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A Desert Torn Asunder

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The final book in The Song of the Shattered Sands series closes the epic fantasy saga in a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action. The plans of the desert gods are coming to fruition. Meryam, the deposed queen of Qaimir, hopes to raise the buried elder god, Ashael, an event that would bring ruin to the desert. Çeda and Emre sail for their an The final book in The Song of the Shattered Sands series closes the epic fantasy saga in a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action. The plans of the desert gods are coming to fruition. Meryam, the deposed queen of Qaimir, hopes to raise the buried elder god, Ashael, an event that would bring ruin to the desert. Çeda and Emre sail for their ancestral home to bring the traitor, Hamid, to justice. To their horror, they discover that the desert tribes have united under Hamid's banner. Their plan? A holy crusade to annihilate Sharakhai, a thing long sought by many in the tribes. In Sharakhai, meanwhile, the blood mage, Davud, examines the strange gateway between worlds, hoping to find a way to close it. And King Ihsan hunts for Meryam, but always finds himself two steps behind. When Meryam raises Ashael, all know the end is near. Ashael means to journey to the land that was denied to him an age ago, no matter the cost to the desert. It now falls to Çeda and her unlikely assortment of allies to find a way to unite not only the desert tribes and the people of Sharakhai, but the city's invaders as well. Even if they do, stopping Ashael will cost them dearly, perhaps more than all are willing to pay.


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The final book in The Song of the Shattered Sands series closes the epic fantasy saga in a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action. The plans of the desert gods are coming to fruition. Meryam, the deposed queen of Qaimir, hopes to raise the buried elder god, Ashael, an event that would bring ruin to the desert. Çeda and Emre sail for their an The final book in The Song of the Shattered Sands series closes the epic fantasy saga in a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action. The plans of the desert gods are coming to fruition. Meryam, the deposed queen of Qaimir, hopes to raise the buried elder god, Ashael, an event that would bring ruin to the desert. Çeda and Emre sail for their ancestral home to bring the traitor, Hamid, to justice. To their horror, they discover that the desert tribes have united under Hamid's banner. Their plan? A holy crusade to annihilate Sharakhai, a thing long sought by many in the tribes. In Sharakhai, meanwhile, the blood mage, Davud, examines the strange gateway between worlds, hoping to find a way to close it. And King Ihsan hunts for Meryam, but always finds himself two steps behind. When Meryam raises Ashael, all know the end is near. Ashael means to journey to the land that was denied to him an age ago, no matter the cost to the desert. It now falls to Çeda and her unlikely assortment of allies to find a way to unite not only the desert tribes and the people of Sharakhai, but the city's invaders as well. Even if they do, stopping Ashael will cost them dearly, perhaps more than all are willing to pay.

30 review for A Desert Torn Asunder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Blaise

    I received an advanced read copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It is always a bitter sweet feeling when coming to the concluding volume of a six book epic. You feel elated at finishing but sad at the same time saying goodbye to such wonderful characters which I have grown to love over the years. The desert is literally torn in the destruction of war and the overall politics of the gods. How does Bradley P. Beaulieu stick the landing? Quite well and I only wish he I received an advanced read copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It is always a bitter sweet feeling when coming to the concluding volume of a six book epic. You feel elated at finishing but sad at the same time saying goodbye to such wonderful characters which I have grown to love over the years. The desert is literally torn in the destruction of war and the overall politics of the gods. How does Bradley P. Beaulieu stick the landing? Quite well and I only wish he revisits this world once again. This will be a spoiler free review, but I will be touching upon some events in the previous books. Ceda and Emre seem to be fighting against the tides of a civil war among the desert tribes. The traitor Hamid has united the thirteen tribes and plans to attack Sharakhai with their full military forces. Ceda has no choice but to demand a meeting of the tribe leaders and ask for a trial to determine the guilt of Hamid and Ceda knows she needs to find overwhelming proof of Hamid’s deception. She may need to seek the painful memories of her past and that of the acacia tree for guidance. The blood mage Davud is investigating the slow death of the twisted trees and how the asirim are sacrificing themselves to keep the last few trees alive. With the gateway between worlds opening more and more by the day, Davud will need to seek the guidance of the blood mage council and find a solution to this endeavor. Meryam, the fallen queen of Qaimir, plans to seek vengeance of the kings and desert tribes by raising a dead god. She soon learns the location of the burial site and will pay a great sacrifice to raise him from the dead. The first half of the novel is buildup for the action packed conclusion to the series, but I enjoyed the earlier chapters tremendously. The author introduces an interesting concept in this novel called water dancing. Water dancers are basically seers who use water in order to predict the future but they need to do it in a group. This will have massive implications for the rest of the book and I love it when authors use this writing technique especially when the prediction turns out to be different. The only shame is that I wish we were introduced to these seers in a earlier volume. The action really picks up in the second half with a satisfyingly but somewhat predictable ending. Some of the conclusions for our characters will not make every reader happy especially the fate of one of the kings. These are my only tidbits with the story as it was a nonstop ride and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This underrated epic is and will continue to be among my favorite fantasy series in the SFF genre. It provides something different, engaging, shocking, and all around kickass action the whole way through. There is nothing more I can say that will prepare you to jump into the streets of Sharakhai except WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR! Cheers!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    At this point The Song of the Shattered Sands books compete directly with A Song of Ice and Fire to be my favourite epic fantasy series. And as sorry that I am that it's concluded, now it also has that as a point in its favour. Beaulieu can complete an ambitious, very complex, large-scale series in well less than under three decades. Love that. I'm very satisfied with the conclusion of the series, aside from a couple lingering questions. I'm sure these books will be on my shelves forever, and I' At this point The Song of the Shattered Sands books compete directly with A Song of Ice and Fire to be my favourite epic fantasy series. And as sorry that I am that it's concluded, now it also has that as a point in its favour. Beaulieu can complete an ambitious, very complex, large-scale series in well less than under three decades. Love that. I'm very satisfied with the conclusion of the series, aside from a couple lingering questions. I'm sure these books will be on my shelves forever, and I'm honestly excited for the next time I pick them up and experience the whole thing again. Sharakhai and the Great Shangazi is one of my favourite fictional worlds to visit.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kara Babcock

