TITLE: The Wrath & The Dawn
AUTHOR: Renée Ahdieh
SERIES: The Wrath & The Dawn (#1)
PUBLISHER: G.P Putnam's Sons
GENRE: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy, Romance
RATING: 4.5/5 Stars
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
What I Liked:
- Shazi was such a good heroine to root for and I liked her from the first POV chapter. Her wit, intelligence and constant quick-thinking were really fun to read and watching her develop over time was so interesting. She was definitely my favourite part of the book, her conversations and relationships with other characters was hilarious most of the time! Ahdieh put a lot of thought into all of them of course, but having a likeable MC is so important.
- Romance is not normally my primary concern in stories, but it was sizzling here! I loved it! Khalid was a fairly typical love interest - mysterious, anguished and yet somehow adorable. I really liked him from the off too, and I was so desperate to see him grow and find out more about his strange past and why he did what he did.
- The story really drew me in! Some of the twists and turns were a little predictable, playing on some fairly well-known tropes. Yet, I still really enjoyed this book! Ahdieh switched to other POVs occasionally which helped to develop the events surrounding everyone, and I liked the stories that Shazi wrote too. They were a lot of fun to read!
What I Disliked:
- As I said, there were some pretty tropey elements to this story. Above all? The love triangle. I don't particularly like them, and while it served a purpose here it really caused me to get more than mildly irritated with poor Tariq. Which he probably didn't deserve. The story could have been written without all that aggravation and it made me a little frustrated.
It's strange how much I loved this story, it contained so many things that usually wind me up and a few other glaring problems too: pacing issues (particularly at the end), corny dialogue and vague setting among them. But the plot was well-penned and Ahdieh does write well. I'm decidedly determined to read the next in the series soon because I liked this so much! I liked the twist on the source material too - 'One Thousand & One Nights'.