Bradley P. Beaulieu's The Flames of Shadam Khoreh will be published in April 2013.
Information about Bradley P. Beaulieu:
Bradley P. Beaulieu is the author of the epic fantasy trilogy The Lays of Anuskaya. The first two books, The Winds of Khalakovo and The Straits of Galahesh were released to critical acclaim.
Click here to visit Bradley P. Beaulieu's official website.
Information about The Flames of Shadam Khoreh:
The Flames of Shadam Khoreh begins nearly two years after the events of The Straits of Galahesh. In it, Atiana and Nikandr continue their long search for Nasim, which has taken them to the desert wastes of the Gaji, where the fabled valley of Shadam Khoreh lies. But all is not well.
War has moved from the islands to the mainland, and the Grand Duchy knows its time may be limited if Yrstanla rallies its forces. And the wasting disease and the rifts grow ever wider, threatening places that once thought themselves safe. The Dukes believe that their only hope may be to treat with the Haelish warriors to the west of Yrstanla, but Nikandr knows that the key is to find Nasim and a lost artifact known as the Atalayina.
Will Nikandr succeed and close the rifts once and for all? The answer lies deep within the Flames of Shadam Khoreh.
A REVIEW OF BRADLEY P. BEAULIEU'S THE FLAMES OF SHADAM KHOREH
Before I write anything else, I'll mention that I'll try to write as spoiler free a review as possible so that I don't reveal too much about what's going on and what's going to happen to characters, because knowing too much about this book will spoil the fun of reading it. This review is in equal parts a review about the previous books as it is a review about The Flames of Shadam Khoreh.
I'll also mention that this review is based on a PDF ARC.
The Flames of Shadam Khoreh stunningly continues the story which began in The Winds of Khalakovo and The Straits of Galahesh and takes the story further. In The Flames of Shadam Khoreh the author leads his readers back to his magical fantasy world, which is charmingly influenced by Russian/Turkish/Eastern European cultures. This book is the culmination of the trilogy and what a culmination it is! I have to confess that I was very impressed by this book, because in my opinion the author has done his best to write a memorable and entertaining ending. If I had to choose only one word to describe this book, the word would be "OUTSTANDING" (in capital letters), because this book is truly outstanding and amazing in all possible ways. I can't help but praise this book, because I loved every page of it.
The complex story arc of The Lays of Anuskaya works amazingly well, because the author manages to keep all the plot threads in his hands and pushes the story powerfully forward by keeping the characters interesting and revealing new things about the world. The Winds of Khalakovo was the beginning and it introduced the characters and places. The Straits of Galahesh developed things further by adding more layers to the story arc. Now The Flames of Shadam Khoreh delivers a wonderful and unforgettable fantasy feast for fans of epic fantasy, because the new revelations and happenings are brilliant.
Bradley P. Beaulieu has every reason to be proud of this book, because he handles all the elements - and the story arc - perfectly and keeps on revealing interesting things. In this book the author brings things nicely together. It was great to read about the characters, the rifts, the wasting disease and other things.
In my opinion The Lays of Anuskaya trilogy is one of the best new fantasy trilogies, because there are only a few new trilogies (e.g. Martha Wells' Books of the Raksura, Courtney Schafer's The Shattered Sigil, C.S. Friedman's Magister Trilogy, David Anthony Durham's The Acacia Trilogy, Blake Charlton's The Spellwright Trilogy) that have as much depth, originality and style. This trilogy is a perfect example of what a talented author can achieve when he puts his mind and heart into writing an original story.
The time gaps between The Winds of Khalakovo, The Straits of Galahesh and The Flames of Shadam Khoreh allow the author to develop the characters more and keep things interesting for the reader. Each character seems to mature effortlessly and naturally during the time gaps.
The characters continue to develop and mature in this book, which is good, because it's nice to read about them. I've enjoyed reading about the characters and their lives, so it was great to see what happens to them. The dialogues between the characters were perfect.
Nikandr, Atiana and Nasim have been my favourite characters since the beginning of the series, so I was thrilled to read more about them. The other characters are also handled superbly. I love how Bradley P. Beaulieu writes about the different male and female characters, because they're portrayed brilliantly. Their characterization is surprisingly complex and layered. In my opinion the author has a talent for creating believable and realistic characters who develop in their own ways and make their own choices.
One of the best things about The Lays of Anuskaya is that the magic system is original. It's fascinating to read about the elemental spirits and how the characters harness their powers. The author has created clear rules for how the magic works and explains things bit by bit, so the reader gradually absorbs knowledge and becomes increasingly intrigued by the magic system.
The worldbuilding is beautiful and detailed in this book (the worldbuilding is just as good as it was in the previous books). Somehow the author has managed to create a realistic fantasy world, which becomes even more interesting with each new book. The strong Russian/Eastern European feel of the world feels refreshingly different and enticing, because there are only a couple of fantasy books out there with similar settings and none of them are as complex as this book.
What amazes me most is the author's ability to combine politics, worldbuilding, magic and characterization fluently. He builds his fantasy world by revealing bits and pieces and puts the reader right in the middle of the happenings, which is thrilling, because the reader has to read the whole story in order to find out what's happening and how things will end. I've read quite a lot of fantasy books and I can say that this book is clearly different from all the other epic fantasy books that are being sold at this moment. (Steven Erikson, Courtney Schafer, C.S. Friedman and L.E. Modesitt Jr. are the first authors that come to my mind when I think about the contents of this book.)
By the way, it's good that there are synopses of the first two books, because readers may find them useful. There's also an extensive glossary at the end of the book, which is useful if readers happen to forget what certain words mean (the readers have to remember quite a lot of words and terms, so it's nice that there's a glossary).
Before I write the final words, I'll mention that it has been nice to follow how Bradley P. Beaulieu has developed his writing style with each new book and found his own voice. I'm eagerly awaiting his next book, because he's a good fantasy author.
The Flames of Shadam Khoreh is an exceptionally well written, suspenseful and ambitious fantasy book - it's Bradley P. Beaulieu's best book so far. In terms of characterization, worldbuilding and characterization, it is uniquely fascinating and complex fantasy fiction. This book fulfilled all my expectations and delivered an excellent ending. If you want to read refreshingly different and original epic fantasy, you must read Bradley P. Beaulieu's books. When you begin to read his books, you won't stop until you've read all of them.
Highly recommended to fans of quality fantasy!