The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Finished on November 6th 2015
“One life to one dawn.”
The Wrath and the Dawn is a beautifully written retelling of A Thousand and One Nights.
From what I’ve gathered, the Arabian Nights tell the tale of a King whose wife was unfaithful, so he had her executed. Lost in the bitterness of this betrayal he decides that all women are the same so he begins to marry a virgin bride each night, only to kill her the next dawn before she has the chance of betraying him. Eventually, the vizier cannot find more brides so his daughter, Scheherazade, volunteers. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, in hopes of prolonging her life. The King, curious to know what happens next, postpones her execution. The following night, after Scheherazade finishes the tale, she immediately begins a new one, leaving the King curious to hear the conclusion and forcing him to postpone her execution once more. This goes on for a thousand and one nights.
“I will live to see tomorrow’s sunset. Make no mistake. I swear. I will live to see as many sunsets as it takes. And I will kill you. With my bare hands.”
Every night, a new girl is married to Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, and by dawn she is dead. It has been this way for the past year and the people of Khorasan live in anger for what has become of their daughters.
Shahrzad, having just lost her best friend, offers herself to be the Caliph’s next bride… and the next one to die. She is set on discovering the truth behind these senseless killings and avenging the life of her friend. In order to do this, she must survive the dawn and discover the Caliph’s weakness. But she was far from imagining that she was his weakness.
“She was a dangerous, dangerous girl. A plague. A Mountain of Adamant who tore the iron from ships, sinking them to their watery graves without a second thought. With a mere smile and a wrinkle of her nose.”
Shahrzad has definitely become one of my favourite female characters. She is strong and passionate, honest and smart and above all she is fiercely loyal. A true queen in every sense of the word. I can’t wait to see more of her and I’m really intrigued to see where her journey leads her.
“The mighty Caliph of Khorasan. The King of Kings. Her beautiful monster.”
Although this is a retelling, it is still a unique story. Renée Ahdieh gives Khalid a motive for his killings. He is not just a cold-bloaded murderer. He is a man with a heart and a soul. A man haunted my past mistakes. I completely fell for Khalid’s charm. I definitely wouldn’t mind running away with him and risking execution every morning if that meant I could spend another night in his arms. He is dreamy like that.
“Get up, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran. You kneel before no one. Least of all me.”
“You are boundless, there is nothing you can’t do.”
“You are not weak. You are not indecisive. You are strong. Fierce. Capable beyond measure.”
Something I love about Khalid is the way he treats Shahrzad. He sees in her an equal. He has a profound respect for her and never fails to let her know of his admiration for her inner strength, her honesty and her beauty. And he is not afraid to show her how much power she holds over him.
“This dangerous girl. This captivating beauty. This destroyer of worlds and creator of wonder.”
“A true plague of a girl. And yet a queen in every sense of the word.”
The romance in this book is swoon-worthy. I loved that it didn’t happen all at once. Ahdieh took her time building a credible relationship between Shahrzad and Khalid. And it is a beautiful love story. I love Shazi and Khalid as individuals and I love them even more as a couple. I lost count of the amount of times my heart skipped a beat when Khalid said things like this:
“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.
“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.” The weapons still in her grasp, she shoved against his chest.
“No.” His hands dropped to her waist. “Destroy me.”
“Love is—a shade of what I feel.”
“I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it.”
(Sorry for all the quotes but I can’t help it. I love them too much!)
I highly recommend this book. It’s filled with romance, magic, action and mystery—everything I love in a fantasy novel. The world building is beautiful, with amazing side characters like Jalal and Despina (I can’t wait to read more about them!), aside from our wonderful main protagonists. The Wrath and the Dawn is one of the best debut novels I have ever read and it has quickly become one of my favourite books. I seriously can’t wait to read The Rose and the Dagger!
“And he smiled a smile to shame the sun.”
I need to see Khalid smile more almost as much as I need air! I loved this scene ♡