The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new wife, only to have her killed by sunrise.
Shahrzad is the first volunteer to become Khalid’s bride. She vows to stop his reign of terror– for the friend she lost, and all those who perished before her.
Incredibly, Shahrzad manages to survive her morning…then the next. Night after night, she mesmerizes the Caliph with her storytelling– at once buying time and digging deeper into the elusive boy-king’s past.
If Khalid is truly the murderous madman everyone says he is, how does Shahrzad find it so easy to fall for him?
Excerpt taken from the back of the book
Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
Wine is consumed a few times. A few times by an underage woman. One man is drunk.
Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
On her wedding night, a young woman drops her dress to the floor. It refers to her dispassion, pain that didn’t last, her husband not enjoying himself either and the satisfaction she felt at this. He then stood and she watched him dress. They have multiple nights like this, it eludes to sex but doesn’t give much detail. On one occasion, it mentions that she doesn’t get dressed when he does, she just uses a pillow in front of her some of the time.
A young woman and man kiss occasionally during “stolen embraces.”
A man openly calls another man’s mother a whore.
In response to a rude, drunken man flirting with her, a young woman tells him that she will pass on his “tiny cucumber.”
A man takes his young wife’s face and kisses her. The thoughts of him and the kiss are passionate as she winds her fingers through his hair, pulling him closer to her and realizes that she could love him. She wants to resist him but finds herself wanting to curve into him.
An unmarried young woman is pregnant.
A couple that were wed by an arranged marriage refer to sex and how it’s different this time because they have shared an intimate kiss when before they had not. He is placing his hands on her face, running his fingers down her back, kissing her earlobe and talking about “exercising restraint.” Her blood pumps and she grabs him playfully then more intensely. She takes his shirt off and he kisses her neck and takes hers off. No more details.
A dancer is wearing a fitted silk top that “left little to the imagination.” Bare bellies are commonplace.
A young man passionately kisses a married woman he once loved.
A young woman softly plays with her husband’s hair and her hands touch his face. She then kisses him and he grabs her and pushes her up against a door.
A wife asks her husband to be with her that night. She leads him to bed, sits him down and she sits on his lap, straddling him. He takes off his shirt. She shoves his chest and he asks her if this is what she wants. She bites his bottom lip and kisses him passionately, using her tongue. He takes off her shirt and lowers her to the cushions. (Eludes to sex but no more details.)
A wife runs to her husband to kiss him before leaving out of town.
Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood
A young woman vows to kill the man she is marrying that night. Her best friend was killed when she married him also and many others have not survived one night with him. She plans to kill him and tries to carry out a plan to poison him but the opportunity doesn’t present itself. She wishes multiple times she could kill him but doesn’t actually follow through.
Many men carry swords and bow and arrows.
A young woman learns how to shoot a bow and arrow.
A death is plotted. A man wants to rip another man’s heart out.
A young woman is dragged from her bed and carried to the place where she will be hanged. A cord is wrapped around her neck and tightened, she feels pain and starts to pass out but the cord is released. A man picks her up and carries her but she hits him and another hits her in response. At this, she felt something pop and she screamed. She hears a fist hit flesh.
Young men refer to their potential beheading or slit throats if they anger nomadic men. They also wish their king’s death by their own hands.
Someone puts poison in the queen’s sugar cube but she catches it before she drinks.
A queen has an affair with a palace guard and the king drags her by her hair to her 6 year old son where he slits her throat.
When his wife is insulted and the man lunges for her, the husband shoves the man away and strikes him across the face. He lands on the table of gamblers who become enraged. They run and are chased throughout the town. They stop to take a stand and she shoots a man with an arrow straight through his wrist. The men all have scimitars or similar weapons. No more injuries occur.
Angry, a young woman haphazardly swings a sword at a young man to goad him. He is forced to fend it off with his own sword. Another man patiently gives her tips as they have a mild sword fight.
When a guard touches the queen, the king responds by breaking his bones.
After an insult, a man shoves and hits another man which bloodies his lip.
A man imagines beating another man until there is nothing left but blood and bone.
A young man wants to kill another man with his fists and an axe.
A knife is pulled on a young man secretly watching the king and queen.
When waking, a young woman feels that someone is in her room watching her. When they come closer she screams. Her handmaiden enters and both scream as cloaked men trying to grab the woman. She grabs a stool and throws it at one man, he responds with striking her across the cheek which sends her to the floor. Another man grabs her by the neck and squeezes. A man enters the room and uses his sword, and a body drops with gurgles and sickening thuds. There is a sword fight between 11 men. 8 are intruders. Blood and death follow. The young woman is dragged away and she tries hitting her captor, but she is loosened and he then grabs her by the neck. He says he will kill her. He then uses her as a shield from the other men while he holds a dagger to her throat. The man is eventually overtaken and a hilt is smashed against his jaw. When he refuses to talk, a sword is very slowly pushed into his neck, the man then turns his head so the sword finishes the job. She later see her two guards with slashed throats and glassy eyes.
A man pulls his sword on another man and places is near his heart.
A man gives a young woman a dagger to kill him. There is much fighting and crying back and forth.
A young woman keeps a dagger by her bed for safety.
A man is shot in the chest with an arrow and dies. Two men break in and shoot a guard with another arrow in the shoulder. One more is shot and killed by an arrow. During a standoff, a sword is drawn, one is hit in the chest by an arrow then hit across the head with the bow and collapses. Lightning is hitting the building and collapsing the ceiling.
Potentially Intense Themes
A story is told about a thief on a ship. The ship is grabbed by magic and torn apart while all endure watery deaths. He could hear sailors drowning around him.
After a woman’s young daughter dies, she also dies, unable to live without her.
A father tries to use magic to help his family. He cuts his palm and lets it drip onto a blade. He then slices the throat of a hare and watches it’s blood flow onto the blade. He is getting many blisters because of the magic he is using and he is looking for something much more than a hare to kill. It eludes to the fact that he has been killing animals frequently and needs bigger or more. At one point he slits the throat of a horse. It talks of the horse staggering to her knees, falling and dying.
A story from a young woman tells of a young bride finding a cellar full of bodies. She slipped on some blood and fell.
A woman has a miscarriage. It is one of the reasons she hangs herself from a balcony where her husband finds her. In response, the woman’s father curses her husband, using black magic, blaming him for her death. He needs to kill 100 women and have their families and their parents know the pain he’s feeling and to hate the husband just as he does.
An intense thunderstorm sends lightning crashing through houses and buildings. Fires are started and people are screaming. It is assumed this is from a form of magic.