Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Publication: May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository| Kobo
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?
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.
Wow! This book was something else. It was unique, the Arabic setting was simply stunning, the characters were all pretty amazing and the writing took my breath away. I absolutely loved it.
This story takes place in the land of Khorasan, where eighteen-year-old Khalid is the Caliph. He takes a new bride every night only to execute her in the morning. Until sixteen-year-old Shahrzad (a.k.a. Shazi) volunteers to be the next bride. What Khalid doesn’t know is that Shazi wants revenge for killing her best friend Shiva, so she’s determinded to stay alive and get her revenge on Khalid. Shazi tells Khalid stories night after night, managing to stay alive. As they both get to know each other more and more each day, Shazi realizes there is much more to Khalid than being the monster she believes he is.
Shahrzad was pretty much everything I wanted in a heroine. She was tough, daring and never let anyone walk over her (least of all Khalid!). She also had a delicate side to her and I couldn’t help but admire her willfulness. She really was a strong female character, which I think is something we need more in YA.
Her relationship with Khalid was complicated to say the least. I absolutely loved the romance between them and how they both slowly fell for each other. Khalid was also a great character. He was mysterious and really intrigued me. I loved how he and Shazi kept challenging each other and how sometimes it was really a struggle to figure each other out. Shazi and Khalid’s love for each other actually touched my heart so much. It was beautiful.
And then there was Tariq who also loved Shazi and decides to go after her when he finds out she has volunteered to be the Caliphs wife. I wouldn’t say there’s a love triangle, per se, because in my opinion Tariq wasn’t all that much in the book, although I think in the next one he’ll be more in it. But anyway, the romance revolved more about Shazi and Khalid, so for those who are afraid of yet another triangle… don’t be! And FYI, I didn’t care much for Tariq anyway.
There are a lot of side characters that I adored and would love to get to know more. Despina being one of them. She was also a pretty strong female presence in the book and I was such a fan of her and Shazi’s conversations. They were always entertaning to say the least. Jalal was another favorite character of mine. And the thing I was really missing was interacting between him and Despina, but hey, there’s always the sequel for that!
The end of the book was pretty devastating, to be honest. Those last chapters were so intense and action-packed that I wanted to both read faster and slow down to make it last longer. That is what makes a damn good book!
Overall, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh was a passionate, exquisitely written and beautiful retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. In fact, it’s one of my top favorite books I’ve read this year and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, coming out in May 2016. I need more of Shazi and Khalid, ASAP!
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. She is the author of The Wrath and the Dawn.