I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Amazon •Book Depository • Published by Penguin, Putnam Juvenile on May 12, 2015
Source: the publisher
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.
Rarely do I sit down to a book and finish it in a day, but HONEY, I’M ON A ROLL. Also, this book was gloriously good.
I feel like I need to mention that this book is based off of A Thousand and One Nights AND it tells the story within the story. HELLA META! I just always think it’s fun when the original text is talked about in an adaptation. Well, it worked particularly in this one because the main character uses it to convince the king to let her live until she’s finished her very verbose stories. Genius!
So, she wants to live to avenge her BFF, who was killed after being the King’s wife for a day/night. She ends up falling in love with him and they have a very interesting relationship. She keeps him in check, which is very interesting because as the reader, I just felt like she was an inch away from getting the silk cord. AKA Dead. There are some big game changers for the king, which effects why Shazi stays alive for so long. Well, long compared to getting killed the morning after being wed.
Because the story is in third person, we get to see not only Shazi’s perspective, but also the King, Shazi’s father, and Shazi’s former love interest. It adds more layers of secrecy and anticipation for what’s to come in this series. YES, series. Oh man, I couldn’t deal if this was just one book.
It’s hard to label this book as just one thing because there are elements of magic, but it’s mentioned very sparsely. Even though it’s not in modern times, I wouldn’t call it purely Historical Fiction. It’s definitely an adaptation of another story. It’s definitely something different and something I very much enjoyed.