Khalid is the 18-year-old Caliph of Khorasan who is known for inviting a new bride into his home each evening just to have her killed by sunrise. When 16-year-old Shahrzad’s best friend falls victim to Khalid’s murderous ways, she volunteers to marry the cruel king herself so she can seek her revenge. But as they get to know each other, and as magical secrets about the kingdom come to light, Shahrzad realizes that Khalid may not be as evil as he seems. This inventive young adult retelling of The Arabian Nights walks a delicate line in its depiction of such a monstrous man, but puts the power in the hands of a courageous heroine who is determined to stop the senseless brutalities inflicted upon so many women. —Annabel Gutterman

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