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