Monday, April 25, 2016
The main character is Shahrzad. She lives in a land inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, where the new king, called a Caliph, is the stuff of nightmares. Every night he marries a woman, and then she is hung with a silk cord around her neck the very next morning. Shahrzad has volunteered to be his next wife/queen, after her best friend, Shiva, had been one of those wives that was killed in that very way. Shahrzad has vowed to get revenge. And the only way she can see to do that is to try to last more than one night. And her plan is to take it one night at a time. She lasts the first night by telling a story that when the dawn comes, and it is time for her to be hung, she hasn't finished the story. And the boy-king, Khalid, stays her execution so that he can hear the rest of the story the following night. And then, something happens each night, and even during the day that he keeps her around, and tells all of the staff that no harm should come to her. Until one night, when he doesn't come to her room at all. And in the morning, the soldiers come for her and begin to go through with the hanging. Fortunately Khalid gets there in time to save her, and it is now that he promises to kill anyone who ever touches her again.
Within the palace Shahrzad faces other dangers, you see there are reasons why the girls must be killed or sacrificed each morning. And there are people not happy that she has ended this trend. While Shahrzad knows in her heart that she should hate him, and find a way to kill him for what he did to her friend Shiva, as well as all the other girls, she soon finds there is something about him that is not quite the monster she believed him to be before. She will befriend her personal maid, as well as her bodyguard. And all the same, her father is trying to go to whatever length he can to not fail his daughter, trying to find the magic or power that he can use to save her. She also has a boyfriend/betrothed childhood friend, Tariq, who will go in to try to get her back. But the longer Shahrzad is with Khalid, the more she feels for him, and the more she knows she must stay. She learns there are things about her that she never knew, things that may be able to help Khalid in what is plaguing his lands.
In the end there will be a major event that will cause Shahrzad to make a decision on whether to go with Tariq, or to stay with Khalid. And what happens, well I won't tell you, just know that it is a tear-jerking ending, and I am so needing to read the next book and know what will happen next!
I do love a good fairy tale, or other story retelling, and this one does not disappoint! This is not just a book with a beautiful cover, it is a book with a beautiful story inside of it.