point of view because he always thinks before doing things even when he is put in really difficult positions and I actually think that it is very rare to find this type of character in fiction, because, usually, characters act before thinking which often lead to bad consequences for everyone.

However, even if I really like Kaden, my favorite character in this series is Valyn . I don’t know why but since book 1, I am deeply emotionally attached to this character. At the end, it almost gave me an heart attack but what can you do…  I feel that, like Kaden, his character has changed quite a lot since the beginning, and even if he is far from perfect, you can see where his flaws came from.

The character that I liked the least definetely was Adare. It may come from the fact that we just had three chapters from her POV in the first book but at the beginning I just did not care for her at all. However after some of her chapters, she started to annoy me. I did not agree with a lot of her decisions, that I, most of the time, found pretty stupid, and that for me, don’t really go well with the fact that she is a Minister of Finance. I found her naive about a lot of things, especially about the way people lived in her country. At the end of the book, I started to understand a little bit better why she was the way she was but I still didn’t like her. I have to say that the ending did not redeem her at all. I am still mad at her for what she did.

I think that this was an excellent second book, it’s actually quite rare to read a book two in a trilogy which is as good as the first one but this one was, in my opinion of course, even better ! It did not suffer at all from te “middle book syndrom” which mean that it was not a “filler book” with nothing happening at all. On the contary, this book was full of twists and turns, great worldbuilding and characterization and that ending !

I loved it !






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