In this prequel to Bradley P. Beaulieu's TWELVE KINGS IN SHARAKHAI, we see a younger Çeda in earlier days of the desert city of Sharakhai, a place filled with magic, mystery, and menace. Readers who loved TWELVE KINGS will be equally enchanted with OF SAND AND MALICE MADE, and those new to the series will be very pleased to learn there is another book of Çeda's adventures.
Beaulieu weaves this tale of magical intrigue with the same skill as Çeda wields her bladed weapons in the pits. The book is fairly short and a fast read, over far too soon, yet has a satisfactory ending. I loved the fresh setting of Sharakhai coupled with elements I've always enjoyed in epic fantasy. We get to see relationships grow, mysteries unfold, and we can see Çeda developing into a fierce and ruthless character, who fights for what she believes yet is tender with those she cares about.
Çeda proves to be a heroine that both adults and teens can relate to, and the book itself would be suitable for an older teen. This is an action packed tale with a spark of emotion that will suck readers in and leave them thirsty for more.
Melanie R. Meadors is an author and editor of science fiction and fantasy, blogger at The Once and Future Podcast, and a professional author publicist. She studied physics and astronomy at Northern Arizona University, where no day was complete without a heated debate over relativity versus quantum mechanics. You can find her at her website, melaniermeadors.com, on Facebook, and Twitter, @melaniermeadors.