To everyone's relief and horror one young woman steps forward. The daughter of a legendary storyteller, Shahrazad believes it is her destiny to accept this risk and sacrifice herself.
On the night of her wedding to the king, Shahrazad begins to weave a tale. Fascinated, the king lets her live night after night. Just when Shahrazad dares to believe that she has found a way to keep her life -- and an unexpected love -- a treacherous plot may disrupt her plan. She can only hope that love is strong enough to save her.
There is nothing I relish quite as much as a romance in which the hero and heroine are married. Many variations have been done upon the theme with differing levels of emotion between the couple ranging from indifference, to dislike, to one of the parties not even knowing they are married (very awkward!) But truly, I think this story must take the prize in difficulty. Shahrazad marries the king believing he will execute her the next morning and he marries her firmly believing he will. If that does not put a damper on the relationship....
Surprisingly (or perhaps not so much. :)) this story also holds one of my favorite romantic scenes of any story I've read. I'm not going to outline it here because I might want to do a post about it on my other blog, but let me say it involves galloping about on fine horses, golden afternoon sun across the desert, and an oasis. It's just lover-ly.
Exotic and mysterious this story is brimming with the most golden clarity of any fairy-tale I have yet read, and the loveliness therein could not be more dream worthy.