An epic new fantasy series of mystery, prophecy and death within the ancient walled city of the Twelve Kings....
In the cramped west end of Sharakhai, the Amber Jewel of the Desert, Çeda fights in the pits to scrape a living. She, like so many in the city, pray for the downfall of the cruel, immortal Kings of Sharakhai, but she's never been able to do anything about it. This all changes when she goes out on the night of Beht Zha'ir, the holy night when all are forbidden from walking the streets. It's the night that the asirim, the powerful yet wretched creatures that protect the Kings from all who would stand against them, wander the city and take tribute.
It is then that one of the asirim, a pitiful creature who wears a golden crown, stops Çeda and whispers long forgotten words into her ear. Çeda has heard those words before, in a book left to her by her mother, and it is through that one peculiar link that she begins to find hidden riddles left by her mother.
As Çeda begins to unlock the mysteries of that fateful night, she realizes that the very origin of the asirim and the dark bargain the Kings made with the gods of the desert to secure them may be the very key she needs to throw off the iron grip the Kings have had over Sharakhai. And yet the Kings are no fools - they've ruled the Shangazi for 400 years for good reason, and they have not been idle.
As Çeda digs into their past, and the Kings come closer and closer to unmasking her, Çeda must decide if she's ready to face them once and for all.
©2015 Bradley P. Beaulieu (P)2015 Brilliance Audio
I'd read a few reviews of this on both Audible and Goodreads and was looking forward to getting engrossed in a great story. However, I just couldn't! After listening to 7 hours I've had to give up. The characters are interesting, along with setting, and there's been some quite good action. The problem is it just sends me to sleep as it's not engaging.
I think the problem is the narrator. She's certainly not bad and I've enjoyed another book she's narrated. But it seems she wasn't able to give enough drama to the characters and situations. I wonder if a different narrator or reading it in print would make it a more enjoyable book.
"Darn it, it's finished!"
What beautiful, jewel-like scenes set in a golden, unforgiving desert. Descriptions of a land I would not hesitate to visit again. Mr Beaulieu is a master of his craft. There are no dragging, monotonous descriptions of scenes but crisp, jewels that my imagination can savour. In spite of its length and the back flashes, I felt no impatience for the main story to continue. The story and the experiences of the characters which shaped them, unfolded likes the petals of the deadly flowers so central to the themes.
The narrator was the perfect choice to read this narrative. The only problem was that she sometimes paused in the wrong place before finishing a sentence or thought.,
I cannot wait to buy the next audio book.
I loved this audio book so much I found a limited ed hardback via Bradley's Facebook page to a place called the quill & claw.
This story takes me back to when I was young reading Arabian nights stories.
This is the first I'd heard of Bradley so I was a bit worried about using a credit
So glad I did
I highly recommend it.
I'm not going to bother filling you in on what it's all about as there are so many reviews already for this book on the web.
But as for the audio book, the narrator does a great job
"Too much padding"
This was was a disappointment. I didn't like any of the characters, the storyline set in the past felt like padding and it was just boring in places.
Narration was good.
I won't 'reading' any further books in the series.
Great start to a series. compelling characters.
The setting is rich and detailed, without becoming tedious.
"Absolutely Brilliant! Sequel Please!"
At last, a book that I didn't want to end! This is a must read, highly recommended and appreciative! I enjoyed the way the story oscillates between the present and past events that help us understand the heroine's life and quest. It is a tantilising story of Arabian myths and fantasies, with such detailed, vivid descriptions that bring to life the tattoos, clothing, characters and the somewhat isolated world in which our heroine lives. It is a story of love, war, loyalty, friendship, survival, determination, the struggle in discovering purpose in life, struggles against guilt and tyrannical rule. As a reader, you will find yourself fully emersed, constantly intrigued and intellectually stimulated. The ending does provide some satisfaction but like me, you'll be compelled to search for copies or news of the sequel book. This book is a superb introduction to the The Song of the Shattered Sands series and worth the credit/money and time spent on it. I think it deserves the poll position for books in the running for "Best Sci-fi & Fantasy Book 2015"!!
My only critique is the inconsistency in the pronunciation of the characters' names which sometimes made it difficult to follow the book/story.
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