    Here we are, the sixth and final book of The Song of the Shattered Sands. A Desert Torn Asunder brings to a close the quest of Çeda to kill the Kings of Sharakhai, perhaps in unexpected ways. But the story has grown grander and more epic in scope since that first book, and there are other players on the field who deserve closure too. Bradley P. Beaulieu manages the not inconsiderable feat of creating a satisfying ending to an epic fantasy series, certainly more satisfying than some I have read o Here we are, the sixth and final book of The Song of the Shattered Sands. A Desert Torn Asunder brings to a close the quest of Çeda to kill the Kings of Sharakhai, perhaps in unexpected ways. But the story has grown grander and more epic in scope since that first book, and there are other players on the field who deserve closure too. Bradley P. Beaulieu manages the not inconsiderable feat of creating a satisfying ending to an epic fantasy series, certainly more satisfying than some I have read over the past few years (Sara Douglass, looking at you). If you want my praise in one blurb, it is this: this book does not rush you towards its conclusion, nor does it grant any character an easy end to their struggle. Thanks to NetGalley and Gollancz for this free e-ARC. This review is going to be, in many ways, a review of the series as a whole now that we have closure. That being said, I’m going to keep it spoiler-free for A Desert Torn Asunder, so you should be fine as long as you don’t mind spoilers for the previous 5 books. Look, I mentioned this in a previous review, and I’m sure I am not the only one to make this comparison, but this series is way better than A Song of Ice and Fire ever was. I’m using George R.R. Martin’s unfinished epic opus as a touchstone because of its cultural relevance—this series could easily be adapted by HBO or any number of competing studios to the same fidelity that they produced Game of Thrones but with the added benefit of, you know, a good ending. Oh, and tons less misogyny and gratuitous nudity and sexual violence! Not only is Beaulieu a better writer but he has delivered in a few years what Martin has failed to do in a couple of decades. Yes, I know that every writer is different, and I’m not here to dismiss any difficulties Martin might have with his writing—I’m just pointing out a simple fact. I’m looking at this series from the position of someone who has been a fan of epic fantasy for almost her whole life. When I was young, my first genre love was mystery. I went from Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew up to the big leagues of Agatha Christie. Then in grades 6 and 7, I discovered science fiction and fantasy. Dune and LOTR were great, but it was The Belgariad by David (and Leigh) Eddings that truly stoked the fantasy fire in this reader’s heart. I devoured that series and its sequel series, and from there I tore through my library’s epic fantasy books. I remember reading the first three Song of Ice and Fire novels in Grade 7—waaaay too young for that content, oops—and then waiting, patiently, for the next book. Still waiting for book 6 at 31, George…. So, I’ve not just read epic fantasy; I have steeped myself in it. Yet as I grew older and learned more about the world around me, I began to understand how a lot of epic fantasy reflects our problematic worldviews. I saw how it is often mired in European ideas of feudalism and patriarchy and how the few attempts to subvert that are often clumsy or problematic in other senses. So it has been with great excitement that I have watched so many authors, particularly women of colour, reimagine what epic fantasy can be (N.K. Jemisin, I’m looking at you!). Anybody who writes today that epic fantasy is too whitewashed, too Eurocentric, etc., just isn’t paying attention to the brilliant renaissance of fresh voices and worlds being created right now. Beaulieu’s series is a part of that. What I admire most is the way he marries the old and the new. There are tired tropes in this book: elder gods versus younger gods—including a literal deus ex machina at the end of A Desert Torn Asunder—and enchanted blades and ancient curses, etc. But Beaulieu infuses these ideas with different settings—in the middle of a desert—and diverse characters, most of whom are neither good nor evil but simply fallible humans on power trips. To that last point, I was very impressed with the characterization of Ihsan in this book. We’ve come a long way from the first book, when the Kings seemed like these remote and terrible figures, to now, where they are as beaten and broken as any of the other mortals trapped in this gods-caused struggle. Indeed, in addition to the overall quality of this series as it pertains to the epic fantasy subgenre, I just want to praise the incredible characterization in this book. So many of the main characters are three-dimensional. I have been angry with pretty much all of them—Çeda included—at one point or another. Meryam’s evolution from possible hero to villain, and the way Beaulieu has unpacked the childhood traumas that her mind has fled into to rationalize her actions, has been so fascinating. I appreciate how, in this final book, each of the remaining main characters receives some kind of resolution to their story. Sometimes it is entirely what you would expect; other times, it’s different because of how their story has changed over these six books. Do I agree with all of it? No. This series is far from perfect. As I have previously mentioned, I would like to see more explicit LGBTQ+ representation—Çeda’s dalliance with Sumeya is further minimized in this book in a way I didn’t appreciate, and the only other major gay characters I can think of were antagonists. So in that respect Beaulieu could have done better. Similarly, this series suffers from what any epic series does: way too many characters, way too many subplots, and the challenge of bringing it all together at the end. As I have already said, I think Beaulieu succeeds at this challenge. However, there’s definitely elements to A Desert Torn Asunder that feel very narratively convenient. Davud’s entire storyline is one of them, in my opinion, along with the deus ex machina I mentioned above. These are all “your mileage may vary” type things, of course, and someone else might have fewer nitpicks while another reader might think I’m going too easy on the series. But I’m not here to put any fantasy series on a pedestal. I’m here, rather, for more diverse fantasy in the sense that we are seeing a lot of different and fresh takes on what it means to be “epic.” I have seen so much of that lately; here’s a short list if you want it: The Jasmine Throne , Ashes of the Sun , Blades of the Old Empire , the aforementioned N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season . I’m sure there are listicles and other recommendations out there if you need more of this in your life—I know I do. Originally posted on Kara.Reviews, where you can easily browse all my reviews and subscribe to my newsletter.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    A great conclusion to the series! :)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Firstly I want to thank the author for doing something so crucial that the absence of it has caused me to stop reading long series - he has provided a short but detailed summary of previous books at the beginning of each. Brandon Sanderson - learn from this. And even more to the testament of this series, I remembered most of it! This is such a satisfying end to a phenomenal series. Highly recommend.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Olinde

