Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Published by Penguin, Putnam Books on May 12th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Ancient Civilizations, General, Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
eBook provided by The Library
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.
The Wrath and the Dawn was a book with much hype. I have seen it featured so many places lately. So, when I spied it at my local library, I knew I had to get it. This book was a grand adventure of the heart. From the very first page, I was captivated by the characters and their circumstances.
The Caliph of Khorasan, eighteen-year-old Khalid, takes a new bride every night, and has her executed at dawn the next day. When her best friend is chosen to wed him and executed, Shahrzad makes a plan to kill him herself. She volunteers to wed him and uses her wit to make him want her alive. When the new day breaks and she is still alive, the people of Khorasan can hardly believe it. Her family has already set into motion a plan to have her avenged, and now it will be a rescue. The only problem is that Shahrzad may be falling for the tyrant and may not want him killed at all now. How can she feels something for the monster that killed her friend, and what if her family kills him now that she has changed her mind?
This book was very original. It is loosely based on the fable of 1001 Nights (Arabian Nights). It was a romance, sure, but it was also a story about wit and bravery. We get multiple POVs in this story. All of the supporting characters were richly drawn and bring much depth to this tale. We get Shahrzad’s POV and then we also get Tariq and Shahrzad’s father, who both love her fiercely. Tariq is a boy who Shazi grew up with, and they are in love. It was really hard read to Tariq’s story, especially after he realizes that Shazi is in love with her husband and tries to get her to come home anyways.
I can’t imagine a sixteen year old facing death willingly. She is suppose to be in love too, so why does she volunteer to wed the king? To avenge her best friend, who died at the dawn of her marriage, as every other bride to the king has. Her best friend has just been killed and her whole family hates the king. Shazi’s world is very different than mine, and everything in her is screaming for revenge. Why does he have his brides killed? Every day he gets a new one, but this just doesn’t make sense. Shazi uses her wit to stay alive in this tale, it doesn’t hurt that she is beautiful but it will take more than beauty to change the king’s heart.
Khalid, the king, is a very conflicted character. He looks very cruel from the outside, but the way he treats Shahrzad is so contradictory to his reputation. His story is one that will take much trust to get to. His servants and staff are all so supportive of this king, even though he treats his brides to death. Then Khalid acts chivalric and damaged. He is obviously hiding something. It is no wonder Shazi is so conflicted about him. Even I started to feel something for him. I love the slow burn sort of romance and this story really had me swooning.
The instant Shahrzad brought her palm to his, she felt a cool wash of dispassion take over.
The scenes were vividly described. The author is able to use language to woo the reader into imagining the world the characters are struggling though. So on one hand we have this adventurous love story, and we also get a fantastical world where magic and chivalry live.
This is book one so there is more to come, (and their damn well better be because I cannot live with that ending). I will definitely be buying this for my bookshelf. I can hardly believe this was a debut novel. This is an author I will be watching. I want everyone to read it so we can talk about it. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys youngish characters, romance, and gorgeous storytelling.
About the Author
Renée Ahdieh is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. The Wrath and the Dawn is her debut.