Recommended for: Young Adult Readers
"One hundred lives for the one you took. One life to one dawn. Should you fail but a single morn, I shall take from you your dreams. I shall take from you your city. And I shall take from you these lives, a thousandfold." --The Wrath and the Dawn
After the death of his queen, Khalid the caliph of Khorasan, is forced to face a future no king should have. Each day for 100 days he must marry a new girl, and then the next morning he must take her life. After 71 days and 71 girls, Khalid is a shell of the boy he was before. He has steeled himself to the tasks knowing it is the only way to save his his kingdom and his people.
Shahrzad is a fiesty and spirited young woman who just lost her best friend as a recent bride to the caliph. She is saddled with grief, but more importantly, she has made a decision. No other families with will lose their daughters, no other girls will lose their best friend to this monster of a boy-king that rules their land. She will stop this, so she volunteers to be the next wife.
As Shahrzad meets Khalid, day 72 doesn't go like all the others. This girl volunteered. Khalid doesn't understand why anyone would volunteer. She is angry and fierce, but she chose to be here. This girl is different, and she intrigues him. Against his better judgement and his normal routine, he goes to see her on the night of their wedding to ask her why. When he arrives he gets much more than he bargained for. He sees his equal.
Shahrzad sits in her room preparing to enact her plot to murder the caliph. As he arrives she coaxes him into her web with a story. With this story she survives the first night. As each night of stories passes, an unexpected romance grows between them. How can she be falling in love with the man who murdered her best friend? How can he stop himself from loving her and dooming his people?
Renee Ahdieh is a master of words. The tale a kin to Arabian Nights immerses the reader in a world that is rich with color and life, and the characters are deep and realistic. This book truly captured my soul and has me begging for more.