Wrath and the Dawn, The

Renée Ahdieh
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.  

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-05-07
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 a unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in the 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? Wow! This story… just wow! I have seen this book everywhere on book-tube and bookstagram and my cousin recommended it to me. I knew it was a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, but I have never heard that story before so I went into this book knowing absolutely nothing. And I loved it!! The action, the romance, the mysterious Khalid and his secrets, everything about this book was amazing. At the beginning, I was a little confused because all the characters were being introduced and it seemed a little overwhelming but as I continued to read, it was clear which character was which. Shahrzad has become one of my favorite female characters. She’s strong-willed, smart and has a bit of a smart mouth as well, which made me laugh and love her so much. One of my favorite things about this story is that the romance felt so real. Shahrzad and Khalid’s relationship was built up perfectly. It wasn’t rushed and the timing was perfect. My heart just melted reading about them. The world was also developed so well. I wanted to be there to see the marble flooring and eat the wondrous food. This is definitely one of my favorite books and I can not wait to read The Rose & the Dagger. I recommend this one times 1000!
Reviewed: 2018-03-22
Note(1): This book and review mentions suicide.
Note(2): This book involves rape which I have chosen not to discuss in this review.
These are both incredibly serious issues and I do not mean to minimise them by limiting my discussion of them in this review. To see discussion about the (poorly managed) inclusion of these issues please see the reviews and relevant discussion by both Aylahref> and Regslyhref>.

Okay this book was a hit and miss.

A YA retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath & The Dawn follows Shahrzad, a headstrong female as she becomes one of the many wives of the murderous king, Khalid. Those who marry the king never make it past dawn of the next day, yet Shahrzad defies the ugly tradition. And she plans to stop it once and for all

Okay so long story short - this book was slow, full of holes, and didn't stand well on it's own. I felt the whole book was just leading up to the sequel rather than telling a reveling story in itself. And it's a book that certainly seemed to hold a lot more if you knew the original story - something which I strongly believe retellings should not rely on.

Honestly though, if I had not read this as a group read, I would have DNFed it very early on.

While the female protagonist was initially introduced as an independent, fix-problems-herself type character, she very quickly became a character with questionable loyalties, uncertain goals, and unstable morals. Now don't get me wrong - this is not a bad thing in itself. If anything, it's accurate as personality is fluid. But it all happened in a way that made dislike the character (one among many). Nothing this character did was thought out.

Neither was anything done by any other of the forefront characters - Tariq, Shahrazad's partner, or Jahandar, Shahrzad's father. While this characters are introduced as supposedly 'good' guys, I spent the entire book screaming silently at their stupidity and idiot tenancy to be ridiculously rash in their actions.

Smaller characters, such as Shahrazad's handmaid, that had little-to-no development suddenly played large plot-defining roles. I mean, like out of nowhere. Another thing to the long list of irritations. This led to many holes in the story, and highlighted the lack of background development given by Ahdieh.

The bits of the story that did interest me greatly - for example the skulking of Janhandar, and the mysterious tutor of magic, Musa, that would obviously be a key addition to the plot - were hardly mentioned or developed. Instead they were vaguely mentioned, often in a disjointed style of POV switching, as if they were barely worth mentioning.

Oh and can we mention the fact that there is a throwaway story of a troubled, suicidal female that made up the entire background of one of the main characters?! Which is given an mere page of description and then never mentioned again. If you have read the book I am sure you have seen the countless problems with this in other reviews - I will leave them to elaborate while I steam away in my infuriates at this book.

The end felt was action filled and yet felt incredibly rushed, as if to bring the book to an explosive close to make up for everything you have trudged through and get you excited for the book. Sadly, this is something which I have experienced in Ahdieh's other book, [b:Flame in the Mist|35738753|Flame in the Mist|Renee Ahdieh|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1500880768s/35738753.jpg|42862752] - if you can write in such an engaging and exciting manner, where is it for the rest of the book?

