Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on May 12, 2015
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 388 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased
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 picked up The Wrath and the Dawn after consistently hearing it raved about by authors and bloggers alike. I was surprised to find it had come out in May since it wasn’t on my radar at all until recently. Going into this book knowing very little of the story, only that it was based on the tale, One Thousand and One Nights, along with all of the hype surrounding it could have been a set up for major disappointment. Nope, it blew me away.
This tale of Shahrzad’s journey of revenge and then discovery flows beautifully from start to finish. The world is composed with such detail and description that I felt as if I could taste and smell what the characters were experiencing. The sensory experience in this book on its own would make for a delightful read. Renée Ahdieh does an excellent job of making this world feel luxurious while still being on the brink of horrible atrocities.
The Wrath and the Dawn’s characters for the most part felt well developed, complex, and real. My favorites were Shazi, Khalid, and Jalal. Shazi in particular stood out with her conviction and passion. The flexibility in her understanding and change was dynamic. Her tension with Khalid and his revelations provide plenty of intrigue throughout the novel. Jalal’s humor, charm, and concern shined through and the family dynamics were intense. The only character I think could have done with more development was Jahandar but will see what is to come.
- “I once had a thousand desires, But in my one desire to know you, all else melted away.” – Jalal al-Din Rumi
- “Love is a force unto itself, sayyidi. For love, people consider the unthinkable…and often achieve the impossible. I would not sneer at its power.”
- “This dangerous girl. This captivating beauty.
This destroyer of worlds and creator of wonder.”
- “My soul sees its equal in you.”
- “You are not weak. You are not indecisive. You are strong. Fierce. Capable beyond measure.”
I came away from this book in adoration and will definitely be reading it again soon. Maybe even reading sections at a time to sustain myself. Now the long wait for the sequel, The Rose and the Dagger, begins.
Have you read The Wrath and the Dawn? Tell me your thoughts…