Back in 2015, Brian Staveley published his debut novel, The Emperor’s Blades, an epic fantasy about an emperor’s three children who have to figure out how to take over after his untimely death.
With its release, Staveley wrote a short tie-in story called “The Last Abbot of Ashk’lan,” about one of the characters that we met briefly, and now you can listen to the story, thanks to Brilliance Audio.
[Some spoilers ahead if you haven’t read The Emperor’s Blades.]
In The Emperor’s Blades, we learn that the emperor of the Annurian Empire has been killed. His children—Valyn, Adare, and Kaden—have to figure out who was responsible, and try and save their kingdom. When we meet Kaden, he’s training in a monastery to eventually take over from his father, and before too long, the monastery is attacked and destroyed.
Staveley finished out the trilogy with The Providence of Fire and The Last Mortal Bonds, as well as a standalone novel, Skullsworn. Next month, he’s back with a new novel: The Empire’s Ruin, which kicks off a new trilogy set in the same world.
Staveley noted that he “loved writing Akiil, Kaden’s thieving friend at the monastery, and I needed to know what happened to him during the slaughter at the end of The Emperor’s Blades.” That turned into the short story, “The Last Abbot of Ashk’lan.” Now, you can listen to it—Brilliance Audio has adapted it as a 36-minute audio short:
There’s a reason for this: On Twitter, Staveley noted that while writing The Empire’s Ruin, he brought back Akiil, and that the character will play a central role in the book, meaning that this story is a good way to get ready for the novel when it comes out in July.