The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, Book 1) by Renée Ahdieh
Synopsis: 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?
About the Author: Renée Ahdieh is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. The Rose and the Dagger is the sequel to her sparkling debut novel, The Wrath and the Dawn.
Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance, retellings
More Info: Kindle edition, 416 pages, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (reprint) on May 12, 2015
I devoured this book in a day. I love it! It is so different and just absolutely beautiful.
The banter between characters is so amazing. It is so witty, funny, and severe all at the same time. Shazi most definitely has a silver tongue.
I loved the diversity. This book was created as a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. Within a Middle Eastern culture, the setting is in the desert. Hot sun equals hot tempers. The names of the characters are also brilliant. The subtle hints of magic were incredible, though the magic did not overshadow the story but made it flourish in small objectives.
“We women are a sad lot, aren’t we?”
“What do you mean?”
“Strong enough to take on the world with our bare hands, yet we permit ridiculous boys to make fools of us.”
With this quotes in mind, I was slightly perturbed that the stubborn main character filled with hatred for the caliph, fell prey to his love. She comes to care for him despite the underwhelming amout of evidence that he is in fact not a serial-killer. The romance is a key part to the story…once the mystery is revealed about 75% into the book. However, I felt that with Shazi’s willful spirit for revenge, she would not be claimed by that such as love. Her feelings towards vengeance alter over the course of the novel:
“Hate. Judgement. Retribution. As you said, revenge will never replace what I have lost. What you have lost. All we have is now. And our promise to make it better.”
I was pleased by the progression of her feeling for the King of Kings, Khalid. She does not instantly love him, in fact she despises him when they first meet. Her plans to kill him shine through her eyes such that even Khalid recognizes it, though he did not know what it meant at the time.
Khalid. What to say about Khalid. I mostly enjoyed his character. I wish I could have seen more of his emotion through Shazi. In the chapters through his POV, he isn’t as collected as he usually seems. He goes from calm to stormy; this makes me feel like he is split into two different people. His inconsistency is understandable in his situation: tormented boy to strong leader.
I really like Tariq, except for his bouts of rash decision making. He pushes forward no matter the obstacles nor consequences. I believe that Tariq considers Shazi his possession, something she despises and fails to recognize in her lifelong friend. Yet she has the audacity to scold Khalid for it. Random thought: Tariq and Rahim remind me of the brothers racing their chariots through the city, causing destruction in The Prince of Egypt.
Thank goodness for the glossary. I was so puzzled by the specific lingo throughout the book. I understood the words through the context of each sentence or paragraph, but I liked having the proper definitions to reference.
Overall, the writing is flawless. The character interaction is splendid. The relationships are spicy. Jalal is flirty, Khalid is dangerous, Tariq is determined, Shazi is fiery, Despina is explosive, and Yasmine is enthralling. The plot seems slow, since it is all building up to the mystery of the girls murdered before dawn. Some of the other action can seem stale in comparison. The end, however, goes out with a bang.
The version I purchased was $9.99 on Kindle Amazon. I was ok with the price then, and I know my purchase was worth it now. If you are not happy with $10, then you can buy The Wrath and the Dawn for only $6.70 as a paperback.
Buy it here: