Review: When Jackals Storm the Walls by Bradley B. Beaulieu

When Jackals Storm the Walls

Author: Bradley B. Beaulieu

Publishing: July 14, 2020

Publisher: DAW

Format: eBook

Source: NetGalley

The fifth book in The Song of the Shattered Sands series–an epic fantasy with a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action.

The reign of the kings of Sharakhai has been broken. The blood mage, Queen Meryam, now rules the city along with the descendants of the fabled twelve kings.

In the desert, Çeda has succeeded in breaking the asirim’s curse. Those twisted creatures are now free, but their freedom comes at great cost. Nalamae lies dead, slain in battle with her sister goddess. Çeda, knowing Nalamae would have been reborn on her death, sets out on a quest to find her.

The trail leads Çeda to Sharakhai where, unbeknownst to her, others are searching for Nalamae as well. Çeda’s quest to find her forces her into a terrible decision: work with the kings or risk Sharakhai’s destruction.

Whatever her decision, it won’t be easy. Sharakhai is once more threatened by the forces of the neighboring kingdoms. As the powers of the desert vie for control of the city, Çeda, her allies, and the fallen kings must navigate the shifting fates before the city they love falls to the schemes of the desert gods.

When Jackals Storm the Walls is the fifth installment in The Song of Shattered Stars Series by Bradley B. Beaulieu.  I hadn’t read any of the other books in this series, but  I read through several reviews and there were synopses included in my ARC copy that were incredibly helpful in finding out where I was in the series.  Though epic fantasy series like this can get convoluted with complicated plot lines, etc, I felt that the author had done a great job in separating out plot lines and showing the reader a complete picture of the story.  That being said, there are several characters and many plot lines to follow, which can be a bit confusing if you haven’t read the first 4 books, but that’s not a criticism.  I would have been much more prepared if I’d read the first four books.

I felt the plot was solid, this is a series based largely on One Thousand and One Nights, which is an epic collection of stories in itself.  I found it to be a great re-telling with rich set pieces and wonderful character design.  There is romance, particularly in the books leading up this one, but it’s not the focus of the story.  This series has had 4 other books of character development leading up to When Jackals Storm the Walls, and that is very evident throughout the narrative.  This book has well-developed characters who all play integral parts in the ultimate conclusion of the novel.  When I say sweeping backdrops, I’m taking sweeping.  Huge deserts, grand palaces, ancient tombs, and so much more in this story!

From start to finish, I enjoyed this book and I will be picking up the previous 4 books as well as a physical copy of this title as well.  This is an epic fantasy series that hasn’t been on my radar, but should definitely be on yours! 

Thank you to NetGalley, DAW, and the author for the chance to read this book!  I received a galley copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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