PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House
DATE PUBLISHED: 26th April 2016
The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.
Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.
I did’t realise how much I was missing this fantasy world until I was back in it in this second instalment to a wonderful duology. An element I really appreciated was the fact that the book took turns I was not expecting and took me for a ride I was not expecting.
The writing is just as lush as the first book with the imagery conjuring pictures in my mind of the sandy desert landscape. The pace was quick and constant making this a read I could not put down. The plot left me breathless and I loved every minute of reading this book. My emotions were all over the place. I felt love, sadness, overwhelming joy and everything in between.
The characters… I love these characters. Shazi and Khalid fighting to reunite and find a way to be together and break the curse was one of the main drives for the novel. Shazi’s strength is an inspiration to women and her temper is something not to be rivalled. I even love how Despina got her own little story that almost made me second guess her as one of my favourite characters.
Renee Adhieh has officially made it on to my list of auto-buy authors with this stunning and magical sequel. I loved every minute of the journey and am so said it is now over. I will always hold a place in my heart for Sharazad and Khalid.
Keep Calm and Read On,