Beneath the Twisted Trees by Bradley P. Beaulieu (Song of Shattered Sands) Hardcover – July 2, 2019
English | 2019 | Sci-Fi | ePUB |5.3 Mb
Beneath the Twisted : When a battle to eradicate the Thirteenth Tribe goes awry, the kingdoms bordering the desert metropolis of Sharakhai see the city as weak and ripe for conquest. Çeda, now leader of the Shieldwives, a band of skilled desert swordswomen, hopes to use the growing chaos to gain freedom for Sehid-Alaz, the ancient, undying king of her people. Freeing him is only the beginning, however. Like all the people of her tribe on that fateful night four centuries earlier, Sehid-Alaz was cursed, turned into an asir, a twisted, miserable creature beholden to the kings of Sharakhai—to truly free her king, Çeda must break the chains that bind him.
As Sharakhai’s enemies close in and the assault on the city begins, Çeda works feverishly to unlock the mysteries of the asirim’s curse. But danger lies everywhere. Enemy forces roam the city; the Blade Maidens close in on her; her own father, one of the kings of Sharakhai, wants Çeda to hang. Worst of all, the gods themselves have begun to take notice of Çeda’s pursuits.
When the combined might of Sharakhai and the desert gods corner the survivors of the Thirteenth Tribe in a mountain fastness, the very place that nearly saw their annihilation centuries ago, Çeda knows the time has come. She was once an elite warrior in service to the kings of Sharakhai. She has been an assassin in dark places. A weapon poised to strike from the shadows. A voice from the darkness, striving to free her people.
Now she’s going to lead.
The age of the Kings is coming to an end . . .
“They’re being groomed for their powers, Davud as a budding blood mage, Anila as a rare necromancer. A mysterious mage known as the Sparrow, however, is trying to lure Davud away from King Sukru for his own dark purposes. As Davud and Anila both grow in power, they fight for their very lives against the machinations of the Sparrow.
In the desert, Emre comes into his own as a prominent member of the thirteenth tribe. More are looking to him as a leader, including Macide. Emre helps to navigate the tribe toward safety, but the threat of King Onur grows by the day. Even with Emre’s help in securing allies among the other tribes, it may not be enough. Things grow worse when the Kings of Sharakhai sail to the desert to confront Onur. They hatch a deal with Onur: crush the thirteenth tribe first, and they can deal with one another later.
Çeda knows that the thirteenth tribe will be destroyed unless she can free the powerful asirim from their bondage. She vows to lift the curse the gods placed on them, and soon returns to Sharakhai and its deadly blooming fields to do just that.
The Kings have not been idle, however. Nor are they fools. They know the asirim are the key to maintaining power. Making matters worse, their greatest tactician, the Kings of Swords himself, has made it his personal mission to bring Çeda to justice for her many crimes. Queen Meryam has also decided to throw in her lot with them. She’s even managed to steal away the sapphire that contains the soul of the ehrekh, Rümayesh.
The night before the final confrontation, Çeda manages to liberate the wights still trapped inside Mesut’s bracelet. The tribes and the Kings clash. As the battle unfolds, Ramahd, Emre, and the young thief, Brama, stage an ingenious attack on Queen Meryam’s ship. There, they free Rümayesh, adding a powerful ally to their fight.
Near the end of the battle, it is revealed that Queen Meryam has long been dominating the mind of the blood mage, Hamzakiir. She has designs on more than just Macide or the Moonless Host. She wants the city for herself. In order to secure it, she forces Hamzakiir to take on the guise of Kiral the King of Kings. Kiral himself, meanwhile, is sent into the battle and is killed.”