Thursday, 2 June 2016

Review: The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renée Ahdieh

Source: Purchased an ebook for myself.
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Number of Pages: 404 (Hardcover)

Description from Goodreads:
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?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

I haven't felt this way about a book in a while. I've definitely loved a lot of books in the last little bit, but this book stunned me. I was actually sad when I finished it...not because of the story (although, I was a little emotional from the story itself :P), but because it was over. I just didn't want it to end. I mulled over it for an entire day after I finished, and I still felt that way. I loved the characters and the world-building was breathtaking!!! In fact, the entire book blew me away.

My immediate reaction to THE WRATH & THE DAWN, was a vicious NEED to get my hands on the sequel. This is the kind of book that you finish, and become desperate for more. Part of me is sad that I've taken so long to finally read it, but most of me is actually ecstatic because it means that I didn't have to spend months and months, agonizing and waiting for the sequel, THE ROSE & THE DAGGER.

So, I just spent the past couple of paragraphs raving over this book, and now you're probably wondering what was so great about it. Well, I'll tell you. Most importantly, the characters were AMAZING! I absolutely adored Shazi (Shahrzad). She was fierce, proud, feisty, confident, and always spoke her mind! She's the kind of butt-kicking heroine that might not be extremely physically strong, but is incredibly smart, and knows exactly where her strengths lie. She was admirably honest, and despite her pride, she was willing to change and to admit when she was wrong. Along with Shazi, there was Khalid. While he may have had the whole stereotypical broody character trait that's common among YA leads, he was so much more than that. I'm not going to go into too much detail about Khalid because I don't want to spoil anything, but I loved his character. He's complex, and underneath the harsh facade is a gentle soul and it becomes clearer and clearer to Shazi that there's a lot to Khalid's story that both she and his kingdom don't know. Along with Shazi and Khalid, there are also quite a few fabulous secondary characters...I especially loved Despina! :)

Along with some absolutely AMAZING characters, THE WRATH & THE DAWN is packed full of luxurious descriptions and vibrant world-building. The outfits, the buildings, the settings...everything is described in dynamic and colourful ways and the imagery jumps right off the page! The lush descriptions fascinated me, and kept me completely glued to the page. The story itself was mysterious, and had a bit of anticipation always stirring beneath the surface. The multiple POVs create a sense of foreboding and anticipation, but enough is kept from the reader to keep it all a mystery, which I absolutely loved!! It added an urgency to the story that I really enjoyed.

My fangirling has been out-of-control in this review, so to recap: I loved the characters, the world-building, the underlying mystery, and the pace! I also loved how various stories from A Thousand and One Nights worked their way into the story. And the romance in THE WRATH & THE DAWN absolutely rocked my world!!! I ship Shazi and Khalid so freaking much...and I totally turned into a giggling, blushing fangirl whenever the two of them were alone. ;P

Overall, I thought THE WRATH & THE DAWN was absolutely amazing! The characters and descriptions were wonderful⎯they left me absolutely desperate for more! And the romance! I freaking LOVED the romance! I can't wait to read the sequel, THE ROSE & THE DAGGER.

 I read THE WRATH AND THE DAWN with Jen from The Book Nook, and Moriah from Feel Your Books. They're also posting their reviews today, so make sure to go see what they have to say about THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, too! And, stay tuned! We're also planning to share a read-a-long related post where we each think of a question about the book that we all get to answer...I'm super excited to share that with you all!

Have you read THE WRATH & THE DAWN?

If you have, what did you think?

If you haven't, does it sound like a book you'd enjoy?


  1. Take it from someone who got an ARC of the first book: YES, THE WAIT WAS AGONIZING!! And the worst is I made the mistake of NOT pre-ordering The Rose & The Dagger. So I'm still suffering XD

    *ahem* Anyway...I'm really happy you loved this Ambur because (in case you couldn't tell) I loved it too. The prose was gorgeous, I wanted to eat ALL the food they talked about, the setting was gorgeous and the characters were amazing! I also really like how the A Thousand and One Nights was worked in with Shazi telling stories to Khalid ♥ SO happy you loved this is much as I did!! xx

    1. Awww, I feel you! It's always awesome to get to read fantastic books like this early, but the wait for more is awful!! Booo, that's no fun! I have a copy on hold from the library...fingers crossed that the wait goes quickly!!!! And that you get your copy sometime soon if you have it on hold, too!!

      I definitely could tell!!! gorgeous! I felt all those things, too. It was such a beautifully described book, and I loved the stories, too. It added such an interesting element to the whole book! Thanks, and I'm so glad you loved it, too!!! :D

  2. Nice review. I'm impressed. I have no patients until I read the book. I think I will also love the book. Thanks for sharing the review.

    1. Thanks, Alena! I hope you get to read it soon and love it, too! :D

  3. Great review, Ambur! I love how you talk about how Shazi knows exactly how to use her strengths, choosing to use her wits over her physicality. I never really thought of her that way, but it's exactly right!

    1. Thanks, Jen!! :D That was my favourite part of her character. She was so smart about everything, and she used her wit like a finely tuned weapon! Glad you saw it that way, too!

  4. Yay, I'm happy you enjoyed this so much! This was such a great selection for our buddy read.

    Now that I'm thinking about it, I really wish we had more of those stories-within-the-story! They were some of my favorite scenes--especially Bluebeard. Not only is it one of my favorite stories of all time, but I especially loved how its story mirrored the situation with Shazi and Khalid so perfectly as she was telling it. What a tense scene! Gah, all of their tension throughout the entire book was so good! I can't wait for more. :D

    1. Thanks, Moriah! I'm glad you enjoyed it, too! And I'm super glad we picked it!!! :D

      Same!! It was such an interesting element within the storyline and each story really complemented the narrative, too...super well done!! Yes, the Bluebeard one was my favourite...even though its effects totally messed with my feels, I really loved that Shazi had the courage to push like that. It was super tense!!! Right! The tension was fantastic...I really didn't want to put this book down at all! Me either!!! :D


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