Of Sand and Malice Made, by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Publisher:  Gollancz
Published: September 6th 2016
Pages: 226 (paperback edition)

My Star Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: Çeda is the youngest pit fighter in the history of the great desert city of Sharakhai. In this brilliant new story, a prequel to Twelve Kings, 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, one of the sadistic creatures known as ehrekh which were forged long ago by the god of chaos. They 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 friends, her life, and her very soul. (From Goodreads)


Set between the refreshing cool of an oasis and the blazing heat of a desert, Of Sand and Malice Made is a wonderful tale of the supernatural taking hold of a young girl’s life.

Considering that this is the first book I’ve managed to read since my latest fallout with my depression (which alone speaks volumes about how well it draws you in) this novel left me hungry for more of Beaulieu’s storytelling, an exquisite read that is soaked in the quiet strength of a desert night.

Diverse without seeming forced, this story was an adventure in mythologies I knew nothing of but now want to immerse myself in. Using a storyteller to introduce the myths is not an original device by any means, but Beaulieu makes it so, as the storyteller becomes part of the growing tale himself, and isn’t just a one off character.

Çeda is an imperfect heroine, which makes her perfect in her own way. A little rash and impatient, yet we find ourselves wholly behind her as Rümayesh fixates upon her (and indeed we can understand that fixation). The reader is drawn into the erekeh’s sell themselves, for a moment urging Çeda to take the deal offered before being reminded of the treacherous being Rümayesh is.

This novel was an absolute delight to immerse myself in, and left me longing to know more of Çeda’s story (which I fully intend to do!). If I could place this book in every fantasy reader’s TBR pile, I would, near the top if possible! Overall, an amazing read.

Have a lovely time reading!

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