Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Genre: fantasy, retelling
Published: May 2015
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.
I wasn’t as excited about this book as I was hoping I would be but The Wrath and the Dawn was still a very good book and I enjoyed it very much.
As you might already know, this book is retelling of A 1001 Nights which is about a king who takes a new wife every night, only to kill them at dawn. His latest wife starts telling him a story on the first night but doesn’t finish it at dawn. The king who is intrigued, wants to know how the story ends and postpones her execution. This goes on for a 1001 nights.
The Wrath and the Dawn isn’t an exact retelling but it’s based on it and there are quite a few similarities. I liked the changes that were made and I’m positive this will make a brilliant series.
The theme was refreshing as I haven’t read anything like it. The Arabian theme is somewhat new to me. I have read books before where a part of the world was Arabian inspired but the book was never entirely about it. The Wrath and the Dawn was though. I also didn’t know the tale of A Thousand and One Nights in detail, only that it’s about a king who kills his brides. It definitely piqued my interest in these kinds of stories.
I thought the plots was very well executed (pun not intended) There are a few things that I didn’t get… like why did Khalid like Sharhzad from the beginning? I know that in the original 1001 nights story the king lets her live because he wants to hear the story but then later he saves her life, declares her his queen but doesn’t want to hear the story anymore? I don’t understand Khalid that well, which is probably why I wasn’t invested in this character as much.
I was much more interested in some of the other characters. I liked Despina because she was in a difficult position but she still kept her head high and carried on. Sharhzad is like feminism in a character. She’s smart, always has her answer ready and she won’t. be. owned. by. any. man. Preach it girl.
Now, Tariq… I didn’t like him from the beginning. The story is obviously about Khalid and Sharhzad so I was all about those two. Tariq was just an annoyance I was hoping would go away after some time. Alas, the boy wouldn’t give up.
After he went back to the tribe (after he spied on Khalid and Sharhzad & found out she actually likes and trusts him) and decided that she needed saving because there was obvs something wrong with her, something must’ve happened for her to be confused about her allegiances (yeah you idiot… love!) because she obvs is just a weak girl who can be easily influenced by a man and who shouldn’t have been the one to kill the caliph to start with… I wanted to smash his head against a wall. I’m starting to believe he must think very lowly of women. I hope he dies or something. That’s how much I like him.
Towards the end a lot of things start happening and there’s a lot of build-up towards the next book. The word magic was dropped a few times throughout the book but there’s not much we know about it as of yet. I was kind of surprised to find out there was going to be magic involved. The flying carpet was my favorite thing though. HOW AWESOME IS IT THAT SHE OWNS A FLYING CARPET NOW! I also loved that the stories of Aladdin and Bluebeard were added. I feel like this made the book even better.
I rated The Wrath and the Dawn a solid 4 stars because it didn’t rock my socks off but it sure left an impression!