Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 12th 2015
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
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.
The one thing about the Wrath and the Dawn that really got me excited as the fact that it’s a retelling of the Arabian Nights. And I absolutely love retellings..I just devour them. BUT most of them are of Western or European stories and so naturally I was super excited to read something a little “different.” I expected exotic. I got exotic. And oh god the food! I couldn’t read this book without eventually feeling hungry.
And I literally fell in love with the author’s writing style after reading..what one page?! It’s so lush and intense, and I could just feel/taste/smell/hear everything.
The characters are almost as brilliant as the writing. I mean I loved the main character, Shahrzad. She was snarky and strong and so damn brave for standing up to the Khalid. Not to mention, she’s got some kickass archery skills (I guess that might make her the Arabian version of Katniss?..Naah, Shahrzad is so much cooler than Katniss!!). However, the minor (or less major) characters aren’t as amazing as Shahrzad. But Khalid and Despina do catch my eye so of-course I must talk about them!
Khalid is a pretty enigmatic character (at-least at first) and he’s also portrayed as a murderer so I was totally prepared to hate him. But naturally not everything is what it seems and it turns out that Khalid has some pretty good reasons behind his
Despina is the Shahrzad’s handmaiden and semi-partner-in-crime. She’s not really developed but I really liked her personality (and the fact that she’s rooting for the MC definitely helped).
As for the romance between Shahrzad and Khalid – well it builds up kind-of slowly. And it doesn’t quite feel organic in the start but as things progress, their attraction seemed to solidify. It’s also worthwhile to note that their relationship is built on a shaky foundation which is why the attraction doesn’t seem so realistic at first. (That’s about all I can say without getting spoilery!)
To be honest, I’m glad I didn’t read that many reviews of this book before reading it because it was so much more thrilling to jump into this book not knowing (exactly) what to expect.