Author: Bradley P. Beaulieu
Book: Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (The Song of the Shattered Sands #1)
Published: September 2015
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.
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.