Review – The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh


The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

By Renee Ahdieh

SummaryOne 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. 

Source: I purchased a paperback

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I really enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn. It was exactly what I was in the mood for. I wanted to read a story with a blend of magic, violence, and romance and that’s exactly what I got. Even better, it had That desert A Thousand and One Nights feel to it. I think the book is a retelling in that aspect, but I’ve never read any of those stories as a kid, so I’m not sure how it stacks up as a retelling. As a fantasy, I was thoroughly entertained.

I loved Shazi. She was a breath of fresh air and I loved how ruthless and stubborn she was. I had no doubt she could murder the Caliph if needed, but I knew there had to be some sort of reason for him to murder so many of his previous wives. Each wife was murdered at dawn.. Dozens of them. Shazi was the only person to volunteer to become his wife, with the intent of exacting her revenge for the death of her beloved friend.

The plot was complicated because there was so much going on, so much we didn’t yet know. Characters were forming their own plans in the background while Shazi wondered why she had hesitated so often and why her heart sped up around the Caliph. As she survived each dawn, more secrets were revealed and Shazi realized she had no idea what to do.

In some ways, the book is a bit predictable since the synopsis and the cover tell us that Shazi will fall for him. But I don’t think it was too predictable in other areas because I was curious as to how Shazi would fall, why she would fall, and what Khalid’s reasons for murdering so many innocent girls would be. With the conflict in the background and so many players trying to knock Khalid down, I was definitely entertained.

I feel like I’ve enjoyed a lot of YA fantasies set in Eastern cultures as of late and I’m enjoying the trend. I admit that I’m not well versed in a lot of cultures, so it’s a breath of fresh air and I appreciate the new trend. The Wrath and the Dawn is a great YA fantasy and I can’t wait to read the sequel. My only complaint is that my paperback has a different cover that does not match the hardcover sequel. While I like the cover, I prefer the unique original cover, so I wish I didn’t own a different version. The good thing is that the sequel I own is the original version AND it’s signed!

I definitely recommend The Wrath and the Dawn if you’re looking for a fun YA fantasy retelling that isn’t based on Western fairy tales. It’s definitely enjoyable.

Star 5


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