The Wrath & The Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Format: 388 pages, Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
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Synopsis: 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?
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.
Wow, okay. I totally did not expect to like this book so much. Fun story: I’ve heard how great this book was and I had some high expectations for it but I always brushed the book aside because it was a retelling of Arabian Nights and I don’t know any of those tales and wasn’t really interested. However, some of my bookish friends pushed me to read it when I won a signed copy from the author Lauren DeStefano! It was so awesome! Anyway back to the review. I finally started reading it back in January and while it did peak my interest, especially the stories that Shazi was telling Khalid, it didn’t resonate with me. If I don’t finish books within a couple of days or a week, it says a lot about it and Wrath and Dawn took me a good 6 months. I started reading it in January and just finished it a couple of days ago. It’s not that it wasn’t good or the writing was bad, it just didn’t interest me enough to read it straight through, up until it got to the halfway point.
I think Shazi was a great main character. She was strong and determined and I enjoyed her narrative. Sometimes her stubbornness and pride did annoy but it’s also what I loved about her. Contradicting I know. The writing was great, you can feel the conflict that she was going through with wanting revenge but then falling for Khalid. As for Khalid, I think that he was a very three-dimensional character and he wasn’t easy to like at first and that has a lot to do with seeing him through Shazi’s eyes. I initially liked Tariq but as it got towards the end of the book where he starts seeing Shazi more as a possession then actually listening to what she wants, he got on my bad side. The other characters really confused me because they interchanged with their christian name and their official title. It took me a while (book 2 really haha) to realize who the captain of the guard was and the general. Geez, I think there was a better way to handle all that. I really liked that there was a glossary added in the end to help with translations.
The world building was great, along with the plot. The romance was believable and filled with intensity, angsty, and conflict. It was slow building romance and that’s the best kind! The ending confused me a bit but then I realized that it was a part of the book haha I thought I missed something while reading it. I enjoyed the book overall and I know that I probably missed some important details, or rather forgot them, because of the long span of time that it took me to read it.