Friday, November 26, 2021

#Review - The Sultan and the Storyteller by Lichelle Slater #YA #Fantasy #Retelling

Series: A Villain's Ever After # 2
Format: Kindle, 186 pages
Release Date: August 20th 2021
Publisher: Independent
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Genre: YA / Retelling / Fantasy

For thirty-nine nights, the sultan of Zunbar has chosen a new wife. For thirty-nine dawns, they are pronounced dead.

When Sultan Zayne summons my best friend to be taken as his newest victim, I can no longer pretend to be blind and volunteer in her stead. My only plan--weave a story each night and hopefully learn why he would kill in the first place.

As I unravel the tapestry of lies, I learn there's more going on inside the gilded walls of the palace than anyone in the land could ever realize. I've woven myself into the story, and if I don't pull on the right thread, it's not only my life at stake but my heart.

The Sultan and the Storyteller, by author Lichelle Slater, is one of twelve short novels in A Villain's Ever After, a collection of standalone stories featuring villainous twists on some of your favorite classic fairy tales. Read the series in any order for magical adventures and fall in love with villains as you've never seen them before. Who said villains can't have happily-ever-afters?

This retelling of Scheherazade and 1001 Nights with Shahira being the main character of the story and Sultan Zayne being the villain. Shahira is the eldest daughter of the vizier to the Sultan who has to hide and contain her magic. She is a storyteller who can infuse her magic into her stories and make them come true. Shahira and her sister Kiara run an apothecary in town after the death of their mother. Their father is the sultan’s vizier and stays at the palace. Sultan Zayne has been marrying a new wife every evening, and every morning, she is dead.

When her best friend Jade’s life is threatened by becoming the next bride of the Sultan, Shahira decides to volunteer in her stead. 39 brides lost is enough and Shahira won’t allow the murderous sultan to continue when she has the power to stop him. When she realizes that there’s more to the story, she and the sultan must learn to trust each other and discover where the evil shadows come from before it’s too late. 

I actually really liked her younger sister Kiara. She's really good at Tasseography, or the art of tea leaf reading. Tea leaf reading is an ancient practice of interpreting patterns made by tea leaves in the cup. There was a pretty big plot inconsistency (not a spoiler) with the tiger. At first, no one could understand him, then all of a sudden they can? There's the problem with short stories. They leave gap filled spaces where answers should be found.  

Apparently, this story continues in "Daughter of Thieves" (book 1 in The Sands of Wonder series)

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