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Blades of the Old Empire: Book I of the Majat Code Mass Market Paperback – February 25, 2014


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Product Details

  • Series: Majat Code
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (February 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857664123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857664129
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Both Kyth and Ellah are likeable characters and it is a joy to follow their stories…A solid start to what looks to be an exciting series.”
– The British Fantasy Society

“If you’re in the mood for a fun fantasy with mercenaries, an evil brotherhood, then, yes, give Blades of the Old Empire a try.”
- Tenacious Reader

“Another great book from Angry Robot…I enjoyed this book and would recommend it for anyone who likes a good swashbuckling storyline.”
- Every Book Deserves to be Read

“Strong roots and parallels to history keep the reader grounded and enrich the world of this novel while magic and the characters keep it fresh and interest.”
- Heather McCorkle

“This book is action packed from the very first page, and is a good start to a series that I will look forward to reading more of.”
- Avid Reviews

“You get fast-paced travel with political intrigue and danger, amazing martial arts fights of extreme skill, cultural immersion from around the world, and a little hint of romance without ruining the tough fighter feel… I really cannot express enough times how highly I recommend this story to everyone.”
- In Pursuit of My Own Library

“I really enjoyed this book despite not being a huge fan of romance-themed novels. I feel it is for those who want more romance in their fantasy while also getting a hefty dose of action, adventure, and intrigue… It was a good book, and well worth the read. I’ll be reading this one again.”
- R.J. Blain

“Each scene is very well written. Action and dialog keep the story moving at a fast clip. The fight scenes were especially well written making it easy to see what was happening. Now I want to see what happens in the next book.”
- Mixed Book Bag




Praise for Anna Kashina:

"Kashina's Arabesque novel ... will have readers dream of summoning their own djinn."
-Publishers Weekly

"Substantial and vivid ... Enthralling" -RTimes Book Reviews
"A rich treasure trove of imagery, color, romance, intrigue, and mystery"
- ForeWord Reviews (Featured Review)

About the Author

Anna Kashina grew up in Russia and moved to the United States in 1994 after receiving her Ph.D. in cell biology from the Russian Academy of Sciences. She works as a biomedical researcher and combines career in science with her passion for writing. Anna's interests in ballroom dancing, world mythologies and folklore feed her high-level interest in martial arts of the Majat warriors. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

More About the Author

Anna Kashina was born in Russia and moved to the United States in 1994. Her fantasy and historical fiction appeared in original editions in Russia, Germany, Australia, and the US. She lives in Philadelphia, PA, and combines her writing with a successful career in biomedical research.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Pecoraro on March 9, 2014
Blades of the Old Empire is a really good fantasy novel with a really bad beginning. I was immediately put off by the first chapter or so. The characters were presented rapid fire during a fight scene and while this is typically a good way to start your novel; in this case it was very badly done. I was found it difficult to care about what was going on because I didn’t know who any of the characters were and while the pseudo-Arabian Knights style is not actually present in the book; the first chapter does the book no favors in this respect.

The actual work is interesting and has some really incredible areas. Mostly dealing with the Majat a sect of warriors who sell their swords through a guild to any who can pay their price. The concept itself seems a bit ridiculous and I will be very interested to see how and if the author fleshes the whole concept out in later books. But what I did like was her use of these characters and their personalities in the book. The main two non-Majat characters Kyth(a prince) and Ellah(a lady in waiting?) Were both pretty stereotypical. The politics in the book were also pretty wrote and typical. The Majat storyline that is interwoven throughout these very typical fantasy tropes is excellent and certainly worth reading the book for. In fact, as the book progress most of the uninteresting, typical things fall mostly to the wayside and the main Majat story takes over. Which is good… But I really would have preferred the author not take so much time to get to their destination.

While I didn’t love the book by any means, there was plenty of good to outweigh the boring and typical. The reader just has to take the time to get there. If you take the time, I’m sure you’ll like the book as much as I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fraser Sherman on February 27, 2014
So it's nice to be reminded how much fun it can be. The strengths of the books are the spectacular fight scenes (well executed) and all the complicated (but not too complicated) intrigues swirling around Prince Kyth as a mysterious cult tries to capture and exploit him.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Olga Karengina on February 27, 2014
I have read this book in one breath and enjoyed it a lot. The plot is catching and the characters are very much alive. I had some favorites among the secondary characters and felt amazed at how they all stood out, each a distinct person. I also loved the romance elements, especially the alternate story that does not involve the two main characters--great chemistry, and every turn of their interaction is just so unexpected. The writing is so vivid that I could actually see all the scenes when I read. I think this book would make a superb movie. If you are looking for an engaging fast-paced read, don't miss this book.
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Prince Kythar Dorn has a problem--he's got magical powers in a kingdom where those with magical powers are forbidden by their religion to hold the throne. Fortunately his father is supportive and intends to push through a law changing this ancient rule. Unfortunately the church, which is both powerful and heavily infested by the Kaddim, an ancient and evil brotherhood, will fight the change with all its force.

A change in the law will require consent from all of the ancient allies... including those who haven't gathered in hundreds of years since the fall of the old empire. And just bringing them together appears to be an impossible task. While the king sets out to browbeat the man who would become heir if Kythar is disqualified, Kythar himself is sent to bring in the more ancient allies. Along with Kythar goes Kara--a highly trained warrior and bodyguard with whom Kythar is in love. Also accompanying Kythar are a band of friends and foster siblings.

I confess it took me a while to get into this story. Kythar and his father appear to suffer from entitlement. Rather than arguing that the old law is evil, they appear to object to it purely for personal reasons--because they want Kythar as the heir. Kythar's love for Kara initially also seems a bit forced. As the story progressed, however, author Anna Kashina got into the groove, delivering fast-paced and exciting fantasy. I enjoyed the martial warriors with their sense of honor. The evil-infested church and the mysterious brotherhood made for a dangerous antagonist playing a deep game where they anticipate every move Kythar makes and remain one step ahead.

There's a lot going on behind the scenes in BLADES OF THE OLD EMPIRE.
Read more ›
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This book is a fun, entertaining read. Written in the good traditions of epic fantasy, it balances realistic complexity of the author's universe with classic fantasy plot devices. The characters are easy to relate to, they possess enough psychological depth to feel like real people. The story is fast-paced, with a nice balance of adventure, action, and romance. It was easy to submerge into the world, created through a few well placed strokes, without excessively didactic detours into background history and politics. Both descriptions and dialogue do a good job of keeping the focus on the action and the story.

A very promising start to a new series. I look forward to the next installment.
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