The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Retelling
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (May 12, 2015)
Summary: 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.
“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?”
“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.”
“No. Destroy me.”
This book is unlike any other that I have ever read. From the meticulous and sense-pleasing descriptions to the imagery capable of transporting you to that very location; the imperfectly perfect characters fighting internal and external conflicts to the addition of Persian words middle-eastern elements to get the full effect of being entirely immersed in that world. All of those components just made Ahdieh’s story even more intriguing and stand out from all of the other retellings out there. Being half-Persian, I was extremely excited to finally get to read a book from my heritage that not only has such an interesting storyline, but also received such good reviews! I have heard nothing but raves about this duology from all of the bookstagrammers and book bloggers that I follow which just sealed the deal for me.
“I once had a thousand desires, But in my one desire to know you, all else melted away.” – Jalal al-Din Rumi
The fact that the opening quote was by my favorite Persian poet already got me to a good start. And I think that this quote perfectly describes the love between Shahrzad and Khalid *ugh swoon😍 #KHAZI5EVER*
Ahdieh’s writing style provided the story, in my opinion, a very fluid and poetic feel that really made the story flow better and more authentic. The omniscient point of view also added a really nice dimension to the story by letting the readers experience the thought process and feelings that the various characters had during the very stressful and intense situations throughout the story. You were able to see how each character approached a situation and what their immediate emotions and thoughts were, especially when it comes to Shahrzad and Khalid: two people from completely different worlds approaching the same situation.
“I will live to see tomorrow’s sunset. Make no mistake. I will live to see as many sunsets as it takes.”
Two words: Character. Development. Shahrzad is definitely one of my top heroines, if not my favorite. She did start out a bit annoying to me, but she grew up so much by the end of the book. She went from being a snarky, one-track minded 16 year old to a very mature young woman who learned to follow her heart, fight for what she loved, take others’ circumstances into consideration, and be more understanding. I have so much respect for her because despite all of the struggles that she had gone through, she never lost sight of herself and what was important to her.
“The mighty Caliph of Khorasan. The King of Kings. Her beautiful monster.”
And Khalid. Ugh, Khalid. I love him so much (definitely on my list of favorite book boyfriends-or husband in this case). I guess he could be compared to the Beast from Beauty and the Beast because he’s a really sweet and caring person on the inside, but he’s been damaged and hurt so many times in his life. He’s been viewed as a monster for so long that he eventually just embraced the title and became one. But he found it in himself to realize that he needed to take control of his life and make it what he wants it to be, rather than succumb to the label that he was given.
Shahrzad and Khalid are definitely one of my top OTPs, no doubt about it. They balance each other out SOOO well because they not only bring out each other’s strengths, but they also strengthen each other and changed each other for the better. They are so much better together than they are apart.
Side note: Tariq annoyed me so much. I’d tell my friends that TWATD kinda reminded me of a mix between Aladdin and The Hunger Games (Shahrzad=Katniss; Khalid=Peeta; Tariq=Gale). And the fact that Tariq’s name in Farsi means “dark” or “darkness” further backed up my argument as to how “in the dark” he was about Shahrzad and Khalid’s feelings for each other (hehe, see what I did there😉).
Overall, it was such a beautifully crafted story making for a very refreshing and satisfying read compared to many other “hyped” books. If you want a book that’s full of mystery, suspense, romance, and fantasy, this is the book for you!
I hope you enjoyed this review and leave your thoughts down below if you’ve read this bad boy!
Talk to y’all soon!
🚫❌ ONE SLIGHTLY LITTLE SPOILER AHEAD ❌🚫
I prefer the color blue to any other. The scent of lilacs in your hair is a source of constant torment. I despise figs. Lastly, I will never forget, all the days of my life, the memories of last night—
For nothing, not the sun, not the rain, not even the brightest star in the darkest sky, could begin to compare to the wonder of you.
This letter deceased meeeee. It was just so sweet and heartfelt and UGH. Like honestly, do men like this even exist?? If so, where can I find one because I want one. Pronto. 😍😍