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!!!

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