Of Sand and Malice Made by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Of Sand and Malice Made   by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Of Sand and Malice Made  
by Bradley P. Beaulieu
Series: Song of Shattered Sands
On Sale Date: September 6, 2016
Fiction \ Fantasy \ Epic
DAW, 240 pages
Source: Publisher
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
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Çeda, the heroine of the novel Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, is the youngest pit fighter in the history of the great desert city of Sharakhai. In this prequel, she has already made her name in the arena as the fearsome, undefeated White Wolf; none but her closest friends and allies know her true identity.

But this all changes when she crosses the path of Rümayesh, an ehrekh, a sadistic creature forged long ago by the god of chaos. The ehrekh are usually desert dwellers, but this one lurks in the dark corners of Sharakhai, toying with and preying on humans. As Rümayesh works to unmask the White Wolf and claim Çeda for her own, Çeda's struggle becomes a battle for her very soul.

Of Sand and Malice is a prequel to Bradley P. Beaulieu’s novel Twelve Kings in Sharakhai introducing readers to a younger Ceda, the fierce heroine who just happens to be a pit-fighter by day and runner at night. Once again, the desert city of Sharakhai is brought to life and this time, Ceda finds herself dealing with an otherworldly desert creature preying on those closest to Ceda.

Beaulieu refers to this book as “the little book that could” and it really works in my opinion as a great companion story to the world of The Song of Shattered Sands series, rather than an introduction. I would recommend readers start with book one as the vivid world created and Ceda’s character are not to be missed - the greater depth is pure reading magic. 

Of Sand and Malice is a novel of three linked stories dealing with the character Rümayesh, an ehrekh forged long ago by the god of chaos. The ehrekh are desert-dwelling creatures, supernatural in nature and seem to be shapeshifters but are not without vulnerabilities. Each story brings Ceda one step closer to uncovering the truth behind Rümayesh’s power but at great cost to those around her. 

The story’s vibe reminded me of the Arabian Nights where each story is framed or proceeds from the original. These interconnected stories, though, took a bit of muddling through as at first it felt a bit disjointed, but once I got the rhythm of it, I enjoyed them. It is, for this reason, I wouldn’t really recommend it as a prequel, but rather a fun addition to the series.

Of Sand and Malice is recommended to fans of book one who will find this a rewarding addition to the storyline. Beaulieu continues to impress me with his writing and the world of Sharakhai is fast becoming a favorite of mine.

Favorite Quote:

“Many great things are created when the world is dark.  Things of light and beauty made all the more so for the darkness that surrounds them.”