Sunday, September 20, 2015

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Book Description:

Paperback, 404 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

One Life to One Dawn.

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.

Reviewer's Copy: Paperback

Source: Bought

My Thoughts:

The Wrath and the Dawn drew me in several months ago, when its book summary was unleashed into the world. I took a copy in my hands and refused to let it go. Its deliberate beauty consumed my being. I have no regrets, other than I would have to wait months stretching into the future for the second book. My heart needs it. My sanity needs it.

Shahrzad, also known as Shazi to her beloved and to her friends, was a strong heroine. She didn't need saving - she handle everything and could save herself. I admired her strength, determination, loyalty and intelligence, and even her imperfections. She wavered and found herself falling in love with the monster caliph, Khalid. Love was mixing into the already troublesome concoction of emotions wrapped between Shahrzad and Khalid. Shahrzad soon found herself trapped in the middle of her revenge, her heart's call and her shame and betrayal. When her first love, Tariq, waltzed into the palace, things were bound to spiral out of control.

Khalid, the murderous boy-king, was not the monster that people, including myself, thought him to be. Underneath the boy of ice and stone, past through his walls and distance, Khalid was a broken boy with a longing heart and a tortured conscience. His suffering and his honor melted my heart. Khalid was a gentleman; he was protective, undeniably sweet and thoughtful and most of all, intelligent. I am fond of intelligent characters and I just found another reason to like Khalid because of this. Seriously, Khalid had everything a reader would look for in a male MC. He was the caliph of Khorasan, the second best swordsman in all of Rey, and possibly the most handsome man in all of Renee Ahdieh's story world. Readers would enjoy reading about him - he's such a complicated character and it was a delight to explore his strengths, weaknesses, motives and hopes. It was also heartbreakingly painful and yet, I love it!

Reading about Shahrzad and Khalid was like watching yourself falling in love with your perfectly imperfect match, sans the deaths and bloody complications, of course. The emotional tension between these two was palpable; you could feel it pulsing through the pages. It was not the straight-out love or love at first sight. It was an unexpected love, the kind that caught you off guard and the kind that made your heart skip a beat because you noticed that you weren't looking at someone in the same manner anymore. While I enjoyed reading about Shahrzad and Khalid's moves in their own little game, I enjoyed seeing the telltale signs that they were falling for one another, from the most obvious ones to the subtlest ones. Each sweet word, each confession was a balm for my heart. Each fight and misunderstanding tore me apart. The emotions evoked in The Wrath and the Dawn could possibly rival those of Clockwork Princess.

The minor characters were also animated and well-developed. I loved Jalal aka Captain Al-Khoury. He was the boy who brought the room to life. His funny and sometimes-sarcastic remarks kept me entertained throughout the book. Despina's loyalty, teasing, sarcasm and attitude complimented that of Jalal's. Together, they injected humor into the emotionally heavy story. Tariq, Shahrzad's first love, was actually the first male character that I noticed. He was undeniably boyish in his ways, albeit a bit judgmental. He was fiercely loyal and so desperately in love with Shahrzad that I couldn't help but feel for him. I would have considered Tariq's presence as the third side of a love triangle but I just found Shahrzad and Khalid's connection too strong to be broken by Tariq.

The writing was gorgeous. It was crisply clipped in some places - sweet and short - and yet it delivered the emotion needed for each scene. I felt it echoing in my own ribcage. The story world, but most importantly, the palace, was well-constructed in the book. I could easily visualize every door and item in my mind. The plot was smooth and nicely done. Renee just left enough breadcrumbs for me to follow, and it eventually led to the prize. The timing of each event was perfection. I am in awe of this woman's writing and I vow to buy all her upcoming novels.

The Wrath and the Dawn is an unputdownable, all-consuming, heartbreakingly beautiful tale with just the right concentration of tragedy, humor, secrets and adrenaline and a generous overdose of love, heartbreak and pain. I was engrossed from page one. The Wrath and the Dawn is a truly, heady blend of everything I love in a book. I highly recommend this to readers of fantasy and romance. And if you're having doubts, just give this a try. You won't regret it.


5 Cupids = Eternal book love.
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!


  1. Oh I'm so happy you liked this! I did too, can't wait for the sequel (the long, long wait - how will we cope?!) I agree that Tariq couldn't really make it into a love triangle - really hoping it stays that way in book two, because I don't want something bad to happen which ruins the main relationship! Great review, thanks :).

    1. Hi Liz! The second book has a cover now. We're one step closer to finding out what happened! :) Thanks for dropping by!

  2. I started listening to the audiobook a while back, but I got sidetracked by other things. Also, the narrator's voice was grating on my nerves. I think I'll be better off reading the finished copy that I have.

    Thanks for sharing, Precious! You got me intrigued about the misunderstood boy-king.

    1. Hi Joy! I honestly can't imagine this in audio book. Personally, I think it's so much better as a physical book. Go for the finished copy!

      I'm hoping that you will like the boy-king. <3

  3. I loved this one too! I agree that the secondary characters were just as interesting as Shazi and Khalid, which helped make the world feel real. I can't wait for the sequel. It's gonna be heart breaking, I know it.

    1. Aw, Amber. I'm dreading and wanting the heartbreaking sequel at the same time. I want more Jalal. I want more of everything!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  4. This has been on my list for so long.

    I love your review. Makes me push this up my wait list. And there's a sequel? I had no idea!