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BOOK REVIEW: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

| 11 September 2015 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
May 2015
Hardback, $12.99
Reviewed by Aly Locatelli


The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

“Love is a force unto itself, sayyidi. For love, people consider the unthinkable…and often achieve the impossible. I would not sneer at its power.”   

The Wrath and the Dawn was easily one of the most anticipated books of 2015. With hundreds of advanced reviews filling up the blogosphere, advanced praise and squealing tweets, it took the internet by storm. Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn tells the story of a ruthless boy-king who takes a bride every night only to have her executed at sunrise, and of a girl who offers herself as volunteer.

“I will live to see tomorrow’s sunset. Make no mistake. I swear.
I will live to see as many sunsets as it takes.
And I will kill you.
With my bare hands.”   

It’s a brutal book. There is a lot of bloodshed, a lot of fighting and Shahrzad, the main character, faces a lot of decisions she would rather not make. Although the king, Khalid, may come across as terrifying, murderous and fearsome, there’s an underlying reason as to why he executes his brides.

One hundred lives for the one you took. One life to one dawn. Should you fail but a single morn, I shall take from you your dreams. I shall take from you your city.
And I shall take from you these lives, a thousandfold.

Shahrzad knows nothing of the curse on Khalid and his empire, and plans to hold onto her life by telling him a story each night, and leaving it as a cliffhanger each dawn. Khalid, curious, spares her life each dawn just so he can hear the end of the story… and so Shahrzad, unbeknownst to him, can plan his assassination.

But as they get to know each other, the two fall in love, and it is just as passionate as it is ruthless. Shahrzad begins to rethink her plan and, as the Calipha, she must stand by the king’s side, whatever the cost.

“Tonight is a night to turn heads. Make them remember you. Make sure they never forget. You are the Calipha of Khorasan, and you have the ear of a king.” Despina put her hand on Shahrzad’s shoulder and grinned at their shared reflection. “More important, you have his heart.” She bent forward and lowered her voice. “And most important, you are a fearsome thing to behold in your own right.”  

The Wrath and the Dawn is beautifully written. Ahdieh writes a tale of love and loss and danger, uses hints of magic to make the book that more fantastical, and creates main and side characters who leave you wanting more. Her descriptions of food will give you massive cravings, and the hint of mysteries unfurling will have your heart racing. Shahrzad is fearless and can do anything she puts her mind to, is a fast learner and incredibly curious, whilst Khalid, although cold and indifferent at the best of times, makes the reader curious. Both characters feel incredibly real, and will have you compulsively turning pages to find out what happens next.

The Wrath and the Dawn is book 1 in “The Wrath and the Dawn” trilogy.

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

21. A reader, a writer, a reviewer and a full-time sloth lover. I am addicted to coffee and my laptop, and love reading especially when it's rainy outside.

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