    Excellent series, worth the years waiting. Long complex stories, good characters. I'm glad he reprised each book at the start of the last couple of volumes. Recommended. Ceda is a great lead character, but in the last couple books, you saw more of other characters than of her. She did take the lead in the last couple hundred pages. Excellent series, worth the years waiting. Long complex stories, good characters. I'm glad he reprised each book at the start of the last couple of volumes. Recommended. Ceda is a great lead character, but in the last couple books, you saw more of other characters than of her. She did take the lead in the last couple hundred pages.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Smangaliso Gumede

    Magnificent read!! The journey through the Shattered Sands has been a magical one these past years. A journey that will never be forgotten. Thank you Mr Bradley P. Beaulieu.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joel Rosen

    A worthy conclusion to a beautiful series of books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Will

    5 / 5 ✪ https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com... ‘ Where can we go when all is lost? ‘ The reign of the Kings has been interrupted, but not all is lost. Though Queen Alansal of Mirea now sits atop the Tauriyat, two of the original Twelve Kings still draw breath in the desert. And both Husamettín and Ihsan remain with the Royal Fleet, committed to retaking the city. Queen Meryam’s blood magic has been burned from her, yet her ambition still burns strong. Armed with the body of Goezhen and the blessi 5 / 5 ✪ https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com... ‘ Where can we go when all is lost? ‘ The reign of the Kings has been interrupted, but not all is lost. Though Queen Alansal of Mirea now sits atop the Tauriyat, two of the original Twelve Kings still draw breath in the desert. And both Husamettín and Ihsan remain with the Royal Fleet, committed to retaking the city. Queen Meryam’s blood magic has been burned from her, yet her ambition still burns strong. Armed with the body of Goezhen and the blessing of the younger gods, she seeks out the Hollow—where the elder god Ashael was bound eons prior. But will waking him deliver her all the power she’s ever desired, or will the god’s wrath fall upon the desert instead? Elsewhere in the desert Çeda and Emre prepare to confront the Alliance about Hamid’s betrayal, but to their horror the tribes have agreed to unite under his banner. Even as the pair arrive, the Alliance readies to sail to Sharakai—to raze the city to the ground. Even as the Kings, Mirea, Malasan, the Tribes, and Ashael all converge on Sharakai—the gateway beneath the city continues to expand. Though Davud and his allies are attempting to close it, so far they’ve had no luck. And soon nothing will stop the younger gods from stepping through into Further Fields, leaving the mortals to pick up the remnants of they shattered world. ‘ When at last the fields do wither, When the stricken fade; The Gods shall pass beyond the veil, And the land shall be remade. ‘ Well, it’s been a long and immersive voyage—one that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed! With the sixth and last book in the Song of the Shattered Sands—A Desert Torn Asunder—so many threads that’ve been built up over six books (and more novellas) set to converge for the first and final time. As with all grand fantasy adventures, so much COULD happen that it’s next to impossible to know just what will. Going into this I had a general idea—one that proved to be somewhat correct, albeit pathetically limited in imagination. There was just so much going on here! And when it all came together… it was amazing. This was the perfect ending. Okay, okay, it wasn’t absolutely PERFECT, but after six books and so many hours of growth and imagination, a few minor issues along the way couldn’t derail it. In fact, there were so many touches and details that I loved, to be honest I don’t remember what any of my gripes were. As with the previous books, I would rave about the characters, the world-building, the intricacies of the plot, the attention to detail, and more, but instead let’s focus on the gods. Up to this point we’ve known the gods (the younger ones, that is) are the ones pulling the strings. They’ve been behind the scenes until now, but lately have begun to assume center stage. And as such, there are so many details about them in A Desert Torn Asunder that I loved. Let’s begin with Ashael. He was so much more than what I’d expected. So different—and yet not. The elder gods are all more than I’d’ve guessed—detailed yet mysterious. This holds true for the younger ones as well. They’re still mysterious, albeit less so, with their deeds now at the forefront of the story and their intentions well known. There are so many things I could talk about, but I want to focus on one little (non-spoilery) thing. The way they come and go, each in their own way. Bakhi slashes a line in the air, which he departs through like a portal. Rhia arrives in a flash of moonlight, and Tulathan departs the same way, except hers is done by sunlight. Thaash turns to stone which crumbles to dust as he departs—dust that is scattered by the desert winds. Nalamae appears and vanishes in a swirl of sand. Each of these touches I found incredibly imaginative and had no problem picturing them. As with so much in this series, my imagination hardly knew where to stop; the story ran wild through my mind. TL;DR I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed the Shattered Sands, especially this conclusion to the series. A Desert Torn Asunder is the end this series deserves. So many threads come together that literally anything could happen and frequently does as the desert people all attempt to save their home. Save it, or rule it. If you haven’t started this series yet (perhaps waiting for all the books to be released), well, now’s the time. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I have. But I can only hope. Whether this is the final time Bradley Beaulieu will revisit Sharakai I cannot say—though there’s still room for more in this world. As for myself I know that I’ll return to the series time and again.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    So sad to see this series end.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joel Adamson

    Soooo...I feel a little guilty giving this only three stars. I would give it 3.425 stars if I could. This is the conclusion to my favorite fantasy series of the last few years, and it has almost everything that makes the other books, especially the first two of the series, absolutely brilliant. Sharakhai and the Shangazi (I'll say it before and I'll say it again!) is a setting that belongs in the fantasy pantheon right alongside Middle Earth, Hogwart's, and whatever you call where the Wheel of T Soooo...I feel a little guilty giving this only three stars. I would give it 3.425 stars if I could. This is the conclusion to my favorite fantasy series of the last few years, and it has almost everything that makes the other books, especially the first two of the series, absolutely brilliant. Sharakhai and the Shangazi (I'll say it before and I'll say it again!) is a setting that belongs in the fantasy pantheon right alongside Middle Earth, Hogwart's, and whatever you call where the Wheel of Time takes place. And the characters...Çeda is a character that I think about all the time. She is a brilliantly-rendered, not just believable, but REAL character who is brave, smart, and frustrating in her decisions. But she's consistent, and always well-written. That's where I think this book just falls a little bit short for me. As often happens in series, the number of characters goes up by necessity, and the faves just don't get as many pages. I read these books for Çeda, and there is just too much of the other characters that, although they are just as well-done, just aren't Çeda. The other problem was just that this book felt too short. It was suspenseful, it was exciting, but it was very fast-paced and it just seemed like it was over too fast. I have to admit I had a particular ending in mind, and it just didn't happen. It's pretty rare that I care that much, but I guess I went into it with too many expectations. NEVERTHELESS, this is a good ending to an excellent series. I will definitely be re-reading at least two of the books. They are that good.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Guillaume Rho

