Rating: 5 Stars
Published: May 2015
Genre: YA / Retellings- fantasy fairy tales
“Love is a force unto itself, sayyidi. For love, people consider the unthinkable… and often achieve the impossible. I would not sneer at its power.”
Based on A Thousand and One Nights, this debut novel will leave you breathless. Shahzad has come to the palace with a purpose. The caliph must die. He’s a murderer and he killed her best friend. The caliph takes a bride and executes her come morning. She knows that either she will die at dawn like the others, or she will kill the caliph. But she’s granted one more day because of her storytelling skills. Shazi must use her time wisely or it might be too late. For her. For the kingdom. And for the caliph. Shazi soon realizes that things are not all what they appear to be and could she be falling for this monster? Shazi is determined to find out the truth and to set her heart straight.
This book destroyed me, in the best way possible. I’m so happy that I had this signed by Renée Ahdieh at Book Con. The cover is gorgeous and she was so incredibly nice. This easily became one of my favorite novels of 2015. I can’t get it out of my head.
“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”
I just want to gush about this book. I loved everything about it. There’s is nothing bad I can say about it except for the fact that I think the word, brat, is used a little too much. It just stuck out because it was different than the other word choices. I understand that it became a term of endearment and I like that, actually, but I think it stood out too much among all the other beautiful language.
The characters were all brilliantly written. I loved how you changed your feelings along with the characters. That’s a skill that many authors lack. The only thing I wish was that there were some more flashbacks of Shazi & Shiva. I didn’t really care about her even if she was Shazi’s best friend. But that’s only because I couldn’t get to know her.
“The peacock stopped to glare at her before lowering his fan, and scurrying away.
She laughed to herself. “So quick to strut. So quick to flee.”
“What are you talking about?” Despina asked.
Shahzrad shook her head.
“Are you talking about men?” Despina snorted.”
This book is diverse. Diverse characters & stories are wonderful. Maybe you’re afraid that you won’t understand what things & names are in a different language. Fear not! I figured most things out using context clues and then halfway through the book I discovered a glossary. I had most things figured out but works like jahkesh meant something a lot more interesting than I had figured. I loved this little splice of culture.
“The more a person pushes others away, the clearer it becomes he is in need of love the most.”
I could just go on and on about how much I love this book but I fear it will become slightly incoherent. So, I’m going to save you all the trouble and just tell you, this book is worth the hype.
If you don’t like retellings, then maybe it’s not for you. But the great this about this book is that it’s based on a story that most people don’t have much knowledge of.
I am eagerly awaiting the sequel due out in 2016 titled, The Rose & The Dagger. With a title like that, I know I’m going to buy it the second it’s released. (By the way, if you’re wondering, it’s just a duology.)