Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn - Renee AhdiehPublisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR (May 12th 2015)
Hardcover: 395 pages
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

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.


I’ve got mixed feelings.

mixed feelings
Return of the mixed feeling gif that expresses all the feels.

I can understand the hype around the book and but I also get the people who were a disappointed with it. If you don’t know by now, this book is inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, and I was hella excited for it. The story tells of Shahrzad who volunteers to marry to the Khalid, Caliph of Khorasan. Khalid has been executing his brides, and no one knows why, but Shahrzad uses stories to elude her dawn executions.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a beautifully written book. It’s vivid descriptions and feeling of such resplendence had me wishing this was a movie, because damn would it be a gorgeous film. The stories within the stories are lovely and the mystery surrounding the deaths of the bride is intriguing. And I loved the idea of the grand romance between Shahrzad and Khalid. When they’re together, it makes you just want to sigh with awww (or puke) from the utter romance of it.

“My soul sees its equal in you.”


“You honestly expect me to breathe in a world without air?”

Aladdin - and Jas - cute

That being said, while the idea is grand, and I loved the notion of the romance, the actual relationship felt super insta-love. I felt we weren’t given a strong enough reason why Khalid decided not to execute Shahrzad, or why Shahrzad felt enough love for Khalid that she would give up her revenge. Oh and don’t even get me started on this weird, sorta love triangle going on too. Pretty unnecessary.

Aladdin - Jas and R - judging

I also had a little issue with the execution of the story. I found parts kind of dull (mainly the parts not in Rey, the capital city), but it may be because I expected more to happen in the book. I had hoped for more magic and I wished we delved deeper into the mystery surrounding the murders of the all brides. The last parts of the book however did start to really bring out the drama (and a cliffhanger, boo)! I did really like some of the secondary characters too, they were interesting, and complex and I would love to see more of them.

Overall, it was a lovely read and a good promising start to a new series. While it had it’s faults, The Wrath and the Dawn is still worth the read. The lush and grand written will sweep you away into a magical, Arabian night.

“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.”


Find Renee Ahdieh:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository |  Chapters Indigo

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum a student again. A master’s student…oooh. procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Comment

  1. I like this review. This one has been on my TBR, but I am just not sure how I feel about the insta love and the kinda love triangle thing. Those are pet peeves of mine.

    1. Thankfully the love triangle doesn’t play a huuuuge role in the book! I’m a little frustrated by the instalove, but at the same time, I really loved the romance, haha. So I guess it sort of balanced out! I hope you still enjoy it!

  2. What a lovely balanced review! A shame about the love triangle and insta-love, although I am still in love with the setting.

    1. Thanks, Jeann! 😀
      The setting is what really won me over! Thankfully the love triangle/insta-love doesn’t deter too much from the loveliness of the book (:

  3. I’m sad it wasn’t perfect, but gah, as long as it’s good I’M SO IN FOR THIS ONE. I absolutely adored this book called Shadow Spinner when I was a kid, and it’s a retelling (or historically based?) story about Sharzad. AND I JUST LOVE THAT BOOK SO MUCH. So I neeeeed Wrath & Dawn asap. Insta love doesn’t really float my boat though. 🙁

    1. I was sad too. But hopefully you’ll still enjoy it, I still did! Yeah the insta-love brought it down a notch a bit, but I still really liked the romance!

  4. Great breakdown of your thoughts. It is a shame the author didn’t give you enough substance with the romance to make you believe, and a triangle eek gads.

    1. The love triangle definitely wasn’t necessary! Yeah, just a little more substance would of helped push it up a few stars! Thanks, Kim!

  5. Ohh, I want to read this so badly! I’m not terribly sensitive to love triangles or instalove a lot of the time, so hopefully those won’t bother me. Not learning about the dead brides makes me sad, though, since of course that’s one of the best sounding parts!

    I’m obsessed with the mixed feelings GIF, oh my gosh. MIXED FEELINGS ARE THE WORST.

    1. Haha, than I think you’ll really enjoy it! The writing was beautiful! I really wished she did more with the dead brides!

      Mixed feelings, definitely the worst. I love that mixed feeling gif 😀

  6. I think I was also sitting at a 3.5 rating! It ended up being rounded up to 4 stars though. The potential love triangle is kind of forced, in my opinion. The whole book is focused on Shahrzad and Khalid – leave them be! LOL

    Anyway. I understand the mixed feelings. Excellent review, Cyn! 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle either. Exactly, loved their romance, even though I thought it was kind of insta-love, haha.

      Thanks, Alyssa!

  7. I’ve just started reading this so it is good to know it ends on a cliffhanger so I’ll be prepared. I wish it was a standalone novel though. From your review it sounds like it was a good book in spite of a few flaws.

    1. Like super cliff hanger!! I kinda wished it was too, haha. Or at least not such a terrible cliff hanger. Hope you’re enjoying it!

  8. NO. NO. NO. I AM IGNORING THAT MENTION OF INSTALOVE, OKAY? IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. AND THE LOVE TRIANGLE. I’M IGNORING THAT TOO. I’m just focusing on the beautiful and vivid writing, okay? Good. 🙁 I WAS SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS. I think I’ll be okay though, I mean, I’m forewarned, so that should help. Shame it doesn’t delve into the mystery of the all the murdered brides though. 🙁

    1. OKAY! I think (hopefully hopefully!!) you’ll still enjoy it! The writing was quite lovely and I did like the romance despite the instalove. MORE MYSTERY SOLVING! That’s what I demand, haha.

      Hope you enjoy it, can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!

  9. I’m bringing this baby on vacation, so I’m excited about the world you’ve described, Cyn. Hmm, I love a good romance, so I’ll cross my fingers there and beware that dreaded triangle, lol.
    Thanks, for the lovely review : )

    1. Oh, yay! Hope you enjoy it!! The love triangle isn’t too bad, more unnecessary…
      Thanks, Kim!

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