Review: The Wrath and The Dawn, Renee Ahdieh

Okay, confession time: I didn’t know there could be such a thing as retellings before, in books, I wasn’t too aware of it anyway, and to be honest, I didn’t pay attention to it so much. But how can you NOT see The Wrath and The Dawn? It’s been everywhere, really, and with the sequel just released, well, it’s everywhere again. I’m not that big on following what everyone is reading, but I’m really big on reading what I WANT to read. And that one, well, a bit unusual, a bit gorgeous, I really, really wanted to read it. Buddy-read with the incredible Kat, and you can already check out her GLORIOUS review. As always, I’m late, but I am here. WITH ALL THE FEELS.

AN INCREDIBLE TALE

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“When I was a boy, my mother would tell me that one of the best things in life is the knowledge that our story isn’t over yet. Our story may have come to a close, but your story is still yet to be told.
Make it a story worthy of you”

I couldn’t, to be honest, try and sum up this book with one word, because it’s so, so, RICH. I didn’t really remember the 1000 Nights’ tale (this book is inspired from it), but from the start, you can clearly find that familiar tale again, of the girl marrying the man whom kills all of his wives at dawn. Of the girl telling him stories, again, and again every night, so, in order to know the ending, he’ll have to spare his life. For now. Right from the start, we could see this inspiration, yet the author manages to create such a unique, vivid world, it’s quite incredible, and what amazed me right from the start. Everything unfolds before your eyes, from the palace, the places, the characters’ outfit, the delicious food…There’s quite an attention to details, but definitely not in a long and boring way. It shaped the world perfectly and made it feel so real, I could see everything. In The Wrath and The Dawn, the author managed to do a retelling of a very famous tale, and make it feel like a tale on its own just as well.

SASSY CHARACTERS

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“So you would have me throw Shazi to the wolves?”
“Shazi?” Jalal’s grin widened. “Honestly, I pity the wolves.”

The strong suit of a book often relies, for me, on the characters, this is probably because I’m such a contemporary reader. If the world-building in that book took my breath away, the characters took my heart right from the start –well, almost. Shahrzad, the main character, is just the right kind of sassy, and she might say the wrong thing at the wrong time, but she definitely knows how NOT to shut up. And that was kind of GREAT. She’s the one that has ulterior motives, a heart, thoughts, internal conflicts just like every human, and I loved it, I especially enjoyed how, thorough the narration, the author managed to let us know why, how she felt conflicted, like, “I’m not supposed to feel that way”. This really helped bring this character to life, and made me care about her a lot more. I found all of the characters to be well-developed, even if it took some time for others to shine more. I could definitely talk about the boy-king here, Khalid. At first angry and violent, I didn’t get him AT ALL and it was SO FRUSTRATING. Yet he’s a boy with a secret, and we end up knowing WHY, and all at once, everything makes sense. I love when books are starting to make sense just like that.

RELATIONSHIPS WITH FEELINGS…SOME OTHERS LACKING.

💭

“And how will you know when you’ve found the elusive someone?
I suspect she will be like air. Like knowing how to breathe.”

Obviously there’s a very wrong kind of love story here, yet I couldn’t help but root for it, right from the beginning. There’s something about Khalid and Shahrzad’s interactions that got me, every single time. From strangers to almost friends to more, there was such a slow building to the relationship, you could see it coming from miles, yet you can’t help but root for it, you can see they are clearly drawn to each other, and I loved that. All of those FEELINGS. If I loved the relationships in that book, and all of the characters’ dialogue was always witty (SO GOOD), some of these could have used a little more development… as could have some side characters. If I enjoyed seeing Shahrzad’s family and close friends (and one particularly AWESOME character, Jalal), there are some things I thought could’ve been better explained and developed. Since I’m intending on keeping all of my reviews spoiler-free, I won’t state here what I’m talking about precisely.

OVERALL

Another incredible surprise in the hyped-books shelf: the wrath and the dawn was a great Persian tale, a magic tale, a love story, an action-packed book with a writing you’ll devour slowly. If I found some relationships to be lacking, it didn’t take away any of my enjoyment, and certainly not the scream when I finished the book. And can’t read the next one ‘til I’m off my book-buying ban. HELP ME.

Final rating:  4 drops!

Did you read The Wrath and The Dawn? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to read it?

Is the sequel even better?! Share your thoughts in comments!


 

Renee Ahdieh, The Wrath and The Dawn,  Published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers, May 12th 2015.

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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.

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

62 thoughts on “Review: The Wrath and The Dawn, Renee Ahdieh

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this book! It was one of my favourites from last year. I just adored Shazi’s character ❤ Khalid was not the dark, cruel king I expected, but it did take a while to figure out where his character was coming from. I have high hopes for this series! Hope to enjoy the sequel as much as I enjoyed this one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YAY! I am so glad you enjoyed this book because it is one of my favourites and I think it’s just brilliant!
    I’d actually read A Thousand Nights before this one so I had a basic idea of the original story but still TWATD completely blew me away because you’re right the author has created such a vivid world and the story had me gripped from the start. And yeah I loved Shahrzad because she just refuses to take any disrespect from anyone! 😀
    Also, and I feel like I ask you this a lot but, do you plan to pick up the sequel anytime soon? 🙂

