Book Reviews, Fantasy, YA/NA
YA Book Review: The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

YA Book Review: The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Characters
Plot
Writing

Summary:

5

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This cover is SO cool and is just one reason I love this book so much!! I was very familiar with the red cover and when I went on Amazon to download it I found this new version…and that’s when I realized the image behind the original red cover. I’d never noticed before. How beautiful and fun is that?

SUMMARY (from back): A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

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.

WHAT I THOUGHT:  The plot is what grabbed my attention first, but the writing and slow reveal of a deep and dangerous mystery kept me intrigued. The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of 1001 Nights (sometimes called the Arabian Nights).

I found the heroine, Shahrzad, to be a delightfully intelligent woman who, despite being filled with a narrative of avenging the death of her best friend Shiva, for the most part, manages her emotions and bides her time. This plotting allowed the author to slowly unfold the depth and mystery of her husband, Khalid, king of  the land and uncover why he murders his latest wife each morning. Books with overly emotional female protagonists tend to drive me crazy for I don’t see most women behave that way, and this author painted our heroine with grace and dignity.

The author adds more depth to Shahzad as she reveals some of the inner turmoil she experiences as love, and its tendency to overwhelm reason, have her falling for the very man she has committed to destroy, and guilt threatens to overcome…but she fights that battle.

Plot: If I overthink the plot this story would have very little appeal, for what emperor kills his wife every morning just to have a new woman replace her during the day? But since this is a retelling, I chose to just go with it and see where I ended up. And I would say it was a very enjoyable journey.

I particularly loved the scene where the relationship between Shahzad and Khalid is clarified and made different for both of them. They both understand their relationship can never be the same from that point forward. I do wish the author had developed Khalid’s thinking prior to this more fully so we better understood the gravity of this choice for him, as I think it would have completely rocked his world, but we don’t get a peek, only a hint that “something’s” afoot…darn?

The swoon factor is well done throughout as the pair confront their own inner turmoil. I loved the intimacy and vulnerability they both showed and how the author slowly developed not just a sexual relationship but slowly revealed the very essence of who each character is. Well done.

It’s clear book one sets up the next for we are left wondering how Shahzad will be reunited with her love and more. But this will be a short wait as the next installment is set to release April 26th. I’ve already pre-ordered mine and you’ll probably, too, if you choose to read this book!

I give The Wrath & The Dawn 5 Stars!

Buy The Wrath & The Dawn on Amazon

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Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you thought.

FREE EBOOKS: I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

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