Series: The Wrath & The Dawn, #1
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
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, indeed, 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 to break the cycle once and for all.
The Wrath and the Dawn is a book filled with adventure, romance, curses, magic, and a world overflowing with wonder. And I honestly really enjoyed getting lost in the book. The book is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, but I couldn’t draw any comparisons because I don't know much about that story. However, I did feel a uniqueness in this book, and I love the way that Ahdieh did weave her story.
Shahrzad is a brave individual. I loved that she did what she could to avenge her friend. What I loved about her is her headstrong, no nonsense, I’ll tell you what I’m thinking attitude. Shazi never really held back her emotions and I felt that was a bit of fresh air. But as she slowly unravels the world of Khalid, she discovers nothing is as it seems. Watching her develop, learn the truth, question her own love and life, was enjoyable to behold. I love that she was able to untangle the mysteries around Khalid and open his heart up. And I loved that she is able to move past the hate she did hold in her heart.“There is no one I would rather see the sunrise with than you.”
Khalid is feared and hated for his actions, but of course as the reader, you know that isn’t all of that character. Khalid is a multilayered character. I loved watching him unravel and learn about his character. He is kind, loves his people, and would do anything for them. But with his past, he is bound by something evil and something that is slowly destroying him. It was sad uncovering what happened to Khalid, but it also made me love his character.
The chemistry between Khalid and Shazi builds nicely throughout the book. There is attraction at the beginning, but I enjoyed that their relationship didn’t start off as hearts and roses. It took time for them to understand each other, fall for each other, and care for each other.
The magical elements in the book I very much liked as well. Again, Ahdieh wove that into her story quite nicely. The buildup was a not too slow; events, revelations, growth, and development of the story happened at a decent pace. Not once did I grow bored and wish for faster movement. The detail was beautiful and I enjoyed Ahdieh’s writing style, beautiful and elegant. However, I did feel that the reactions of some characters felt a bit too forced, the dialogue sometimes felt unnatural, along with the movement. I was able to figure out some twists in the book as well. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the story.“You honestly expect me to breathe in a world without air?”
The Wrath and the Dawn was an adventurous read, filled with romance, and thrilling characters. I really can't wait for the next book.