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      1. That’s all right! ❤️ and yeah I know what you mean, Shahrzad was just so amazing through the whole of the story, honestly after I finished TWATD I couldn’t wait to see what happened to her next.
        Oh hey that’s not too bad, at least you don’t have to wait for it to actually be released, that can be so much worse! I think you’ll love TRATD so much more, I definitely did! 😀

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  3. I fully agree on the amazing sassiness that Shazi. There were so many times when I was like ‘oh you shouldn’t say that’ but then I was kind of glad she did. It was like hiding your face in your hands and then peeking through your fingers if you know what I mean. I wasn’t as big of a fan of the second book, but I’m excited to read what you think once you get to it 🙂

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  4. This is a great review! 😀 I personally didn’t like The Wrath and the Dawn because of Shahrzad’s character and the romance, but I’d love to know what you think of the next book, and if it gets any better 🙂

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  5. This sounds so good. I love the whole Arabian Nights vibe. My favorite cartoon as a kid was always Aladdin, so anything with this theme is a must read for me. Loving the dialogue snippets. I’ll bump this one up on the TBR. I have so many books to read. Ahh! 😂😂

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    1. OHh well if you love this kind of vibe, you should definitely love this book. Such a good world-building, and I felt like I was right there, getting to know the culture through food, speeches and everything, it was so well-done, in my opinion. Yay! I hope you’ll love it, can’t wait to know what you think about it! Thank you so much ❤

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      1. That sounds amazing. I love it when you can see how well the author knows the world they’re building. I’m really trying to find more diverse books. Living in the US, I don’t feel like I’m exposed to other cultures as much as I’d like to be. Even as far as food is concerned, I’m lucky if I can find something other than Italian, Mexican, or Chinese. I took me an eternity to find one Greek restaurant, which is shocking, considering I live in Philadelphia (from the Greek phileo), and I know of one French restaurant that’s own by a world renowned chef. Weird, right? I’m on the hunt for non-American cultures, and I’m super excited to read about them.

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      2. I wrote this semi-long response and for some reason it didn’t send. Don’t you hate when that happens? Yeah, I love a book with good world building. I like to be able to see, taste, and smell everything in that world. Stephen King does that so well with his books. I always feel like I live in the towns he describes. I’m still reading Splintered after I saw your review. I’m about 30% in. Ali just made it to Wonderland. What an intriguing book. I’ll let you know how I make out with both books. 😉

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      3. My Kindle says 27%. I never expected Jeb to come along with her. That was a nice twist. I’m sensing a love triangle here. I love how Wonderland is handled in comparison to the original. I’m such a tough critic when a book is a retelling of one of my favorites. It’s very dark, kind of like the Tim Burton version. I really like it. I can’t wait to see the Mad Hatter. He’s my favorite character. And the Queen of Hearts. “Off with their heads!” I love that line.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah, I think you would like it. My book has a lot of magic, some supernatural creatures and worlds. The backstory for Splintered is reminding me of my story, so I’m really connecting with it. Now, I have to sell my manuscript to a publisher. Pitching YA fantasy is so hard. I had no idea until I started looking into the query process.

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  6. Aw man, I’m so glad you liked this one Marie! I absolutely adored this series, and I hope you enjoy the second book as much as you did this one. 🙂 Shazi’s sass is THE BEST THING EVER. Like, I love the dialogue so much. And the writing, like you said, is so rich and captivating – it’s definitely a retelling that works well on its own.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This book is probably my favourite read of 2016 so far, I absolutely adored it and I’m so glad you liked it! I totally agree about Shahrzad, I thought she was the perfect blend of stubborn and made the best sassy queen 😀 And my god the writing was beautiful and made the world so unbelievably alive. I’m ranting away here but great review Marie! Like you, I can’t wait to read the second book 🙂

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  8. AHHHH I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH OMG IT WAS EVERYTHING AND MOOOOORE. *flails and hugs it* I’m actually a HUGE fan of the Shaharazad (I just totally killed that spelling😂) tale because I was obsessed with this book called Shadow Spinner when I was little? So when I saw a YA version…AHHHH I JUST DEVOURED IT SO HAPPILY. :’) Plus all those food descriptions. Did it make you want to eat the book? I WANTED TO EAT THE BOOK. Ahem. I haven’t read the sequel yet BUT SOON. I cannot wait!!

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  9. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, Marie! I loved it when I read it last year and I loved the sequel as well. It’s such a fun and magical series. I agree that there were things left unresolved but as a whole, the book was really exciting to read and I was definitely rooting for all the characters. Awesome review! Hope you like The Wrath and the Dawn too!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. YAYYY I’m so glad you enjoyed this one!! (If you didn’t I’m not sure we’d be able to stay friends, tbh. Just kidding, I’d love you either way! 😛 But you know what I mean.) This book and its sequel are literally SO GOOD and they are definitely one of my favourites of all time. Lovely review as always, Marie! (You MUST read the second book asap though. Just saying.)

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  11. I LOVED this book! The details really make us feels transported into Khorasan right? But I was a bit dissapointed in the sequel. While the detail makes the first book beautiful, it kinda slows the pace in the second book. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it though, can’t wait to hear your thoughts❤

    Liked by 1 person

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