Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn Duology #1
Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
Publication Date: May 12th, 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 404
My Rating: 4 Stars

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?

I'd heard so many great things about this book, people going on and on about how perfect it was, so I was very excited to read it. But at the same time, I was afraid that the hype might ruin it for me.

Fortunately, I wasn't let down.

The beginning of the story was very interesting. But I didn't like Shahrzad at first. It was just that, after reading the synopsis, I thought that she'd have a very good plan to made sure that she didn't die the next morning. She didn't have a plan. And it was so infuriating, because if really Khalid was the monster she believed him to be, then she would have died and there would have been nothing to save her.

She got better as the story progressed, though. She wasn't nearly as careless. But I just can't ignore the fact that she volunteered to die without a plan. It's like an unforgivable sin. But yeah, I still do think she's great. She really grew as a character.

All the characters in the book were very well developed actually, and believable. I really connected with them and I most certainly rooted for them.

I liked Khalid and Shahrzad and the chemistry between the two. I loved Jalal, he was such great presence. Not going to say anything about Delphina because I feel that even saying whether I liked or disliked her would be a spoiler. I'm curious about Shekhar because we don't know much about him and I would like to. I also liked Rahim.

I had mixed feeling about Tariq, though.

Sometimes, I liked him but other times, I wanted to strangle him. I liked that he cares about Shahrzad but he needs to give her more credit because other than her not-having-a-plan moment and a bit of impulsiveness in the beginning, she's a smart girl, not the kind of person to be easily tricked or forced into a monster's trap.

I hated that he treated her like a child who wasn't to be trusted with anything, regarding her own life or otherwise. But he was an interesting character and I have to give that to the author.

The writing was also beautiful. The book is set in a very fantasy-type setting but not in any alternate world so it was very important to maintain the balance between the two things. That was done very well by the author. The way she described the places and the words she used had a magical effect on the storyline.

The big reveal, the one I was dreading (I always dread big reveals because, what's if they're not good enough? They have the potential to ruin the book.) was quite good. It didn't really come as a shock since some of it was given in the prologue and there were hints throughout the book. But I don't think it was meant as a plot twist in the first place. It was just a secret and the reveal was about Shahrzad's reaction and her decision, which was fine.

One thing that somewhat disappointed me was another thing that was supposed to have a reason (Khalid going to her that night). There was a reason given for it but I felt that it wasn't enough, or wasn't explained as well it should have been. I would have liked to know a bit more.

But otherwise, the story was really good, the writing was fantastic, it was fast paced and there was never a boring moment.

There was a love triangle but, at the same time, not really. It was just about someone she loved before meeting Khalid. It didn't bother me much. Hopefully, it won't bother me in the next book either because that could potentially taint the allure of that book.

And the ending of this one... OH MY GOD!

Not going to to say if it's a good OMG, bad one, sad one or frustrated one (although, considering this book is first in a series, it can't be that happy).

I will say that I really need the next book (especially after reading an excerpt of it's prologue) and that I highly recommend this one. This is a wonderful read and you will not be disappointed.

4 Give-me-the-second-book! Stars

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