Not gonna lie… Picked this up mainly for the cover. The plot simply pushed me over the edge. I know they say don’t judge a book by it’s cover but…
The Wrath & The Dawn is a YA retelling of Arabian Nights. Sold yet? I was. The 18 year old Caliph of the mythical land of Khorasan, Khalid, takes a new bride every evening only for when dawn to come, a silk cord is wrapped around her neck ending her life. This happened to Shahrzad’s best friend and she will not stand for it. She volunteers to be taken as a bride in order to assassinate the malicious teenage Caliph. All does not go to plan as dawn passes and neither do anything to change their current circumstances, leaving her alive. Could it be that there is a boy behind the monster and could it be that Shahrzad senses enough to hold back from killing to see the boy beyond the monster? And even if she does, how can one ignore the fact that he has murdered so many of his brides before with no explanation?
Can I tell already how much I loved it?! OK. Calm. Now…
Shaz, as we shall call her, is a fiery character. She will do all that she can to bring justice and kill the Caliph but it isn’t quite that simple. It is the most beautiful story of how they get to know each other and as Shaz ends up enjoying her company and guilt tripping herself for everything she does, you really get a sense of what complex characters these are. There is no one moment and they fall in love and happily ever after. It is a mix of guilt, confusion and the trickiness of double crossing someone while getting to know them under pretense. There was tension without being dramatic and conflicting emotions that really could go any way.
I adored this story and really wish that it was a standalone. It is part of a series (I’m not sure how many books) and I think I am a bit bitter about that because I didn’t know about it until I was finishing the book thinking, ‘This can’t be the end. Wait. No. It’s not. There’s another book. DAMMIT.’. I really hate it when that happens! Sooo, maybe a little bitter.
A YA fantasy tale like this really makes me proud to love these kind of books. The genre often gets a slap in the face and degraded due to a certain couple of titles I won’t mention. But this really is a testament to how good a YA book can be. It is not just for young adults, but for everyone. This is one that I will be rereading many times.
The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh