Hey, guys! Today I am very excited to discuss The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh! This is a book that I have been meaning to read for like ever, and I am so glad I finally did because it was fabulous. I loved everything about it, and it definitely lives up to the hype surrounding it. If you love beautiful writing, kick-ass characters, and an amazing plot line, then I definitely recommend you check this out because it’s fantabulous. But let’s go ahead and jump right into the review!
“One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?”
This book was absolutely bloody fantastic.
I did not have low expectations going into this. There is so much hype surrounding this series, that I don’t think I could possibly go into this thinking it would be bad. I did not have ridiculously high expectations either, though. Basically, I knew what it was about. I knew it involved a retelling of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, and that it had beautiful and lyrical writing. That was it. I knew that I wanted to read this. I have been wanting to read this book for years, and it was definitely well worth the wait because it was absolutely fabulous.
I ended up liking the characters so much more than I thought I was going to. Our main character Shazi is a freaking firecracker, and I absolutely loved her. She was outspoken and passionate, but she also had a soft side, and I loved seeing all of the dimensions to her character in this novel. She spends the majority of this novel conflicted because she wants to kill Khalid for killing her best friend, but he is not really the monstrous murderer that she was expecting. He is actually a human who has decent human feelings, and she did not know how to deal with that because the only reason she volunteered to be his wife in the first place was so that she could kill him and avenge her best friend’s death. But she ends up falling in love with him, despite everything that he has done. And I just think that really shows her growth as a character because she can see the man behind the mask.
I really loved Khalid. I liked him from the beginning because I could just instantly feel that it was a facade that he actually was not the monster everyone believed him to be. I instantly loved him, not because I wanted him to be with Shazi. I will get more into that in a minute, but I loved him because he just was a good person that was put in an impossible situation and as the King, he had to deal with that, knowing he had no other option than to make his people believe he was a monster. I think we really get to see his depth as a character over the course of the novel because we don’t just see him through Shazi’s eyes. We get to see who he believes he is, and who his true self really is. It just was really beautiful to see.
I loved Tariq as well. I don’t know if he is a character that other people have a problem with, but I loved him. I did find it kind of cliched that he started a rebellion because of one girl, but putting that aside, I think he is a very interesting character. He is willing to do anything to save Shazi. He loves her so much, and I just hope that at the end of the series, he is still this wonderful and caring person and that Shazi loving Khalid is not going to make him grow into this really cold character like so many other YA books do. I think he deserves the world, and hopefully, he will be happy by the end of the series.
I also really loved Despina and Jalil separately, but also together. Despina was always such a sassy woman who ends up becoming a real friend to Shazi, which I loved seeing. It was really refreshing to see two female characters caring for each other in their own ways rather than wanting to kill each other. Jalil was one of my instant favorites. He is just a really likable guy, and I loved how he ended up actually considering Shazi family rather than a potential enemy. He also just really cares for Khalid, and I think that really showed through.
Now we should talk about the characters I don’t give a rat’s ass about. I freaking despise The Sultan (that’s his name, right?) I think he is just a jerkface who needs to die like tomorrow. I did not really care for Yesmine’s character, even if she really does care for Khalid. But I especially ended up not liking Shazi’s father. He is heading down a very dark path, and I think he is not going to end up helping her. I don’t know what is going to happen, but I do know it is not going to end well…
I just want to express that for the first half of the novel, I did not ship Khalid and Shazi. It’s not like I was anti them being together, but I definitely didn’t ship them together. I personally wanted Shazi to be with Tariq because I thought they were really cute together. But once we hit the halfway mark, I was pretty much like, “See ya, Tariq. Hello, Khalid!” because damn. That man does things to me. He is definitely my favorite character, and he cares so much about Shazi. He loves her so much, and once we know the full truth of everything that is going down, I just loved him all the more. And I just think Tariq needs to chill and let them be together because I want them to be together forever. They are just my OTP…
But something I actually ended up having no interest in whatsoever was the stupid rebellion that Tariq is leading. I personally don’t give a shit about it, and this is the one time that I’m like, “Yeah, rebelling is not the answer.” I think it is going to cause more harm than good, and I think it is going to hurt a lot more people than it helps. I just have no interest in that plot line whatsoever, and I really hope it crashes and burns in the next book because it is just a really, really bad idea.
I did enjoy the writing much more than I was expecting to. With me, lyrical writing styles are either a hit or miss. I have only come across a handful of lyrical writing style that I genuinely like, and this is one of them. I think that everything Renee Ahdieh says is just beautiful, and I think I could literally read her grocery lists and think they were beautiful. She just has a gift with words, and I really loved that.
But overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I am really looking forward to reading the next one! I loved the love story, the plot line, the world, the characters, the writing, and just everything about it. I am so excited to see where the story goes next and to read more from Renee Ahdieh!
And there you have it! That was my review of The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. What is you favorite retelling? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!