    The final book in the Song of the Shattered Sands series was extremely satisfying. A Desert Torn Asunder indeed! Sharakhai and the Great Shangazi Desert are on the brink of collapse. Although most of the worldbuilding was done in previous books, the elements in this one were all brilliantly executed. I found that the role of the elder gods was brought in a bit late in the overall story, but it's also highly possible that I've missed some hints earlier on in the series. The stakes are high and the The final book in the Song of the Shattered Sands series was extremely satisfying. A Desert Torn Asunder indeed! Sharakhai and the Great Shangazi Desert are on the brink of collapse. Although most of the worldbuilding was done in previous books, the elements in this one were all brilliantly executed. I found that the role of the elder gods was brought in a bit late in the overall story, but it's also highly possible that I've missed some hints earlier on in the series. The stakes are high and the battles are epic. On a personal note, I tend to prefer - and care more - when we're deep in the trenches with one specific character. Some scenes had a wider scope, but others were deeply personal. (Strangely, Ihsan's struggles were the most emotional for me.) The resolution was very satisfying, yet open enough to leave us feeling like the world is moving on beyond the page. Çeda's final chapter (before the epilogue) was my favorite in the book, giving us a full-circle moment of everything our heroine stood for throughout the six books. Thank you for this wonderful adventure Mr. Beaulieu!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    And so the end has come and gone. Was it a perfect ending, no, but it was satisfying for the most part. This conclusion picks up right after the events of book five and the final battle is nye. A Desert Torn Asunder is definitely the tightest and fastest of all the plots. Bradley P. Beaulieu does not waste anytime here. This novel goes back to focusing more on the core characters then the secondary characters. Which is what made this novel the most entertaining. Did I miss the secondary characte And so the end has come and gone. Was it a perfect ending, no, but it was satisfying for the most part. This conclusion picks up right after the events of book five and the final battle is nye. A Desert Torn Asunder is definitely the tightest and fastest of all the plots. Bradley P. Beaulieu does not waste anytime here. This novel goes back to focusing more on the core characters then the secondary characters. Which is what made this novel the most entertaining. Did I miss the secondary characters of course, because for a while there it felt like there story. I felt like we did not get enough time with the big bad guy of this novel. So on top of missing out on some of the secondary characters, the villain was a bit of a let down. The Song of the Shattered Sands is a great series. It is one I feel is under appreciated and deserves more eyes. So do yourself a favor, now that the whole series is out and there is no waiting, pick this series up and give it a whirl.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mridupawan Podder

    This guy is so underrated! One of the finest fantasy series I've ever read and trust me, I've read a lot more than average. A Desert Torn Asunder is the 6th and final volume of "The Song of the Shattered Sands" series and it was a phenomenal ending. At times I did feel it was a little rushed but that's probably me saying whenever a series ends. Everything about the book, the series and the characters will remain in my memory for a long, long time. This guy is so underrated! One of the finest fantasy series I've ever read and trust me, I've read a lot more than average. A Desert Torn Asunder is the 6th and final volume of "The Song of the Shattered Sands" series and it was a phenomenal ending. At times I did feel it was a little rushed but that's probably me saying whenever a series ends. Everything about the book, the series and the characters will remain in my memory for a long, long time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Clark Day

