Title: The Wrath and The Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 4.5/5
Goodreads rating: 4.23
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
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?
So first things first this book is beautiful. DONE, I said it. Secondly, this was one of the first books I wanted to read after seeing a couple of Booktube videos a few months back and it feels great to have finally read this book! There is a lot of hype still sounding this book and it’s sequel, The Rose and The Dagger. Though this surprisingly didn’t put me off but pushed me on to see what all the hype was about.
This story is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights and centers around Shahrzad who becomes Khalid’s wife and successfully survives the dawn by her capturing the King’s interests by her magical storytelling. As the days and dawns pass, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love with the boy prince but increasingly infuriated by how many secrets he keeps. What Shahrzad doesn’t know is that her childhood sweetheart Tariq is making plans to ‘rescue’ her and start a rebellion amongst the people all at once.
So I really enjoyed the plot of this story. It was was a quiet slow burner and at times I was wondering what the hell is actually happening in the plot. It is an essentially a love story which is uneventful compared to the books I’ve been reading previously this month. But I think I loved it just being a plain love story- okay maybe not a plain love story but I swear nothing really happens- well stuff happens but things are less impactful I think I’m trying to say. Anyway, the thing with this book is the longer you read it the more you fall in love with the characters, the setting and the whole feel off the book. The pacing wasn’t off in anyway and the plot moved smoothly throughout the book without any jarring moments.
This book isn’t full of a lot of plot twists and the big plot thing that normally happens in the book came right at the end with that humongous cliffhanger! All of that action all at once was a little surprising!
The writing in this book was splendid truly. It was lovely to read a book that you didn’t have to read passages over to get the meaning. You could just simply enjoy the book. All of the jargon that Ahdieh uses is in italics and it was only at the end of the book I realised that they was a glossary! I know I failed big time, I had to keep googling up stuff. But I feel happy she did this, it added to the authentic atmosphere created. Also all of the descriptions seemed so vibrant! I could clearly see everything Ahdieh was writing.
“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.
“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.”
There are loads of realistic and interesting characters in this book. Shahrzad is a tough cookie! I feel in love with her characters and how normal she was portrayed as. She is seriously driven and brave while in the presence of the ‘monster’ prince and has a certain flair which you don’t normally see in YA books, or even romance books.
Khalid was such a layered character and I love layered characters so I was totally invested in the chapters where Shahrzad was just telling Khalid the stories or just in his presence really. And I was so shipping this pairing! I just didn’t like Tariq that much went he started getting a bit possessive.
What I liked:
- The characters
- The beautifully rich plot
What I disliked:
- Hmm I’m not quite sure but it didn’t scream five star for me, but still I pretty great book!
Verdict: This book is stunning, a slow burner and wonderfully wrapped together will smooth simplistic writing. The atmosphere is authentic and the characters carry the wonderful story all the way to the last page where there is still enough plot to have you wishing you have the second book straight away.
I’ll write soon!