SPOILER FREE REVIEW
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com):
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.
Goodreads Rating: 4.22/5 Stars
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I hate to admit it, but it took me an entire month to read this book, which is really sad, but it’s all due to my college load and not having a lot of reading time. All in all, this book was amazing and I ate up almost 300 pages of it yesterday. Not to mention the fact, that this is a duology, which makes it the perfect college marathon read.
One of the foremost items that stood out to me was the diversity in the book. Now, diversity is a pretty major movement in young adult literature right now (many authors, and readers, are pushing for more diversity in books). With that being said, diversity was a rather major part of this book. And when I say diversity, I mean that the characters aren’t white. The story sat in Arabian influences, and was set in a desert country, which I really enjoyed! It was a breath of fresh air from the other books on the market.
Not only that, but my other favorite part of the book was how Renee kept the reader in the dark about the curse that the Caliph has. All we know is that: he takes a wife at night, and she’s dead before the dawn. The reader sits through 300 pages of book before getting to understand what has happened to him, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking, and nothing that I could have ever predicted myself. Overall, discovering the truth about the curse was probably my favorite moment in the entire book.
The character development, though, that was my absolute favorite thing to watch throughout the novel. We had a “monster” king, and a girl who became his wife for the sake of revenge. But, we see those sharp edges of both characters soften and melt together. Their relationship develops and changes both of them for the better. I know it sounds like the typical YA cliché right there, but I promise that it was more than that.
Honestly, I have come to completely admire Renee’s writing. The entire time I read the book, I was drinking in her beautiful sentences – it kind of reminded me of Taherah Mafi’s writing style – and admiring the plot, the characters, the everything. It even inspired me to start writing again! Which has been a long time coming, let me tell you.
So, I finished this novel and was very happy that I brought the duology to school with me, because I immediately started the next book. Hopefully I can get that read right away!
The Wrath and the Dawn (Duology)
- The Wrath and the Dawn
- The Rose and the Dagger
“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”
― Renee Ahdieh,