Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $41.78

After 2 months, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's 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

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Average

this story was okay but I was glad I listened to the emporers blade first.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

too long in one person's head

this book spends too long in. one person's head. struggling with it. The other books were great

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

A dull tribute to the god

Disappointing loved the character on original books. Boring couldn't wait to get it over with

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for cj0679
  • cj0679
  • 29-07-2017

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Justin
  • Justin
  • 15-08-2019

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ryan
  • Ryan
  • 06-05-2017

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Heatherfeather654
  • Heatherfeather654
  • 10-09-2019

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for oana
  • oana
  • 07-01-2019

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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brandon C.
  • Brandon C.
  • 23-05-2018

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kevin G. Summers
  • Kevin G. Summers
  • 05-06-2017

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for shawacosta
  • shawacosta
  • 04-06-2017

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Drews
  • Drews
  • 22-11-2020

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

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for O. F.
  • O. F.
  • 18-07-2019

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

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Emily
  • Emily
  • 24-05-2018

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J Smith
  • J Smith
  • 26-09-2018

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!!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for R S
  • R S
  • 14-09-2020

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!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David
  • David
  • 06-08-2018

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for P. Hughes
  • P. Hughes
  • 17-12-2017

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for alexander
  • alexander
  • 28-09-2017

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kyle
  • Kyle
  • 21-07-2017

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Handsome
  • Handsome
  • 09-07-2017

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 16-04-2021

Fantastic stand alone

I was sceptical when I first picked this up (so to speak). I've always loved series of books and I didn't honestly find Pyrre that interesting in the original trilogy. I am very happy to have been proven wrong. This is a great book. I found myself listening long past when I had said I wanted to be asleep and finding excuses in my day to listen more. I wanted to know what happened.
The ending was... unusual. I'm not sure how convinced I was by the explanation given but it has given me a lot to think about and that's all anyone can ask.
The narration was a bit breathy for my taste but not overly off putting. I would suggest listening to a sample before buying to see if it's to your taste.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-09-2020

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.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.