Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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.

Beware spoilers ahead!

It’s official I am not a romance fan. Well at least not the romance that was portrayed in this book. When I first heard about this book I had no interest in reading it. Then about a month back I downloaded the sample from iBooks to see why everyone seemed to love this book. The sample peeked my interest so I decided to get this from my local library.

The book starts off with a prologue in which readers discover that Khalid is cursed. He is not killing all these girls off his freewill. Readers are then taken to Shahrzad’s point of view in which we discover that she has volunteered herself as Khalid’s next bride. She has done so in order to kill him so that no other girls will be murdered by him.

While she is getting ready to meet Khalid her father comes to visit her. She explains him that he and her sister should leave town soon. And that she will survive and kill Khalid. Her father tearfully leaves. She is then taken to meet her monster husband.

We are then taken to Tariq’s point of view. Tariq is Shahrzad’s ex-fiance and the cousin of Shiva who was Shahrzad’s best friend. Shiva was one of Khalid’s many wives and was murdered by him. Tariq and his friend make their way to his home. Upon arriving home Tariq is told by his parents that Shazi (her nickname) has volunteered herself as Khalid’s bride. His family are distraught and his father urges Tariq to move on. Tariq and his friend decide to find a way to save Shazi.

We are then taken to Shazi’s sister Irsa point of view. Irsa is not happy that her sister volunteered herself as Khalid’s bride. She is partly angry at her sister and upset. Her father then comes out carrying a book with him. Irsa tries to ask her father what is so special about this particular book. He does not respond.

Just like the original version Shavi tells a story to Khalid at night. She only tells part of the story in one night and then in the next next she will continue the story. Giving her time to devise a plan to kill him and thus insuring her survival. The stories in this book however are boring. They are not as interesting as the original one’s. I’m surprised that Khalid even enjoyed them.

I honestly didn’t understand the romance. I found it to be bland. While yes Khalid was cursed he was not entirely bad I didn’t necessarily like him. He acted as if he owned Shazi (which Shazi does point out to him) and has quiet the temper. Not really sure how that was appealing. But I suppose everyone is flawed. Also I think part of the reason I couldn’t really wrap my head around the romance is because she does end up falling for her best friends killer. I know that he doesn’t do it on purpose but it still bothered me.

Shazi was loved by everyone around her. Everyone went on about how pretty she is and how smart she is. I will admit that yes I found her to be intelligent. She was also sharp tongued which was amusing to read about. I didn’t like how impulsive she was in certain situations. I liked how she was honest and wasn’t afraid to say what she had on her mind. These qualities were admirable. I probably would’ve loved these qualities if the characters didn’t keep going on about them.

Once the curse was revealed I found it very stupid. It was underwhelming. The romance happens fairly quickly. I thought that it would take longer to develop. Tariq was stupid and arrogant. Caliph in this book is defined as a king. But in actuality Caliph is an Islamic leader. Not just some king. And there weren’t any Muslims in this book to speak off.

I liked the interactions with Despina and Shazi! It was nice to see that she made a friend in the palace. The writing was amazing! The writing gained an extra star. Aside from that the book felt bland. I will not be reading the sequel.

Overall this was an okay book. I think this was a case of ‘It’s not you but me’. I would recommend it to fans of villain romances.

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