Incredible opening prologue. The slow way Alyan eases you into the story, and then hits you with that shocking paragraph where Zakaria realizes that he's about to be killed... It shocked me in a way I wasn't expecting. The fact that guilt had been eating at him from past regrets, the fact that his mother knew that something was wrong, and the fact that he pleaded for his life at the end before being killed--actual tears sprang into my eyes. He acted as a silent witness to a senseless murder fueled by religious hatred and unjustly paid for it.
And that's just the prologue! We learn that the friend Zakaria betrayed did get together with Mazna and at some point moved to California and started a family. We meet one of their daughters, Ava, and I pretty quickly got invested in her story as well. I'm hoping for the best for her.
This is shaping up to be a complicated family drama exploring the cycle of hatred and revenge fueled by religious tension, and I'm excited to see what happens after Ava's family gathers together again in the place Zakaria was murdered.