Goodreads Summary: 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.
I bought this book about a year ago now when it was released as I love retellings, and I hadn’t read a retelling of 1001 nights before. I buddy read this with Aoife during the book-buddy-a-thon and have to say I was a little disappointed.
This book was very well written, the writing probably being my favourite part of it. There were some really beautiful sentences in here but Adieh keeps the story moving at a good pace throughout. Whilst her writing evokes some very vivid settings however I felt like the world building was lackluster and I didn’t feel like I had the full picture. And whilst this book hits the ground running and throws the reader right into the story, I felt like it needed a good 30 pages before the first chapter to set up the world and the characters in a way that would’ve given both more depth.
Sharzhad as a main character was fine, but I didn’t feel like she was a particularly unique heroine and couldn’t find a lot about her that made her stand out from any other YA heroine. Her love interest was also fairly typical of the genre, although did have a more interesting back story than most. Despite this I never felt any particular attachment to any of the characters aside from a few side characters who didn’t turn up nearly as much as I would’ve liked. I also didn’t really understand why Sharzhad and her love interest fell in love other than the face that they were attracted to each other and I didn’t care much for that plot line whatsoever.
Overall I enjoyed the story and the writing of this book but everything else fell a bit flat for me and didn’t leave much of an impression. I can see why this book is so popular but it didn’t stand out to me in any way. I will not be reading the sequel.