I love retellings when they are done right - made into a wonderful stand alone book that has nostalgic offerings from the original story or fairytale. Yet this book left me feeling frustrated, bored, and dissatisfied. I won't be tuning into the sequel.
Reviewed: 2017-12-07
Initial Impressions 4/11/15: Well, since honesty is prized in this book, I will be perfectly honest about what I thought. The ending was simply fantastic. I was totally hooked for the last 100 pages and I fell in love... But I didn't fall in love until the end. I really enjoyed the middle of the book but it took me a long time to trust the book again for how much I disliked the beginning. Honestly, I may have put it down and not picked it back up again had I not been reading it with friends and hadn't heard the great praise for it.
Then the praise for it kiiiinda killed my enjoyment throughout the middle. The hype was a bit much for me for the first half of the book BUT it was well-desrved for the ending and I have nothing but great expectations for book two! Now that I know the characters, the situation, and the plot, I think I will have no trouble hopping immediately into the story (and really can't wait for it).
I definitely recommend this book -- but maybe know that the beginning might be a bit (or a lot) slow for you. I've heard the same from many others and wish I knew going in!

Full review originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 4/29/15: THE WRATH AND THE DAWN was our selection for April to read together for our On the Same Page monthly read along. I have to admit… I was a bit intimidated by this book before I even began. I heard SO many amazing reviews and reactions for this book that I was already afraid the hype would get to me before I even started. And then I started the book. I’m not going to lie to you guys — the beginning was rough for me. As in, I probably would have DNFed it if I wasn’t reading with my best friends. Thankfully the great thing about being a part of this book blogging and reading community is that along with my BFFs, I had great support to encourage me to keep reading. See, when I had heard all of this hype, I hadn’t heard anyone who had struggled with the beginning so I was wondering if it was just me. Thankfully, we all read on and with reassurances from Alyssa and Amy (who were ahead of me) and pretty much everyone who saw my reading updates on Goodreads, I continued reading and they were all right. It got MUCH better.

I kind of had a hard time shaking off that rough start. I felt a bit dropped in the middle of an unfamiliar setting with a head-strong female lead. Head-strong and willful isn’t a bad thing but characters like Shazi do take some time for me to get to know sometimes. Once I know them, I’m usually all about the determination and ferocity, but I usually need to explore the setting and the plot (you know, make sure I should be on board with their cause) before I start to love them so that was something that took me a while to appreciate. Once I did get to know Shazi though (make that all of the characters), I really did love them and I’m so glad I got to know their stories.

I had a lot of fun once I really started to get into the thick of things. The world-building was quite fascinating, full of rich descriptions, interesting magical elements, and just had a great overall feel. All of the characters really started to shine and I really loved every single one of them — well aside from the baddies, of course — but even the antagonists were incredibly interesting. It took a little time for things to develop but I like how natural it felt to let these things unfold, especially in the case of the romantic elements. Renee Ahdieh’s writing was quite beautiful and it was just lovely to let myself really feel out this world and sort of develop around me.

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN concludes with punch after punch and it turned out to be just as thrilling as everyone had promised! Lives on the line, relationships in jeopardy, kingdoms at stake, and really everything reaching its pinnacle all at the right moments. It definitely had me wanting more which is both good and bad since I really enjoyed the conclusion but now I have to wait for book two (which is a ways out considering I read this book even before its publication date). All-in-all, I really enjoyed THE WRATH AND THE DAWN and how Renee Ahdieh adapted 1001 Nights into the storyline. It was a great original story with a hint of that something familiar (even reminded me of Aladdin in a specific marketplace scene!) and although I had a bit of a tough time in the beginning, I do think it’s quite worth the read and recommendation!
Reviewed: 2017-01-02
Dull dull dull. This sounded like such an intriguing book. A retelling of the classic 'One Thousand and One Nights' where the storyteller Shahrzad tells a long tale to buy time and to extend her life for another day to complete her plan for revenge. What she did not expect, however, was to learn the reasons for her new husband's reasons for killing a new bride every night and how she ends up falling in love with him. That was not part of the plan at all.
 
