The Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones

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The glittering tradition of sword-and-sorcery sweeps into the sands of ancient Arabia with the heart-stopping speed of a whirling dervish in this thrilling debut novel from new talent Howard Andrew Jones

In 8th century Baghdad, a stranger pleads with the vizier to safeguard the bejeweled tablet he carries, but he is murdered before he can explain. Charged with solving the puzzle, the scholar Dabir soon realizes that the tablet may unlock secrets hidden within the lost city of Ubar, the Atlantis of the sands. When the tablet is stolen from his care, Dabir and Captain Asim are sent after it, and into a life and death chase through the ancient Middle East.

Stopping the thieves—a cunning Greek spy and a fire wizard of the Magi—requires a desperate journey into the desert, but first Dabir and Asim must find the lost ruins of Ubar and contend with a mythic, sorcerous being that has traded wisdom for the souls of men since the dawn of time.  But against all these hazards there is one more that may be too great even for Dabir to overcome...

Advance Praise for THE DESERT OF SOULS:

"The Desert of Souls is filled with adventure, magic, compelling characters and twists that are twisty. This is seriously cool stuff." -- Steven Brust, New York Times bestselling author of the Vlad Taltos series

“A grand and wonderful adventure filled with exotic magic and colorful places — like a cross between Sinbad and Indiana Jones.” -- Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of The Map of All Things

“Like the genie of the lamp, Howard Jones has granted this reader's wish for a fresh, exciting take on the venerable genre of sword-and-sorcery!” -- Richard A. Knaak, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Legends of the Dragonrealm

"Howard Andrew Jones spins an exciting and suspenseful tale in his historical fantasy debut. A rich, detailed tapestry -- part Arthur Conan Doyle, part Robert E. Howard, and part Omar Khayyam, woven in the magical thread of One Thousand And One Nights." -- E.E. Knight, Author of the bestselling Vampire Earth

An entertaining and enjoyable journey into a world of djinns and magic far darker than expected, yet one that ends with hope, both for the characters... and that there will be yet another book.”  -- L. E. Modesitt, Jr,  author of the Recluse Saga, the Imager Portfolio, and the Corean Chronicles

"A modern iteration of old school storytelling. Highly recommended to anyone in search of a fun run through strange lands and times." -- Glen Cook, author of The Black Company Series

"Howard Jones wields magic like a subtle blade and action like a mighty cleaver in his scimitars and sorcery tale, weaving together Arabian myth, history, and some honest-to-gosh surprises to create a unique story that you’ll not soon forget."  -- Monte Cook, author of The Dungeon Masters Guide, 3rd Edition

"A rousing tale of swords against sorcery. Howard Jones writes with wit and flair. His world is involving, authentic and skilfully evoked. The best fantasy novel I have read all year." -- William King, Author of the Space Wolf trilogy and creator of Gotrek and Felix

"A whirlwind tale of deserts, djinn and doors to other worlds, told in a voice perfectly pitched for the style and setting." -- Nathan Long, author of Bloodborn and Shamanslayer

“An Arabian Nights adventure as written by Robert E Howard. It is exciting, inventive, and most of all fun.” -- Dave Drake, author of The Legion of Fire


About Howard Andrew Jones

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HOWARD ANDREW JONES is the acknowledged expert on fiction writer Harold Lamb. He is the Managing Editor of Black Gate magazine, and he blogs regularly at its website, He lives in Indiana with his family.
Published February 15, 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books. 320 pages
Genres: History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Desert of Souls

Kirkus Reviews

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Able to translate the inscription, Dabir declares the object to be a means to open a magical doorway—but located in the marvelous bejeweled city of Ubar, long destroyed and forgotten beneath the desert sands.

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Publishers Weekly

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Asim, captain of Master Jaffar's guard, and the wily scholar Dabir, who is hopelessly in love with Jaffar's niece Sabirah, track stolen golden artifacts into the shifting sands that hide the ruins of legendary Ubar, entry to the land of the djinn.

Jan 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Desert of Souls


They are able to escape the wizards this time, but Dabir quickly recognizes the wizards as fearsome immortals and is also concerned that the spirit in Najya will take over her body.

Jan 28 2013 | Read Full Review of The Desert of Souls

Open Book Society

Romance is also mixed into the story but never manages to take away from the thrilling adventure Asim and Dabir are on and the battles they face.

Mar 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Desert of Souls

SF Site

(The actual origin story, previously published in Black Gate as "Whispers from the Stone" is incorporated in the book as a tale told by Asim to a traveling company.) This story also serves as something of an explanation for Asim's later career as a chronicler -- as the book opens he is shown bein...

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SF Signal

Joined on their quest south to find the city and stop a group of miscreants from their treacherous plan by Jaffar’s intellectually precocious niece Sabiriah and by an elderly fire wizard, Dabir and Asim are swept into a tale right out of the Arabian Nights that takes them from the streets of Bagh...

Jan 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Desert of Souls

SF Signal

Characters within one of those stories may tell a tale within a tale, and sometimes, a tale within a tale within a tale.

Nov 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Desert of Souls

Grasping For The Wind

The first novel length adventure of Dabir and Asim – Jones’ protagonists of many short stories in a variety of publications – is a work evocative in both form and content of Scheherazade’s tales of The Arabian Nights, has the unusual settings of Prince of Persia or Fritz Leiber’s Lanhkmar, and is...

Feb 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Desert of Souls

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