Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée AhdiehThe Wrath and the Dawn
Renée Ahdieh
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Published on May 12, 2015

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About The Wrath and the Dawn
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?

My Review
The Wrath and the Dawn has been on my To Be Read list for SO LONG. I’d heard of it around the time it was published in 2015 because I’m always looking for re-imagined fairytales, but I got even more curious about it after seeing Renée Ahdieh speak on a panel at YALLFest in Charleston in 2016. (She seems every bit as spunky as her heroine, Shahrzad.)

While I think the writing style is a little flowery at times, I LOVE the characters and the story world held some great surprises, like a mysterious magic. One of the most captivating things about The Wrath and the Dawn for me is the way the story follows both Shahrzad and her childhood friend and first love, Tariq’s journeys. Both view Khalid in different circumstances and different ways. The best stories somehow get you to love the antagonist even while rooting for the protagonist at the same time, and this book totally achieves it. Also, the romance is pretty breathtaking.

Fans of fairytale retelling or stories featuring Middle Eastern characters will want this one on their shelves for sure. See below for more details on content.

The Wrath and the Dawn on AmazonRecommended for Ages 15 up.

Cultural Elements
Characters are Middle Eastern.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Brief infrequent use of mild profanity.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between a man and woman. Hints at sex—descriptions lead into the act between a husband and wife, but fade to black.

Spiritual Content
Some characters possess a magical ability (including an ability to issue a curse) which sometimes requires a blood price.

Violent Content
Reference to the fact that Khalid’s previous wives were murdered. No descriptions of what happened. One scene shows a girl being strangled with a silk cord. Some practice swordfights.

Drug Content
Some brief references to wine with meals.

The Wrath and the Dawn on Goodreads

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

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