From the Back Cover:
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 thoroughly enjoyed this new take on Scheherazade and A Thousand and One Nights. Renee Ahdieh has crafted a gripping tale filled with great characters, luscious, transporting description, and plenty of angst and emotional turmoil. I'll admit to being a bit put off by King Khalid and his behavior in the beginning, but it's the mark of a good writer when the villain becomes the hero over the course of a story. And Shazi is a heroine worthy of admiration. She's tough, determined, and oh so clever. As if telling tales for her life each night isn't enough, she has to navigate a court filled with political intrigue. Betrayals, secrets, and surprise twists abound as she fights for her life and fights not to lose her heart to her greatest enemy.
My only issue with this gorgeous story is that I thought the foundation for the premise was a bit shaky; a big part of the tension in the story lies in Shazi's quest for answers as to why Khalid keeps taking wives only to kill them the following morning, and the big reveal about why the women had to die was rather anticlimactic. I'm thinking there must be more to it and we'll get it in the next book, which I am anxiously awaiting!
My Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
*Please Note: This review references an advance copy received from the publisher through the Amazon Vine program. These are my honest and unbiased opinions, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.