Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 12th 2015
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Read Jessica's Review!
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights. Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend. She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.
This book. My goodness. I only just finished it before sitting down to write this review and I am still trying to process everything. The Wrath and the Dawn is simply beautiful. Renee has a knack for sucking her readers in with beautiful descriptions and an enchanting romance.
When Shahrzad (Shazi) marries Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan she doesn't expect to live the night. Each day Khalid takes a new bride, only to kill her at sunrise the following morning. Shahrzad's best friend Shiva, was killed by the boy king weeks earlier and to avenge her death Shazi offers herself up to be his next bride. She doesn't go into it blind though. She has a plan. Or had one. Shazi doesn't die the first sunrise as Khalid's wife. She lives. Shazi had managed to do something that none of the other girls have done. But eventually Shazi begins to fall in love with her friend's murderer, a boy with secrets tightly held.
Biggest thing I learned in this book? Don't mess with Shazi. She is fierce. Favorite quality to her? Her wittiness. Shazi was able to take a serious moment and insert a witty comment. It was a real joy to see what would come out of her mouth next. Shazi didn't go into her marriage with Khalid with out a plan, her plan was clear cut. Kill him. Things didn't go according to plan though. I loved getting to see her internal monologue and begging Shiva for forgiveness and promised to avenge her after realizing she had falling in love with Khalid. There isn't much to say about Khalid, he is really a troubled boy who wasn't ready to be a king. He didn't have the easiest life and has been punished horribly for things that were out of his control. The growth he goes through from page one until the end of the novel is amazing. I can't wait to see more of him in the next book.
The romance in this book is stunning. If I could have a romance like this in every book I would. It was slow burn. Not to the point of boredom, but enough to actually give it a realistic feel. Shazi and Khalid are two complete opposites that they balanced each other out. One had what the other needed.
I had no prior knowledge of A Thousand and One Nights when I went into The Wrath and the Dawn so I wasn't sure what I was getting into. I expected this book to be high fantasy, not a historical fiction set in the middle east. With that being said, Renee did a beautiful job at world building and developing the culture for her readers. (Do take advantage to the glossary at the back of the book. It will be a big help with a lot of the word meanings!) This is definitely a world I am excited to visit again with the book sequel.
Overall, I loved this book! It will be definitely something I will push on everyone who hasn't read it yet. The ending was a knife in the gut but I think I will be able to manage until next year for the sequel. Great part is: it is only a duology so the story won't get dragged out like it tends to happen in some series!