Twelve Kings Tuesdays — Another Side of Çeda

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From now until the release of Twelve Kings in Sharakhai in early September, I’m going to be posting a new image from the Pinterest board I created for inspiration. I’ll be talking a bit about each image, why I chose it, how it affected the story, and so on.

The image I decided for the this week is one that helped me keep my eye on the emotional touchpoints I was shooting for in Twelve Kings.


This is an image of unbridled joy. I loved it as soon as I laid eyes on it. What it stressed for me was that I wanted to make sure that I touched on other parts of Çeda’s life, the ones that brought her joy. Çeda has a fierce love of family, and it shows in her relationships with her best friend, Emre, and others who she eventually comes to consider family. Even Dardzada, her foster parent who treats her (to put it mildly) unkindly, she has a certain love for him that is hard to shake.

And Çeda loves the city as well. Sharakhai. It is a place full of wonders. It is a melting pot. It has kings and Blade Maidens, thieves and sell swords, caravan masters and spice merchants. I tried to explore as much of that as I could in the first book, and will continue to do so, because it helps me to show just why Çeda loves it so much.

I think some novels can really get mired in grim. I don’t mind grim stories. I’d even classify Twelve Kings as a grim story from a certain perspective. But I also didn’t want to lose sight of the other things that make life worth living. After all, the only really way to make the darks more dark is by showing how bright life can be. And that’s why I loved this image so much, because it kept me grounded in Çeda’s humanity, and indeed, the humanity of Sharakhai.

I hope you enjoyed this installment. Join me for more Twelve Kings Tuesdays as the release of Twelve Kings in Sharakhai approaches!

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, Book One of The Song of the Shattered Sands, is available for pre-order in the US via Penguin Random HouseAmazon, or Barnes and Noble and in the UK via Amazon UK and Waterstones. Audio versions will also be available via Brilliance Audio and Orion/Gollancz Audio.