First Lines: The Straits of Galahesh & The Flames of Shadam Khoreh

There’s a (now slightly outdated) joke asking why George R.R. Martin doesn’t use Twitter.

Because he killed all 140 characters.

While I’m two seasons behind on my Game of Thrones-watching, I get the point. While Bradley P. Beaulieu’s The Staits of Galahesh and The Flames of Shadam Khoreh, the second and concluding volumes of The Lays of Anuskaya trilogy, doesn’t (brutally) kill off main characters at quite the same rate, the supporting cast isn’t quite that lucky.

They fall to bloody pulps from their airships. Their airships get blown up. They get ritually disemboweled and sacrificed in a pagan ceremony trying to unravel the threads of the things yet to be. They get decapitated. Executed. Their hearts get eaten. They willingly sacrifice themselves to save the world. Or they just end up as another casualty of war.

And then there’s the intrigue, plotting, planning, scheming, betrayal, and double crossing. Plus the elemental magic and general mysticism.

My main observation after reading the first volume was that its plot was too convoluted. I can’t quite say that that has changed. The plot of the final books are just as dense. But it seemed to me that the cast got slimmed down, which made these two volumes a lot easier to digest. A fine wrapping up of the series. I’ll probably dive into something else before delving into Beaulieu’s short story collection.

Book read
Bradley P. Beaulieu — The Straits of Galahesh (Book Two of the The Lays of Anuskaya)
First line
In the southern gallery of the capital’s sprawling kasir, Hakan ül Ayeçe, the Kamarisi of Yrstanla, stood at a marble balcony.
Book read
Bradley P. Beaulieu — The Flames of Shadam Khoreh (The Concluding Volume of the The Lays of Anuskaya)
First line
At first light, deep within the massive Palotza Radiskoye, Styophan Andrashayev sat in a chair near the largest bed he’d ever slept in while his wife busied herself around the room, preparing them both for the coronation.