The Night of Endless Swords nearly saw the destruction of Sharakhai, and since then the Kings have come down hard on the rebelloious Moonless Host. Hundreds have been murdered or given to the Confessor King for questioning. Hundreds more have fled. Including Çeda, who has discovered that Onur, the King of Sloth, has returned to the desert to raise an army and challenge the remaining kings.
The Moonless Host – who have taken to calling themselves the Thirteen Tribe – will be trapped between Onur’s growing influence and the considerable might of the kings who, with Sharakhai firmly back under their rule, are turning their attention to the desert once more.
Çeda knows that the asirim are the key. If she can lift their curse and free them from their bondage, then they can save Thirteenth Tribe from the the squabbling kings . . . and perhaps the kings themselves are no longer as unified as they once were. As they vie against each other for control of the city, could Çeda make an ally of one of them? And which one, when any of them could betray her as easily as they would their fellow kings.
Whatever the solution, the end is coming: as Çeda focuses on freeing the asirim and weaken the kings’ hold on Sharakhai, the kings’ forces, the scheming queen of Qaimir, Hamzakiir the ruthless blood mage, and the thirteenth tribe all prepare for a grand clash that may decide the fate of all who sail the desert.
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
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
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