The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh


Original Title: The Wrath and the Dawn

Year Published: 2015

Published by:  G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Number of Pages: 404

First Sentence: It would not be a welcome dawn.

Goodreads Rating: 5/5


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 thoughts:

This was such a magical book. It gets its claws in you from the first page and never lets you go. I was a little hesitant to start this book though since I had read E.K. Jonhston’s fantastic A Thousand Nights which I absolutely loved. I thought I wouldn’t be able to look at this without comparing it with just A Thousand Nights, but that wasn’t a problem. This stands very well on its own and it was only after I finished it that I compared it to Jonhston’s book and found that they are both excellent in their own ways.

Shahrzad is an excellent main character and such a fantastic character. I pretty much fell in love with her, she is just that amazing. She is strong yet not fearless, good yet not perfect. She felt real and is a heroine I happily support. She did what she believed was right and what she needed to do, but it didn’t make her a hundred percent certain in her ability to make things right. She doubts herself which made her so very human.

Khalid is a complex and very interesting character as well. It was interesting to see how his relationship with Sharzad developed and changed, and how he struggled with being a good ruler for his country. He is a complex character that I instantly cared about. That doesn’t mean that the book makes excuses for his actions.

The handful of minor characters are very important to the story and add a depth to it. None of them feel superfluous, they are just smaller keys to the story in comparison to the big keys that are Sharzad and Khalid.

The language and the overall way this fantastic book is written are what gives it that extra magical feeling. The words flow from the pages and you feel the story in your bones. The plot is captivating and I was never bored reading this book.

Do I recommend it? 

Oh god yes!


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