Okay, it’s been nearly a year since I’ve used this account, I’ll just go ahead and admit I forgot my password, and then promptly forgot the password to my recovery email – some advice, don’t do it.
Well anyway, I’m back and I plan on writing far more often now, I’ve even made it a new year’s resolution.
I won this book in a giveaway hosted on goodreads and I’m lucky that I did. Here’s the description so you can get a bit of a sense what it’s about:
Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings—cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens, and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.
Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings’ laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings’ mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings’ power…if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don’t find her first.
I’ve always been a lover for fantasy and epic novels, this one was definitely worth reading.
As I said, I was lucky to win this book in a goodreads giveaway, so here’s the review after I finally finished the book.
The first thing I noticed after getting the book in the mail? It’s size. About 580 pages, and the book itself is larger than average, 63 chapters and a lot of reading.
There were a couple technical issues that kept on bugging me as I read Twelve Kings:
Hyphens: I can’t be the only one who hates hyphens? What’s worse than having a word split across two lines is when you don’t even end up adding the hyphen. It can get pretty confusing.
Spelling mistakes: This is a long book, that means a lot of proofreading but that’s no excuse for spelling errors to keep popping up. It wasn’t a major issue but it was still annoying.
These issues were probably the only reason I didn’t rate this book as 5 stars. Beaulieu obviously put a lot of thought into not only the main character’s backstory but the history of the city itself – Sharakhai, and I love that.
One thing that I was especially fond of – the myths the religion. I loved the stories that were made for the Gods and Goddesses, how it fits with the Twelve Kings and with the rest of Sharakhai. It really adds that extra depth to the story which makes is so entrancing.
It resulted in some characters having long names, that’s not a bad thing, merely an observation. While I could learn some names, with so many characters I’m not going to remember such long names, and that meant there were a couple characters who I got confused with each other.
Another thing which added to the depth was the interwoven stories of all the characters. A lot of books in this genre write from multiple POV’s and it’s always so satisfying to see how all these separate characters are connected. If you’re writing an epic like this it’s really important this is all done well, and luckily it was.
I’m not sure if this is true for all editions but at the beginning of each chapter there was a picture, in total there were about five different images which appeared and reappeared. (Here are three of the below)
It took me a few chapter to realise that each picture signifies a certain character or era. One was for a certain character’s flashbacks, another signified a side character etc. I’ll leave it to you to work out which picture corresponds to each character.
This was something I’d never seen done in a book before, I thought it was quite cute and it gave a little indication about what was coming up in the chapter.
One thing that crops up a lot in movie and books is one dimensional characters. The opposition or the ‘big bad guy’ can sometimes end up without any sort of personality except for “I’m the bad guy” and what I loved is the way the Beaulieu humanised these enemies, managed to do it in a way where we got to truly experience what Ceda (the main character) felt.
And lastly, the twist, because there’s always a twist. There have been a couple unexpected moments in this book, and these twists just keep on coming at the end of the book. I won’t spoilt anything but while it didn’t bring me to tears or anything of the sort it was very poignant.
I really hope there’s a sequel in the works, or a movie (because that would be great and I really want a face to stick to these names – for some reason I didn’t think up a solid look for the characters like I usually do?) but anyhow I would seriously recommend reading this book if you’re into game of thrones or Eragon, a must for any fantasy lover.