Review: The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

February 16, 2017 Book Review, Young Adult 1 ★★★★

The Wrath & the DawnThe Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath & the Dawn #1
Published by Putnam Books for Young Readers on May 12th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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One 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.

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I’ve been meaning to read The Wrath & the Dawn, a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, for quite awhile but when I saw the author would be coming to a local event this spring, I knew it was time to dive into the duology!

The story tells of a young woman, Shahrzad, who volunteers to marry Khalid the Caliph of Khorasan, or king, even though her fate appears to be sealed as he is married each day to a woman just to have them murder the following dawn. Shahrzah is determined to break the cycle and seek revenge against Khalid after he took the life of her best friend. Shahrzah uses her time with the caliph to tell stories that captivate him enough to forget what is to come and leave him wanting more and what started as a revenge story grows into something more complicated than either of them could imagine.

I was instantly intrigued by the plot, curious as to why this evil act was committed to such innocent women over and over. There had to be more to the story, especially when you meet Khalid. He seemed haunted by ghosts of the past, regretful, and the complete opposite of the hateful man you would expect behind such a heinous act. Though we find out much of the reasoning behind this curse, there is still so much more to explore. We just skim the surface of the magic of this world and that little taste left me salivating for more of it!

Shahrzah was constantly fighting her growing emotions and had a tug of war inside her when dealing with those new feelings and her initial desire for revenge. I did not envy her predicament but I felt her indecision. To make matters worse, Shahrzad’s first love, Tariq, is determined to find a way to free her with the help of friends and family, not realizing she might not longer wish to be. So, is this a love triangle? A little bit. Enough to break my heart a little for all parties but also to where the true love lies is obvious.

Of course nothing is easy. A war is brewing and the repercussions of Shahrzah not falling to the same fate as her predecessors has an effect she couldn’t have predicted. I loved how different this book was from anything I’ve read before! I am thankful I waited to start this series because I plan on immediately picking up where I left off with the sequel, The Rose & the Dagger!

4_star

About Renee Ahdieh

Author of YA fantasy (THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, Penguin/Putnam ’15). Lives in North Carolina. Likes food and salsa dancing. Rep’d by Barbara Poelle of IGLA.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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