The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – Review

The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn #1) | Available for Purchase: Amazon.com « Barnes & Noble « Book Depository
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Pages: 395 hardcover
Received Copy: Paperback, ARC

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

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?

really liked this novel! Renee Ahdieh brought readers a fresh and diverse universe and a kickass female main character named Shahrzad in a novel inspired by A Thousand and One Nights. Shahrzad decides that in the wake of the death of best friend, Shiva, she would put herself in position to end the horror in her land where the King–Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, is to find a girl, marry her, and then hangs her the following morning. As disturbing and tragic as that notion is, Shazi has made up her mind that she will stay alive for as long as she can and plots to kill the king for his inhumane manner in murdering his new bride. She must fight for her fellow females, her best friend’s honor, and her people.

I really loved how strong Shahrzad was portrayed and how smart she was as well. While her beauty was alluring, Shazi made sure she could play that to her best ability and capture Khalid’s attention and stay alive for as long as possible. Within this storyline, Khalid and Shahrzad start to lose their facades and start to form a relationship that takes them both by surprise and one that they fight so hard to ignore.

The world that Renee Ahdieh has created was very fun as the setting was old world Persia, probably not long after Aladdin’s tale (which is mentioned briefly in the book) and what a gorgeous scene that is set. A bit of magic, gorgeous colors to describe what materials the women dressed in and how the men were just as decorated in their royal garb. All of the food Shahrzad at as a newly appointed queen was deliciously detailed and had me drooling on those pages! Between Shazi and Khalid’s storylines we get word on what Shahrzad’s father is doing–trying to save her from this crazy mess she got herself into as Calipha of Khorasan, Tariq (Shahrzad’s boyfriend and brother of slain BFF Shiva) is also on a rescue mission for her and intends on causing a lot of trouble for Khalid. I can’t wait to see what happens in book two because the series ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so excited to see where things go!

  • I would say the two things that I wasn’t wild about in the novel were that I had hoped for more of a backstory between Shahrzad and best friend Shiva, there seemed to be only snippets of their time as friends along with more setting up Tariq’s friendship and love for Shazi as they grew up together. Definitely could’ve explored it more so I’d have been more invested in Shahrzad’s plan to kill Khalid.
  • I also found Despinia, Shazi’s handmaiden as queen, brash behavior and dialogue between Shazi and her off-putting. Despinia kept calling Shahrzad a brat every other conversation and sometimes they’d be on the same page and not irritating each other and the rest of the time Despinia just felt like an odd character. I wasn’t in love with her scenes because they didn’t complement each other.

These were the only points I wished were written a little differently but overall a really fun read and I can’t wait for book two!!

Also in adding The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) to my Amazon cart, I hadn’t realized that there’s novellas to go along with the duology:

Happy reading!!!

Advertisements

Mini Review Recap 2016 (1)

I’ve been on a bit of a reading hiatus–more like I’ve started three or four books and can’t seem to finish a single one of them–so it’s been super hard for me to post. I also tried to look at this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic which involved “funny reads” annnnnnnd apparently I read the most depressing books ever! I kid you not, I could barely find enough for a top ten list…TEN! That’s not very many at all. Lovely.

SO.

I did realize I’ve read a few comics in the meantime so I wanted to give a review recap of those👍

Poe Dameron #1
Charles Soule, Phil Noto (Illustrator) 

If you saw my post earlier that was a Waiting on Wednesday edition, you’d see that I was really anticipating this comic to start. I pre-ordered the first three issues so far but the first issue really wasn’t as impressive as I had hoped. It *is* just a first issue so I’m willing to give until Issue #3 and determine whether to stick to volumes or maybe just stop until a better arc is created. The story opens before The Force Awakens starts, Poe getting word from General (Princess) Leia Organa that Poe might be able to find out more info on where Luke Skywalker is. He is to assemble a team and search for Lor San Tekka, aka Max von Sydow in the film, and then they can hopefully put the pieces together and help fight against the First Order. There’s a good mix of BB-8 and his team which were mostly flying around during the movie so this was cool to see the makings of the characters, but overall nothing that was super exciting.

*ALSO* I don’t read a lot of Marvel so I’m not sure if this is just their comic format/style, but I really despised an advertisement every like eight pages–so, SO distracting from Poe’s story. I do read Ms. Marvel but I read in volumes–even still, I don’t recall many ads until the end. I also don’t know if this wasn’t like a Star Wars issue too, not just a Marvel format. As someone who reads 98% Image Comics storylines I don’t really know how to tell. And I’ve read a good chunk of volumes and single issues but any kind of promotion for other comics are done at the end, they just jump right into the story.

Wicked + the Divine #18
Kieron Gillen, Illustrators Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson 

A really good issue to come back to! The series took a little break, I think right before/after Christmas in 2015, so it was very fun to get back to things in this universe of Gods as pop stars. The illustrations continue to be flawless and I think with as many issues as released (currently I own all A-covers, I believe) I might want to re-read and consume it all again. Sometimes the waiting periods can take you out of the game–that’s why I really enjoy reading volumes but this series is my first so I’m more sentimental to what versions I own. So excited to see where things go because certain characters are back and there’s some mayhem that’s been started. Woohoo!

In the meantime….here are a few things I’m working on reading in between:

  • Star Wars: Before the Awakening . . . . semi-struggle maybe because I’m so used to the visuals of these stories but still REALLY interested on what happened pre-film timeline!
  • The Walking Dead season 6 ended a few weeks ago and I started having withdrawals and sorrow that I had never picked up the comics. Well there’s like a thousand to catch up on, so I ended up finding the first Compendium and read a good chunk read–about 12% which was a good start. Will try and own soon!
  • The Wrath & the Dawn . . . . . I recently just went back to this story and am now really hooked! I think I didn’t read far enough before I let my reading slump get the best of me. Review soon👍