    Loved it! A very satisfying conclusion the to the Shattered Sands saga. Mr Beaulieu does an incredible job keeping the reader interested in the saga of Çeda, Emre, the kings of Sharakhai and others through the 6 volumes of the series. Highly recommend this series!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    Good ending for this saga. A lot of things changed from book 1 to this one, but at the end they made sense and the author was able to little by little reveal the main story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    I have super mixed feelings about this. This is by far the weakest book in the series and really cemented problems earlier in the series. The good stuff: there were some really emotional and well-done scenes between the characters, the plot was suspenseful and interesting around the 200-300 page mark, the setting was wonderful as always, and Ceda finally felt like a main character again in the second half of the book Issues with this book specifically: (1) Badly edited. There are multiple repeat I have super mixed feelings about this. This is by far the weakest book in the series and really cemented problems earlier in the series. The good stuff: there were some really emotional and well-done scenes between the characters, the plot was suspenseful and interesting around the 200-300 page mark, the setting was wonderful as always, and Ceda finally felt like a main character again in the second half of the book Issues with this book specifically: (1) Badly edited. There are multiple repeat paragraphs/sentences and the frequent shift in perspectives meant that certain scenes were repeated with very similar sentence structure and word choice without adding anything to the story. It felt like a bunch of fluff to make this book reach 400 pages. At one point, demons which had been present for well over 100 pages finally had their appearance described. (2) Overall, this book felt like Beaulieu got to the end of the fifth book and realized he had run out of ideas but had to write another one. The plot felt tacked on to the series as a whole. Most annoying was the entire subplot with Hamid. It was so low stakes compared to everything else going on and its conclusion literally did nothing for the rest of the plot. The entire conflict could have been finished in less than 20 pages instead of taking up what felt like half the book (3) Emre and Ceda just don't have chemistry. They always worked better as friends. Speaking of romance, it felt like a ton of romantic tension alluded to in the last book was just dropped. (4) The ending was cringey AF politics wise. Also super predictable. I figured out no one important was going to die and I stopped feeling any concern for the characters. (5) Queen Alansal seemed to act however the plot required and it didn't always make sense. (6) "Democracy is a remarkably stable form of government" LOL Larger problems with the series: (1) It felt like the focus shifted about halfway through this series to a larger plot, which would have been fine on its own, and an excessively expanded cast of characters that made this feel like two related trilogies shoved together, rather than a cohesive whole. Focusing more on Ceda throughout the series--and her move away from revenge to protecting the desert--would have been better. (2) Incest that ended up being completely pointless. A lot of romantic entanglements that ended up being completely pointless. (3) It felt like a lot of these extra characters were added to avoid accusations of Deus Ex Machina when they inevitably showed up to save the day more than them actually adding to the story. (4) Largely predictable plot wise. I was never surprised or shocked. This was partly a result of characters' plot armor. (5) The way people thought about and interacted with the gods was weird. It felt too casual/dismissive at times

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Copy received from Netgalley, all opinions are my own. I have to admit that after book four I wasn’t holding out much hope for the end of the series because it was rather disappointing, but my hopes were raised after reading book five. Thankfully, A Desert Torn Asunder managed to live up to my expectations and Beaulieu has managed to deliver a suitably epic finale to the series that was both satisfying and enjoyable. At the end of book five, a defeated Meryam decided she was going to raise a god s Copy received from Netgalley, all opinions are my own. I have to admit that after book four I wasn’t holding out much hope for the end of the series because it was rather disappointing, but my hopes were raised after reading book five. Thankfully, A Desert Torn Asunder managed to live up to my expectations and Beaulieu has managed to deliver a suitably epic finale to the series that was both satisfying and enjoyable. At the end of book five, a defeated Meryam decided she was going to raise a god so the finale of the book sees all of our protagonists having to band together to stop her from killing everyone. A Desert Torn Asunder wraps the story plot points up nicely. The characters you want to see succeed do and the ones you want to meet a horrible end do so everything manages to balance out nicely. I liked that Çeda plays more of a role in this book than in the previous two, sometimes it felt like she was just window dressing at points but