The final book in The Song of the Shattered Sands series closes the epic fantasy saga in a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action.
The plans of the desert gods are coming to fruition. Meryam, the deposed queen of Qaimir, hopes to raise the buried elder god, Ashael, an event that would bring ruin to the desert.
Çeda and Emre sail for their ancestral home to bring the traitor, Hamid, to justice. To their horror, they discover that the desert tribes have united under Hamid’s banner. Their plan? A holy crusade to annihilate Sharakhai, a thing long sought by many in the tribes. In Sharakhai, meanwhile, the blood mage, Davud, examines the strange gateway between worlds, hoping to find a way to close it. And King Ihsan hunts for Meryam, but always finds himself two steps behind.
When Meryam raises Ashael, all know the end is near. Ashael means to journey to the land that was denied to him an age ago, no matter the cost to the desert. It now falls to Çeda and her unlikely assortment of allies to find a way to unite not only the desert tribes and the people of Sharakhai, but the city’s invaders as well. Even if they do, stopping Ashael will cost them dearly, perhaps more than all are willing to pay.
Twelve Kings in Sharakhai is the gateway to what promises to be an intricate and exotic tale. The characters are well defined and have lives and histories that extend past the boundaries of the plot. The culture is well fleshed out and traditional gender roles are exploded. Çeda and Emre share a relationship seldom explored in fantasy, one that will be tried to the utmost as similar ideals provoke them to explore different paths. I expect that this universe will continue to expand in Beaulieu's skillful prose. Wise readers will hop on this train now, as the journey promises to be breathtaking
Robin Hobb, author of The Assassin’s Apprentice
The protagonist, pit-fighter Çeda, is driven but not cold, and strong but not shallow. And the initial few scenes of violence and sex, while very engaging, soon give way to a much richer plot. Beaulieu is excellent at keeping a tight rein on the moment-to-moment action and building up the tension and layers of mysteries - (9/10 Rating)
I am impressed... An exceedingly inventive story in a lushly realized dark setting that is not your uncle's Medieval Europe. I'll be looking forward to the next installment
Glen Cook, author of The Black Company
Bradley P. Beaulieu's new fantasy epic is filled with memorable characters, enticing mysteries, and a world so rich in sensory detail that you can feel the desert breeze in your hair as you read. Çeda is hands-down one of the best heroines in the genre-strong, resourceful, and fiercely loyal to friends and family. Fantasy doesn't get better than this!
C. S. Friedman, author of The Coldfire Trilogy
Exotic, sumptuous and incredibly entertaining, Beaulieu has created memorable characters in a richly imagined world
Michael J. Sullivan, author of The Riyria Chronicles
Beaulieu's fantasy worlds are well-imagined and richly drawn...the kind you want to keep visiting
Kirkus Speculative Reading List for September 2015
Twelve Kings is the best new Epic Fantasy I've read in years
Mark Yon, SFFWorld
A memorable heroine, a poetically told tale of revenge, and superb world-building make Twelve Kings in Sharakhai a splendid read
John Marco, author of The Jackal of Nar and The Eyes of God
Bradley Beaulieu has crafted a rich, fascinating world, filled it with compelling characters, and blended them into an epic tale that grabbed my attention on the first page and refused to let go. I look forward to more stories of Sharakhai
David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson, author of Rules of Ascension and Thieftaker
It's hard to take a desert novel and not draw comparisons to Dune, but Beaulieu manages to create a rich, totally individual world, teeming with wonders and wondrous characters. Çeda and Emre and their relationship rings true and draws the reader on through magic, vengeance, and above all, excitement. A hellacious start to what looks like the next towering epic fantasy
John Hornor Jacobs, author of The Incorruptibles
Crammed with intrigue, suspense, and stunning action sequences. Engaging characters and masterful world-building
Howard Andrew Jones, author of The Desert of Souls
Pit fighting smugglers high on steroid-like flower petals alongside immortal plutocrats, who will do anything to keep on living, make this blood and sand fueled epic fantasy something to behold. Trust me. It'll bowl-yer ass off
Justin Landon, Staffer’s Book Review and Tor.com
Brad Beaulieu's Twelve Kings in Sharakai isn't the same as the last epic fantasy you read. Like the desert sands of Sharakhai, this first volume of Beaulieu's new series is a constantly shifting narrative of betrayal and friendship, loyalty and vengeance. Leave the farm boys to their chickens and the scullions to their pots, because Çeda's bringing a knife to this fight. It's vivid and diverse, full of complex relationships, eye-opening magic, and world building for this new age of fantasy that's broken out of its medieval shackles
Aidan Moher, A Dribble of Ink
A lavish epic featuring gods, gangs, gladiators and everything in-between. With its deliciously original magic system, vast new world, reckless heroine and sinister array of ageless villains, this is a must for fans of Brandon Sanderson