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? (via Goodreads)
Title: The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Published: May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Review: I was really nervous going into this book because I know there’s a lot of hype. That’s why I put it off for so long, but I figured with the second book out now it’s time I gave it a try. I liked this book, but I had some issues with it.
The Wrath & the Dawn started off a bit slow for me but it definitely picked up. The writing was amazing. The descriptions were detailed enough to appeal to all of the senses but not so detailed that I wanted to skim the page. I think the writing itself is what helped me rate this book as high as I did. I thought the changing perspectives was a nice touch to the story, as it was interesting to see how the other people in Shahrzad’s life are handling her being the caliph’s wife.
Character wise, I liked all the characters except for Khalid and Sharhrzad’s dad. Something about Shahrzad’s dad really didn’t sit right with me. And, I don’t know, I just feel like even though we got the reason why Khalid kills all his wives at dawn I just couldn’t justify the romance between him and Shahrzad. I get that Khalid loved her but it really sort of bothered me that Shahrzad went there to avenge her best friend. and then she falls in love with him after three days. I really felt like Ahdieh wrote Shahrzad to be smarter than that.
That being said, I was still interested in the king and the romance between him and Shahrzad, I just didn’t particularly like it. I loved Shahrzad’s character. I thought she was smart and witty. A lot of what she says and does makes sense when you remember she’s only sixteen.
I liked Shahrzad’s childhood friends, Tariq and Rahim. I thought they added some slight relief to a lot of the tension, and then they added a lot of tension when things were a little too relaxed. I thought they were great touch to the story, even if Tariq does create a little bit of a love triangle.
For most of the book, though, I felt kind of ‘meh’ about the whole thing. I think everything could have probably been wrapped up in one book, but I’m intrigued enough to read the second one. Despite the issues I had with The Wrath & the Dawn I was still able to rate the book high because the writing and the characters really made the book what it was. It was still an enjoyable read.
(The book also got bonus points because there’s a glossary in the back that I used several times throughout the book. I probably could have also benefited from a pronunciation chart as well.)