she plays an active role in the conclusion of the series which is a very good thing because I really like Çeda. The other characters are also just as good in this book and I have really enjoyed reading their journeys throughout the series. I am happy that the characters I liked ended up in a good place at the end. Much like the other books, I really enjoyed Beaulieu’s writing. It’s interesting and the pacing, although slow in places, works for the type of series he was writing. I remember thinking, early on when I first started reading the series, that it was very slow but, looking back now, it works for the most part (except with book four, that definitely needed more plot). All in all I really enjoyed A Desert Torn Asunder. The stakes were raised and the characters overcame their problems in an exciting and satisfying way. I like that the story is complete but there is scope for more to happen in that world if Beaulieu chooses to revisit it. I enjoy the characters and I have loved following them on their journeys and, while the series has had a couple of flaws, on the whole I have found it to be a very enjoyable read. It is still very underrated, though, in my opinion.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Well, we’ve come a long way baby and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. The final book in the Song of Shattered Sands saga and I put off reading it for ages, I didn’t want to be disappointed, I didn’t want to say goodbye, I didn’t want it to be over. Breaking up is so hard to do. I have loved this series, it’s been one of my all time favourites since I bought the first book on a whim because the girl on the cover with her two swords and her swishy hair looked like a badass and I was not wro Well, we’ve come a long way baby and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. The final book in the Song of Shattered Sands saga and I put off reading it for ages, I didn’t want to be disappointed, I didn’t want to say goodbye, I didn’t want it to be over. Breaking up is so hard to do. I have loved this series, it’s been one of my all time favourites since I bought the first book on a whim because the girl on the cover with her two swords and her swishy hair looked like a badass and I was not wrong. Çeda remains one of my favourite heroines and in this last book she doesn’t let me down. Çeda in her white wolf get up telling the tribe leaders to swivel will be the energy I channel for anytime I’m in a situation feeling less than confident. Such a mood. She of course would be nothing without her backup dancers Team Çeda are totes squad goals. This last book brought everything to a close, this has been a huge sprawling epic that has grown so many arms and legs I had to remind myself how it all started with Çeda and her quest for revenge. We have come so far from that which is both good and bad. Good because all our characters grow and change and bad because with so much ground to cover we get less and less of the characters we love. I would say this struck quite a good balance we got enough of everyone to be satisfied I think, as well as moving the plot on. Although never enough Emre - it was ever thus. The ending itself was suitably grand but still personal enough to heft some emotional weight. And he didn’t leave us hanging which I am forever grateful for, reading an epic and getting an ambiguous ending is the worst, this was all tied up nice an neat. So SIGHS it’s all over folks. It’s been a blast.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The final book in the series, and it's a good read. Things come to a head, with Ceda trying to organize the 13 desert tribes to help save Sharakhai. Her biggest difficulty is dealing with Hamid, who already tried to kill Emre and wants to lead the tribes himself. Once that is sorted, she faces tribes that don't want to help a city that has kept them subservient for centuries, and Ceda has been working with the last 2 kings, which doesn't help. But more is at stake, since a Gateway is partially o The final book in the series, and it's a good read. Things come to a head, with Ceda trying to organize the 13 desert tribes to help save Sharakhai. Her biggest difficulty is dealing with Hamid, who already tried to kill Emre and wants to lead the tribes himself. Once that is sorted, she faces tribes that don't want to help a city that has kept them subservient for centuries, and Ceda has been working with the last 2 kings, which doesn't help. But more is at stake, since a Gateway is partially opened in Sharakhai, and once the gods go through, the land will all be destroyed. And Meriyam, though her powers were stripped from her, is still not out of the picture. Tulethan, the goddess, has told her where to find Goezshen's body and that she can use that to raise Ashael, the last elder god who was left behind when the others left. Meriyam believes that she can control Ashael, and use him to secure Sharakhai and eventually, the world. Meanwhile, all the kingdoms surrounding the desert are warring for control of Sharakhai. Somehow, all the players have to understand the threat and come together in time. The characters, as throughout the series, are strong and even more developed now. The story reaches a climax, and I was not disappointed in the ending. An excellent series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    rfantasyreads

