The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Format: Print ARC, 388 pages
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Retellings, Romance
Series: The Wrath And The Dawn, #1
Pre-order Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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.
*I received an advance reading copy from the publisher in an exchange for an honest review.*
When I first saw the cover, I was disinterested. Somehow, it just didn't appeal to me. But then it all changed once I read the synopsis. Reading it just made me so allured to The Wrath And The Dawn! It blew my mind just how much I was drawn to it! And then I find myself analyzing the cover and to my surprise, it was gorgeous and perfect. I was very lucky that I was able to get my hands on an early copy at the ALA Midwinter conference.
I actually read the first few pages a while ago and I wasn't really into it. My heart wasn't in the story and I knew that if I continued, I wasn't going to enjoy it. So I was very grateful that I decided to set it aside for another time. And the tables definitely turned this time around because I was instantly sucked into the writing. It was completely brilliant!! The pacing was just perfect as were the characters. It was very well thought out and researched. The moment I was done with the prologue, I knew this was going to be one to look out for.
This is a retelling of A Thousand And One Nights and it takes place in a Middle-East based world. There was an abundant of unfamiliar words and Middle-East sounding names that I didn't understand or know how to pronounce but I think it was necessary because it made the world come to life. I was just glad there was a glossary to help me out. But then again, this is a fantasy story and they always come with their strange and difficult terms. I also learned a few things like how Caliph and Calipha are other words for king and queen and how sayyidi means "my lord or "my liege." So that was sort of welcoming to learn about.
I was having trouble keeping up with the names that I started getting confused or lost at times because it's in third point of view and it switched points of views to many characters. It was easy at first but then there were new characters popping out that I actually had to write names down to keep track.
The plot and the romance were most certainly without a doubt entertaining. There were parts where it was getting hot and sexy. And I really wished for more even though this is for young readers. But I going to say that I think this is more for mature and upper YA due to some violence and the sexy times we did get.
The characters were also very fun to read about. I liked seeing how Shahrzad went from loathing Khalid to being surprised at how her heart's had a change of feelings. She learns that not all is what it appears to be. And I think she handled things pretty good, surprisingly. She's very brave when she volunteered to marry the caliph when she didn't know if she would even survive the night. I enjoyed that aspect about her. I also loved seeing the other side of Khalid that no one really knew about. Everyone portrayed him as a monster for killing all of his brides. And maybe he is but he is also thinking about his city and his people. On the outside, he may appear to be some ruthless killer, but on the inside, he still has a conscious for destroying so many lives. He's also very sexy at times and very mature and gentlemanly for his age.
The ending was really predictable and I knew it was coming. But there were some outcomes that I didn't see. Things are obviously unresolved as there is a second book. But I think I'm sated until the second book. I can't say that everyone will feel this way. I heard some people had book hangovers after they finished reading this so you should be prepared.
Overall, The Wrath and The Dawn will appeal to so many people and many will be drawn by the cover itself. But I wouldn't recommend this to new fans of fantasy because it can be difficult to get into and it's not an easy read in my opinion. But if you're looking to read about strong-willed characters and an astounding storyline, then I think you will have fun with this retelling!!
4 Stars: A Great Read!