Thoughts on The Wrath and the Dawn
The Wrath and the Dawn
By: Renee Ahdieh
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?
Usually fantasy books aren't my favorite, but I really loved this one. I was both intrigued and very curious from the very first page. The mystery and intrigue stayed a constant theme all through out the book. I also loved how the writing style made this book fly by. Usually, fantasy drags on and on for me, and this one was just the opposite of what I expected. The writing style also was very addictive for me. I absolutely love that in a writer. It takes a lot of talent to be able to keep a reader addicted, intrigued, curious, and staying up way past their bedtime.
While I did love how different this book was, in the actual plot, the background and ethnicity of the characters, and where the story took place, I did find some of the words and names hard to understand and pronounce. I usually just make up pronunciations for names, but it kind of bothered me that I didn't know how to say our protagonist's name.
Speaking of characters, I absolutely loved the character development that was present in all of our characters, not just the protagonist, which is all too common in Young Adult Literature. Shahzrad (if anyone knows how to say that, tell me how in the comments below! Please and thank you.) was such a strong character, even from the beginning. She was so brave and bullheaded at the same time, which I love in a character. Shahzrad could be kind of annoying at some points, but not to a large extent. I also loved how forgiving and loving Shahzrad could be, while still being able to kick all the butts ever. I also really liked that she was smart and put that to good use, like staying alive and avenging her best friend. Overall, Shahzrad was a pretty epic character.
I LOVED the relationship between Despina and Shahzrad. It was such a great, loving friendship that was formed under the most unlikely circumstances. I found it funny to read the conversations between Despina and Shahzrad because they were so different. Despina was caring and loving, and put up with absolutely NO NONSENSE, while Shahzrad was responsible for some of the nonsense. I also loved how sharp witted and funny Despina was. I really liked that Despina was kind of like a mother figure to Shahzrad at times, but was still super close to her as a best friend.
Khalid was different. I didn't like him that much, but I did really like his backstory and I definitely did pity him. While he did brood a lot on the past, he was trying to redeem himself. I really think that shows his strong character development and how he wants to pull himself out of his brokenness.
My only complaint is that I did not like the scenes outside of the place, but other than that I love this book. Overall, it was very unique, mysterious, intriguing, and had great characters with lots of character development. The writing was absolutely spectacular and made the book so addictive that it flew by.
I would recommend this to you if you like fantasy that has a little quirk, diverse books that don't completely focus on diversity, and if you like retellings, as this is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights.