31 August, 2016

#BookReview :: The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh

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 waited for quite a while before picking this book up. It made quite an impression when it was released. I would see it everywhere and so the hype around the book made me wait. Now that I have read it, I am wondering why the hell I waited so long to pick this book up!

The Wrath & the Dawn is inspired by A Thousand and One Nights which is a classic! Khalid is the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan who takes a new bride everyday only to have her killed the next morning. He is seen as a monster that has no regard for the lives of the young women of his kingdom. But then beautiful and lovely Shiva falls as his victim and Shahrzad swears vengeance. As she volunteers to be his next wife, she gets her plan in place to get close enough to Khalid to kill him. Each night as Khalid visits her, she enchants him with her stories while spending her days trying to discover his secrets and weaknesses. But as Shahrzad and Khalid get to really know each other, they cannot help but fall for each other. With a curse in place and can Shahrzad help Khalid to break it or will they both perish?

I loved Shahrzad’s voice! From the beginning she is honest to herself. Towards the beginning I felt her loss, sadness and anger for the loss of her best friend. Then as she starts to fall for Khalid, I feel her guilt. Her curiosity about what made Khalid kill so many girls when she knows him as a completely different person also touches the readers. End of the day, Shahrzad is a character who is easy to understand and love. On the other hand I wished I could read more from Khalid’s point of view as he is first intrigued about Shahrzad and then falls for her. I also wished I could read Khalid’s memories and thoughts on his childhood. Deep down he is a good and honorable guy whose hands are tied by a curse. Then there is the character of Despina. I really loved her. She is fun to read about. The plot moves slowly towards the beginning as we are introduced to quite a few characters and we are given some context in order to understand what makes each character tick. But about halfway through the story really picks up pace and there was a lot of things happening which is when you realize how important the back information is. 

My only complaint with the book is that the parts where Shahrzad is telling the Arabian Nights stories are pretty drag. The way Shahrzad narrates the stories is not something that would really grip her listeners, not especially a cursed prince who intends to kill her. It could be done with much more intensity.

If you like fantasy, do give this book a try as I really feel that Shahrzad has a refreshingly honest voice.

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