Title: The Wrath & the Dawn | Series: The Wrath & the Dawn #1 | Author: Renee Ahdieh
Pages: 388 | Rating: ★★★★ | Goodreads: X
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?
I’d like to say that I’m upset I waited so long to read this, but that would be a lie. The fact that I waited means I only have to wait one painful monthrather than a whole year for the next one.
One of the things I really enjoyed was the fact that it jumped right into the story on the first page. There was no messing around and rather then spending five chapters explaining what the hell is going on, it’s explained through the novel naturally. Sometimes authors take too long making sure we “get” things before getting to the good stuff, so this was different.
Also, these characters. They stole my heart. I was swooning over Khalid and Shazi by the end of the book and nearly every scene killed me just a little bit in the best way. I also really loved Jalal and Despina, both separately and together. Especially Despina - she was so damn sarcastic and I loved it.
The fact that I went into the story loving a set of characters and hating the other, then switched views halfway through was also entertaining. I’m anxious for the sequel because I know it’s going to piss me off having to deal with the set of characters I dislike more often.
Though I really, really enjoyed this, there are a few things that cost it the fifth star. The writing was beautiful, but at times it was just too much for me. Sometimes it was perfect and blew my mind, others she would go into detail about the freaking food for two paragraphs. On top of that, I was slightly… bothered by how easily Shazi gave up her plans for revenge and how quickly Shazi and Khalid fell in love. Granted, by the time they had some real interactions I was head over heels in love with them, but at first I was just like, “…what?”
However, I think the issues with portraying the timeline is what made things feel like they happen so quickly. Something would happen and the next scene would take place weeks later, but that wouldn’t be apparent for a couple of pages. If Ahdieh could portray the passing of time naturally earlier on, it’d be a lot better.
Despite those things, though, the novel was great. The conversation felt so real and easy, I could imagine people really saying them. AND THE ENDING! I didn’t realize the end was coming so when I went to read the next chapter and found the glossary, it was devastating. It wasn’t a clean ending that was nicely tied up for the next sequel, it ripped my heart out and left me hanging.
Why can’t I have the sequel, already?
Read in April 2016