Title: The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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?
Renee Ahdieh’s writing is absolutely fantastic, full of rich imagery and amazing descriptions that truly set the scene throughout which meant I didn’t find it hard to fall into this world.
When I first read the description, I was drawn in immediately. It’s just the kind of story I love, a strong female lead trying to overthrow a tyrant and I wasn’t disappointed. Shahzard is a heroine who is more than just physically brave, she is mentally brave as well and she is able to use her storytelling and her mind to ultimately get what she wants but we also get to see her show off her physical skills using a bow and arrow as well. You know I love a training scene where the heroine gets to show how she isn’t a delicate little flower like they all thought.
The Wrath and the Dawn follows a steady pace, we have years of information to unravel and learn about Khalid and why he kills his brides and this unravels slowly. There is also a presence of romance which of course I need in all my stories, whilst it was a focus I felt it didn’t overpower the overall question of learning why Khalid kills his brides.
“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”
One thing I wasn’t expecting was the magical elements. I knew this would be fantasy retelling of sorts but I was surprised to read the magical/power elements come into play which I am very curious to find out more about in the next book!!
Shahzard is a character who I loved so much, she is strong, sassy and sarcastic but she battles her emotions throughout. The story begins with her set in her ways, a decision made and instead she finds herself following a different course which she struggles with. She also builds up a strong relationship with her hand-maiden who I equally loved, she wasn’t scared to just say what she thought and together they built a real friendship of trust.
Khalid is most definitely a complex character, we question throughout why he is killing his brides and its something that lingers behind every interaction he shares with Shahzard. I really came to love to Khalid.
I don’t want to do a really long review, because I know you like short and to the point but the Wrath and The Dawn was a 4.5 star read for me. I found it easy to get into the story and I connected with the characters, ultimately it is the book that has drawn me out of my reading and blogging slump, something that have been plaguing me for months now and I cannot be happier.
I can’t wait to read the sequel, although I must battle my TBR before I can buy it.
The Wrath and the Dawn ended on a cliffhanger so I am very excited to see how the story unravels and what Renee has in store.