The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
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.
This is the type of story that I’m always on the lookout for.
In a more recent change in my reading tastes, I’ve utterly fallen in love with fantasy/historical stories set in the Middle East/West Asia, or in lands that are inspired the region. The Wrath and The Dawn had been on my radar for a while, but prices and lack of interest just made me not bother. However, after a meaningless trip into town and going into the library to pass the time, I came across the first book. My love for these story settings had only just ignited after falling head over heels for The City of Brass and the And I Darken series, so naturally, I had to check it out.
The Wrath and The Dawn was kind of what I expected, but not at all either. I knew this story was based on 1001 Nights, and I knew that, despite being set in a beautiful and unique land, it was still going to be chock full of those classic YA tropes. I’ve read books with so many that most don’t even bother me anymore (if they really did I’d probably stop reading YA altogether). However, I did not expect the romance plot having such a large part in the story.
That’s probably the dumbest thing I’ve said.
I’ve never read 1001 Nights, and so I’m not sure how accurate or similar The Wrath and The Dawn is to it, but I genuinely thought this story would involve more fighting, bloodshed, and some classic badassery. Of course, the story itself has a different kind of badassery that we often cast to the side as ‘unfeminist’, but I firmly believe that a heroine does not have to shake a sword or shoot a gun to be a positive female character. Females are humans, and that means in order to feel real and relatable, they can’t be stock characters that have to possess traits considered masculine to be considered good. The romance for me, however, was still a little jarring. I think it will take me some time to get behind, but I don’t doubt that the sequel will help with that.
PUBLICATION DATE: April 2017
RATING: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ .5
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