The Wrath & The Dawn Review

Author: Renee Ahdieh Publishing Date: May 12th, 2015 Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1 Genre: fantasy, young adult, romance, retell...

Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publishing Date: May 12th, 2015
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Genre: fantasy, young adult, romance, retellings

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.

What I Liked:
This book takes place in a world where a monstrous boy-king marries a different woman every night, and then kills her by the morning. Rude. Shahrzad (from now on shall be referred to as Shazi) is his latest wife. She's there on a secret mission to murder the Caliph because he killed her best friend, the light of the world, Shiva. Shahrzad decides to do this on her own. She just sacrifices herself because she's drowning in rage-fire and wants to murder the man responsible for all her anguish. She takes on this assassination plot without telling her childhood sweetheart and current love, Tariq what she is intending to do. So of course once Tariq finds out what Shahrzad has sacrificed herself to, he's rendered full of panic and rushes to save Shahrzad by any means necessary.

I mean, that's the 411. That's the broad spectrum picture and original plans of all the character's. Not far into the story, dear reader, you and the characters will realize that there is much more to this story than meets the eye. There are hidden truths laying in the shadows yet to be revealed. Reasons come to light, and time rolls on, changing the tune of all who stand in the rays of enlightenment. Love is gained. Love is lost. Sorrows are shared by all like some bad buffet meal everyone is forced to participate in.

I LIKED THIS BOOK A GREAT DEAL. Shazi is such a sass filled ball of biting spunk. She's already got a wild attitude, and that combined with the fact that she knows the Caliph can kill her at any minute, makes her fearless. She's a dead woman walking, and she's intends to make the most of her last words on earth. Shazi, coupled with her hand-maiden Despina, the uber cheeky beauty from Thebes, makes for some of the best interactions I have ever read. They are so witty and banter back and forth like frenemies. Despina's affectionate term for Shazi is "Brat Calipha".

"Ever the smart Theban."
"If I push you over, you'll look decidedly unqueenlike."

To add to Shazi's sharp tongue, she's tough. She climbs walls, faces seven horrid men with a bow and arrow and makes them back down, and she casts looks that can "skewer a stone". She even insulted a man and his "tiny cucumber".

My favorite thing about Shazi is that she is so grounded. She's full of biting words and is tough as nails, but she isn't a BITCH. I love how beautifully Shazi was written. She is a well rounded person who wasn't made sassy for the sake of sass. She is smart, and cutting. Quite the silver tongue, and she won me over. The best way to describe her comes directly from the book on page 244, "[She] is a fearsome thing to behold in [her] own right."

Another aspect of this story I really enjoyed was the point of view. It was told in a way that we could see and feel the actions and thought of all the characters. It was quite wonderful and I want to read more stories told like this.

And the stories that Shazi tells in this book are actually really interesting. I found myself wanting to hear more and frustrated when the author glazed over the tales, because I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TOO. AND I REALLY REALLY REALLY WANTED TO KNOW WHAT THE CALIPH'S SECRET WAS. JALAL URGED HIM TO TELL HER. SHAZI ASKED HIM TO TELL HER. I BEGGED HIM TO TELL HER. IT WAS QUITE INFURIATING NOT KNOWING THE REASONS BEHIND HIS DAILY SLAUGHTERS.

Favorite quote from the book- "A shared history does not entitle you to a future, my friend."

And finally let me just quickly SQUEEL ABOUT HOW HOT THE CALIPH WAS JUST LET ME- I -MER- AH LUV HIM AND HE IS NOW ONE OF MY BOOK BOYFRIENDS AND I REALLY WANT TO SMELL SANDALWOOD because Shazi mentioned that the Caliph smells like sandalwood. I've read that smelly description of characters in lots of other books, and I've still yet to smell sandalwood. I don't know what these guys smell like. LET ME SMELL YOU PLEASE?! (I'm sorry I'm such a freak)

What I Hated:
Again, I found nothing to truly hate, or even be bothered by (as far as story and structure are concerned). But in terms of being bothered, let me take a moment to rant about Shazi's baba. Her father struck me as WEIRD. He was kind of a sad, broken down, pathetic man. I don't know if I was supposed to feel bad for him, but as the story progressed, I found myself being more and more creeped out by him. His character changes. He is still the sad little old man, but he becomes something else... something questionable. I'm not going to lie, his character made me think of Peter Pettigrew a few times. He just left me feeling weird.

Side note on the story- I really love romance. I'm quite drawn to it, and I love fantasy. While reading this story I found myself skipping ahead to see when the love interest would come back, and then I'd read all the pages and the knowledge that he was in an approaching chapter prompted me to read on. So I was driven by the romance. And the curiosity about the magical elements in the story. Some of the characters, and some supposed to be inanimate objects, contain magic. This magic theme was not explained in the story. It was just kind of there, and I'm hoping it's expanded upon in the second book.

Also I wanted Tariq to be a more well rounded character. He had hardly any depth in his story. I wished there was more to be seen in him besides his love for Shazi. He was so driven to rescue her, that all we know of him is that he's headstrong and barely listens to reason. It's all about Shazi. Get a life, sir. Although, you could argue that she IS his life... in that case he still needed to be more strategic in his methods of saving her from perceivable doom. From what I can tell, he was a love struck, rash poo poo.

Anyway if you're not into romance but actual plot, this story might be a little less exciting for you than it was for me. But if you DO love romance, omg scoop up this story now YOU ARE MISSING SO MUCH SLOW BURNING LOVE.

Overall: 4/5
I loved this book. It was so so so so so GOOD. Unfortunately the bits not revolving around lovey-dovey-ness did not capture me as much as I'd hoped they would. It was all very good, but I believe it could've been better. I WILL BUY THIS BOOK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

ALSO THE COVER MESMERIZED ME! I didn't realize that there was a girl on the front until I looked more closely, and then opened the front flap. I swear I opened and closed this book for a solid 10 minutes. I was way too thrilled over this little cover design.


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  1. I like how you didn't notice the face aha.

    I'm a new reader, and I love the way you write (and the amount of gifs you use), SUBSCRIBED!

    As for the book, I've never read it, but it looks like something I might try.

    Little Moon Elephant

    1. You should definitely read it :) And I'll check out your blog too! Thank you for your comment

  2. YES! I just read Cait's review of this, too, and ugh, it sounds so good! I love the whole idea of the culture. I'll definitely be on the look-out for this book.

    1. There's a scene where she's walking around her city and we definitely get to see a little bit of the lower class culture! I loved that bit of the story.