Title: The Wrath and The Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Standalone or Series: Book 1 of a duology
Published: May 12th, 2015
One Life to One Dawn.
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and break the cycle once and for all.
“It’s a fitting punishment for a monster. To want something so much—to hold it in your arms — and know beyond a doubt you will never deserve it.”
I now have a new addition to my list of favourite books.
I absolutely ADORED The Wrath and The Dawn.
THE STORY: Each night, Khalid ibn al-Rashid – the Caliph of Khorasan – takes a new bride and has them killed at dawn. When Shahrzad’s best friend is killed, she vows to get revenge and in order to do so, volunteers to be his next bride. She keeps herself alive by spinning tale after tale every night, so that Khalid is forced to spare her life for another day. Soon, she realizes that Khalid isn’t a murdering madman, but rather a boy with dark secrets, which Shazi is determined to find out – even while she starts to fall in love with Khalid.
Why I Loved This Book (And Think You’d Like It Too)
Diversity is a word that is a rage now in the world of YA. And so it’s an awesome change to see a fantasy novel not set amongst castles and lords and faeries (though I absolutely love those too), but instead a book inspired by Persian culture with the hot desert sun and sultans and falcons and talwars. Renee Ahdieh’s descriptions of the caliphate of Khorasan were gorgeous. I was completely immersed into the world and enjoyed every second of reading about it.
While I do love romance, I also really enjoy reading about strong friendships. Tariq and Rahim, Despina and Shahrzad – they’re all examples of the several awesome friendships that are there in The Wrath and The Dawn. And as cold and unfeeling as Khalid makes himself appear, I’m sure deep, deep down somewhere he does appreciate his cousin Jalal’s constant questions and concerns and prodding. (I love those two. So much.)
I read a few reviews that they found the style of writing made it hard to get into the book initially, but that wasn’t the case for me. I really liked the style of writing. Yes, the structures of the sentences and choice of words used are slightly different but then again, you wouldn’t expect Shahrzad to sound like a teenager in the 21st century. The writing did tend to be heavy on descriptions at times, but I was okay with that in this book because it was a) beautifully done and b) just painted a clearer picture in my mind of the scene or character. Also, the descriptions of food made my mouth water. Yum.
I totally ship Khalid and Shazi! I loved their interactions and there were several scenes throughout the book that made me melt into a puddle of ‘awww.‘ The way the romance developed between the two of them was perfect. There is a hint of a love triangle between Tariq and Shazi and Khalid, but to Shazi’s credit she doesn’t spend the whole of the book whining about whom she chooses.
Shahrzad is small, though fierce and capable of holding her own ground. And I liked how that didn’t mean she was an excellent fighter (although, she’s great with a bow and arrow). Side characters such as Rahim and Jalal and Despina were awesome too with their sarcasm and loyalty. Tariq, on the other hand, got on my nerves because he never just stopped and listened to the people around him, and assumed he knew what was best for Shazi. Basically, there are some characters in The Wrath and The Dawn that you will love, and some that are just pure evil (or bordering on insane).
I would consider this book primarily a romance, because we don’t really get to see as much fantasy/magic elements. Sure, it’s hinted at and will be built on the sequel, but I was just expecting a bit more of it in this book. I also hope the sequel will clarify how the magic system of the world works, because it was all pretty vague and mysterious in this instalment.
Will I be picking up the sequel? YES! I am really happy with how this book turned out and CAN’T WAIT to read more!
Who would I recommend this to? People who want diversity in setting; people who don’t mind a lack of magical elements in a fantasy story; people who enjoy reading romance.
Have you read this book? If so, how did you like it? What did you think about the characters, the setting? If not, does this seem like a book you’d want to read?