I just want to start off by saying I received a free copy for an honest review. I almost turned this down and I’m so glad that I didn’t!
Princess Bennua is the youngest and kindest princess in her country… and the last one to be married off. As her father is terrible at creating marriages and alliances, marrying Princess Bennua off the powerful Quasim should have been a no-brainer. Except, Quasim isn’t anything like how he’s described to Princess Bennua. While he is handsome and powerful, he is also cruel and vile… deceitful… just plain evil! Quasim experiences a bit of a “dust up” in his country and must put the wedding on hold. In his absence, the king is visited by three “commoners” from Ashana, city of thieves… one of them being Zahid, the prince of thieves. They come with a proposition. Give us a princess so she can see we aren’t as bad as the world make us out to be… or we’ll overtake your city. (Hell of a proposition, right?!) Naturally, Princess Bennua did exactly as expected. She volunteered. She learns what it means to be her own person and to make up her own mind, in a culture where women are meant to be seen… not heard. But now she has a decision… now that she has had a taste of freedom, do you keep your freedom… or do what you think is right and find your way back to your family?
What is so awesome about this story is that while it takes place a fantasy land, it follows some Islamic cultural norms, such as some women wearing full hijab, women not being able to read or write as it was punishable by law. For me, that made the book that much better! The world building along with some Islamic culture was wonderful to read and definitely a breath of fresh air! Ms. Linski is a new author to me and I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.