The Desert of Souls

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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…

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

“THE DESERT OF SOULS is 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

“In THE DESERT OF SOULS Howard Jones’ celebrated characters Dabir and Asim finally receive the full-length treatment they have long-deserved. There’s a lot to enjoy, here: mystery, fantastic adventure, and fascinating historical detail from the fabled reign of Harun al-Rashid. But best of all are the characters of Dabir and Asim themselves. They are no idiots pushed around by the heavy hand of an idiot plot; they are not puppets dancing on the string of some convenient destiny. They act with cunning and courage in the face of long odds–and any victory they get, they earn. For readers who love intelligent, deftly written adventure fiction, this is the stuff.” James Enge, World Fantasy Award nominated author of Blood of Ambrose.

The Desert of Souls can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Powells, and at many fine retail outlets nationwide, or by clicking on this text.


5 Comments on “The Desert of Souls

  1. Hi Howard. I read Desert of Souls when it first came out — in fact I ordered it for the library i work for. I’ve always meant to take a closer look at your work. I love sword and sorcery too. You don’t have a bibliography of your published short fiction on your website anywhere? That would help me out.

    Kirsten Corby

    • Hi Kirsten,

      Thank you for your support and interest. Just about all of my short fiction I think worth a look is in the e-book collection, The Waters of Eternity, but perhaps I’m overdue to list a few other things. I’m not sure anyone should bother reading some of the work I had published prior to the earliest Dabir and Asim stories, but I’m pretty pleased with the two short stories I wrote for Pathfinder (featuring characters from the Pathfinder books I wrote) and there was a new Dabir and Asim short story last year, so… perhaps you’re right. I’ll look into it.


  2. Really enjoyed your storytelling but hated the inconsistency on P126 –
    I put my hand to the left side of my face. My beard was fine there, but my mustache had been trimmed.
    “The left side of your beard” Hamil said, “the right side of your mustache, and your left eyebrow.”
    Well, sorry, but Asim says the left side of his beard is OK and then Hamil says the left side of his beard has been cut. If you want to be this precise, then please get it right. Urrrggh!

    • Hi Lynda,

      I’m afraid you misunderstood. Hamil is confirming which portions of his appearance are unharmed, not which portions have been trimmed, which is why Asim says his description is accurate. On the other hand, I see now that I could have completely eliminated the chance for confusion if I’d added a few words like “…is fine… along with..”

      Oddly enough, despite this text going through a raft of editors and beta readers, you’re the first person to note that issue! I see now it might have been more clear.


      • OK, just I would have thought it more likely he would say which bits were cut.
        Otherwise I did enjoy your story and thought your imagination provided some interesting scenarios.

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