    Mixed bag of emotions finishing this book, with it being the final in a series that I’ve been reading for at least 5 years now. Was it a perfect ending, no, but did it manage to tie up all lose ends and leave most characters in a position that felt deserved, definitely. Following on from the cracking of the Crystal under the kings palaces, this definitely felt like a quick and direct plot compared to others in the series. With the introduction of an elder God, there definitely was a sense of urg Mixed bag of emotions finishing this book, with it being the final in a series that I’ve been reading for at least 5 years now. Was it a perfect ending, no, but did it manage to tie up all lose ends and leave most characters in a position that felt deserved, definitely. Following on from the cracking of the Crystal under the kings palaces, this definitely felt like a quick and direct plot compared to others in the series. With the introduction of an elder God, there definitely was a sense of urgency throughout the book, which I think is reflected also in the fact it’s the shortest of the 6 books. There also was more of a focus on the primary characters that we’ve been following rather than any of the secondary characters, which compared to previous books, felt more like just added background decoration this time round. But all in all, I enjoyed every moment when reading this book, with great character conclusions, action scenes and plot twists. With my only real criticisms being the late introduction of a final big threat and not getting enough dialogue from some of my favourite secondary characters. If you haven’t already, pick up Twelve kings and start this series, as it definitely is one of my favourites, with a refreshing story and world, when compared to the typical European fantasy we’re all accustomed too.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Martinez

    I was both really happy and really sad to come to the close of this series. What a wonderful journey it has been. Beaulieu crafted such an exciting world in The Song of the Shattered Sands, and I hope we get even just one or two more novellas with this setting. I won't go heavy into details because..well...this is the literal end of the series, but I do wish the book had been a tad bit longer. I felt certain plot points felt just a bit fast...not really rushed, but it just tried to close things I was both really happy and really sad to come to the close of this series. What a wonderful journey it has been. Beaulieu crafted such an exciting world in The Song of the Shattered Sands, and I hope we get even just one or two more novellas with this setting. I won't go heavy into details because..well...this is the literal end of the series, but I do wish the book had been a tad bit longer. I felt certain plot points felt just a bit fast...not really rushed, but it just tried to close things out maybe a bit too neatly. Still overall very positive, would highly recommend this series to friends, just gotta get past a few awkward graphic moments in that first novel hah.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Saydrath

    In most of epic fantasy series, the last book is rarely the best. Here is a noticeable exception. The first three books of this saga were impressive. They presented a magnificent world building. Alas, the fourth and the fifth book had their shortcomings. An extreme complexity added to a lack of blatant logical coherency could tire a lot of readers. The author certainly heard these criticisms. A Desert Torn Asunder explains everything in a thrilling way. Each of Çeda’s fan will be eager to discov In most of epic fantasy series, the last book is rarely the best. Here is a noticeable exception. The first three books of this saga were impressive. They presented a magnificent world building. Alas, the fourth and the fifth book had their shortcomings. An extreme complexity added to a lack of blatant logical coherency could tire a lot of readers. The author certainly heard these criticisms. A Desert Torn Asunder explains everything in a thrilling way. Each of Çeda’s fan will be eager to discover one chapter after the other. All the links between many characters are made clear. This is what we were waiting for. Thank you, Mister Beaulieu !

