“My soul seeks its equal in you.”
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?
★★★★ 4.25/5 stars!
Most of you might be wondering: why 4.25 stars? Wasn’t this book amazing and unique? And my answer is: of course it was. Yet, when I finished reading the last paragraph, I was wanting. It felt like the story abruptly ended. I had so many unanswered questions. I realize this is only the first book, but it felt like some details were missing.
What was missing was a little of action or momentum. The story seemed to have a singular arch. It could’ve been complicated by politics or more magic. (I desperately wanted to understand the magic systems, but Ahdieh left me hanging). There was definitely space to add more since the book was only 388 pages.
I do, however, appreciate the diversity of this book. I always commend and celebrate a book that’s not traditionally Caucasian-American. I think the cultural aspect of this book also can serve as an educational device for anyone ignorant or prejudice against Middle Eastern person. (I know that’s a generalization, but I think we can all acknowledge the xenophobia in this country).
I savored the cultural descriptions like the dressings and food. Sometimes, my mouth was watering from her illustration of their food. Yum!
Overall, I can’t wait to finish this series up with the next installment. It is a true gem in a sea of coal. (That was my attempt at being poetic).