Readers of the first book in this series (and the prequel novella) will be familiar with Beaulieu's style of writing. He somehow manages to write beautiful, graceful prose while keeping the story action-packed and page-turning--no easy feat. Ceda is the heroine many readers have been waiting for: strong in both mind and body, with a warrior's attitude. Her character is developed enough to not have to rely on the tropes I see so often with heroines in fantasy. In fact, this series in its entirety, from characters to setting, will enchant readers who craved something new and fresh, yet will also satisfy those who love epic fantasy that has come before. So much tension and intrigue, readers will want to read through the night. Readers from mature teens through adults will enjoy this book, a perfect follow up to the first book of the series, Twelve Kings in Sharakhai.
About With Blood Upon the Sand:
Çeda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further their rule. She knows the dark history of the asirim—that hundreds of years ago they were enslaved to the kings against their will—but when she bonds with them as a Maiden, chaining them to her, she feels their pain as if her own. They hunger for release, they demand it, but with the power of the gods compelling them, they find their chains unbreakable.
Çeda could become the champion they've been waiting for, but the need to tread carefully has never been greater. After their recent defeat at the hands of the rebel Moonless Host, the kings are hungry for blood, scouring the city in their ruthless quest for revenge. Çeda's friend Emre and his new allies in the Moonless Host hope to take advantage of the unrest in Sharakhai, despite the danger of opposing the kings and their god-given powers, and the Maidens and their deadly ebon blades.
When Çeda and Emre are drawn into a plot of the blood mage Hamzakiir, they learn a devastating secret that may very well shatter the power of the hated kings. But it may all be undone if Çeda cannot learn to navigate the shifting tides of power in Sharakhai and control the growing anger of the asirim that threatens to overwhelm her...
Melanie R. Meadors is an author of fantasy where heroes don't always carry swords and knights in shining armor often lose to nerds who study their weaknesses. She is a blogger at The Once and Future Podcast, a professional author publicist, and a dabbling fiber artist. She studied both physics and astronomy at Northern Arizona University. You can find her at her website, melaniermeadors.com, on Facebook, and Twitter, @melaniermeadors.