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Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Review The Wrath and the DawnThe Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Published May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers


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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?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end. (Goodreads)

The Wrath and the Dawn to me is two stories. It is the story of what is happening in the palace and what is happening outside the palace due to the happenings inside. Shahrzad and Khalid are easily two of the most interesting and complex characters I have read this year. I not only fell in love with their story but I fell in love with them. Shahrzad is determined to find Khalid’s weakness and take his life for the lives he took, especially the life of Shiva, Shahrzad’s best friend. Her plan is to tell the boy king a story that leaves him wanting more. Her plan is to last just one day at a time. Secrets lurk within the palace walls and everything is not as it seems.

The scenery in The Wrath and the Dawn is vivid. The reader is pulled into this world and can’t stop thinking about it. There are subplots that are equally developed as the main plotline, but I found myself wanting more Shazi and Khalid. I had no idea there was a sequel and I was overjoyed to read a tiny excerpt from the next book, The Rose and the Dagger, scheduled to release May 3, 2016. There is a third book reportedly scheduled to release sometime in 2017.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a step inside Middle eastern culture. It is rich and lush and magical. The only downfall was the glossary being at the end of the book. I typically do not turn to the back of the book for fear of spoilers. This time it would have been beneficial for the included glossary of unfamiliar terms. Instead I found myself googling terms which would disrupt my reading flow. Also the unfamiliar names gave me a hard time connecting with those characters outside the palace. For these reasons I rated The Wrath and the Dawn 4 very strong stars! I highly recommend this book and just a reminder that you should mark the glossary at the back of the book for quick reference.

Khalid Shahrzad

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