Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Genre: Young Adult – Romance, Fantasy, Retellings
Format: Purchased Hardcover
“The Wrath and the Dawn” is a retelling of the classic tale of “A Thousand and One Nights” and in this story it tells about a young caliph – a king – who takes a new wife every day and kills her by the next dawn. No one knows why he does it, but they hate him for it. And it also tells about the brave young girl, Shahrzad, who volunteers to be this caliph’s next bride; but she’s determined to make it to the next sunset, and the one after that, and so on. But there’s some darker secrets that are lying behind this tale of romance, and it weaves an interesting story.
I thought this book was both enjoyable and frustrating, but more so enjoyable than frustrating.
Let me talk about the characters:
Shahrzad (aka Shazi), our leading lady, is a stubborn, strong willed, fierce young woman of sixteen who has a silver-tongue and a quick mind. She’s very fiesty in many parts of the book and I really enjoyed that about her personality; that she wouldn’t just sit down and obey whatever was dished out to her. But I also felt like that was a flaw at some points because her stubborn head could possibly get her into trouble or even killed. I did think that her being on a warpath for revenge was kind of annoying at times, but that may be because I sort of knew how the book would progress? I did think that she gave in too easily at the end and that she lost some of her flare (like seriously, I wanted to slap her for just going along with the plan and not putting up more of a fight). She’s still a strong main heroine and I thought as she got to know Khalid more the more she opened up and her personality really started to shine.
Khalid is the caliph of Khorazan, the King of Kings, in this book and I thought he was very… well, interesting. I thought because of his quiet demeanor that he’d be kind of boring, but I found that I was just as entranced by him as Shazi was throughout the book. He was fiercely protective and very quiet, but wise. I thought that he didn’t really overreact in any situation, but I was confused at the end as to what happened and whether or not he knew what was going to happen… I thought that the fact that the relationship between him and Shazi developed in such a strange and tense way was kind of refreshing. I also appreciate that he appreciates honesty above all else given his past.
Despina was a fireball when we saw her and I was surprised she was able to say so much in free reign without being chastised for it. She was the kind of friend who wasn’t afraid to tell you the truth, but would still do anything to protect you from being hurt. I wish we had seen more of her, but I also know that the story was more about the relationship and romance.
Jalal is Khalid’s smooth talking charmer of a cousin who is also Captain of the Guard for the palace. He’s kind of the bad boy of the story, but he’s not mean or anything, just teasing and joking all the time. He can be serious when he needs to be, but sometimes it can be hard to distinguish those moments.
Tariq is Shazi’s first love, and as such I could understand why he wanted to save her and all of that, and I believe he had good intentions at the beginning. But as the story continued to progress and things just kind of escalated over time, I was extremely frustrated with him at the end because he was being a possessive idiot and not letting Shahrzad get in any words. I hope I’m not the only one who felt that way.
Now we met some other characters who I’m sure will play a much larger role in the next book, but as of right now I’m not very fond of those characters because I know there are schemes behind them. Some characters I do like, but others, not so much.
As for the plot, I enjoyed it. I really thought that it was interesting to see a girl go in with this plan for vengeance for her best friend, and discover that she is falling in love with a supposed monster. I couldn’t help but feel for Khalid and how things happened to him and why things are the way they are and just… Oh, he really isn’t that bad. I was annoyed at times with how things progressed or what was thought or said, but I think that was mostly because I knew the other side of the story.
This book included multiple points of view from Shahrzad, Tariq, Khalid, Jahandar (Shazi’s dad), among a couple others. It wasn’t really hard to discern who was speaking because it was often told right from the first word or paragraph of that section.
I enjoyed the progression of the romance and was so happy to see that even though all the hateful feelings Shazi had toward Khalid that she could really sympathize with him and to really just see the progression… well, it was lovely. I honestly don’t even know how it happened, but it did.
I’m anticipating reading the next book because now I need to know a few things and what happens next.
I gave this book a 4/5 stars and highly recommend it.