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.
The opening of the story was a bit confusing- I was all, What the hell does this even mean?, but thankfully as you continue to read you start to piece together just what the hell it means and you have like a lightbuld effect “ding” oh I get it.
Khalid the ruler takes a new bride each night and each morning they are executed. Shahrzad volunteers for this position- to marry Khalid. No one understands why anyone would volunteer to do this especially when everyone knows the outcome- death.
This is by far one of the best books I’ve read this year. Seriously. It has depth and the characters are unique but believable. The love story that happens, unexpectedly for Shazi and Khlaid, is wonderful and it captures your heart. And if you have a cold heart it will melt it and make you a pile of goo. One the most romantic quotes that made my hormonal pregnant self tear up like crazy was,
“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.
“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.” The weapons still in her grasp, she shoved against his chest.
“No.” His hands dropped to her waist. “Destroy me.”
I mean. Khalid is the ruler of this land and here comes this girl who destroys his heart, in a good way. He makes him feel like he never thought he could. Shazi is such a wonderful, independent, witty young woman. I LOVE her! She is a character that should be celebrated because she brings down a force that no other girl could.
What makes this story intriguing is that Shazi delays her death day by day by telling stories to Khalid. She never quite finishes so he orders her not to be killed in order to hear the rest of the story. Pretty brilliant. It’s because of her savvy that she’s able to delay her death, forever. Khalid eventually orders that she never be touched by anyone. But, of course, you always have that one person who doesn’t listen. His adviser- tries to kill Shazi a few times before Khalid tells him if he tries it again he’ll be dead. Khalid become so protective and in love with Shazi that in turn, Shazi melts and falls for him.
Truly a griping story of love. Interwoven with other tales, it’s one of the best stories written that has truly made it hard to put it down.
5 out of 5 stars!