My Rating: 5 enchanting stars
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.
I was expecting to really love this book, but I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did (which was a LOT).
First, I am going to thank my amazing sister for getting a signed copy for me. You rock sis!
Anyway, back to gushing about this book.
Originally, I thought this book would be a little action-packed in parts since her goal is to kill the king, but the sharpest thing she wields is her tongue. She has very little skills (at least that she uses in this book, though I anticipate that will change in the next), but she has a way with words, and it is what made her so remarkable.
“So you would have me throw Shazi to the wolves?”
“Shazi?” Jalal’s grin widened. “Honestly, I pity the wolves.”
The little stories that she told the king were so enchanting and captivating. My only complaint? There weren’t enough of them. I wanted those stories everywhere in this book because they were that amazing.
I really disliked a lot of these characters, but then eventually ended up liking them. I say all the time that unlikable characters that end up growing on you are often the most believable.
A lot of people are annoying, but we end up being friends with them anyway. The same is true with people in books, and I just wanted to be friends with Shazi and her friend Despina.
I wish we could have seen more of the side characters because they were really interesting and diverse, but I am not sorry that less of them meant more of Khalid and Shazi.
There is a little bit of magic, a little bit of politics, a little court intrigue, but they are secondary to the romance. That totally worked for this book.
This romance had me all: Shmerhgjydukgluyrsb. I was feeling a lot of emotions that don’t even have words.
You can practically feel their chemistry as a physical thing. Their arms brush and you feel like some sort of sexual-tension bomb is about to detonate and destroy everything in its wake.
Khalid, the caliph of Khorasan, the King of Kings made my wobbly in my knees.
Everyone thinks he is this:
But he is really this:
I was just so in love with this relationship, and that is rare for me. Most romances I come across don't make me this happy.
The world building was superb. From the palace to the wardrobes to the fabrics and the foods I was transported into the rich, colorful world that this author had created.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone craving a beautifully written, provocative romance that was new and original. Because one it was over, I gave it a standing ovation.