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"THE DAYS OF DUST AND ASH is the story of a broken world, a world where once-great cities have been reduced to isolated pockets, enclaves that fight to survive against a semi-sentient plague known as the ash. Ash devours the landscape, remaking it in its own horrific image. What’s worse, it creates demons, twisted creatures born from the fears of the humans who have survived.
The enclaves may be preyed upon, but they are not defenseless. Their greatest weapon is the dust, a force born of the greater human collective and amplified by the potential within every person’s soul. Those who can wield it do so in order to drive the ash back from the edges of the cities that remain.
There is a third construct, born of both dust and ash, a thing known as the fold. If the dust and ash embody war, the fold embodies hope. It saved humanity when the world fell, though perhaps not in the way its creators had intended. It dissolved men, women, and children, storing their souls so that one day they might be freed. And now there are those who do just that — draw souls back from the fold using rituals that are so intricate that very few can perform them. Some of the dustborn regret their rebirth, but return to the world they must, for they are needed. They have within them a well of pure, unblemished dust.
Jannick Bauer heads a team who recover souls from the fold. Since its formation, his team has saved hundreds by flying missions to the ashlands. Everything changes, however, when they come across Xioka, a girl who has an unparalleled ability to control dust. Xioka is viewed by Jannick and his team as a potential savior for Tarontha, and perhaps the entire world. But when their jump ship is destroyed — an attempt on all their lives — signs point to those they least expected, the men and women in power in the enclave they hail from.
They mystery of the assassination attempt only heightens their need to know how Xioka could be so powerful, a thing that strikes to the very nature of this strange new world. As they begin to find clues, it falls to Jannick and his team to figure out who wants Xioka dead, and why, before they’re all killed themselves."
Bradley P. Beaulieu began writing his first fantasy novel in college, but in the way of these things, it was set aside as life intervened. As time went on, though, Brad realized that his love of writing and telling tales wasn't going to just slink quietly into the night. The drive to write came back full force in the early 2000s, at which point Brad dedicated himself to the craft, writing several novels and learning under the guidance of writers like Nancy Kress, Joe Haldeman, Tim Powers, Holly Black, Michael Swanwick, Kij Johnson, and many more.
Brad and his novels have garnered many accolades and most anticipated lists, including two Hotties - the Debut of the Year and Best New Voice - on Pat's Fantasy ... (more)