Monday, July 27, 2015

Book Review: The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Actual rating: 4.85 stars (-0.15 stars because the first 1/5th of the book was ehhh)
Here's the synopsis of the novel 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.

I cannot explain my happiness that I picked this book up. I’ve seen so much praise for The Wrath & The Dawn, as well as some negative reviews. Naturally, when I started reading, I was skeptical. The plot continuously intrigued me, but some of the choices the main characters made in the first 1/5th of the book didn't make much logical sense to me. However, as I got further into the book, pieces of the mystery slowly began fitting together. I fell more and more in love with the characters and the story. If you didn't know, the novel is inspired by A Thousand and One Nights and I thoroughly enjoyed the retelling.
The characters’ feelings were so raw and I couldn’t help but feel for them, even if I didn’t fully understand what was going on. There was emotional tension and unexplained answers for a majority of the book, but it was executed nicely. Shahrzad is a strong, caring soul and Khalid is definitely not who he seems to be (don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything).  Needless to say, I got completely lost in the romance; it was just so beautifully written. Some scenes brought me Mount Everest-sized amounts of joy to read, that I felt I was going a bit crazy. There were some exceptional quotes in Shazi and Khalid’s conversations that absolutely melted my heart. I grew to love the minor characters, Despina and Jalal, so much too.
While the entire book was written in third person perspective, the book would sometimes follow different characters and their thoughts. Most of the time, it was Shazi’s POV, which was great because I appreciate reading gradual character developments in books. I also really liked the occasional Khalid POV, though I didn’t care much for Tariq’s or Shazi’s father’s perspectives.
I couldn’t stop reading and finished in six/seven consecutive hours. The scenes with lots of dialogue, romance, action, and/or humor were my favorite. The cliffhanger ending makes me cringe because I know I’ll have to wait many more months (possibly even a year) for the sequel to come out--though I am really glad that this is a duology because I couldn’t stand it if the story was not finished in one more book. 
A shortened version of my thoughts: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1104091973

1 comment:

  1. Your review makes me so excited to read the book :D

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