Instead of formally reviewing Twelve Kings of Sharakhai, in which would've just raved on a lot about how much I loved it - I thought 'heck, let's just interview the author!'. So, I asked Bradley lot's of strange questions about the book, and writing subjects I wanted to know more about.. And he actually answered them! With gusto! (I almost had a conniption when I read his responses! The answer to the second last question made me tear up!)..
Therefore, allow me to Introduce:
Hello Bradley Beaulieu (the crowd erupts in cheers)! Welcome to Book Frivolity! Tell us a bit about yourself! Please include at least one weird fact, so we readers can confirm that authors are in fact human, and not godlike creatures.
I’m a guy who loves to cook, hide out on the weekend with my kids, and catch the occasional sportsball show. I grew up in Wisconsin in the US and have a degree in computer science and engineering. I spent time writing code for a nuclear power plant before moving on to work for Big Blue (that’s IBM for those new to old-school tech-speak). I like single-malt Scotch, single-village Mezcal, and trippel Belgian ales. And I write from time to time.
Your new release Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (or Twelve Kings in the UK) the first novel in your The Song of the Shattered Sands series has been repeatedly compared to Arabian Nights (I don’t think I’ve read an article or review that hasn’t mentioned it!). For those that don’t know much of Arabian Nights, (yep, I was included in that group!) can you explain the concept of Twelve Kings in a way that the uninitiated can get a sense of what to expect when embarking on the journey?
Twelve Kings in Sharakhai set in a vast desert with a powerful city state at its center. It has a wide array of characters, but the lion’s share of the book is dedicated to the main character,Çeda (pronounced CHAY-dah, like Aveda). The story follows our young heroine as she strives to avenge her mother’s death at the hands of the immortal kings of Sharakhai, who rule the desert with an iron fist.
It has sandships, blood magic, and moon-blooming flowers that grant wondrous abilities. On the surface, it’s a sweeping tale of what men and women will do to retain power. But there’s a strong undercurrent about how difficult it is to erase the past entirely. Some have described it as an “intimate” epic fantasy, and I really like that, because I wanted to focus on Çeda and her story as it weaves through the many threads of Sharakhai’s past.