Daily Archives: Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley P. Beaulieu

[I’ve] closed a deal with Betsy Wollheim for a new epic fantasy trilogy called The Song of the Shattered Sands. It’s a story set in a powerful desert city that controls the flow of trade and spice through otherwise impassable terrain. There are echoes of both A Thousand and One Nights and Thieves’ World.

It’s a story about Çeda, a woman who fights in the pits to scrape a living from the cruel but beautiful city she calls home. As the story opens, she discovers that the book her mother left her before she died holds the clues to the unraveling the mystery of her mother’s death, which was tangled up in the story of the Twelve Kings of Sharakhai, men who have ruled the desert with an iron fist for nearly two hundred years. As Çeda begins to unlock the secrets hidden within the poems in the book—as well as what her mother was trying to do before she died—the Kings learn of her, and they will stop at nothing to keep those secrets buried in the desert where they belong. And so the chase is on. Çeda must unlock the hidden riddles of her mother’s book before the Kings find her. She had better hope she does, for she is the last hope for the people of the desert.

It’s great to see Beaulieu take the critical success he received for his first trilogy, The Lays of Anuskaya, published by Night Shade Books, and parlay it into a deal with a larger publisher. Daw is home to some of the best (traditional/epic/secondary world) Fantasy writers working today, including Patrick Rothfuss and Saladin Ahmed. Beaulieu’s Arabian Nights-inspired trilogy sounds like it will be a good fit. It’s great to see more Fantasy written that features a setting inspired by something other than Medieval Western Europe. After Beaulieu’s first trilogy, with a Russian-inspired setting, he’s quickly asserting himself as one of the most interesting world builders in the genre. I’m quite looking forward to this.

Last week, news spread that George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire, signed a new two-year contract with HBO, including his continued participation in their ASOIAF adaptation, Game of Thrones and the development of new projects. On February 10th, in response to a question from a fan on his personal blog, Martin confirmed details about those ‘projects,’ including a potential prequel series to Game of Thrones.

Tuf would be fun. Dunk and Egg are being discussed. Robert’s Rebellion is part of Ice & Fire, won’t be a separate series. Sandkings was done by the OUTER LIMITS; I retain feature film rights, but television rights are gone.

While he speculates about his other properties, he admits specifically that discussion has taken place regarding Dunk and Egg, the heroes of his A Song of Ice and Fire off-shoot novella series. They would be a fun concept for a show, but I wonder if there is proper mass appeal for two characters that most fans of the series likely don’t even know exist. As he says, Robert’s Rebellion would be perfect, but nearly as big a production as Game of Thrones itself, and it’s integrally tied to the events in the series and might be redundant by the time the series/show ends. Non-A Song of Ice and Fire properties is an interesting idea, but, again, I wonder about the mass appeal. Me? I’m curious where the rights to the Wild Cards series rest.