Author: Renée Ahdieh.
Published: May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Sort: Part 1 of the duology The wrath and the dawn.
One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all. Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Sharzhad is amazing. She is fierce and intelligent. You must be really brave and strong if you take the decision to become his new bride. Sharzhad could lose everything, but her cunning mind saves her. I loved how her feelings develop throughout the story. The two start with a crazy chemistry that sparked from the pages. The author had a perfect timing for the romance and the different stages between ‘I hate everything you are’ to ‘I think I’m starting to fall for you.’ Sharhzad always has these moments of doubt, even when she starts to see him in a different light. The approach to their unique relation made it feel realistic and I shipped it so hard.
In the end everything seems to fall apart. The world is no longer the same and Khalid knew from the beginning what he was starting when he didn’t execute Sharhzad. I admired him for making such a choice and the fact he managed to carry such a heavy burden. He maintained an air of mystery throughout the story. I don’t feel I got to know him as well as Sharzhad, but I really appreciate his character. I can’t wait to learn more about him.
There is a slight touch of a love-triangle, but the author handles this with care and in such a way that it makes sense. Tariq is Sharzhad’s youth friend and the two of them seemed to have plans to get married in the future. It’s not strange she is torn apart by two different futures, especially because she went into the palace with murder in her mind - and now she is defending the same man from being killed.
The cliff-hanger at the end is simultaneously the worst and the best. This is the right way to use a cliff-hanger, but at the same time I only want more, more, more!