The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is a fictional tale inspired by A Thousand and One Nights. Determined to get revenge for the death of her best friend, Shahrzad becomes the bride of Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan. Khalid is considered a monster by all, for none of his wives ever survive more than one night of marriage.
Shahrzad has vowed to survive her marriage bed, exact revenge for her dead friend and rid the world of the caliph once and for all. Night after night, Shahrzad bewitches Khalid with stories, lengthening her life even as she fears the coming of each dawn. After a time, Shahrzad finds herself no longer pretending to care for the tortured soul behind the violent, aggressive caliph. She begins to understand Khalid and with that understanding comes another emotion she is wholly unprepared for: love.
Will Shahrzad achieve the vengeance she seeks? Will she uncover the truth in a palace of shadow and lies? And what will she do when her heart and her head are of separate minds?
I was hesitant to pick up this one because I’ve loved almost every other retelling of A Thousand and One Nights I’ve read. I wasn’t sure it would live up to the hype, but The Wrath & The Dawn didn’t disappoint.
I almost never do this but this book really is A Thousand and One Nights meets Beauty and the Beast. Khalid and his city is cursed and only a strong willed girl, with no intentions of saving the day, can break the curse and… save the day. There’s a bit of magic weaved into the story and we all know I love a little magic in my books.
Keeping true to the original tale, Shahrzad is an expert storyteller and her stories are captivating and alluring. Even after she is under no threat of death, we still get a few tales here and there from the calipha of Khorasan. The tales are familiar and yet they still seem new to the reader, which is why I think they pull you in, rather than take away from the narrative.
I will say, the beginning started off a little… I’m not going to say slow but just not what I expected. I’m not sure if it was because of the audio or what but it did take me about two or three chapters to really get into the story.
The characters in this book were interesting and each had their own little unique flair. Shahrzad is exactly who she is and does not strive to be anything she is not. This is not the norm for a book of this setting. Khalid is closed off and untouchable and yet through Shahrzad we can see the–flawed–but good within. By the end we are routing for Khalid and getting a reader to route for the bad guys isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
Overall, this was an audio book I greatly enjoyed and I will be immediately picking up the sequel. Gotta’ love when all the books in a series are out before you start. This one gets 4 stars from me.
That’s all for now!