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elias Eells

    I love this book and this series! It was bittersweet to see the end of The Song of the Shattered Sands, but what a magnificent conclusion! Threads laid in the first book come to fruition, ancient powers rise, and the city of Sharakhai sees changes long in the making. A book that isn't afraid to put characters through the wringer, but still hold on to hope and the fight to build a better world. Epic fantasy that is truly epic: battles, magic, and heroes in a sun-swept desert. Marvelous! The Bar Ca I love this book and this series! It was bittersweet to see the end of The Song of the Shattered Sands, but what a magnificent conclusion! Threads laid in the first book come to fruition, ancient powers rise, and the city of Sharakhai sees changes long in the making. A book that isn't afraid to put characters through the wringer, but still hold on to hope and the fight to build a better world. Epic fantasy that is truly epic: battles, magic, and heroes in a sun-swept desert. Marvelous! The Bar Cart Bookshelf drink for this book is inspired by my favorite character in the series, the honey-tongued King Ihsan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0YzB...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maria Jessica

    Frankly as correct an ending as I could have foreseen for these characters I’ve fallen in love with. Everything felt wrapped up and finished off perfectly. There have been times in this series where it got a little bogged down in descriptions of battle but the final confrontation swept me along with it. And the return of one key player in the story was something I didn’t expect and didn’t realise how much I needed! A wonderful story start to finish and I look forward to revisiting Sharakhai and t Frankly as correct an ending as I could have foreseen for these characters I’ve fallen in love with. Everything felt wrapped up and finished off perfectly. There have been times in this series where it got a little bogged down in descriptions of battle but the final confrontation swept me along with it. And the return of one key player in the story was something I didn’t expect and didn’t realise how much I needed! A wonderful story start to finish and I look forward to revisiting Sharakhai and the Shangazi many times again.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Ellwood

    This is the final book of the shattered sands and it neatly ties up every loose string and wraps the series up in a way that brings satisfaction to the reader. I liked how every character’s arc ended and how the overall story concluded. Throughout the final page, I couldn’t stop turning the pages, wanting to find out what would happen next and how the story would wrap up. I am looking forward to the next series and will continue to reread these books because the story is one of the best I have r This is the final book of the shattered sands and it neatly ties up every loose string and wraps the series up in a way that brings satisfaction to the reader. I liked how every character’s arc ended and how the overall story concluded. Throughout the final page, I couldn’t stop turning the pages, wanting to find out what would happen next and how the story would wrap up. I am looking forward to the next series and will continue to reread these books because the story is one of the best I have read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Sharpe

    The story remains fast paced and engaging, but I feel like the fantastical elements of the series ran away with the last act here. The well thought out world building and rationed fantasy of the first few books slowly spiraled until under explained and "anything is possible" magic took over the plot points. I still enjoyed the ride and the series is worth the read, but I much preferred the earlier volumes to the tail end of the series. The story remains fast paced and engaging, but I feel like the fantastical elements of the series ran away with the last act here. The well thought out world building and rationed fantasy of the first few books slowly spiraled until under explained and "anything is possible" magic took over the plot points. I still enjoyed the ride and the series is worth the read, but I much preferred the earlier volumes to the tail end of the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Krishna Mahadevan

    And so ends this epic six book saga. The shattered sands has been an incredible series to read. To see the beautiful world building and character development over six books was a true joy. I am just sad the story has ended. I look forward to whatever else Bradley P. Beaulieu does in the future. He's earned a fan for life and I hope he continues to weave amazing tales. And so ends this epic six book saga. The shattered sands has been an incredible series to read. To see the beautiful world building and character development over six books was a true joy. I am just sad the story has ended. I look forward to whatever else Bradley P. Beaulieu does in the future. He's earned a fan for life and I hope he continues to weave amazing tales.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    A fulfilling end to the series, throughout the books the characters have developed with this last installment showing those changes well. The series was a large but enjoyable read, as layers of moves/counter moves and plots were revealed. The villains of the first book are multidimensional and develop along with the heros through out the series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andy Sutton

    The conclusion of this series fell a little flat for me. The previous books had been excellent and building to a climax worthy of the series, however the final installment didn’t click with me as much as I wanted it to. Still, a very good book.

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