The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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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?

The Wrath & The Dawn is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights and debut novel of Renee Ahdieh. I’ve been meaning to read this because of the hype. This is all over Instagram and Goodreads, I’ve heard a lot of great reviews and ratings about this. Finally I’ve read this and it didn’t disappoint me.

Renee Ahdieh is the weaver of words. It’s poetically written which ebbs and flows freely. Readers are completely immersed and caught up in this mysterious land of Khorosan. I cannot articulate how impressed I am with how Renee managed to evoke nostalgia, sympathy and deep emotions. All of the characters felt so real. I have never read A Thousand and One Night and it makes me want to read it.

Khalid Ibn al-Rashid also known as the monster king is an eighteen year old Caliph of Khorosan. He marries one girl every night only to have her killed before dawn. The story follows the main protagonist, Shahrzad Al-Khayzuran or Shazi. She’s a sixteen year old girl who volunteered to marry the Caliph to revenge the death of her childhood bestfriend, Shiva. Things goes awry when Shazi realized she fell in love with the murderer of Shiva. Will Shazi be able to unveil the enigma behind the truth why the caliph really murders his wives? Will she be able to control her heart’s desire and fell completely in love with Khalid? or Will she seek vengeance and justice to Shiva’s death?

I have just read Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas before jumping into this book. Thinking that I will have a book slump, I tried reading this fantasy novel. Holy crap! I wasn’t disappointed! I finish this the next day and felt so refreshed. This Young Adult fantasy don’t have a lot of action packed scenes like Throne of Glass series. Instead it focuses on romance part which I love.

“We women are a sad lot, aren’t we?”
“What do you mean?”
“Strong enough to take on the world with our bare hands, yet we permit ridiculous boys to make fools of us.”

 

“Love is a force unto itself, sayyidi. For love, people consider the unthinkable…and often achieve the impossible. I would not sneer at its power.”

“People fall in and out of love with the rising and setting of the sun. Rather like a boy who loves the color green one day, only to discover on the morrow that he truly prefers blue.”

This is the first time I’ve read a book set on Middle East. The world building is intricately well written. The plot is intriguing. I couldn’t put the book down without knowing what’s really happening. There is so much mystery going on in this book. I still want to know more about the magic but I hope it’ll be solved in The Rose & The Daggers. I’ve learned a lot of Arabic words such as Caliph and Calipha (ruler), joonam (my life or dear), Sayyidi (royal highness) and so much more. I was too engrossed with the story that Shazi told to Khalid about Agib and Aladdin. Renee Ahdieh not only focuses on romance but also gives us some life changing lessons.

“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”

“You are not weak. You are not indecisive. You are strong. Fierce. Capable beyond measure.”

Shahrzad Al-Khayzuran’s character is brave, strong willed and bold. I admire her conviction and strength to seek for retribution. By her knowledge with poetry and love for reading, we could clearly see how smart and well educated she is. I completely adore her personality.  She has an uncanny way of making readers fall in love with her.

Khalid is a mysterious boy with a cruel past. Since he visited Shazi on their first night, I know there is something going on with him. As we grow to know him, he doesn’t seem awful. He’s sweet, generous and a complete swoon worthy character. I ship Shazi and Khalid. His flaws makes me love him so much. Knowing the truth about his past made me cry and empathize him. I was completely astounded when the mystery was unveiled.

Jalal is my favorite side character. He’s the cousin of Khalid and captain of the royal guards. He’s loyal to Khalid and I love the part wherein he tried to schooled Khalid saying:

“I know love is fragile. And loving someone like you is near impossible. Like holding something shattered through a raging sandstorm. If you want her to love you, shelter her from that storm…And make certain that storm isn’t you.” 

Even though he loves to flirt with women, I know that his love for Despina is genuine. I couldn’t wait to learn more about their budding romance. Tariq, Shazi’s childhood sweetheart infuriated me. He’s so overprotective and possessive over Shazi. He makes decision without even thinking and consulting her first.

Overall, I cannot say how I am grateful to finally read this book. I have no negative words to give but instead I’ll give this a 5 +++++ out of 5 stars. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on The Rose & The Daggers because I know the finale will be as epic as this one. This book truly deserves the hype. I recommend this to all fans of Fantasy Young Adult novels. You’ll get Aladdin feels all the way!!

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