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.
Review copy provided by Penguin Canada in exchange for review.
The Wrath And The Dawn was one of my most anticipated reads for 2015 and when I was lucky enough to get an ARC in the mail, I squealed. Thankfully, it completely lived up to my expectations and I’m more than happy to give it 5 stars.
I personally haven’t read A Thousand And One Nights (the story on which this novel is based) so I can’t comment on the retelling aspect, but I did love the concept! Shazi volunteers to be Khalid’s next bride to avenge her best friend’s murder, but ends up realizing that the real reason why he is murdering young girls each dawn is more complicated than it seems. That’s a pretty cool concept, and I really loved the diversity. I’ve personally never read a retelling based on an Arabian story before.
The romance is obviously the main aspect of the story and I think the main reason that it worked so well was because both characters were so strong on their own. Shazi seems to be a pretty quiet person in general but trust me, you do NOT want to make her angry. She stands by her beliefs and is willing to stick up for herself.
At first, Khalid appeared to be the stereotypical mysterious boy but I loved getting to know him better throughout the book. He’s quite sweet and you can tell that he honestly believes he’s doing what is best for the people, even if it isn’t necessarily what he thinks is right. These two people are great characters individually, and completely adorable together!
“My soul sees its equal in you.”
― Renee Ahdieh. The Wrath And The Dawn
The story world in which this novel is set is so amazing as well! It’s mostly set in Khalid’s palace, but there are also a few scenes around the country during the brief POVs from other characters. The author’s writing is dazzling, and very descriptive. Everything is described in detail, and it really brings the world to life.
And what about that ending? I cannot deal with that, people. It completely broke my heart. The Wrath And The Dawn was almost perfect, and I need to sequel as soon as possible. 2016 cannot come soon enough. Run, down walk to your nearest bookstore (or online website for purchasing books). 🙂