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Twelve Kings in Sharakhai Audiobook

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai: Song of Shattered Sands, Book 1

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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 Rating

4.1 (170 )
5 star
 (73)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (158 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (158 )
5 star
 (78)
4 star
 (57)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Will 10-20-15
    Will 10-20-15

    Wasb

    HELPFUL VOTES
    102
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    27
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    "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.)

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 09-16-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    4
    3
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    "Pretty boring book and slow delivery."

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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher J. Hempel 09-24-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    8
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jung 09-15-15
    Jung 09-15-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "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
  •  
    Raphael 10-02-15
    Raphael 10-02-15 Member Since 2010

    An engineer enjoying his share of escapism.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "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
  •  
    Ivor 09-09-15
    Ivor 09-09-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    86
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A believable world and context"
    What made the experience of listening to Twelve Kings in Sharakhai the most enjoyable?

    It was well told and performed. I was hooked by the main character after the first 8 mins.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ceda but I think she could do much better then Emray(sp?)I like her courage and determination. I very much enjoy stories of strong female characters who do not fit the mold.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Ceda learns where she came from.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes it did both make me laugh and cry. Though I find myself really disliking Emray, which is fine. It may even be that I am not meant to like him.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope it is not too long a wait for the next one.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stardrifter 07-28-17
    Stardrifter 07-28-17

    Stardrifter

    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
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    170
    34
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    "Wonderful story, wonderfully narrated!"

    Having listened to the audiobook put me at an instant advantage, because I never needed to find out how to pronounce Çeda. I would have stumbled over the name like an idiot every time I saw it in print. (It’s pronounced Chay-da, for those interested.)

    Çeda is an awesome character and I really liked hearing her story. She is a woman living in the slums of Sharakhai, the great desert city, making her way day to day by fighting anonymously in the fighting pits, and running errands (of the sensitive and probably not legal kind) and delivering packages (of the almost definitely not legal kind) for the pit master. One night, a holy night, she is running one such errand and sees the Kings of Sharakhai. The very kings she’s sworn vengeance against since they executed her mother when she was young. This leads her on a journey of self-discovery, full of riddles about her past, her parentage, and the Kings themselves.

    The book starts out with a scene in the pits with Çeda just laying the smackdown on her opponent, a man probably twice her size, which then segues nicely into a love scene that was unexpected but well written and not out of place at all. This scene was a really fantastic attention grabber for me, because not only do I enjoy the occasional well written sex scene, but I really enjoy a female lead who is believable in her actions and motivations, and I thought that this was a good example of that. Çeda is the type that (usually) does what she wants and apologizes for it later. I can relate to her in this way, and so it was very easy for me to root for her and hope she succeeded in her endeavors.

    The world of this book, the desert, the slums, and the overall city of Sharakhai was so rich and well built that I could imagine it really well, and that is always awesome. There’s so much intrigue in this world. The story is full of mysteries to be solved and that is entirely well executed, between flashbacks and present day, Çeda uses a book that her mother left her and some help from her friends to unravel the truth of her past and the truth about the Kings. Her journey takes her right into the heart of her worst enemies, and Çeda, being the resourceful gutter wren that she is, thwarts their efforts to ruin her day (also, kill her).

    Parts of the book made me legitimately emotional, as I wondered what would happen to Çeda or to Emre, or to both of them. I really, really liked Emre as a character as well, and I wanted the whole world for him. The relationship between them felt like best friends at times and so much more at other times, and the way it was written really had me hoping for the happiest of endings for both of them, whether together or not, best friends or more. It’s things like these that keep me reading books into the wee hours. Listening to, in this case, but it was still one of *those* books. The ones that make dust just get in my eyes because it can’t possibly be emotions because I don’t get misty about books (except that I do. I totally do).

    The narrator, Sarah Coomes, did a fantastic job, and 25 hours felt like it just flew right by. I’m really, really picky about female narrators, as I’ve found out more recently with some experimentation, but this one really nailed this presentation. There are some accents here that I would think are legitimately difficult to pull off, but she managed, at least she totally managed in my eyes (or ears? lolololokay okay, I’ll stop :P) I will definitely listen to more of this series narrated by her!

    This was a fantastic book, and I can’t wait to listen to some more of this trilogy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CJH 07-10-17
    CJH 07-10-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing story / Narrator not for everyone"
    Any additional comments?

    It's a great story in a fully realized world. The pacing slows down a bit in places, but I was OK with this. It starts strong, and I actually enjoy a lot of the world building and scene setting. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book.<br/><br/>The narrator was problematic. I found the performance to be overacted. Whenever the voice actor did an accent it was painful to listen to and didn't really make sense either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CAG 03-17-17
    CAG 03-17-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "slow start, great ramp up over the whole book"

    narration was great. I almost stopped due to slow start. but became more interested later.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg 03-02-17
    Greg 03-02-17

    littleluey

    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
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    174
    76
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    0
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    Story
    "Very nice"
    Any additional comments?

    Note, I started with the prequel story. I don't think that story does justice to the writer when placed up against this novel. This was a very good listen. I enjoyed the flashbacks and viewpoint changes. It felt like those sequences were necessary for the color of the book. I only felt a couple hair whispers from logic breaks...but nothing that seemed to break the story completely apart...I just wish I had more meat behind why they didn't kill Ceda(sp) when she first appeared at their doorstep...its not like they were portrayed as merciful to that point...maybe something hidden in the next book?..I can hope.<br/><br/>I recommend spending a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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