Land of Sand and Song
(Penguin Random House SEA, 2021)
Cover art © 2021 by Devangana Dash
LAND OF SAND AND SONG was born out of the guilty pleasure I take in watching Korean saeguk (historical dramas) and Chinese wuxia dramas, as well as my desire to see more Asian-inspired fantasy on the shelves.
This is a book about a girl who ventures beyond the world she has always known with a singular goal in mind, and I found myself living vicariously through her as I explored this world of my own making. It took my imagination to places I never thought I could roam, and had me researching the treacherous wilderness of the Taklamakan desert and figures like Emperor Qin Shi Huang (who was obsessed with acquiring immortality), and physically discovering the nooks and crannies of the Forbidden City. So writing this book was a trip, to say the least.
The book was also inspired by titles like REBEL OF THE SANDS and DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE, as well as the Korean drama Scarlet Heart: Ryeo in terms of world-building and characterisation, and THE STONE OF HEAVEN, which influenced the book's central conflict.
There's so much more to delve into, and I can't wait to for readers to embark on this journey!
Murder, death, persecution, stabbing, racial profiling, death of a loved one