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4.3 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Great Start to Trilogy

    This review is based on an ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review. The above summary is accurate, but it is just a starting place. This book is full of wonderful, well developed characters, and incredible descriptions of the city, a character in its own right. Information is given out in an organic way as the the story unfolds; in layers so you don't feel overwhelmed, but the depth is remarkable. Beaulieu did a fantastic job at bringing this world to detailed life. Lots of action and mystery in the story. This is a story with a lot of depth and it is easy to see that the plot goes a lot deeper and is more intricate than is initially evident. There is much to explore and discover. Much still to come, I believe also. There is also wonderful magic to encounter, from the blossoms of the adichara, to the fearsome asirim, the immortal kings, and beyond. I like how Beaulieu lets us discover things on our own, instead of doing an info dump. His hand is light and subtle. In closing, I liked this book very much, and I look forward to the next book in the trilogy. I have a feeling it will be a very successful one.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Flashback Forgivable

    This Review was first published on Kurt's Frontier. Synopsis: For 400 years, the great desert city of Sharakhai has been ruled by twelve immortal kings. Kings who are powerful, ruthless, and cruel. The Kings uphold their positions by the might of the army of Silver Spears, the elite corps of Blade Maidens, and the asirim, creatures of nightmares. The Kings are undisputed lords of the desert, their rule absolute. Çedemihn Ahyanesh’ala, Çeda to her friends, is a brave young woman from the west end slums. She is also a pit fighter who fights as a gladiator for the spectators. When she breaks the laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir, she comes face to face with the asirim. This is set on a path to discover the terrible truth of the Kings’ history and her own heritage. This opens the possibility of breaking the power of the Kings, assuming she survives. Review: Twelve Kings in Sharakhai is the first of a new series called The Song of the Shattered Sands. The novel follows Çeda from the pits of Sharakhai where she fights under the guise of the White Wolf. She also runs errands for the pit master, Osman. One night she decides to run such an errand on Beht Zha’ir. She comes face to face with the greatest of the asirim. These are creatures that are humans transformed to hideous monsters. Yet they don’t kill her. This sets her on a path that could bring down the Kings. First, she must unravel the mystery of the Kings’ history and why her mother was killed by them. The novel is fast paced with interesting characters and interesting settings. Çeda is likable. However, Bradley Beaulieu makes heavy use of flashbacks. Anyone who has read my reviews, knows that I feel flashback interrupt the forward momentum of the story. It is used introduce Çeda’s back story. Her mother tried to assassinate the kings. So the reader knows that her quest has been a long time coming. However, the back story is a bit much. Since it does tie the story together it comes close to being forgivable. All in all, this was a fun book to read, and I look forward to the reading With Blood Upon the Sand.
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    Something something

    Nicely placed throughout the whole book novel concept enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next couple of books in the series to see where it goes
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    Refreshing quality

    Loved it! It has a fresh yet familiar setting that got my thoughts to "Thousand and a night", but with a darker more "real" feeling to it. The quality of the story and the characters are very high. The story balance on a thin line between predicability and building anticipation. As a experienced fantasy reader I have no patience for predictability what so ever but this story make marvelous job of be close but on the right side of that line. A very fine and very hard balance act indeed. The characters might feel a bit simple in the begining but that is because you do not know them. The characters will grow and evolve and show you different sides of themselves. I can not wait to start read the next book!
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