Diversity Spotlight Thursday is meme hosted weekly at Bookshelves and Paperbacks and aims to highlight diverse reads of any kind.
Diversity Spotlight will take place every Thursday, and it will be featuring three books in any given week:
- A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
- A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
- A diverse book that has not yet been released
This week’s theme is books with a Middle Eastern setting!
What I have read
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
I quite liked this dark and brutal tale that had an ending that only promised more to come! There were Arabian elements here even though I didn’t really see much of them in this book, but perhaps they will show more in later books? Anyway, this had brilliant action, suspense on every page and intriguing characters and plot, definitely recommended!
On my TBR
One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Even though many people have said the two books are different, this does sound REALLY similar to Johnston’s A Thousand Nights which was a retelling of the same tale. I guess that’s to be expected though… I recently bought this book and it’s sequels on my kindle, I just couldn’t help myself! What I hope for is strong characters, a vivid setting and a plot that’ll keep me hooked, that’s basically what makes a good book for me! 🙂
Soon to be released
People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.
Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.
Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.
War is brewing in Arawiya, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.
Oh that cover…. basically I’m sold on anything that’s inspired by real world cultures as you know, but this sounds so so so complex! I have read other reviews that compare this to An Ember in the Ashes and the Hunger Games and so far it doesn’t look like they’ll be wrong (I know I haven’t read it but one can have assumptions 😉 )I so look forward to the right time to read this and I really hope my library will get these books in 😛