I’ve fallen in love with Bradley P. Beaulieu’s Song of the Shattered Sands series and was happy to find out that he’s written a couple of novellas set in the same world. Of Sand and Malice Made indirectly expands on one of the story threads from the main series: Ramahd’s involuntary entanglement with the ehrekh Guldrathen. Here, a younger Ҫeda attracts the attention of Rumayesh, another ehrekh, and must extricate herself from the mortal peril this entails.
In Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, we learn that there are four nations surrounding the Great Shangazi. We learn a bit about Qaimir through Ramahd and Meryam’s storyline, a bit about Mirea through Juvaan, and a character who plays an important role in Emre’s past is Malasani. But we hear very little about Kundhun. Sand and Malice gives us a window into that enigmatic country and enlarges the Shattered Sands universe.
The novella also introduces the reader to new forms of magic and to new life-forms that inhabit the Great Shangazi. In addition to further expanding the setting presented by the main series, this portrays the world as a place where even known territories can hide wondrous (or terrifying) mysteries.
As Ҫeda seeks to free herself from Rumayesh’s clutches, she learns more about the mysterious ehrekhs. While Sand and Malice can be read independently of the main series, I can’t help thinking that some of what she learns here will be vital in the later books. It’s definitely whetted my appetite for the next Shattered Sands novel, and I’m also looking forward to seeing what other tidbits about Ҫeda’s world will be revealed in the two further novellas that are forthcoming from Beaulieu.