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Publisher's Summary

With Blood Upon the Sand is the second book in the Song of Shattered Sands epic fantasy trilogy.

Çeda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further their rule. She knows the dark history of the asirim - that hundreds of years ago they were enslaved to the kings against their will - but when she bonds with them as a Maiden, chaining them to her, she feels their pain as if her own. They hunger for release, they demand it, but with the power of the gods compelling them, they find their chains unbreakable.

Çeda could become the champion they've been waiting for, but the need to tread carefully has never been greater. After their recent defeat at the hands of the rebel Moonless Host, the kings are hungry for blood, scouring the city in their ruthless quest for revenge. Çeda's friend Emre and his new allies in the Moonless Host hope to take advantage of the unrest in Sharakhai, despite the danger of opposing the kings and their god-given powers, and the Maidens and their deadly ebon blades.

When Çeda and Emre are drawn into a plot of the blood mage Hamzakiir, they learn a devastating secret that may very well shatter the power of the hated kings. But it may all be undone if Çeda cannot learn to navigate the shifting tides of power in Sharakhai and control the growing anger of the asirim that threatens to overwhelm her....

©2017 Bradley P. Beaulieu (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Wonderful addition to the story!

Oh Çeda. I missed you! But… and I feel a little bad for this, I missed Emre more (<3). But they’re back, and are both in pretty deep with their respective factions. Things are really starting to come to light in this volume, especially regarding the various magics and magical beings of this world. Blood mages are described in more detail here, as are the asirim, the kings, and the gods of this world.

I’m not going to spoil this one for you, and I’m even trying to not spoil the previous one for anyone reading this who hasn’t read Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (do give it a listen though, it’s awesome). Let me just say that this was, plot wise, a very thrilling addition to the series. It’s told from several points of view, but mainly from the POVs of Çeda (obviously), Emre, and Ramahd, and all kinds of craziness happens between the three of them. Lots of intrigue and plotting and sailing across the desert.

The world itself is so richly described, I felt that I could clearly imagine myself in this vast desert with Çeda and company. Yet again, just like in the first book, I got legitimately misty-eyed here a few times, as emotional things took place. This book, as the one before it, has such intense feeling, and I don’t know that I can describe that in a way that does it justice. I got very, very emotionally invested in these characters, and this lead to quite a thrilling listen, for me. This sort of investment in a fictional character is not super common for me, but it’s common enough that there are a few other books this year (I can think of 4, out of 90) that have also elicited this reaction from me. When I am this invested in a character, the relationship I hope for them going sideways and then up and down and round and round, wrenches my poor little heartstrings. When thrilling things happen to Çeda and Emre, I am also thrilled. When Çeda gets upset, I get upset. It’s not exactly a bad thing (though it can admittedly be a bit exhausting), but most of all, getting me this invested says a lot for the character development here.

Sarah Coomes once again completely nails the narration here. There were times I totally chided myself for waiting even a second between these books, nevermind two entire months. My bad! :D She puts so much emotion into her narration, that my emotional reactions just might be enhanced because of it. Sarah Coomes uses emotion. It’s super effective! Kristen bursts into ugly tears at work. You’d think that I’d just shrug it off, because all my coworkers have to be used to this by now. Really there is a certain amount of… risk in listening to audiobooks like this at your place of employment. I will happily take that risk any day. :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love this book!

The story is riviting and exciting! Very good character building. The narrator is amazing, too! Great job Mr Beaulieu and Ms Coomes! I can't wait for book 3.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent performance of a dauntingly long book

Ms Coombs’ performance of the book is amazing. Her voice and pace are pleasant and her ability to keep distinct character voices consistent is awesome.

The tale itself is great...plenty of intrigue and unique/subtle magics. Peril is realistically felt, even the erotic parts are tasty.

