1. There will be spoilers.
2. I’m mostly going to be talking about our two main characters, Sharzhad and Khalid and their relationship because I need to talk about my feels. OTPs that you can fangirl over are literally the best.
First of all, Ahdieh’s writing is the reason I write. It’s so poetic and beautiful without beating around the bush. I just like that she can make flowery prose swoonworthy instead of cheesy. If I saw these phrases out of context, I would cringe so hard but instead they sound so beautiful in the story.
I suspect she will be like air. Like knowing how to breathe
My soul sees its equal in you.
Just the descriptions of the setting are enough to make me fall in love with her writing. I can vividly see the setting in my head.
To their right were vendors plying food wares–sugared dates and other dried fruits, an assortment of nuts in water-stained wood barrels, mountains of spices piled high in vivid hues–and to their left were vendors of spun cloth, dyed fabric, and skeins of yarn idling in a faint breeze, their colors like a banner cut from a rainbow.
I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the execution of the romance tropes in this book. Sometimes in books, when a female main character is the only one for the male love interest but he’s never been in a serious relationship or something that stops him from being in a committed relationship, the author never convinces me that the female main character is the one for the boy or vice versa. But Ahdieh does. And that’s because they’re both incredibly flawed characters. Khalid is cold, aloof, angry, and is not passionate about much. Sharzhad is kind of a brat, presumptuous, prideful, and yes, weak-willed lol. But together they worked so well.
“You and your temper, Khalid!”
“No. You and your mouth, Shazi.”
And as sadistic as it sounds, I like that they’ve both hurt each other because of that they learn about each other. In a lot of YA books I read, the female main character is special because she’s not like other girls (because she is not a “slut” or she doesn’t party or something sexist like that).
But, in TWATD, it’s their personalities that shine to each other, that makes Sharzhad special (the chosen one) to Khalid and vice versa. In fact, I’m so glad I didn’t read much physical description about Khalid in general. I mean, obviously it’s important but I like how their interactions were so intimate and sensual with hardly any mention of body parts. I love the times Khalid smiles or his mouth twitches to something Sharzhad says. It’s just so cute because Khalid is such an expressionless person and rarely ever smiles throughout the entire book and the subtlety just makes their relationship so swoonworthy. I honestly think this was the type of romance I was looking for in ACOTAR but never got…
“A vision with eyes and ears, my lord.”
Khalid continued staring ahead, but the ice set around his features thawed at her retort.
In defense of their instalove, I felt like their attraction was instant but their love definitely had to develop. If you think about it, when Sharzhad initially feels attraction she tries to stamp it down and it’s not really halfway through the book that she decides not to kill him and even then, she still vacillates between the decision.
And of course, how can I not love this conversation.
His eyes turned to fire. “I’ve always been yours.” He cupped her chin in his palm. “As you’ve always been mine.”
She bristled and started to protest.
“Don’t.” He returned her biting glare.
“Your possessiveness..may present a problem.” She knotted her brows together.
The corners of his lips curled upward, ever so slightly.
I can’t tell you how many romance books I’ve read that had Khalid’s statement but it was seen as romantic and I can see why it’s romantic but in reality, it’s really not.
I honestly should have figured out Khalid’s secret way before he actually he said it, but I’m not a very observant reader so that obviously flew over my head. I liked how Khalid didn’t reveal everything so easily though because if he did, I would have found it very anticlimactic and further prove my point that anybody could have gotten that secret out of him.
Of course, with so much investment in the main relationship, I didn’t like the side character’s stories that much. I can acknowledge that they were well-written and developed but I was probably too focused on the main storyline. I understand Tariq’s actions and thinking. How could the love of my life fall for someone who’s essentially a murderer? But I hated how he how at the end when he decides he knows what’s best for Sharzhad and takes her our of the castle without consulting her. Like, excuse you.
I also didn’t understand the necessity of Despina’s pregnancy. I didn’t think it added anything to the story and I also wish there was more female representation.
I think that’s all I wanted to discuss..I probably missed a lot of stuff, but I’m just going to end this post with something Khalid says and is one of my favorite quotes from the book.
“People fall in and out of love with the rising and setting of the sun. Rather like a boy who loves the color green on day, only to discover on the morrow that he truly prefers blue.”
Sounds like something Khalid would say and yet here we are 😉