Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Friday, 31 July 2015
The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1), by Renée Ahdieh
Publication: May 12, 2015, by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings
Pages: 388
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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.

My Thoughts:

When I close my eyes, I see a thousand and one stars shining right in front of me. Renée Ahdieh's The Wrath and the Dawn was mesmerizing and my head is full of illusions... I just can't stop thinking about it and my life is now complete with yet another retelling, the first of A Thousand and One Nights that's hit me. Arabian Nights? Horses? Daggers and awesome weapons? This book honestly has it all and it killed me of perfection, I'd read it for another thousand and one nights just to be with Khalid and Shazi.

Can we just talk about the hype and what everyone's talking about that has to do with this book? I was so afraid that I'd hate it and it'd all be over-hyped and exaggerated. And that's the kind of thing that was hitting me from the start—I was confused. But let's just forget about that for now and speak of the wise writing which Ahdieh presents to readers. This surely can be classified as the best book I've read this year, and although I know I say that in every 5-star review that gets handed to me, this is something else, and a new experience for me coming from fantasy. A year ago I probably wouldn't enjoy it all, though my horizons have now expanded to see the dawns ahead of me. I apologize for my olden-days talk... I just can't let this one go.

"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." (Hardcover, page 77)
I just love the mood which this book presents.
I've never read A Thousand and One Nights or really heard of its premise... so I barely even had an idea of what this book is about. I bet that this is completely different from the real story, to be honest. From the first moment when I saw the cover, I was in love. And then I wanted an ARC so badly because I couldn't wait to read it, and that evidently didn't happen or else a review would've been out in the wild a long while before. When I finally got a copy of this book, I decided to read An Ember in the Ashes first because it reminded me so much of this book and I kind of wanted to save the one I was more excited for last. The whole idea of Shazi choosing to stick up for Shiva, her best friend who Khalid had killed (one of his brides) was absolutely amazing and one of the first reasons and things that led me to adore this book even more.

Shahrzad is a sixteen year old whose best friend gets killed by Khalid, the eighteen year old Caliph who kills every bride with a silk rope wrapped around their throats. When Shazi volunteers to be Khalid's next bride, she wants to kill him and show justice and faith to all of the other families who lost their daughters in the past. But when Shazi gets to know the Caliph, she falls in love with him and can't try to do anything as she discovers the truth behind the whole cursed story. 

WOW. Okay. So beforehand, I'm letting you wonderful individuals know that there's a glossary in the back of the book. Honestly, I wish that publishers actually let everyone know this on the cover or the first few pages or something. If I hadn't gone and checked the extra excerpts and acknowledgments in the back when I had just begun reading, I would've died and got super confused. I already was so confused in the beginning, and that saved my life. Thank you Penguin and Renee for adding that there. You're life-savers. 

RENEE'S WRITING IS SO SHARP AND SPECTACULAR. Everything is so descriptive and imaginative, and I want to gobble up the whole setting and everything it has to give to readers. When Ahdieh describes food, colour, just about anything, I get this perfect clear picture in my head and I fall in love instantly with it all. There weren't any issues with her writing or with anything, for that matter, and I totally get why everyone's obsessing over some lyrical quotes and all, I totally get it. 

"How can I desire him? After he killed Shiva? After he killed so many young girls, without explanation? What's wrong with me?" (Hardcover, page 170)

Including Khalid. Yes.
Nothing's wrong with you, Shazi. You're the utter-most kick-ass protagonist that I've read about in a loooooonnnnngggg time, and I praise you for being a great Calipha. The characters ended up being like friends to me, and they each had such stellar distinctive attributes that made them "them." Readers usually suspect someone like Shazi to always do the right thing, but she actually always had the right thing to say back. Her playful attitude with Khalid was so freaking adorable, and her fearlessness played to so much of the novel and its events. She had so much common sense in her mind, my my. She's a fucking queen bee of all YA heroines. THANK GOODNESS SHE STOOD UP TO TARIQ, THAT LOSER. I can relate to her struggles so damn much, her emotions are so conflicting but the empathy is real.

So when reading, I suspected that I was the only one who shipped Shazi and Khalid together so much. And then I read reviews (I didn't want to spoil anything beforehand!) and found that everyone's with the Shalid OTP anyways. They're a couple who have so much passion and hate for their actions, but when they love each other, nothing matters anyways besides that. Their kissing scenes got me so teary and gushy that I had to basically fan myself of pride for their affection. AND THE SACRIFICES THAT THEY MADE FOR EACH OTHER! *passes out* Brace yourself for running into the sunset all the way to dawn searching for Khalid. If someone thinks that he's a villain, they are so wrong. Wow. I love bad guys, but Khalid has a reason for everything and that shocked me.

"She was a dangerous, dangerous girl. A plague. A Mountain of Adamant who tore the iron from ships, sinking them to their watery graves without a second thought. With a mere smile and a wrinkle of her nose." (Hardcover, page 328)

Again with the descriptions. *fawns* Okay, so there's a love triangle present, but it's an annoying one and there's a couple that obviously rules. (I hate Tariq so much, ugh.) Which reminds me that Tarazi might become a thing in the sequel, WHICH I NEED RIGHT NOW. RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT NOW. And I'll go hunt down a signed copy of this book too, because I'm afraid that I'll need every single edition in my bookshelf. I'm not an obsessed freak, I promise, I'm an obsessed freak, I know.

So the truth is that this book prohibited me from getting more beauty sleep to make me as gorgeous as Shazi, but I didn't give a Tariq. (You know what that name stands for!) I DIDN'T CARE, because I would've stayed up all night, every night (I didn't, I had to finish it this morning) to get another chance to be with my ultimate boyfriend and OTP, seeing more action, more perfection, more of this epic read continuously. Coming from a beautiful world set with imaginative details, characters who are like my close friends and action, Ahdieh writes like she's witnessing this on the street. How I WISH I could live in the Arabian Nights... Give me a time machine, and that's where I'd head first. The Rose and the Dagger is going to change lives, including mine.



  1. Ahhh I adore this book! The retelling aspect is so amazing, and the plot overall is just enchanting. The romance is blistering, hot, and just fireworks!! Shzai and Khalid are OTP and cannon, and they should know it. Tariq wasn't too bad, he just wanted the girl he loved to love him back again. But NO. Not gonna happen. Renée's writing and story-telling ability is mesmerizing and pure gold. I love the Persian culture influences and touchces on the story. Wonderful review!

    1. Sammmmeeee! To this day, I still can't stop thinking/raving about it. I wish that every single person in this planet can read it, hah. Thank you so much, Rachel! I was a little hesitant at first because it sounded like some kind of historical novel that would be full of info-dumping, but I can't believe that I even suspected that. THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER HAS TO BE IN MY HANDS, PRONTO. XD

  2. I've read so many rave reviews for this book, it's definitely on my list of YA books that I mean to read (but that I always seem to forget about). Like you, I haven't read the original Thousand And One Nights and I know literally nothing about Middle Eastern folklore or history, but this does really interest me. I've heard a tonne of praise about the characters and the beautiful writing style, and your review definitely backs that up. Hopefully I'll be able to read it at some point, and if I don't I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Wooooo! Add it onto your Goodreads TBR if you haven't already, trust me! After reading, I'd seriously pick up A Thousand and One Nights and every other retelling of it that's out there! :P Thanks Killian, I really hope you give this beauty a try! :)


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