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Anna Stephens

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ARC Cover Reveal & Competition for Bradley P. Beaulieu’s Twelve Kings

It has been a great year for readers looking to jump aboard a new series and an equally good one for those who like to be wowed by SFF cover art. For those of you who like both (a new series and some damned decent art), we’ve got a treat for you today. Renowned fantasy author Bradley P. Beaulieu – who many of you will know is the author of Gemmell Award nominated The Winds of Khalakovo – has given us permission to do a joint cover reveal of the advanced review copies (ARCS) for his latest novel, Twelve Kings. And if that wasn’t enough, we are also giving our UK readers a chance to pick one up months in advance of the release date! Check this out:

Twelve Kings (full cover)

You’ll need to give it a click to maximise the size and read the quote, but yes, that is Robin Hobb along with some of the world’s finest fantasy bloggers letting the fantasy reading community know that this is a book that needs to be on our radar. Assassins, kings, betrayal, vengeance, epic, magic – everything we love about modern fantasy is promised to us!

Here’s the official blurb followed by some thoughts from Bradley on the cover. Oh, and that competition we promised you too:

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.

And here are Bradley’s thoughts on the ARC, along with your chance to win a copy:

At its most basic, Twelve Kings is a tale of revenge. Çeda is a young woman who hopes to avenge her mother’s death at the hands of the kings, but she finds danger on either side of the path she’s treading and learns early that if she’s to have any hope of defeating the kings, she must work from the shadows. The kings and their servants are too powerful to do otherwise.

As such, I love what Gollancz have done with the cover for the ARC. The thorns are related to the adichara trees that blossom every six weeks when the twin moons are full. All are forbidden from roaming to the killing fields far out in the desert where the adichara grow. It’s a perfect metaphor of the challenges Çeda must face in the novel, because the very history of the adichara themselves, the story they hide within their poisoned branches, is exactly the mystery Çeda must unravel to find the chink in the kings’ armor.

And from a purely artistic standpoint, I think Gollancz have nailed it. The color palette is gorgeous. The thorns sending shadows against the sandstone below is a great touch. And the blurb we came up with is a nice teaser. I’m glad we’re borrowing the motif from the ARC for the final cover, but bringing a fresh new image and style to it. I’m eager to share that with you in the weeks ahead, but mostly, I can’t wait to get this book into readers’ hands.

Toward that end! If you live in the UK, Northern Ireland, or Australia/NZ and would like a chance to win one of these ARCs, just comment below with your favorite story (movie, book, TV show, comic) that was set in or involved a desert. Five will be chosen randomly to win a print copy of the ARC.

Twelve Kings (books)As you can undoubtedly tell, I’m pretty excited about this one! I’ve been hearing from some of my most trusted SFF beta-readers and fellow reviewers that this is going to be BIG. I know setting your expectations high is dangerous, but I’m most certainly guilty of it with Twelve Kings. Do be sure to add it to your Goodreads TBR list, follow Bradley on Twitter and, of course, check back in with Fantasy-Faction for a full review very, very soon! 🙂

It might take a little while though, because as you will see to your right, in true modern fantasy trend style this is one BIG book. 😉



  1. Adam Selby-Martin says:

    A favourite film set in a desert? It’s a little schlocky, but The Mummy (the first one, forget the sequels) has always been a favourite of mine. Brendan Fraser, and a biplane versus gigantic sand..evil…figure thing!

  2. Raptori says:

    Shame that it’s not open to those of us who live in Finland. It’d have easily been Dune for me.

  3. ScarletBea says:

    I’m going to submit a book and a TV series:
    ‘Emperor of Thorns’ – it’s got a desert, Jorg walks through the Sahara! The Broken Empire series is one of my favourite ever…
    ‘Lost’ – I know, I’m stretching, but it does have a desert! Ben Linus wakes up in a desert after one of the time/location shifts… As with the book, this is one of my favourite series of all time – yes, every single season, including the end 😀

  4. Edward Partridge says:

    For me it has to be Peter V Brett’s Demon Cycle series. Krasia and it’s culture are equally terrifying and beautiful.

  5. Neverwhere says:

    ‘Soft Places’ – The Sandman, Fables and Reflections

    I just love the idea of certain places being boundaries between worlds, and this is such a lovely, emotionally understated story. 🙂

  6. Idlewilder says:

    I’d have to go with Erikson’s Deadhouse Gates – outstanding desert setting in an outstanding book.

  7. Glen says:

    After a recent reread, I think Dune wins in in relation to thia category. The prose surrounding the survival of the desert planet and Paul’s trek across is it is harrowing.

  8. sione tukia says:

    Lawrence of Arabia was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Thanks for the chance!

  9. Plunkie says:

    Star Wars a New Hope where Luke is on Tatoonie it gave me this brilliant sense that the desert was extremely hostile. Thank you very much for the chance.

  10. Jon_Anon says:

    One of my favorite books of all time One Thousand And One Nights!

  11. Rob says:

    I always like The English Patient myself!

  12. Belle says:

    The first favourite I can think of off the top of my head is Glenda Larke’s Watergivers trilogy – fantastic series!

  13. Vik says:

    Easy, Lawrence of Arabia!

  14. Dale Hawkins says:

    Throne of the cresent moon by saladin ahmed

  15. Cynthia says:

    Lawrence of Arabia

  16. Dean says:

    Has to be dune for film.
    Book I’d say a couple of deadhouse gates from the malazan fallen love those books.

  17. Amanda says:

    Dune!! cool giveaway

  18. Jack says:

    I’m a sucker for Sanderson, so his (as-yet unpublished) story of White Sand leapt to my mind.

  19. blodeuedd says:

    As I can’t enter, I am just gonna say it sounds awesome 😀 *adds to GR*

  20. Charlie says:

    Beau Jest – B & W about three brothers that join the foreign legion. I am a US resident so cant win but wanted to mention it.

  21. Joe says:

    Has to be ‘Lazarus’ by Greg Rucka I think.

  22. Adam says:

    The Magician’s Apprentice by Trudi Canavan. I like prequels like this one, where the stories – and real ‘truths’ are revealed -of important past events for the original stories are explored.

  23. Emma says:

    Pyramids by Terry Pratchett.

  24. Alex Hormann says:

    This certainly looks intriguing. 🙂

    Deserts seem to be looking a little scarce on my bookshelves, but I always enjoyed Fighting Fantasy’s exploits in sandy climes: Temple of Terror and Curse of the Mummy.

  25. This would definitely have to be Peter V Bretts Demon Cycle series.

  26. […] Oh, and don’t forget about our competition to win a copy of Bradley’s novel months ahead of its official release date. If you missed that post telling you how earlier in the week then shame on you! But, as always, we’ve got your back – you can find it here […]

  27. Tracy says:

    Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods. Because one day the tortoise will fly.

  28. Laura Fleming says:


    Either small gods – pratchett
    or –
    arabian Nights. Aladdin specifically. ?

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