Bradley P. Beaulieu's The Straits of Galahesh was published by Night Shade Books in April 2012.

Bradley P. Beaulieu is the author of the epic fantasy series The Lays of Anuskaya. The first two books, The Winds of Khalakovo and The Straits of Galahesh were released to critical acclaim. The Flames of Shadam Khoreh will be released April of 2013.

Click here to visit Bradley P. Beaulieu's official website.

Here's a description of The Straits of Galahesh:

West of the Grand Duchy of Anuskaya lies the Empire of Yrstanla, the Motherland. The Empire has lived at peace with Anuskaya for generations, but with political turmoil brewing and the wasting disease still rampant, opportunists from the mainland have begun to set their sights on the Grand Duchy, seeking to expand their empire. Five years have passed since Prince Nikandr, heir to the scepter of Khalakovo, was tasked with finding Nasim, the child prodigy behind a deadly summoning that led to a grand clash between the armies of man and elder elemental spirits.

Today, that boy has grown into a young man driven to understand his past - and the darkness from which Nikandr awakened him. Nikandr's lover, Atiana, has become a Matra, casting her spirit forth to explore, influence, and protect the Grand Duchy. But when the Al-Aqim, long thought lost to the past, return to the islands and threaten to bring about indaraqiram - a change that means certain destruction for both the Landed and the Landless - bitter enemies must become allies and stand against their horrific plans.

From Bradley P. Beaulieu, author of the critically acclaimed debut novel The Winds of Khalakovo, comes Book Two of The Lays of Anuskaya, The Straits of Galahesh.

A REVIEW OF BRADLEY P. BEAULIEU'S THE STRAITS OF GALAHESH

I know that a lot has already been said about The Straits of Galahesh, but I thought I'd write a short review about this book, because it deserves to be praised.

Bradley P. Beaulieu's The Winds of Khalakovo was one of the best fantasy books of 2011, so I could hardly wait to read its sequel, The Straits of Galahesh. This sequel is bigger and better than its predecessor and manages to hook the reader from the first page.

In my opinion, The Straits of Galahesh is one of those books, which raise the quality level of modern epic fantasy. Night Shade Books must be congratulated for publishing this book (and also other great fantasy books), because they seem to know what kind of fantasy readers want to read.

I won't write anything about the plot in this review, because writing about it would spoil lots of surprises. All I'll mention is that the ending is truly spectacular (ah, what an ending it was!). One of the best things about this book is that the author takes his time to develop the plot and ends the book fantastically.

Just like the amazing Courtney Schafer, Bradley P. Beaulieu reveals his hidden writing talents in the second book. It's fair to say that the author has lots of ambition and he isn't afraid to show how ambitious he is, because this book has more depth, more plot twists and more action than the first book.

Bradley P. Beaulieu deserves praise for creating excellent characters and an interesting fantasy world. The worldbuilding is great and the author manages to breathe life into an exotic and perilous world, which is inhabited by fascinating characters. Writing about the exotic places seems easy to the author, because his descriptions are fascinatingly vivid and believable.

When I read the first book, I was impressed by the author's way of using Russian names. In this book the author add more flavours and nuances to the storyline, because he writes about Turkish/Persian-like names.

Nikandr, Atiana and Nasim are interesting and complex characters. The author brings each of these characters to life in a fascinating way. It was wonderful to read about them and what happened to them, because the character development feels natural and effortless. These characters continue to develop in this book and the author pays attention to their development. (I think it's nice that the author writes fluently about both male and female characters.)

The author uses the same kind of narrative as in the first book. The events are seen through the eyes of the main characters. This narrative style works well and the reader has a chance to see how magic, politics and personal lives collide with full force.

One of the things that I noticed while I read The Straits of Galahesh was that the author has clearly developed as a writer since the first book. He writes with more confidence and handles plot twists better and easily than before.

I think it's good to mention that the summary of The Winds of Khalakovo at the beginning is very useful, because if it's been a long time since reading the first book, you'll immediately remember what has happened. The glossary at the end of the book is also useful, because it's easy to check what the terms mean, if you happen to forget something.

I have to confess that I can hardly wait to read the third and final book of The Lays of Anuskaya, The Flames of Shadam Khoreh, which will be published next year. I'm sure that it will be worth the wait.

The Straits of Galahesh is an original, engrossing and well written epic fantasy book for adults. I hope that several readers will read this book and its predecessor, because it's almost impossible to find better modern epic fantasy. (In my opinion Bradley P. Beaulieu's The Lays of Anuskaya trilogy will most likely appeal to fans of Steven Erikson and George R.R. Martin, but readers should be aware that Beaulieu doesn't imitate either of these authors.)

Highly recommended to fans of quality fantasy!

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