But the sheer size of it!! Epic doesn’t even seem large enough a word. It’s daunting to begin, and at certain times did feel like a chore to continue.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Expanding Story

I didn't have as much trouble getting into With Blood upon the Sand as I did with the first book. this could be due to proceeding directly into this book after the last. The story of Ceda, who has integrated herself into the Maidens, continues to be the highlight of the series. She finds herself plotting to bring down the kings while at the same time training to do their bidding. The other characters in the book see their POV time expand. For me, I'm not sure this was a good thing as I spent a lot of the time during their parts wishing the point of view would switch back to Ceda. Other than Emre, the other characters just aren't that interesting, though I can see how they fill in plot elements that would be missing if the story centered only around Ceda. The flash backs continue in this book, though not as frequently they too have seemingly worn off there usefulness.

The narration from Sarah Coomes continues to be hit and miss. She has a nice voice, however the weird pronunciations, the whisper yelling, and the general feeling that her British accent don't quite fit the story, sometimes draw you out of your immersion into the world you are listening to.

Overall, I am continuing to enjoy the series. Despite a few boring parts and narration issues, I plan to continue on with the next book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • Fortson, GA, United States
  • 09-19-17

I never give five stars, but...

Would you listen to With Blood upon the Sand again? Why?

I would absolutely read this book/series again, and look forward to doing just that when the next book comes out.

What was one of the most memorable moments of With Blood upon the Sand?

The climax at the end was a real show-stopper. I literally couldn't stop listening for the last few hours. There was just the right amount of action, tension, and the coming together of multiple threads.

Have you listened to any of Sarah Coomes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have only heard one other performance by Sarah Coome, but I am in love with her voice. She's quickly becoming my favorite voice actor. She's great with accents, and capturing emotion. My -only- critique is that, her shouts are more like loud whispers. But otherwise, she's nearly flawless. I could listen to her voice all day. If had to choose someone to perform my own writing, she'd be at the top of my list. And I mean that with all sincerity.

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

I felt excitement, but nothing extreme.

Any additional comments?

I've heard this series compared to Arabian Nights, which is a disservice to both stories, because they really are vastly different. The setting is similar, but this story is far more dynamic than the collection of tales that is Arabian Nights. Here, we have multiple story threads that are equally alluring to read, which is rare for a story of this scope. Usually I have a favorite character to follow, and just suffer through the other story lines until that character comes back around, but I was invested across the board. The characters are unique, as they are and compared to one another. Their motivations feel natural, as do their actions and reactions. The political machinations are intriguing to follow. And, on the whole, this series, and this second book in particular, is a fantastic and addictive read. It left me positively craving more, but not feeling like I was sold short in the least. With as well-crafted and told a story as this is, I feel it stands out enough over even some of the best stories I've read, which is why I gave it a very rare (for me) five star rating. Between the story itself and the performance, it more than earned it.

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

Love the storyline, a little rough to get through

Any additional comments?

On the storyline alone, I love this book. The world is very clear in my mind and lots of fun.(there do seem to be "travel time" issues, but I was forgiving) However, the book is a little rough to get through. I must have stopped and started this book 8 or 9 times. The last few times I started to think of the "why". They storyline, the world, the characters are all beautifully thought out. So why was I having a hard time getting through it....well, its the self narrative. Pick any single one, and you won't find faults. Its the fact that there is always a self narrative...and its usually very depressing. I started to skip them....not all of them, about 1/2.

Now, this is personal taste, so you may enjoy these glimpses into darkness and hopelessness of the character, but....personally...I don't want the book to live there....and this book does. On the plus side, skip about 1/2 of them, and the book doesn't lose much and its much brighter.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great performance, good story.

see heading. sometimes long winded. that is about the only complaint I have. otherwise a lot of fun.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Read.

I really enjoyed this book. I cant wait for the next chapter of this story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Is This the 2nd in a series?

It would be nice to know Ive purchased a book that takes 20 hours and never gets to the ending... or tells you at that end to stay tuned? it just stopped in the middle of the great crescendo of a battle...

0 of 2 people found this review helpful