Regular price: $20.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The first book in the Song of Shattered Sands trilogy - an epic fantasy in the vein of A Thousand and One Nights.

In the city of Sharakhai, Çeda fights in the pits to scrape by a living. She, like so many in the city, pray for the downfall of the cruel, immortal Kings of Sharakhai. Then on the holy night when the powerful yet wretched creatures known as the Asirim wander the city and take tribute in order to protect the Kings, one of them tells Çeda the origin of their dark bargain. And this dangerous secret may be the very key she needs to throw off the iron grip the Kings have had over Sharakhai....

©2015 Bradley P. Beaulieu (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    103
  • 4 Stars
    70
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    104
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    101
  • 4 Stars
    57
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Ennui reigns.

Bought the book because I like a fantasy - sci-fi and strong female protagonists, but I could not get behind Ceda or into her world. She's unbeatable in the arena, but inexplicably, got walked over elsewhere. I got through a few hours of of disinterested listening. I realized it had taken me weeks to read so little. A few more weeks passed without turning this book back on. I love Audible, and have quite a few books piled up to read, but this book killed my desire to listen to books. (I filled up my driving and gym time with podcasts - check out Serial.) I didn't dislike Ceda or the other characters, and the narration was forgettable but not objectionable. It was just boring. My bad. I should have switched to another book. Today, I started listening to Career of Evil, and returned this book to Audible. (The return option is great! I've been an Audible member for 12 years, bought over 900 books, and returned only a handful, but the option takes the risk out of buying a book.)

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Song of Shattered Sands

I wonder how many times I've been tempted to start a review with this may be my new favorite series of all times or my new favorite author... There are some really amazing worlds and magic-systems out there, and this one is one of the best. I hesitated to read it because of several negative reviews on Audible and I'm so glad I went with my gut and grabbed this book, because I ended up really loving it! I can't give it 5 stars all the way across because it took me a little bit to get used to the narrator. That seems to be the complaint of others as well. Honestly, though, by the end, I couldn't imagine anyone else's voice doing the narration. Just stick it out, it's a great story.

The story begins in medias res, so the reader needs to be patient and let the story unfold the way Beaulieu tells it. We start with Ceda, a tough-as-nails teen orphan girl who has taken to pit fighting to make her way on the streets of Sharakhai. We learn about the life of the poor of children Sharakhai, the gutter wrens, the Kings who rule, the Maidens who guard the Kings, and the Asirim who are the monsterous and mysterious dangerous slaves of the Kings.

There are a large number of story lines, all somehow tied to Ceda and as the story unfolds, her role and importance to the city becomes increasingy understandable.

There is a little love story blooming with her childhood friend Emre, creating a little angst and suspense.

To wrap up...This may end up being my new favorite series of all time. We'll have to see:)

For those who care: yes, there is sex, drugs, cursing in the book. It's not like Game of Thrones, but it's not clean.

“AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story but annoying performance

I like the story. However, I found the narrator annoying. Why English accent? The way she randomly change her voice for the same character also does not make sense either. Hopefully, she improves for the next novel. Otherwise, I won't buy the next book as an audible version.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Voice acting poor and overdone.

I abandoned the book after an hour because the performance of the narrator was the verbal equivalent of William Shatner's acting. Everything was drawn out, over-enunciated, unnecessarily stressed. The male characters also mostly sounded muddled and mildly brain damaged. I just decided I'd rather read it than keep listening to so distractingly poor a performance.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty boring book and slow delivery.

It was a pretty boring book, with slow delivery. It is not worth spending a credit on.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining story, great world-building

Picked this one up on a whim without reading any reviews and was pleasantly surprised. The world and story setting felt both fresh and creative. I particularly enjoyed how the story and background of the twelve kings was gradually discovered throughout the book. I'll be looking forward to the next instalment in the series, just to read more about the world and its story.

Storytelling and progression itself was also entertaining enough. However, don't jump in expecting too much depth from the main characters. Both Çeda and Emre felt somewhat naïve and overly obsessed with a single thought, which I found seriously off-putting and almost binned this as a 3-star book because of it. The overall story and, surprisingly, the narration made me rethink the rating, though.

So, the narration... Yes, the narrator puts a lot of emphasis into the voices. Yes, she can't growl like an angry old man (have you heard Roy Dotrice's female voices, though?). Yes, she makes this feel more like a story book than serious contemplation over politics and oppression of an imaginary city. And yes, without her, I believe the book would have been far less entertaining to listen to. Character dialogues are often lacklustre enough, so I dread thinking what they would sound like in a steadily monotonous voice. :)

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Original and Exciting

Song Of Shattered Sands has been sitting in my library for awhile. I have been wanting to listen, but seem to shelve it for other books, and to let more of the series be released. The reviews for this series has been mixed, but in the end I wanted to find out for myself.

Upon initially listening, I found it a bit difficult to get into the book. I don't usually mention the narration right away, but Sarah Coomes has an unusual style, and it takes several chapters to get used to it. Her pronunciation of some words are strange, and her pace is a bit slow and over enunciated. Also, it seemed a bit off having a narrator with a British accent as the voice of a desert themed story. Perhaps a narrator of middle eastern decent would have fit better. But after awhile I settled in to the story and began to enjoy Ms. Coomes performance. There were times when her pronunciation or feminine voice for a male character would pull me out of my immersion into the reading, but for the most part it was not a problem.

Once you get past the initial stages of the narration, you find that Song Of Shattered Sands is a pretty good book. The desert setting for the story is unique and interesting. Cede, the main protagonist, is a strong character who you want to root for. Seeking revenge for the death of her mother, Ceda's story is played out between her time learning to fight and seek vengeance on the Kings who murdered her mother, and flash backs to her growing up in a large and hostile city. There are other POV's in the story, but Ceda is the focus of this book.

Overall, after a slow start, I really enjoyed this book. It is original and the characters likable. I am looking forward to book two.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story & narration!

Any additional comments?

What a great fantasy book! An excellent story with great characters and a great desert setting. One of my favorite fantasy books ever.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Epic to a fault, fantastic lore, superb performance

I found Twelve Kings to be so grand and epic that it became exhausting or cumbersome at times, but it’s not self absorbed or grandiose. All of that weight, all of that story, makes to climax all the more powerful.

The setting is brilliant for being anything other than the Europe-esque standard of most fantasy. The place names and especially the character names were refreshing, if a bit hard to keep straight due to their unusual flavor. I count that as a deficit of the genre and of myself as a reader, though, and not a weakness of the author or story.

The magic is loose and understated, and I like that. It’s not a common presence in the everyday life of the characters, and therefore takes on an inherent mystery and ancient nature.

Ms. Coombs’ performance is stunning. Full of emotion, varied and consistent in voices, confident with unusual words and names.

I’m not yet 100% sure if I’ll continue following the story, to be honest. The magnitude of it is daunting to me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So Good!

So nice to read a fantasy not set in a middle ages European setting. I can't wait to start the next book.