Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Published: 12th May 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books
“This dangerous girl. This captivating beauty.
This destroyer of worlds and creator of wonder.”
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?
There are some books that are written so beautifully that they leave me in such jealous awe of the author’s ability to craft language in a poetic and captivating way that I want to speak the story aloud rather than simply let the words settle and sit in my mind. Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and The Dawn was one of those books. Ahdieh’s writing depicts a setting so gorgeous that you can’t help but want to walk through Khalid’s palace, dress up in Shazi’s beautiful clothes, and taste the delicious foods.
I loved the storytelling aspect of the novel. There are a few times that the main character Shazi spends time telling Khalid stories, and I found these parts of the book especially interesting to read. The stories mirror the current storyline of the book incredibly well, and I always appreciate a story that celebrates stories and story-telling in general!
I also really liked the main characters in this story. Shazi is determined yet full of emotion, and Khalid is mysterious yet vulnerable. Unfortunately, I found the rest of the wide cast of characters a little bit forgettable. While Shazi and Khalid shine out of the pages of this story, it is very clear that it is their story. This isn’t a completely negative thing, but it did give the book less depth.
I also had trouble with the romance. While I enjoyed both characters, I found the romantic tension a little unfounded. It came out of nowhere, and I felt very confused as to what made these two characters fall in love with each other so passionately that their motives and ties could be pushed aside so quickly and drastically. It was because of how unbelievable this was that I struggled to engage in the story, which was otherwise very interesting.
Overall, I found The Wrath and the Dawn an incredibly well written and captivating story, but felt unconnected to some of the characters, and to the romantic tension. I would still recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of more fast-paced romantic storylines, and lyrical, poetic writing.