(The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
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.
Sexy, darkly treacherous and romantic, this novel made my head whirl and my heart beat faster. Shazi is a girl-queen thrust into a role she doesn’t understand, bemused and scared of her own husband but darkly drawn towards him at the same time. She approaches her new position with a plan but loses sight of this goal when faced with her staggeringly strong feelings for her new husband. It made me ache for her and the decisions she was going to have to make. The world building was rich and intriguing, filled with terrifying curses and little known magic powers.
However, the novel didn’t have all that much plot. Usually when a novel is very focused on the characters or the relationship between characters it can get tiresome. That never happened in this novel. The budding relationship between Shazi and Khalid, her new husband and the unfathomable young king, is the basis for this novel and it remains entertaining without fail throughout the novel. Shazi was headstrong and sometimes uncensored while Khalid was deadly and reserved. They complimented each other nicely and were evenly matched. They were both strong as individuals but together they were a force to be reckoned with.
This novel, which is the first in a series, was used as an introduction to a powerful and politically imbalanced kingdom. We see this imbalance through a series of events linked to Shazi’s actions. I don’t want to give too much away but hopefully in the next instalment the plot will pick up a bit. There is no doubt in my mind that when the sequel comes out I will be crowding the local bookstore purchasing a copy.