The Wrath and the Dawn: Book One
Written by Renee Ahdieh
Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings
Published May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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One Life to One Dawn.Shahrzad is a young girl on a mission to avenge her best friend, Shiva. In a twisted tale of curses and slaughter come Khalid - the eighteen year old boy king of Rey. Khalid is notorious for killing a bride every dawn, amongst those murdered at dawn are Shiva. Finally having enough of the mad king, Shahrzad volunteers to be Khalid's next bride. However, her goal is not to be another dead girl at dawn. No, Shahrzad intends to get revenge for the death of so many innocent girls. Unfortunately, setting out on a mission to murder the boy-king is harder than imagined.
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?
Despite how hard she tries, Shahrzad is quickly pulled into a war of wills. She finds herself falling for her best friends murderer despite all Khalid has done. Now she must not only kill a monster, but a man she has grown to love. Amidst falling in love with a monster, another boy arises from Shahrazad's past. Tariq is on a mission to save the girl he has loved since childhood. Both Shahrzad and Tariq's missions collide into a web of betrayal, heartbreak and longing of things neither of them can have.
Wow. WOW. Now I can completely understand the hype that surrounds this book. Please note that I am writing this at nearly 2 A.M. directly after finishing said book. I was going to wait until the next day to review, but I just couldn't. My feels need to be explored and vented about The Wrath and the Dawn, 'cause holy son of mother that was one hell of a book. ONE HELL OF A BOOK I SAY.
Beware, this is more gushing than anything else. But I can't be bothered.
Let me start with the bad. Ha! Just kidding, there is no bad. Just a personal issue. It took me a good eighty or so pages to adjust to the rich culturistic aspect of the story. Every time I'd come across a term I didn't know I'd have to google it because I'm a curious little moose and have to be able to envision what I'm reading. Unfortunately I didn't realize until the end that there was a glossary, so incase you read this book and you're thinking you won't understand a few terms or objects then yee just turn to the back and BAM your issue is solved. In the end I really loved that the story had a prominent bit of Persian culture mixed in. I learned a lot of things and was able to have a colorful imagination while reading!
I have no idea what the original story is - I've never read the tale that The Wrath and the Dawn was birthed from but I sure as hell want to. Although, I'm kind of glad I wasn't familiar with the story because everything was a surprise. Let me start by saying that I wasn't sure at first if I would like it. I was doubtful, I was foolish. I waited too long to read this book. The story was brilliant and enthralling. I was fascinated as to why this young king would take a new wife every day, only to kill her at dawn. I had to keep my nimble little fingers from flipping to the end to find out. But UGH THE FEELS WHEN I DID. I loved every second.
The plot kept me on my toes, I genuinely can say I was clutching my phone (which I read on) 85% of the time struggling to stay calm. It was a whole bucket of frantic desperation and panic. Plus the writing was simply breathtaking. There's so many quotes that made me incredibly happy or thoughtful. Renee Ahdieh is a poet, a weaver of nothing but beautiful prose.
“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.
“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.”
“No. Destroy Me.”
THE ROMANCE was my everything. It's all I need. No insta-love. Just a good old heartbreaking romance that clutches on and doesn't let go. Khalid had my heart since page one, and Shahrzad quickly followed suite. A damaged boy falls for a girl who gives him air. I DON'T GIVE A DAMN WHAT HE'S DONE. I ship these two more than what is probably considered healthy. I adore both of these characters for different reasons. There's so many moments between these two that was pure PERFECTION.
Tariq can piss off. I don't care about him, not one bit. Other than him, the secondary characters brought a lot of life to the story as well. My personal favorite is Despina (Shahrzad's handmaiden) who was a complete gift to the world. Full of sass and snark which enhanced my love even more when the girls became friends. God, I can't emphasize how much I enjoyed the secondary characters.
In short, I just need the second as soon as I possibly can. I know I say it a lot, but I NEED THIS SEQUEL ASAP. Such a treat this book was.
The Wrath and the Dawn was an unexpected gift upon the literary world. With its enchanting plot, mesmerizing writing and a passionate romance it will surely be an unforgettable retelling for ages to come. The world and the characters were a rich pleasure. Adding a dash of magic and mystery produced a fantastic retelling of The Arabian Nights by the gifted Renee Ahdieh. I simply cannot wait for its sequel, The Rose and the Dagger. May could not come sooner.
Kynndra is currently reading After the End by Amy Plum, and squinting at her computer screen since she only has one contact in.