The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh |4 Stars

Book | The Wrath and the Dawn

Genre(s)| Fantasy / Young Adult / Romance

Date of Publication| May 12th, 2015

My Rating | 4 (sort of confused) STARS




Book(s) – The Wrath and the Dawn

Feels– Some, some very piercing ones

Tears – None

 This book makes you feel a lot of things, some good, some bad, and some really confusing ones. I read this book back at the start of July, when I was bed-rest from my dislocated knee. And I have to say, I really did like it. It captured me flawlessly and I was pretty much hooked, even though the One Thousand Nights fairy-tale isn’t one of my favourites. Let’s give you guys the blurb of the novel (taken from Goodreads):

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

So, firstly we have this feisty, strong female character – Sharzad – who marries the Caliph to find out just why he’s murdering teenage girl brides. Very effective plan, yeah? She claims to have a heart of stone, one that will not break etc. etc. but she quickly falls for the Caliph and he falls for her too. Dandy, right?


But she had a guy back home – Tariq, who she would’ve married. And there is a reason for the senseless murder of the brides which is slightly apparent from the prologue but that is the crux of the book and I don’t want to reveal any of it.

The world building is pretty good in this book. Or maybe I simply felt at home reading about the Persian-Indian setting with the clothes, accessories and rituals etc. having already seen them around in my country. The plot is quite good too, what the magic the father dabbles in and the stuff Tariq gets up to ‘rescue’ Sharzad. But she seems to be managing splendidly on her own.

What got me thinking after I rated the novel 4 Stars is how very quickly Sharzad’s will accommodated love for the Caliph and how very quickly the two of them began sharing secrets and all it takes is Shazi’s near death. His fascination for stories and his interest in his new bride nearly screws up his entire reign. But they even find time for a nice little outing in the streets.

Here’s what my point is – the book is very well-written, like the quotes alone can make you swoon. But the actual content of the book falls apart fairly quickly after a hard second look. I don’t actually mind that, but I did feel slightly cheated as I had gone on requesting binges for the ARC / finished copy of this book on books for trade and all on Twitter. And we all know how expensive overseas shipping is, yeah. So I am glad I borrowed a friend’s copy for this one.

The book is apparently a series, or a duology. Two books, the second one has been title ‘The Rose and The Dagger’ which is a nice title, but I don’t care too much for the cover. What irks me is that this book left the meat of the plot to the end while the romance developed which is the lingo for –there’s-another-book-you’ve-got-to-read. Sigh.

Overall, the book is perfectly fine, but once you go into how there is very little time for character development, (you blink and they’re in love) it sort of wonder about the Caliph and the Queen. And it’s a love triangle, ugh, I hate those. I do, they’re messy and complicated and wholly unnecessary for all I care. But I have to say, I loved the secondary characters – Despina and Jalal really brought some amazing moments to the story. I loved them.

This book confuses the hell out of me. I swing from loving to not liking it and it just confounds me so much. Like, sometimes I find Shazi a bit immature and stupid for going at things at the head and then I find her fierce, sometimes I find Khalid (the Caliph) broody and moody for no reason and others, very swoony. Just go, read it and make your own call on this one.


I also have another One Thousand Nights retelling to read and I will most probably pick up The Rose and The Dagger when it comes out, so I’ll let you know how those work out in comparison to this one.

So the rating is 3.9-4 stars, mostly 4 because I did have a book hangover after this one.

All I’m saying is –this book has both good and bad points, if you can handle that, and you like young adult fantasy, go for it. Especially since it a DIVERSE read and we need more of those in the world. A protagonist who is a POC, a story set in Middle-Eastern lands, yep, if you’re looking for a diverse book, pick this one.

Until the next one,

Nia Carnelio



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