#1 New York Times Bestseller
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.
*The book is a Rough Cut Edition (pages are deliberately not the same length).*
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Murder and mind games might just lead to true love in this dark YA fantasy. For reasons no one knows, Khalid, the 18-year-old caliph of Khorasan, marries a new girl every night, only to murder her the next morning. His most recent doomed bride was the best friend of feisty 16-year-old Shahrzad, so she’s vowed to take her revenge. Instead, she discovers that far from being a cruel psychopath, Khalid is devastatingly handsome and charming. This swoony and intense reimagining of 1001 Arabian Nights gets dark, complicated, and mystical as we grew ever more desperate for these two star-crossed lovers to somehow find a happy ending. Part Game of Thrones, part Beauty and the Beast, the first book in Renée Ahdieh’s enchanting romantic fantasy series is as timeless and breathtaking as the tales that inspired it.
A Magical Read that Transports you to Another World (4.5 /5 stars)
The Wrath and the Dawn is the debut book from first time author Renée Ahdieh. It is a fairytale inspired book based on the tale 1001 nights. Truth be told, I haven't read the original fairytale so I'm sure I missed some minor details but you do not have to read the original fairytale before reading this book.
Shazi was a particularly favourite character of mine. She is a courageous character with fire in her soul, yet she is not afraid to be a character of contradictions. For example she is fierce yet tenderhearted, an imaginative romantic yet a stark pragmatist. Many times in the book she is said to be a great beauty but she only uses her beauty as a weapon and would much rather use her brain than her beauty. I loved seeing her become more than a vessel for revenge and see her change "sides" so to speak as she learned that not all was what it seems. Shazi is a strong and proud female character who didn't deny the truth of what was happening or happened except for in the case of Khalid's role in her best friends death. The relationship between her and Khalid took on a two steps forward, one step back characteristic that kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting more. I also appreciated that while they may have admitted to themselves that there was an attraction, they wouldn't admit it to each other. In many young adult love triangles the love, it is denied, denied and denied again and this was a refreshing change.
Khalid who is the "monster" Caliph, the King of Kings in the story. I understand that this is a fairytale inspired book, but the constant references to the beauty and the beast which kept getting thrown in our faces was a bit much for me. Although it was wondrous to see the beast become the hero in the story. I was very interested in the fact that the reader only learned why he was the way he was as slowly as Shazi did. We learned as she did and we got to feel the way she felt. I really became attached to the two main characters and wanted them to succeed as we got to see who they are as people. Watching Khalid be drawn out of his shell by Shazi and Jalal also happened to be immensely entertaining.
I thought that the stories that Shazi told Khalid every night were going to be more centre stage and I was disappointed that they weren't. Although I did like how Shazi used her stories to lure him in, and she also uses them as teaching tools to teach Khalid a lesson when she wants to. Also, the role magic seemed to play in the book was introduced and made me think it was going to be more important but it seemed more like an afterthought that was just put in.
For me, finally finding out the details of the curse were a bit of a letdown. I had pretty much figured out the main strokes of the curse before it was revealed, i was just missing some of the finer details. But the letdown upon finding out about it matched the way Shazi felt upon finding out so in that way it isn't really a letdown because it lets you connect on another level with Shazi.
Overall this book causes a roller-coaster of emotions for the reader on behalf of the characters located in an exotic, lush rich landscape of a world. Did Shazi and Khalid cause the downfall because Khalid didn't have her killed? It seemed to me that Shazi's family would have stayed the same course even if she had died. Instead of a rescue it would be revenge though. So it seems like Khalid isn't really cursed or the curse didn't take effect because it was Shazi that caused the downfall. Or is it the curse because her death would have taken the wind out of the sails so to say of her family trying to rescue her. It is delightfully confusing and I think it is meant to be.