Friday, June 5, 2015

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: 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.


"Perhaps you should spend less time despising the game and more time building the patience necessary to win."

The Wrath and The Dawn is inspired by A Thousand and One Nights. Now, I haven't read that and know little about it, so I can't really say much about it. But I love The Wrath and The Dawn. It's a unique book with a beautiful mix of love and darkness. Despite taking quite a long time to finish it, I savor every moment of it. Both Shazi and Khalid are complex characters that are perfect for such an intricate story.

After all, every story has a story.

Shazi wishes for revenge - for her best friend's death. She has every intention to take out the young king who murders his brides every night. She has plotted, planned, and strategized. Her methods are brilliant and cruel at the same time. She is very clever and determined - also a little dark. But what's a brilliant character without a dark side? Especially when her dark side seems so righteous in a way. Except all her planning has not prepared her for actually knowing Khalid. He has a cold and brutal edge, with keen observation as his own weapon, yet at the same time kind and caring and a little bit vulnerable. Khalid has a secret, one that leads to the heart of all the killing, all the murder, terror and hatred. One that scars his life forever. His backstory, while not what I expected, is still twisted and sad. But it shapes his complexity, and he's certainly a captivating character. Their interactions are especially interesting - playing with words and trying to outwit each other, yet exposing a little crack of their true self, their underlying goodness. It's impossible not to love them.

Is it so arrogant to want something that doesn't change with the wind? That doesn't crumble at the first sign of adversity?

The story actually doesn't have much of a plot. Unless you count Shazi's unwavering determination to find out Khalid's secret. But I believe that's okay. After all, the main focus of this book is Shazi and Khalid. And their relationship. They have undeniable chemistry that is potentially explosive. They are so right for each other, capable of being the most glorious of all lovers or the darkest enemies. They are portrayed in such a way that it's hard not to see their shadow lurking in each other's actions. Khalid's loyalty mirrors Shazi's, and her determination mirrors his. It's safe to say it's more than I could've ever asked for. The only thing that I didn't find satisfying is the backstory. Of course, I love it. But there is just one thing that doesn't fit the puzzle. I'm not going to reveal the story, but let's just say that what Khalid's doing to the brides is such an odd... um, payment. 

I want the second book so bad. I'm ready to see Shazi and Khalid again.

Rating: 8.5/10

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