What seemed like a great concept is just...dull. Initially I was willing to go along with it but the plot is lackluster, the characters are not interesting AT ALL, and the love story that drives the entire tale is boring. There is the bond between Shahrzad and Khalid (Caliph who kills a new bride every night) and then there’s one between her and Tariq. Yawn.
 
There isn’t much more to say as other reviews cover the criticisms of the book pretty well. The book is entirely too long and it just felt like the author had nothing to say but used a lot of words to say it. It was excruciating to get through. It wasn’t necessarily bad writing either. There could be an excellent tale to tell but it doesn’t work well in the hands of this author.
 
I really regret buying it. The author has a new book (‘Flame in the Mist’) coming out that’s supposed to take place in feudal Japan and has been described as “’Mulan’ meets Tamora Pierce” which drew me to finally pick this up. I’ll read ‘Flame’ but will be skipping the sequel to this.
Reviewed: 2016-12-30
Actual rating: 1.5

Do you ever just hear about a book and know without a shadow of a doubt that you will love it? That’s how I always felt about this book. I had seen rave review after rave review. Everyone I know LOVES it. So I always just knew that I would love it too.

I was wrong.

This book was painful to get through. From the forced writing style to the lackluster plot and flat characters. To say I am disappointed with this book is an understantment.

I know a lot of people praise the writing style but for me it did not work. At all. I am all for flowery writing, but this went beyond that and actually took away from the story being written. I had a hard time seeing past metaphor after metaphor after metaphor. If I have to see the phrase “flashing eyes” one more time I am going to scream. What does flashing eyes even mean?? Why are everyones eyes flashing?? All it did was build a wall between me and the story and caused me to feel no emotional connection to the characters. My biggest problem regarding the writing was the fact that she kept TELLING me things and not SHOWING them.

Another thing that really bothered me about the writing was the use of foreign language. I fully appreciate that the author made an attempt to add foreign language to the book but she would just casually thrown these words in with absolutely zero context clues to decipher what the heck they mean. I had to constantly keep flipping to the back of the book and look up words in the glossary and every time I did it would stunt the flow of the book.

Shazi was such an annoying main character. First of all, she volunteered to be the kings bride and willingly went to the palace with no plan as to how she would kill him and knowing nothing about him. Then as she is there she talks a big game in her head about killing him and getting revenge BUT SHE NEVER EVEN TRIES. And the one time she even thinks about doing it they end up making out instead. SERIOUSLY? Her thoughts and actions do not match up and that was so infuriating.

Which leads me to the romance. Why do Shazi and Khalid like each other? When did their love happen? Did they meet of page and develop this relationship because it sure as hell didn’t happen on page. One second Shazi wants to murder him and get vengeance for him murdering her best friend and the next page she is talking about her fluttering heart. Seriously? TWO DAYS! Two days is all it took for her to fall for her friends murderer.

And as for her friend, we never see their friendship. So I don’t get the emotions behind Shazi wanting revenge. I don’t care her friend died. I don’t feel the feels. If there was just one scene of her and Shiva I would have understood more, but alas we were just TOLD they were friends and not SHOWN.

The only character I cared about in the slightest was Shazi’s bodyguard who never spoke. Other than him I couldn’t care less about these characters and their problems. Until about page 340 nothing happened in this book plot wise. It was just chapter after chapter of Shazi having conversations in her bedroom.

For as much as I didn’t like this book, I will be reading the sequel. Maybe not anytime soon, but I need to know if it gets better. I’m really hoping it does.
Reviewed: 2016-05-31
I thoroughly enjoyed "The Wrath and the Dawn" which is loosely based on "Arabian Nights". The author has created a wonderful world which captures the exotic mystic of the Middle East. Shahrzad is a strong female character who is outspoken, intelligent, bold and fearless. Khalid is more of a mystery and is weighed down with guilt. It took me a while to connect with him, but I liked his quiet demeanour and was surprised to find he was only eighteen. With action, suspense, assassination attempts, curses, romance and a hint of magic, I found this a terrific read and, despite the inadequate ending, I can't wait for the sequel.
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