Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Wrath & the Dawn Review: Shahrzad

Book: The Wrath & the Dawn
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath & the Dawn #1
Genre: YA fantasy
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books
Pages: 395
Release: May 12th 2015



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?

Inspired by A Thousand and One NightsThe Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.





I've heard a lot about this book, and I'm happy to say it lived up to its expectations!

This book tells the story of Shahrzad, who lives in a kingdom ruled by a monstrous eighteen-year old Caliph named Khalid. Each night, Khalid takes a new bride, only to have her executed the morning following. After Shahrzad's best friend Shiva falls victim to the Khalid's terrible ways, she decides Khalid must be stopped, and volunteers to be his next bride. But what begins as a simple mission to stay alive and assassinate the Caliph turns complicated, and Shadrzad has to come face to face with her own traitorous heart...

Shahrzad, or Shazi, was cunning and fiercely dedicated to her cause. There were so many absolutely brilliant lines, all worthy of quoting. Quick tongued and bold, Shazi bowed down to no one, defying expectations. She challenged everyone, using her begrudging title as a weapon to seek information. If there was no direct rule against her doing something, just an implication, she would still go ahead and do it. Shazi's brilliant mind was put to the test when she attempted to hide her skills with a bow as well as deceive others for her true intention at the palace, yet she managed to pull it off without a hitch. She proved to both Khalid and the rest of the world that she will not be lied to, manipulated, or dismissed. She has worth, and she forces people to acknowledge her rather than merely ignoring her. Shazi is such a strong character, and you can really see how amazing a queen she makes!

Khalid was quite the man of mystery. He was impassive for the most part of the novel, completely unresponsive and cold. But there was always this sense of sadness and pain within, something that was slowly eating him up. Khalid's upbringing is rather bleak, as was his mother's background, and has resulted in Khalid desperately trying to fix things the only way he knows how. I truly feel bad for Khalid, for what everyone says of him, when they don't know the truth. But Khalid cannot give an explanation for his terrible actions, and these actions truly leave their mark on his poor heart. He's one of those guys who suffer alone for the sake of others, one who tries his best to take it all in for the best of his people, even if they don't know it.

I truly enjoyed the side characters. Despina, Jalal, and Tariq added a lot of depth and personality to the story. They each had their own issues, and all were doing their best for those they loved. Though I have a feeling their loyalty will end in bloodshed, these are the kind of people you'd want to surround yourself with.

What I really enjoyed was the unsuspecting lines of the antagonist. The novel steers readers towards putting the sultan as the antagonist, for he's trying take Khalid's throne away. Though I have no doubt he's evil and will need to be put down, the author has cleverly weaved in one easily overlooked character, one who I think poses an even bigger danger than the sultan alone. I'm curious to see what will happen with these two, if they will join forces, or if they will pose individual threats...

This novel is absolutely rich with culture, from clothes to food to sword fighting. This book just seemed to lack a bit of pacing in the beginning, otherwise it would have been a 5 star read for sure! We're hinted at Shazi being a little more than a mere human, and I can't wait to follow up on what that means for her in the future! 


18 comments:

  1. Great review!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. I LOVED it. I really can't wait to find out more about Shazi when I get to read the next one.

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    1. Yes! I'm so excited to see what happens to her in the next book!

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  2. Oh gosh now I'm even more excited to read this. I've been wanting to for a while now. I actually started it a long time ago but had to put it down because I got too busy. :( Great review!

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    1. That's too bad to hear! But hopefully you'll be able to pick it up again soon and give it a read! :)

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  3. THIS BOOK. This book literally ripped my heart out with the ending</3 But really, what I adored the most about this book (beside the writing) is how strong Shazi is! She's a prime example of how to create strong heroines that literally doesn't need any man to help her! Great review Erika!<33

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    1. Agreed! Shazi was absolutely brilliant in every and all ways. I loved how she was more than capable of handling herself, and time and time again proved she wasn't someone to be dismissed!

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  4. I need to read this!!! Nice review! :)

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    1. You should read this one when you have the chance! It's really good ;)

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  5. awesome review! I agree with mostly everything you said and i'm so glad you enjoyed this book! I just picked up the rose and the dagger and I'm roughly 100 pages in :)

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    1. Ahhh, I'm so jealous! I have yet to get the Rose and the Dagger. Hopefully it's as good as the first book!

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  6. This review is really a gem. The Wrath and the Dawn was one of my favorite books of 2015, and I'm also rereading it now! The only thing I wanted more of was, as you said, a greater explanation for Khalid's actions. I've heard that the novellas she published really contribute to his background so you might want to check that out as well! I preordered the second one and it still hasn't come so wtf Amazon, you lazy sack :D Awesome review. I think I have to read ur reviews more often. You're amazing

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

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    1. Awww, your words are very kind :) Thank you so much, Alex!
      Oh, I didn't know there were novellas! How could I have not known? I'm definitely going to have to check them out right now!
      I hope your copy of the second book comes soon! Amazon can be a little finicky at times...

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  7. I have got to give this book a try! Sheesh, so many books so little time!

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    1. I completely understand that. I have so many books to read, yet I can never seem to find the time to read them all!

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  8. Great review! I've been hearing about this book for ages, and this review makes me even more excited to read it. :D

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    1. Thanks! I really hope you'll be able to read it soon!

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  9. Couldn't you just quote every line from this book? It's all so incredibly well written with the perfect amount of sharp wit and humour. I loved sassy Shazi, she was quite the character to follow, at times I felt sorry for anyone who crossed her but I did enjoy her sharp-tongue, it was hilarious at times.
    Ohh my poor Khalid, doesn't your heart break for him? I loved the relationship between the two, it truly grew into something beautiful over time. I can't wait to see what Rose + the Dagger will have in store for us. Ps, how fantastic was that culture? How I wish I could live there, it was so captivating and the food? mmmmm!!

    Fab review, prepare for some major fan-girling ;)

    Cody @ Literary-ly Obsessed

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    1. Oh my god, I could quote the entire book! Funnily enough, I started out with numerous quotes to put in my review, but I had literally 15 quotes and I couldn't pick one, so I just said "FORGET IT THIS IS TOO HARD" and didn't put in any quotes ahahaha.
      YES, I would definitely love to live in that world! The culture is absolutely amazing, and the FOOD. The descriptions alone had me craving everything they ate! Why oh why can't we have a book food teleportation machine?

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