My Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Seventy-one days and seventy-one nights had come and gone since Khalid began killing his brides. This dawn, Khalid would mark the loss of the seventy-second girl, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran. Khalid didn’t know how many more of these dawns he could take. And there was something about this latest girl that piqued his interest. Not only had she volunteered to marry him, but at their wedding ceremony, she had seemed not the least bit afraid. In fact, what he had seen in her eyes was nothing short of pure hatred. She was about to lose her life. Why wasn’t she afraid? Why did she hate him so? He had never before gone to his wife’s chambers before her death at dawn. Tonight would be different.
Beware spoilers ahead!
Despite the fact that I didn’t enjoy The Wrath and the Dawn I wanted to read this. Now when I first read the synopsis I thought that this would be about Khalid and Shiva. I don’t know why I thought this but I did. So when I saw it was free on Kindle and iBooks I went for it. When I started reading it I realized that this book is about Khalid meeting Shazi. Not Shiva. Looking back at it now it’s pretty funny. But at the time I was so disappointed.
The book begins with Khalid yet again getting married and lamenting over the fact that he had to kill another girl. Although he is happy that he’s nearly done and then he can be free as well as his kingdom safe. He doesn’t really care that they see him as a monster. He understands why they despise him but he’s doing what’s best for them.
His Uncle the General comes to get him and they walk over to his soon to be wife. The two converse and Khalid notices that his Uncle is hiding something. Khalid asks his Uncle to tell him what is wrong and he informs Khalid that his new bride has volunteered.
Khalid is baffled because why would anyone want to marry the him even though it is well known that he kills all of his brides. He tries to tell himself to not think about it. But that all changes when he meets her. The girl looks at Khalid with challenge and pure hatred in her eyes. Khalid knows that he didn’t kill anyone from her family. He made sure to tell his cousin Jalal not to choose two girls from the same family.
Khalid notices that Despina the girl’s to be handmaiden is very curious. He decides to have her find out his new brides motives. Curiosity gets the best of him and he ultimately decides to visit this girl tonight to understand her reasons for volunteering.
I didn’t really enjoy this story. I found that it was completely useless and you don’t really find out anything new about the series. It was interesting to read in Khalid’s point of view. As it would turn out Khalid is very melodramatic. The author did a good job writing his point of view. Despite the fact that I didn’t enjoy this I will be reading the other short story about Despina and Jalal.
Overall this was a useless short story. I recommend it to anyone looking for something very short to read (it’s 8 pages).