Expected Publication Date: June 5, 2018
I am completely shocked that this book does not have more hype. It was beautiful.
I did not know, until after I started it that it’s a retelling of the opera, Turandot. I don’t really know anything about that opera, well I didn’t. This story takes place in the Mongolian Empire, which was new for me. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story in this era, especially since it’s the 13th century!
Jinghua is the main character, who is a slave to the Kipchak Kanate. Although, you start to realize there is a lot more to her. She’s got a lot of secrets from her past and Bannen really makes you wait for it. I was so ready to know more about what was really going on.
Khalaf is pure good. He is so kind and I’m so sad that he ends up with the life he’s dealt. I know that not every story is a happy ending but he deserved it.
Timur, who is Khalaf’s father, definitely won me over. I really disliked him at first. How could he not love and respect Khalaf? He’s like the best man ever! Then as the story goes, you learn a lot more. Some men really like to hide behind a facade. He reveals much more to Jinghua and then he actually starts show he cares. I loved his relationship between he and Jinghua. Their banter was always funny too!
The plot is so good. The story jumps back and forth between the present and past. The beginning is a bit slow, most of it is them traveling together. You really get to see the relationship between Jinghua and Khalaf really grow. I think that Bannen did a really good job with the history in this book. I felt like I’ve learned a lot but I wasn’t sitting in a lecture. I advise you to read the author notes after! There’s a couple of chapters of information and it’s really enlightening.
The ending broke me. If you can’t stand a book without a happy ending, do not read this. Even though, it broke my heart and made me shed some tears, it was beautiful. It was so well done and it’s definitely going to stay with me for a long time. I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it, if you can stand a book without a happily ever after!
I want to thank Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray, HarperCollins for an e-ARC of this book.