First Lines: The Winds of Khalakovo

Without knowing a thing about Bradley P. Beaulieu or the books he’d written, I backed one of his Kickstarter projects. The one to fund the release of his short-story collection, probably. The exact reasoning eludes me at the moment — it happened a while ago, and a lot has happened since — but I’m guessing that somehow, it intrigued me enough to back Beaulieu’s other project, which meant I ended up with four of his books.

So I started at the beginning, with The Winds of Khalakovo, the first volume of the The Lays of Anuskaya trilogy. To give you an idea of the novel, imagine a mashup of Tsarist Russia and the Middle East, with wind-ships, elemental spirit magic from across the aether and a healthy dash of political intrigue. Add your basic love triangle, and
Bob’s your metaphorical uncle.

All in all, Winds is a pretty good read. The main thing holding it back from being a great read, is the enormous density of it all. There are a ton of characters, a score of places with exotic names, and a cubic ton of things happen. At times, it gets a bit too much. Who’s came from where and does what because of why exactly? If you lose focus—which will happen on my morning commute—you might get lost in all the info.

I’m now making my way through volume 2, The Straits of Galahesh, and we’ll see how that works out.

Book read
Bradley P. Beaulieu — The Winds of Khalakovo (The First Volume of The Lays of Anuskaya)
First line
In a modest home in the center of Volgorod, Nikandr Iaroslov Khalakovo sat in a simple wooden chair, considering the woman sleeping on the bed nearby.