Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Release Date: May 12th 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
~ Goodreads Synopsis ~
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?
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The Wrath and the Dawn took me completely by surprise. I figured I would like the book, but like on the usual 4 – 4.5 star level. This is a full-blown 5 out of 5 star book. I believe this book may now be one of my favorites, even up there with ACOTAR (but ToG and Harry Potter will always be my number- ones). If you have not read this book, I highly recommend you pick it up and read it instantly.
So, this book is strongly based off the classic One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, which tells the story of a king who kills a new wife every night due to the fear that she will stop loving him – his latest wife tells him stories every night to save herself from the same fate. In the Wrath and the Dawn, we still have a king that kills a new bride every night, but for a different, unknown reason. When Shahrzad becomes his newest wife, she tells him stories to save herself as well, and maybe begins to develop some feelings for him that stray from her hatred. From there, the entire story is a mystery until you continue to read it because there are so many secrets and twists and wonderful side plots that really make this a deep, meaningful tale.
Shahrzad is a character I really loved reading about. She is such a strong woman whose weakness is not her self-esteem like a lot of YA characters. I enjoyed seeing her plot against the king in the beginning with the creation of the stories, and then her growth as she begins to understand what is happening in the castle. I was kind of weary about reading this because I was thinking it would be about this weak girl with really bad Stockholm syndrome, but it is not like that at all, so if that is your perception of the book, please give it a chance!
Despina is another character I love – I appreciate the presence of such strong women in a place that is so controlled by men. They are so unlike the strongness of, say, Celaena Sardothien, because Shahrzad and Despina both face realistic struggles and are relatable women. They aren’t physically strong and they are relatively untrained (Shahrzad is trained with a bow and arrow, but it’s mostly just skill), but they represent emotionally strong women. Despina, in what becomes of her toward the end, is empowering in that she is willing to face it on her own and is so sassy. Shahrzad also holds herself very well when thrown into the royal world – she is snappy and powerful and does not lose the image she has of herself.
The king, who I had assumed I would hate entirely, was another character I enjoyed reading about. He was very complex and the history that he is cursed with is also so intricate and unexpected (it is very different from One Thousand and One Arabian Nights). The people who work for him were also very interesting as the story grew and progressed.
The plot in itself is amazing. It is beautiful and unique, and it is definitely one story that I am not going to forget any time soon. The language of the book is actually gorgeous and one of the best pieces of writing that I have ever read. Her word choice is perfect and it flows so well, making it an easy book to read with no abrupt stops in the sentences.
Let me know down below what you guys thought of the book!
Thanks for reading,