(4 / 5)
I couldn’t help but love this re-telling of a thousand and one nights. I have read a few versions of this fairytale and this one was my favourite.
In the kingdom of Rey there is a king who takes bride after bride, marries them, and murders them before the sun rises the following morning.
After her best friend is taken and murdered, Shahrzad decides she will get revenge and rid the world of this horrible king. She sacrifices herself and volunteers to marry him, with a plan to murder him. Meanwhile her father and Tariq, the man she loves – who were not aware of her quest, plot to save her. But all is not what it seems.
Beautifully written. Wonderfully atmospheric. I was taken into an Aladdin-like world of magic carpets and Arabian dancers. I was waiting for the genie in the bottle!
Shahrzad is feisty and funny, her handmaiden Despina was entertaining. The king Khalid was a bit of a bore, but I still liked him. And Jalal and Tariq were loveable.
I love the concept of stories within stories. My favourite parts of the book were when Shahrzad was telling Khalid the stories in an attempt to save her life. I found myself getting lost in the magic. I wish there was a bit more of that in the book.
The romance was lovely, yet somehow unsettling.
Most romance books have this intensity to them. An all consuming type of thing. The typical “I will die without you, I need you to live” dribble that makes me want to throw my book (or kindle) at the wall. However this is not how I would describe the romance in this book. The intensity was lingering in the background, but it did not detract from the story or the relationship between the characters. It was sweet and lovely, yet fierce and possessive. I loved it, yet found it frustrating at the same time. But surprisingly not in a bad way. I found myself going a bit ga ga and taken away.
As much as I wanted to give it five stars, and as much as it probably does deserve five… There was one thing that was a let down for me most of all, and it’s purely my issue, not a fault of the authors at all… And that is that it’s the first in a BLOODY SERIES!!! Is the whole world going series MAD???!!!!
I keep finding these fantastic books and then having to wait another year for the next one! What happened to someone writing A NOVEL. Full stop, the end…
I understand that the authors have an amazingly long and complex story to tell (and contracts signed and dollar signs in front of them) and I am the first to encourage they tell it. But some stories (like this one in my opinion) shouldn’t be dragged on. This was a magical tale and I absolutely dread the next one taking it downhill.
However it is worth the wait for the next one… Thoroughly recommend it!
If you enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn, you may enjoy: