“It’s a fitting punishment for a monster. To want something so much—to hold it in your arms—and know beyond a doubt you will never deserve it.”
The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
by Renée Ahdieh
Published May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam
Young Adult Fantasy
Read on: 21 May 2016
My rating: ★★★★
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
My oh, my, where do I even begin?
A beautifully compelling novel by Renée Ahdieh, The Wrath and The Dawn is a retelling of the classic Arabian Tale, A Thousand and One Nights, commonly known as Arabian Nights. Personally speaking, I have never read any of the original tales, but I do know the gist of the story which piqued my interest as I’ve never really read anything like it.
This story follows the Caliph of Khorasan, also known as Khalid Ibn al-Rahid who is a notorious boy-king murderer who takes in a new bride each night, only to be killed at dawn without reason. One day he takes in and kills a girl named Shiva, the best friend of Shahrzad al-Khayzuran. Shahrzad or Shazi as her friends call her, is determined to avenge for her fallen friend by volunteering to be the next bride of the King.
Khalid Ibn al-Rahid’s character development in this story is just beyond spectacular, as if a rose blooming beautifully in spring. Khalid is the epitome of the saying “there’s something more than meets the eye” which people would surely appreciate as the story progresses. Boy, oh boy, this guy suuuure knows how to sweep a girl’s feet! The way Khalid talks to his queen is so dearing, I so wish I was in Shazi’s place right then and there. I do not think I can count how many times I *swoooned* while reading his dialogues cause he can sure talk! How I dislike Ahdieh for rising my standards with men, I’m not sure how much. (I don’t really hate her, okay?!)
Our leading lady, Shazi, is just better if not equally great as Khalid! She embodies an absolute feisty heroine, she was fierce, sassy, and oozed of girl power. Majority of the book, she’s deemed as someone who is fearless, but reality is, she has fears and weaknesses too which makes her even more human and loveable to the readers enraptured by the story. If there were fictional characters I’d love to be best friends with, Shazi’s definitely be one of the top people on the list!
One thing I can surely not pass up is the beautiful writing style. I have never once in my life encountered a book with such lyrical sentences, I wished every book was written like it. Poetic and alluring, these words are just shades of how I could describe the feeling while I was reading this book. The visual bits and pieces was well crafted by the author which I greatly appreciated as it made me enjoy the story-line more!
The Wrath and The Dawn was also rich in culture, from the language, the clothing, weaponry, titles, and the like. I do really enjoy learning new things and this book helped me learn and understand a culture that is far different from mine. The way she incorporated the language truly played its role that if English terms were used, this book would not mean as much as it is using Arabic terms.
Despite the fact that this book was heavy on romance, the family aspects was influential itself which played a few keys in this novel. There’s also magical elements introduced in the story, although it was almost barely there. I do hope we dwell more of these in-depth on the next book!
There were a few issues I encountered with this, which is the reason as to why the hype didn’t live up to my expectations.
(1) Instalove. Okay, okay, I know I’ve been warned a couple of times that there would be instalove but I just couldn’t help but be bothered by it. But somehow, Ahdieh has the power to create a beautiful relationship in a short span of time. A relationship I found myself appreciating because it the bond between Khalid and Shazi strengthened with the help of trust and loyalty.
(2) The big reveal did not surprise me. Far off the first few chapters, I have already assumptions of what the actual secret is. Although I did not expect the story behind it. It still left me speechless after finding out the secrets that lied within!
(3) Lastly, my expectations isn’t connected with this but—the names! I can’t deny the fact that I was so confused that I had to put this down for a while because I couldn’t keep up. Thankfully a friend of mine who read this gave me a tip; which is to give the characters a nickname so I could easily remember them.
PS—WARNING! There’s a cliffhanger. The ending of this book wasn’t ideal as it ended swiftly without explanation. After reading, there was probably a huge plaster on my forehead saying “WTF JUST HAPPENED?” BUT, it’s great that the next book is already out so you and I can pick it up right away!
Overall, this read felt fresh, enthralling, and I would definitely recommend you guys to pick it up!