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Of Sand & Malice Made | Bradley Beaulieu | Review

Of Sand & Malice Made is an exciting and magical read. It tells the story of Çeda, a pit fighter known as the White Wolf for her ferocity. She is undefeated and quickly growing in fame. Her real identity is a secret, until the mysterious Rümayesh becomes determined to know the White Wolf's true face. Çeda finds herself in a desperate struggle to protect her identity and her way of life.

While Of Sand & Malice Made is part of a larger series, I have never read any other books by Bradley Beaulieu. I still really enjoyed this book and thought it worked brilliantly as a standalone. I didn't feel as if I was missing anything by not knowing what happened in the other books, though I am now intrigued to read Twelve Kings, for which this book is a prequel. It seems like a fascinating storyline that I would love to see developed.

The use of magic is brilliant in this book and unlike anything I have ever read before. It made this a great fantasy and really kept me on the edge of my seat while I was reading. Çeda's fear at the way magic could destroy her made the danger she was in all the more palpable. I hope it's something that is expanded on in the wider series too as it was one of the most interesting parts for me.

I also really loved the ways in which storytelling is almost revered in Of Sand & Malice Made. It is crucial to the plot. It's also the job of one of my favourite characters in the book! For such a fantastical book, it is lovely to see the way in which stories adapt as they passed from person to person.  Such a focus added a rich depth to an already good story and made me excited to pick it up and finish it.

Whether or not you have read The Song of Shattered Sands series, Of Sand & Malice Made is a great fantasy book that can be enjoyed as a standalone, as I read it, or as a prequel to what I'm sure is a fascinating series. I fell in love with Çeda in this book and can't wait to read more about her adventures.

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